Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pre Race Eating

Since starting to run long, I've found that I typically gain weight during runs. In high school, I remember going out on a particularly hot day, running about 8 miles and losing about 8 lbs. Now, when I go out on a particularly hot day (or cold day) and run 8 (or 30 miles) I typically gain about 5 lbs. I don't gain that weight by eating lots of food after the run, I gain that weight while running!

I'm tempted to bring along an extra pair of shorts one size larger for the second half of the run.

I think all of this weight gain is because I eat so much during the run. I have to. After the first two hours, I am starving. I've learned that if I don't eat a considerable amount of calories around 2 hours, I bonk real bad at 2:30 - 3 hours. In fact, the most difficult part of most of my long runs is at the 2.5 hour mark.

To compensate, my typical breakfast before a long run includes several of those hideous pastry strudels that are so absolutely scrumptious, as well as an egg McMuffin, a bowl of cereal, MoJo bar, and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. And I'm still starving at 2.5 hours.

Also to compensate, I have typically started to power-eat the week before a long race. For both Leadvilles, I must have gained 7 lbs in the week leading up to the race. I'm certain that the race officials had to check the rules to see if the Dough Boy was actually allowed to run. And then, I continued the eating, weight-gaining frenzy through the first 50 miles. And I guess it continued after I DNF'd... for several days. Well, actually through to the next Saturday.

One aspect of this pre-race eating changed as I prepared for FANS. Actually, it was the only preparation I did for FANS this year, as I didn't put in one single training mile. This year, I prepared by not power-eating the week before.

I'm not sure why. I knew that I could eat continuously during the race as by this time in my short, long-running career I've learned what to eat while running and how to eat so as to not get sick while eating and running. Yeah, I'm real proud of that.

So I went into FANS relatively not-fat. And it worked. I wasn't unusually hungry, my body didn't start consuming itself (there's still plenty of fat in this body to consume), and I actually felt a little more light and nimble on my feet.

So, this week, part of my race preparation - in fact my only race preparation (I just have not had time to run) - has been to eat less.

I think I will try to drink more, though. The forecast for Saturday is 90, the hottest day in the next seven days.


Julie Ann Fee said...

i saw the temp too, it will be hot for you. i will be praying that you do well and have fun...right? it's all about the fun! Good luck friend.

Unknown said...

Thanks. I'll be praying for you all as well. Regardless how long, each race has moments of terror and moments of sheer delight.