Event: Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5k
Date: Sunday, April 19, 2015
In my training for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon on April 19, 2015, I am learning how important all of the preparation is. Last month, I focused on my training (see post here) and this month is all about the diet. Runners do not usually wake up and say, “I feel like running a ½ marathon today!” I don’t at least. They plan ahead, train, diet, and mentally prepare for 13.1 miles of running. One of the most important and beneficial factors is my diet. The phrase, “you are what you eat,” is repetitive, but I am finding out that it is the truth.
My weekly grocery cart filled with greens: Celery, Brussels Sprouts, Guacamole, and spinach
I used to believe I could eat anything I wanted after I ran because I was burning so many calories. I still enjoy eating what I want, but all in moderation. Just because I run eleven miles, does not mean I can eat five pieces of pizza, ice cream, candy, and my favorite: donuts. I learned the hard way and found myself craving carbs after my runs. Soon enough, I was increasing my mileage, but gaining more weight. How was this possible? Well, I was filling my body with the wrong types of carbs and too much sugar.
How I used to eat: anything and everything, yuck!
On January 5th (after the New Year of course) I made a promise to start eating healthy and stick to it. I made a meal plan and mentally prepared myself to give up what I loved the most; I substituted the sugars for protein, fiber, and lots of water.
Quitting cold turkey is challenging. My body started missing the sweets and I found myself thinking of junk food non-stop. The first week was the hardest, but I dropped two pounds after seven days. I started to stop craving the bad stuff and began to look forward to my eggs, chicken, and protein shakes.
My post run shake: One banana blended with almond milk and protein powder
Within two weeks I lost over five pounds…ALL from my diet! My bloat is gone and I can see my body transforming.
I now bring my lunch to work and eat a chicken salad with a zero calorie sports drink
I feel lighter running on the treadmill and stronger on my cross-training days of weight training. I am gaining muscle and losing fat. Within six weeks I dropped ten pounds just from my diet!
I buy chicken, veggies, eggs, fruit, and fish, adding protein to my diet
So what do I eat while training for the Gazelle Girls Half Marathon? I stick to a strict schedule during the week and have my “reward” days on the weekend.
A typical dinner at home: Veggies, quinoa, and fish
My Diet Plan:
(note that all days include high protein amounts: one gram per pound of body weight)
- Sunday: High Carb, Low Fat Day (Eat what I want in moderation)
- Cup of tea when I wake up
- Fast until 10am
- 10am: 3 eggs (white and yolks)
- 11:30am: 1 can of tuna (mustard and pickle added)
- 2:30pm: 6oz chicken, spinach leaves with light dressing.
- 4:30pm: 100 calories Chobani yogurt
- 6:00pm: ½ cup of fiber cereal and ½ protein shake
- 8:30pm: Dinner (one protein, one fibrous carb, one vegetable)
- 9:00pm: 2 celery sticks with all natural peanut butter (1tbs)
- Saturday: High Carb, Low Fat Day (Eat what I want in moderation)
Why is diet so important for running?
A good diet is a lot like a good training program. A nutritional routine will deliver strong results and increased performance in the same way that a balanced workout program gradually improves your conditioning. Proper nutrition and hydration can make or break a workout or race and also greatly affects how runners feel, work, and think.
Tips for dieting:
*Make a schedule
-I don’t call my carb days “cheat days”; I call them “reward days.” Go ahead and have that piece of chocolate if you want to, just do not eat all of it!
-Every pound lost put a dollar in a jar.
*Drink lots of water
-I make sure I drink 96oz of water each day. Throw in sugar-free sweeteners if it becomes too boring after several days!
Prepping for the Gazelle Girls Half Marathon requires a lot of self discipline, consistency, and preparation. Even though it is challenging, it will pay off. The first week was the hardest for me, but after that, I found myself having fun and seeing results! Remember to have fun during this process. Your body will reward yourself if you treat it kind, which will lead to a successful Gazelle Girl Half Marathon Race!
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