Running has taken a dive, Day 16


carrot_flowers

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Background: I run 3-6 miles per day (with 1-2 days off a week), and my normal "easy run" pace is about 9:40/mi. I haven't even attempted any speed workout since beginning the Whole 30, so I don't know how my other paces have been affected.

 

Since starting Whole 30, I am SO SO SLOW. The first 12 days, my "easy run" pace was averaging 10:45/mi and it DIDN'T FEEL EASY at all. I felt short of breath; I couldn't wait to stop running, and often times I had to stop running to catch my breath. My legs felt like anvils as I jogged.

 

On days 13 & 14, my runs started improving a little (faster and slightly easier-seeming), but yesterday (day 15), I was back to feeling awful.

 

I DO eat a pre-run snack, and what it is varies. Sometimes, I'll eat half a Larabar. Other times, some chicken breast. The nutritional content of these pre-run snacks vary greatly based on whatever is on-hand and easy, and I haven't noticed a difference in ease of running in relationship to what I've eaten beforehand.

 

I LOVE RUNNING. It is what keeps me sane. I do enjoy other exercises as well, but I need running in my life because I truly enjoy it.

 

Any ideas for improvement in this area?

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You need to make sure you eat starchy veggies every day if you are running. You don't have to eat them immediately before or after a run, but include them in some meal every day - sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, beets, turnips, plantains, yucca, etc. It is normal to suffer in running performance for 2 or 3 weeks after beginning a Whole30, but as you become fat-adapted, your performance should improve. Because you are not eating processed carbs or grains, you need the energy from vegetable sources of carbs.

 

You should never eat a larabar ever and certainly not as a pre-workout snack. The only excuse for eating a larabar is in an emergency when you would otherwise go hungry.

 

Chicken breast is okay as a pre-workout snack, but better as part of a post-workout meal. 

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to add to Tom's excellent advice: the best snack for pre-workout is protein and fat. I always have a hardboiled egg, but some people will have a spoonful of coconut or other nut butter, or a small handful of nuts, that sort of thing. Post-workout you want protein and carbs, but little fat (fat slows digestion, and you want to get protein into your muscles super quick), so the chicken breast alongside some sweet potato would be a classic choice, or a can of tuna packed in water with some carrot sticks, maybe?

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I'm a runner and was teaching a running clinic during my June W30.  Because of the information in these forums, I deliberately cut back my mileage and lowered my expectations.  The first 2 weeks I was a little sluggish.  Weeks 3 and 4 saw some improvement, so even if I started sluggish I was able to push through and complete my workout at my pre-W30 pace.  And the week post-W30 (even though I was off-roading) I saw even more improvements in my endurance and speed.

 

Definitely add starchy veg daily as Tom suggested.  For preWO meals have protein and fat (ex: HB egg) and for postWO have protein and carbs (ex: chicken and sweet potato).

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The problem with a larabar as a pre-wo snack is that it gives you a pretty big hit of sugar to fuel your workout on which delays becoming more fat adapted. You want to force your body to use your fat stores as energy until you absolutely need them (running in your anerobic/lactic zones). I run 4-5 days a week. If I can allow for an hour or more between eating and running I will just eat a normal meal 1 without starchy veggies (like kale, eggs, bacon). If I need to get out sooner I just have eggs and maybe some bacon. I then make sure I incorporate starchy veggies in my next meal. I personally haven't been doing a post-wo snack mostly because all I can think about immediately after a run is getting in the shower.

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(semi-panicked) question for the runners:  do you approach pre- or post-WO food differently depending on whether it's a short run or a long run?  I'm starting Whole30 next week (I'm already mosty paleo and totally GF, as I have a significant gluten sensitivity), and the week after that officially begins my training program for a half marathon in December--I'm a little worried about how my body will respond with that overlap. 

 

I'm only a couple years into running, and have only run 5ks and done short-ish runs to this point, and my one and only concern with Whole 30 is whether it'll negatively affect the first month of my training (and potentialy derail my motivation/endurance ability).  Up to this point, I've used things like dates/blueberries/almond butter/raw eggs in smoothie form with coconut milk post-WO, but I'm aware that smoothies are a no-no on Whole 30.  I'm using Higdon's Novice 1 program for half marathons, btw.

 

Looking for advice from those with experience in half marathon training (and thank you).

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Personally I just eat a larger portion before/after long runs. On normal run days I will generally just split my meal 1 in half if I'm not going to have enough time between eating and running to properly digest. On long run days I'll eat like 4 eggs before my run and than a starchy vegetable heavy big meal after I shower. I just can't eat immediately after those runs. I cut the water I carry with coconut water for my long runs as well. 

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Thanks, Physibeth!  Making the switch to long runs while I'm simultaneously getting started on Whole 30 has me scratching my head, so that advice helps.  Up to now I eat little or nothing before going on a run--usually a quick cup of coffee and half a banana.  I know I'll need more fuel before starting a long run--that's a change I'd need to make with or without Whole 30--so that's what I'm trying to get a handle on.

 

It's a good thing, I suppose, that I like sweet potatoes and coconut water.  :)

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Don't eat starchy carbs before your run, eat protein and fat. You want to train your body to reach for your fat stores for energy so you don't want all the easy burn sugar in your system before you go out. I personally tend to bonk if I try to run fasted and I also have had much more overall success eating something within and hour of waking. Try having a hard boiled egg instead of that banana.

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