Day 13, suffering on my runs, dreading 13 miles tomorrow!


Mrs.Mathias

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I have a 13 mile run tomorrow, and today is Day 13 of the Whole 30. My runs have been agonizing! I know fat adaptation is supposed to kick in... eventually, but I am dreading trying to get this run accomplished on a hard boiled egg before, and coconut water during. What else can I do?! I get that I'm not supposed to have any carbs pre-run to get the body to adapt to burning stored energy (fat) instead, but I'm at a loss here! I welcome suggestions and advice!

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Well, I'm sorry I didn't get any suggestions before or after my run, but I skipped the pre WO meal. Just had some coconut water. During the hilly run I had some more coconut water, then chicken breast and sweet potato after the run. It felt much better.

 

Is it necessary to have a pre WO meal? Yesterday was the first run in 2 weeks which didn't feel like a massive struggle.

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I always think a preWO meal is a very personal thing, and very much relative to when you train in comparison to when you last ate.

I don't know if the sugar in the coconut water helped or if you've possibly reached the stage where you can burn fat when required.

Coconut water is technically a light fruit juice & really recommended only for endurance sports, and for people who are much more prone to dehydration in their jobs. 

Most distance runners tend to increase starches on the day prior to their longer runs. The protein you have been eating so far for preWO isn't really being used as fuel until at least an hour later as it takes the body longer to process.

I really do think it's a case of persevering.

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I always work out or run first thing in the morning.

 

I knew the run was going to be 12.5 miles and hilly, and I have been feeling so sluggish and tired on my runs these last two weeks. I didn't drink much before the run - only a few sips.

 

As far as increasing starches, I ate more sweet potato, but that was it.

 

I have a 5 mile tempo run tomorrow, I'll see how I do without eating before first. No coconut water, since it's a shorter (although faster) run. But I'll eat my 1/2 chicken breast and a bit of mashed sweet potato right afterwards.

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Day 16

 

Skipped the HB egg again before my 5 mile run. Was supposed to be tempo, but wound up being progressive. It was definitely an effort, but not as much as a struggle as last week. 9:31, 9:18, 8:50, 8:45 and 8:37. What a difference! And faster recovery as well. Really happy and hopeful that the fat adaptation is starting.

 

Ate an Epic beef bar immediately after the run, then mashed sweet potato. In the future, I think I'll stick to the cooked chicken breast, which is leaner. I ate the Epic because I didn't have any leftover cooked chicken, and it was fine. :) Hope!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most distance runners tend to increase starches on the day prior to their longer runs. The protein you have been eating so far for preWO isn't really being used as fuel until at least an hour later as it takes the body longer to process.

I really do think it's a case of persevering.

I will say that you are right. I was so discouraged initially that I wanted to quit, but I'm so glad I didn't! I'm on Day 32, and FINALLY, I feel like I'm back to where I was before the W30. I am increasing my starches the day before I run (spaghetti squash, sweet potato) and eating fruit. Nothing pre WO, coconut water during long runs and grilled chicken breast, beef or pork tenderloin with sweet potato after my run. Much better. What a difference! I even ran rolling hills this week. And had a great progressive run this morning with faster paces than in the past 30 days. So thank you for the encouragement. :) I finally feel like I have fat adapted! Now, hoping that I can actually burn some of this insulation... ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Please let us know how the insulation burn is going. 

Surprisingly, it is actually working! I had doubts that it would work for me, but I am shocked and pleasantly surprised. It is slow going, but I see progress. My husband says that I got "all muscular", but the muscles *have* been there. He can only now see them because I have been burning fat. While the weight loss on the scale hasn't been tremendously significant (I'm down about 3 pounds since I started the W30 on February 22), I notice more definition since I fat-adapted. And I haven't been working out as much as I once did. I used to hit the stairmaster for 65 minutes, THEN do a 45 minute boot camp class, and I was frustrated that I never seem to drop the weight or see definition.

 

jmcbn was really spot on: it is a case of persevering. It was hard! Those first few weeks of running were brutal! I began to hate running, which I had always enjoyed so much before. I felt tired, sluggish, completely out of energy. I'm back to enjoying my runs again. Well, at least my easy runs. The speed work has always been challenging. ;)

 

As for a slow roll re-introduction, I am pretty much sticking with the W30 way of eating, but have relaxed the no added sugar rule, as well as alcohol. Dairy, grains and legumes to not make me feel good when I eat them, so I continue to avoid them for the most part. I do have a smoothie if I'm pressed for time, or an Rx bar if I can't access good food in time. I did have a wonderful dinner at our favorite restaurant, and nothing was off plan that night. And I noticed that the dishes contained no grains! They served wonderful baked breads, but each course was a little protein with vegetables, fats and fruits. Some legumes. And I totally everything. Now I am back to omitting the dairy, grains and legumes. I consider myself a Paleo convert. I am so glad to have found this way of eating!

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So glad it is working out!  Thanks for coming back to update!  I never tried anything over 10 on empty stomach, was too afraid I'd poop out mid run.  I have never drunk coconut water though, just plain old water.  I wonder how much of a difference that makes...

 

Pre W30, I once ran (well, jogged - 10:25 pace) 10 miles with only a little coffee pre-run. I had about 3 hours of sleep and I told my running partner that I didn't know how far I'd make it or how fast, but that was one of the most effortless, enjoyable runs I've ever had! No water or fuel, I didn't even feel like we'd run 10 miles when we had finished. That was really surprising.

 

I ran 8 yesterday with only a few sips of Ultima electrolyte replenisher (NOT W30 approved) because I'll be running a half in a few weeks and they'll have that on the course, so I wanted to see how that would work for me. It was fine. Generally, the coconut water works very well and is hydrating me enough, plus, it does have the electrolytes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mona some athletes, myself included, have adapted to eating a lot less than they used to in a program like this. Some have better luck than others, some take longer, and it's all individual.

I've been at this for years, and can go two hours on just water. Will that work for you? Maybe not at first. In the meantime you'll need to experiment with what foods, timing, and amounts your body needs for what you are doing.

It's a fun experiment, if you look at it that way!

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This is also a concern of mine since I normally use GU during my runs for fuel.

I also used to use GU on my runs, every 45 minutes. Now I'm just hydrating. Making the conversion to fat-adapted is HARD, but worthwhile. Your body can utilize your stored energy more efficiently. I always wondered why I was running all these miles and never really losing any weight. It was because I was feeding my body the energy to burn, instead of burning my stored fat. Now I can actually see some muscle definition. Stick with it, it really is all about perseverance.

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Update, I ran a half marathon yesterday. I had a HB egg with a little mayo at 6:30. The race started at 8:10. Had peppermint tea and water as well. On the course, I just stopped at every water stop and drank a little water. That's it. No coconut water, gels, gatorade... Nothing else. I felt great, although I was running at 10:27 pace, so I was taking it easy running with my running partner. Ate mashed sweet potatoes with some egg white powder and grilled chicken right after. Felt fine.

 

The only thing I needed to do was up my potassium intake. I started cramping in my left tibialis anterior muscle in the afternoon. Took a B Stress Complex vitamin and potassium, the issue resolved quickly.

 

So! Next race coming up on 5/1, I plan to do the same - just have a little water along the course. Will probably run a bit faster, but not race effort. September I'll be racing... :)

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YAY!! WHOOP!! Thanks for the update  :D

 

One way to get  potassium is NuSalt, an alternative salt for those that avoid sodium. It's in the store along side the salts. You need both sodium and potassium, but not as much potassium. I sometimes put a sprinkle of both in to my water bottles. It can give the water a metallic taste, sometimes add a squirt of citrus juice to offset. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

YAY!! WHOOP!! Thanks for the update  :D

 

One way to get  potassium is NuSalt, an alternative salt for those that avoid sodium. It's in the store along side the salts. You need both sodium and potassium, but not as much potassium. I sometimes put a sprinkle of both in to my water bottles. It can give the water a metallic taste, sometimes add a squirt of citrus juice to offset. 

Thank you! I should definitely try this. :)

For my 5/1 race, I had a HB egg and a few almonds at 5:30 am. Race time was 7 am and the goal was just to enjoy the run. I ran with a running buddy and we had a blast! Walked at every water stop, had a few sips of the Ultima, but mostly drank water. Stopped a couple of times to take mid race pictures. The real shocker was that I PR'd. 2:05:20, so a PR by 15 seconds over my September 2015 race. I felt great, last mile was rough (as usual) and I cramped a little in my legs when I sat down, but recovery was pretty quick. I ate some turkey and a banana post race. Breakfast was two poached eggs over a spicy tomato stew with lamb meatballs, avocado, fresh fruit and black coffee. Definitely a convert to the W30-ish lifestyle. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Mrs.Mathis, you are so inspriing me! First, congrats on the PR -- especially while stopping to take pictures!!

 

I'm a race walker -- have raced more than 45 half marathons. I am a Cliff Shot Bloks fan. I am on day 8 of W30. Yesterday I tried to do an easy 3 miles and ended up walking so slow! I had not energy. I just could not go faster. Today I have a speed workout planned and I am not sure I can do it. I am praying for rain!

 

I can't eat eggs, so I won't be able to do that before a race. I might try the other proteins you have been eating before and after. So are you taking sweet potatoes and meat with you to the race? Have you tried almonds or nuts before a run? (I did that yesterday.)

 

Thank you for your posts. I feel so dencouraged.

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Hi Fastwalker,

 

Continue with your speed workouts and training runs/jogs/walks. Don't stop! You may want to, while your body is adjusting to burning its stored energy, but persevere. I swear it's worth it. The difficult part will only last a month, the effects will last much longer. Just do yourself a HUGE favor and don't binge on sugar when your W30 is over!

 

As for pre workout meals, eat whatever will sit best for you. Pre WO should be a little fat & protein, Post WO should be lean protein and high carb veg. Yes, I do take the chicken and sweet potato with me to eat after the race! That's my best option, although I've made do with what I can when I was traveling. And yes, I've had some almonds or cashews before a run, although I usually feel fine running on an empty stomach (and have for years).

 

Hang in there and stick with it! I'd love to hear how you're doing throughout the W30! :)

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I've recently read to up the sodium and magnesium when you first transition to Whole30 to help avoid the 'carb flu' and make the workouts better.  I'm not sure if this is accurate or not but given we say to salt your food liberally and many are magnesium deficient anyways, it does make sense.  I wonder if that would help with the athletes out there that are struggling with performance before switching to fat adapted?

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I should add.... this was not a Whole30 recommendation, just a recommendation on another group I'm apart of... they are LCHF which I know Whole30 is not, but it does tend to be lower carb and many 'suffer' from carb flu when first starting.

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I'm on day 14. Today I did my first "long" walk while training for my next half marathon in mid-August. My plan was to do 6 to 8 miles at a slow pace. I started early to avoid most of the heat and I did  drink water throughout the walk.

 

I ate about 2 oz of chicken breast before driving 20 min to the park. The first 2 miles were very hard. I barely maintained a 16-min mile! Miles 3 & 4 were better. I got down to 14:00 to 14:30, which is fairly typical on my slow mileage days. Mile 5 was back to a 16-min mile. Mile 6 I didn't even pretend to be race walking any more. I put my arms down and just concentrated on finishing. Needless to say, I decided against doing 8 miles.

 

As soon as I got to my car, I ate an Epic bar and half of a sweet potato and I immediately felt better!

 

I am so glad you kept posting about your progress, because without it I would be very discouraged. It is so hard to be patient while waiting for your body to adjust. I have to remember that when I first started doing long distances, it took a long time to figure out what worked for me. Now I have to relearn everything.

 

Mrs.Mathias I'm wondering if I need some fat in addition to protein before walking in the morning. No, I cannot skip eating, I was starving at mile 5 today. I am typically starving in the middle of most half marathons. (Maybe with fat adaptation that will diminish?) Eating the chicken was so tough! It took everything I had to swallow it.

 

Any advice you can give will be very appreciated.

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Mrs.Mathias I'm wondering if I need some fat in addition to protein before walking in the morning. No, I cannot skip eating, I was starving at mile 5 today. I am typically starving in the middle of most half marathons. (Maybe with fat adaptation that will diminish?) Eating the chicken was so tough! It took everything I had to swallow it.

 

Any advice you can give will be very appreciated.

What do the rest of your meals look like? Can you list out a few typical days?

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Last week I ate beef, sausage or chicken with sauteed veggies for breakfast. I added different veggies and added some sweet potato some days. (I'm still struggling with breakfast and hunger in the morning.)

Lunch was typically huge salads with a variety greens, variety of veggies, olives, vinaigrette and a meat, usually something leftover from dinner.

Dinner was typically a meat or fish, veggies, salads and sometimes a roasted potato.

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