I want to start by talking a bit about my purpose and goals for this experiment. The main purpose is to see how different nutrients effect my performance, energy levels, and overall mood during my runs. Week 1 was a control week in which I ate what I would normally would. In week 2, I will increase my intake of healthy fats. Week 3 will focus on carbs, and then, finally, week 4 will be all about protein.
Throughout this process, I will try to be as detailed and scientific as possible. I will track everything single thing I eat, and break down the nutrient count using MyFitnessPal. I will also be keeping a daily journal tracking how I react to different dietary changes.
This being said, I still want to have a life. I know there are a lot of variables that I cannot take into account, but that’s not the point. Life happens, and so, keeping that in mind, the goal is to get a real world idea of how diet effects running performance.
OK, so this week I am eating as I normally would, which is, in many ways, suboptimal. I tend to work long hours and eat when I can. I usually eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a bagel sandwich and chips for lunch, and then a protein and carb like ham or chicken and quinoa, with a salad thrown in here and there for good measure.
So far, on my runs, I encountered a mild to moderate nausea from around 1/2 a mile to mile 2. This is pretty normal for me, and one of the reasons I am trying to change things up. I call it the 2 mile sickness, and it has been the bane of my running experience. I just feel unwell for the first part of my runs no matter what the distance, almost like my body has to slowly shift into running mode.
I have also felt sluggish and a bit weak, with a low overall energy. Running feels like a chore until the last mile or so in which I feel much more energetic. Along with this lack of energy, came bad moods. These improved as I ran, but, again, I was not really enjoying myself like I knew I could.
Nike+ was no help on the mood front either. On my last run, after 2 miles, Nike+ inexplicably began telling me my pace and time roughly every 30 seconds. It really started to feel like my iPod was mocking me and intentionally trying to piss me off (#technologyisawesome).
As I see it so far, there is definitely room for improvement. However, I am optimistic and am really looking forward to the next few weeks.
So, to wrap up, I wanted to share my Week 1 Tip: Eat regularly!
As cool as it would be, we are not robots. Eat small snacks throughout the day, and make yourself eat 1-2 hours before a run. You will be more energetic, and have more fun.
Featured image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
John is a retail management professional who loves history, philosophy, and pondering the deeper meaning of reality, and the universe around us. He is also believes that life should be enjoyed. John likes to read, and write in his spare time, and loves going on new adventures. He has been running for 3 years and has finished 9 half marathons, one full, as well as a few 5 and 10k’s.