I’ve got a doozy of a birthday coming up in November, and decided a while back that I wanted to conquer 26.2 miles before tackling the big 3-0.
Chris and I run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in June. I ran my first half marathon back in 2005 (that's me, at right, after the 2009 Shamrock'n Half Marathon), but up until a couple weeks ago 13.1 miles was the longest distance I’d covered. Now I’m at the point in my training where my long runs are in the teens and I’m running more than 30 miles each week.
What’s great about amassing all this mileage is that it’s a hall pass of sorts, because I’m burning enough calories to justify eating all kinds of goodies. But I’m also more conscious of what and when I eat, especially as it pertains to my long runs. It’s one thing to slog through a four-mile short run after work when you’re still a little full from lunch, but a huge plate of nachos doesn’t really going to feel so hot when you’re running for a couple hours.
I’m still experimenting with what I eat before my long runs, but have done well with a slice of wheat toast smeared with peanut butter, or a banana, 30 to 60 minutes before lacing up my Asics. On the trail I’ll eat an energy gel (current favorite flavor is Gu Energy Gel’s Jet Blackberry) roughly every 45 minutes, and I always run with water.
Once I get home, stretch, take a couple swigs of Gatorade and clean up it’s time to do some serious damage. On weekends, when I tend to knock out my long runs, a big fat breakfast really hits the spot. Sometimes I like to scramble up a couple eggs with a dash of pesto and a little bit of turkey deli meat. Other times it’s an omelette with lots of fresh veggies. Eggs, in any form, tend to hit the spot, especially when paired with a couple strips of turkey bacon and some toast with strawberry jam.
On weeknights, the runs aren’t as long but I’m still ready to inhale dinner post haste. A quick bowl of pasta always does the trick, and I feel a brown rice kick coming on.
What are your pre- and post-workout food favorites? I’m always looking for suggestions.