Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nutrition and Running

I’m always interested to know how other runners eat. I know that there are runners, well people in general, that just eat whatever and either choose not to or don’t worry about nutrition. I wish that could be me. I actually am somewhat restricted in what I eat as I try to get healthier and lose weight and I wonder what it’s impact may be on my running.
I never eat: red meat, poultry, pork etc … the only meat I eat is fish
I try to rarely eat: gluten, dairy, things with artificial sweeteners and to rarely drink: alcohol, soda
I try to only occasionally eat: corn, white potatoes, vinegar, yeast and a few other random things based on a nutritional evaluation.
Now if I were to only ever eat things that I made for myself and to never go, this may be easy-ish but it’s not. I haven’t eaten any meat but fish since December 31, 2009 and that was hard for family and friends if I ate at their houses. Now that I rarely eat gluten or dairy it’s even harder for me. But because of how I feel after eating these two things, I’m trying to make the sacrifice. I know for a fact that both have negative impacts on my running. Gluten not only causes stomach distress for me but it also contributes to numbness in my calf and foot. And well, dairy just makes me feel like crap which sucks because it’s so tasty.
My biggest worry in my new diet was getting enough calories and protein for running. Now I’m not talking about huge amounts of protein because I tend to think we obsess about protein a wee bit too much in this country and most people consume too much not too little. Anyway, the calorie thing is kind of crazy to worry about since I am trying to lose weight after all but I find that even with meal planning some days I’m only reaching ~1200 calories, which in my mind isn’t enough during training. Maybe if I weren’t running 5-6 days a week in addition to lifting it would be okay for me but I am active. So I shoot for at least 1500 calories and I try to be on plan 85-90% of the time. I do give in and eat gluten or dairy if I don’t think it will affect training. I do drink when I go out with my friends. It’s all about balance.
It’s funny because I still wouldn’t be able to eat most of these things even if I didn’t run … they just don’t sit well with me and make me feel crappy.
Do you have any dietary restrictions? Are they for your training or for your general well-being?

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