“A runner’s best friend is carbohydrates! Avoid the BONK!”
I can think of no better combination than running, eating bread, and beer, especially for the vegan pavement pounder!
Runners should be carb loving eating machines, especially during a marathon training cycles. In fact, Marathonguide.com indicates that you should be consuming between 60-70% of your daily intake as carbs. I might argue, “quality carbs,” but that is a topic for future post.
After I finished my first half-marathon race in 2015, I joined a popular local gym, Steve Nash Fitness World. I love the atmosphere of a fitness club, and thought that the cross-training workouts would benefit my running. Needless to say, I should have done my research. Joining a club that makes their money primarily from high-end personal training, comes with problems. When signing up, the staff used their marketing brilliance, convincing me to pay for three personal training sessions on top of my monthly membership. Great idea, right?
I attended the first personal training session a week or so later. I remember actually looking forward to it, body image neurosis and mirror loathing as I was. The trainer was this oversized muscle head, and initially quite engaging. He did a strength assessment and then reviewed my diet from the copious amounts of data I kept on MyFitnessPal. This is when the problems started. His advised me to make extreme cuts to my carb intake, arguing that I would lose a ton of weight if I stuck to his plan. Now, he knew I was a runner with a 12 month plan to run my first marathon. When I disagreed, what was his retort? “I work with lots of runners.” Okay…..
The personal trainer I hired was so poorly informed about nutrition, that I only used two of the three $100 dollar sessions I pre-paid for. His lack of knowledge of sport specific nutrition, and his general confrontational style simply did not work for me. I didn’t even go back to that gym.
Runners need carbs. After long running sessions, it is important to take in quality carbs for your body to start the process of replacing glycogen stores. Highly depleted muscles take up to 48 hours for glycogen levels to return to adequate levels. A carb depleted diet leaves you feeling tired, irritable, and unable to put in the time on the road the next day.
As a side note, let me be clear about what I believe is healthy regarding alcohol, in this case beer. I consider running and bread a true passion. Running quiets the crazies between my ears. Bread calms my soul and warms my heart with great memories and conversation. Beer is a nice adjunct. In other words, I can have running and bread every day, but beer is a treat. I consider myself a “clean focused” runner. My alcohol consumption is very low. When treated with respect, beer is delish. Drink to get drunk? Ummm…nope! There is nothing more awful than the guilt from having to skip a run because of a hang over. That is a life long since left behind for me.