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What to eat?

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:14 pm UTC
by gaius
Hey all!

I'm currently training for my preliminary "getting into decent shape" goal: run a 10k in less than 45 minutes! After that, the long-term plan is to become actually fast, but short-term goals go first. Now especially after training, I like to snack! Almost never fatty stuff, normally just carbohydrates like Dutch syrup waffles, cookies, cornflakes, cola, bananas, apples. I breakfast with cornflakes or muesli, have fairly decent lunch and dinner, and I eat a bunch of fruit and a bar of "snack chocolate" like Twix, KitKat, etc., basically every day.

How much of this "carb-loading" is good for me? I only train around 3 times a week (normally 6-10 km runs), but I also cycle about 100-150 km per week to get to work and move around town. Is that considered enough exercise to just eat as much as I can, as long as it's not fatty? Or should I be a bit moderate with the snacking after running? And how bad is a beer or two (or three) a day?

Some people seem to want to avoid using sugar, is there a reason for this? In my experience it's pretty good for my energy level :D

Thanks for any tips!


PS: I have no real desire to lose weight unless it improves my running. I'm 1.80m tall and weigh 72 kg so that seems reasonable. Maybe just a few kg less would be all right, but I'm thinking that if I train more, the few grammes of fat I have might dissapear by themselves anyway.

Re: What to eat?

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:20 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
I was under the impression that carbo loading was only for pre-race prep. When working out, I think, you should be eating a fairly balanced diet; some fat, lots of protein, and carbs. Emphasize lower fat meats like fish or lean chicken breast.

But carbo loading all the time seems like a bad idea. If you're training to distance run, keep in mind you'll almost certainly want to drop weight, virtually regardless of your current weight.

Re: What to eat?

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:36 am UTC
by Nath
Why are you avoiding fat? How much protein do you get? Do you do any strength training to offset the muscle loss from the running and cycling?

The carbs before and after a workout make sense for an endurance athlete (glycogen replenishment and whatnot), but it seems unwise to hit the refined carbs so hard the rest of the time.

(Disclaimer: I am not an endurance athlete, so I haven't done a lot of research on diets for people with your training habits.)

Re: What to eat?

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:57 pm UTC
by caje
What's wrong with fat? Especially as a runner medium chain triglycerides might be a very good idea right before or during runs. (Easily absorbed energy without the sugar spikes of carbs)

I was always under the impression that carb loading happen very soon before the run (though that might just be some conventional wisdom that is wrong I haven't done any research into Long distance running)