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.