Two Surprising Canned Foods Runners Aren’t Eating But Should

Runners are hip to knowing it’s important to fuel their bodies right. Gotta fuel the beast if you expect it to perform. It’s become pretty common knowledge to seek out protein-rich foods for muscle repair and growth and even Sesame Street can tell us we’re supposed to eat our fruits and veggies.

But canned foods, those can sometimes get a bad rap. Like the Foodie Snobs may not even walk through the canned aisle, right? ;) JK. It’s true the SOME canned foods can be loaded with sodium and fresh foods may seem like the better choice. However, canned foods really have come a long way in terms of getting ‘healified’; runners can easily find lower sodium options on the shelves. And hey, bottom line it for you: canned veggies last forever and a day, they’re often cheaper, and a canned veggie if it’s eaten is FAR and away better than no veggie at all!

run for pancakes

Yea, runners LOVE food!

Though let’s talk about two AWESOME foods for runners that are canned but probably aren’t even on your food radar at all. I’ll amend that…these guys aren’t exactly canned but rather tinned.

TINNED…yea, I know, cut to the mental image of people hunkered down in a bomb shelter, ‘those’ kinds of situations are when tinned foods are called for. ;) Just kidding. Actually, runners need to start stopping their carts front and center in the tinned seafood section.


I’m a huge seafood fan and love anything and everything from the sea, but if your face scrunched up at reading oysters…unscrunch that runner face of yours. Oysters are loaded with iron, which is incredibly important for runners. Iron is one of those things where if your levels start to dip your energy takes a nosedive. Symptoms mimic that of overtraining, you could be beating your head against the wall in frustration wondering WHY your workouts are tanking, your easy runs NEVER feel easy, and no amount of cutting back is making you feel better.

That kind of over fatigue kills not only your workouts but your mental outlook, it’s not fun slogging along feeling like you’re running with bricks on your feet. One of the first things to do if you start to experience prolonged tiredness like this is to check your iron because you may be anemic.

Runners never want to get to that point and experience being anemic so it’s important to be eating iron-rich foods. [I also recommend that you supplement in addition to those foods.] Oysters are a great source of iron (zinc too) with 6.1mg for 6 medium oysters, or 88grams of oysters.


That’s right, these little fishies are a perfect catch for runners! (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Sardines are an excellent source of protein and they have the healthy Omega 3 fats. All of this means they’re restoring your muscles, they have an anti-inflammatory effect, are heart-healthy, they’re also helping build that mental muscle…yea, runners are smart like that. [Omega 3 Fatty Acids help boost brain healthy among many things.]

fish on treadmill

Don’t swallow a live fish though, please.

Like most other foods from the sea sardines are also low in calorie, making those calories give you lots of bang for your buck in terms of the protein count. One sardine fishy has 25 calories and 3 grams of protein.

Now sardines come tinned in a few different varieties: in water, in oil, and in mustard. I recommend picking the water or mustard options, and from there get swallowing! Just kidding, of course I’ve got no problem eating a raw fish but there are lots of ways to creatively add your sardines to meals, added to a delish pasta sauce is one option.

So there, Foodie Snobs of the world be darned, there IS reason to park that card right in from of the canned/tinned food section! Runners should do it most definitely. :)

It’s COMING!! If you’re in the Roseville, CA area be sure to come out to my big Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night on Monday, April 7th! All the details are HERE!! Lots of runners, prizes, shirts, fashion, and more. :)

1) Do you like seafood?
2) Have you ever tried oysters or sardines?
3) Do you buy/eat many canned foods? What are your healthy canned food finds?

What’s Fueling YOUR Run?

Whether it be sarcasm, pancakes or otherwise, whatever fuels your running must be celebrated.

Power of the Running Snark

fueled by sarcasm
Trust me, a runner’s brain is wont to wander on those long runs and easy days, making jokes is certainly one of the best ways to roll. The perks of being your own running comedian:

* No hecklers: yea, let’s be honest, our brains may be a little deprived of of oxygen mid-run so the jokes may not exactly hold-up on a real comedy tour.

* Free laughs: it’s always MORE than okay to laugh at your own jokes, and out loud. Heck, you could wail like a hyena in the middle of the woods.

* Good times: spot really random moments of people when they have no idea anyone is like finding gold. Runners tend to go unnoticed by normal folk, we just blend into the background, so running is sometimes like the People Watching Olympics.

Running For Pancakes

fueled by pancakes
Literal fuel for your running, certainly never to be overlooked. Now the bait reward of the foods to come often spend copious amounts of time on the brain during a run…

* Long run salivation: staring that 22-mile long run? Shall I take a poll as to how many of those miles were spent drooling over just how much you’re going to savor devouring [insert favorite food here] upon return? No judgement if drooling starts the moment the watch starts.

* Pre-food penance: on the flip side, pick the WRONG food before a run and you’ll most likely spend the entirety of that run paying the price. We need to start assigning a Points System for certain foods if ingested before a run: ice cream ands loads of dairy = 15 fart points, super spicy thai = 27 bush-dive points, burrito bomb = 45 clenched cheek shuffle point/27 fart points/39 bush dive points…that may work in making us reeeealllly consider if it’s worth eating that BEFORE we run. ;)

* Energy: okay, let’s take a moment for a bit of seriousness…use food to fuel your performance people, fuel up right and you’ll feel the benefits. Good news is there aren’t militant expectations, it’s all about balance: ensure you get enough protein, time that protein right, make the majority of your carbs high-quality, eat your fruits and veggies, hydrate well and with electrolytes too, get enough iron and THEN…after that you deserve your desserts, treats, and rewards.

So now I ask, Runners, what’s fueling YOUR runs??

Tips for coming up with a winning running nutrition plan.

How to eat out while still eating to perform…BONUS, that means you CAN eat for ‘fun’ and ‘performance’…hehe. :)

More cartoons and humor because, let’s be honest, laughing is the only way to go!


1) Last thing you found hilarious while on the run?
2) What were you thinking about on your last run?
I had this annoying song stuck in my head, and that you just can’t run away from. ;)
3) What’s one tip when it comes to running and nutrition you like to live by?

Runner Tummies on a Roller-coaster and Clif Protein Recovery and Electrolyte Drinks Review

Us runners sure do a number on our poor tummies. All the pounding, up, down, fast, jiggling, jiving…if our stomaches and intestines could speak I can only imagine the expletives they’d be yelling at us!

Actually, those stomaches and intestines of runners DO speak…just with things much more powerful, dare I even say explosive, than words. Yes, runners and their guts are stuck in a state of ongoing negotiations.

“PLEASE behave for my long run, preeeettty please!!” the runner’s silent prayer before heading out the door.
tummy on the run
Runners plan their foods accordingly, learn from trial and error, we do our best to set ourselves up to avoid a stomach related attack but sometimes it feels like we’re in some kind of peace-treaty contract negotiation House of Cards style.

Those runner guts are testy, moody, volatile. Sometimes there is just NO pleasing them despite what feels like us doing our best to abide by the ‘rules’.

I’ve done a few posts on handling GI issues HERE and HERE

Today let’s talk about those post-run, especially post-workout tummies and guts. After all that jiggling and jiving lots of runners complain of feeling nauseous, that food is the LEAST appealing thing in the world, and sometimes runners actually struggle to keep food down.

The issue is that runners ALSO know how incredibly important refueling your body and muscles is within the first 30 minutes of finishing your workouts. In order to maximize your recovery (upwards of 60% better) so you can come back stronger, it really is crucial to find something, anything that will get into your system and STAY there.

This is an occasion where liquids can be a runner’s best friend. If you struggle with keeping actual food down due to an upset stomach after your runs and hard workouts take it to the liquids. Recovery drinks and smoothies can get you those essential protein amino acids and carbs to repair those muscles.

Recently Clif sent me a care package, among the bars (which I already knew I liked and enjoy), they introduced me to their recovery and electrolyte drinks. I hadn’t tried either of those so was interested to test them out.
clif review
Clif Protein Recovery Drink

I sampled the Orange Mango and really liked it. I tried it mixed in with a smoothie (berries and other fruit) and I also tried it just mixed with water. It’s sweet but not overpoweringly so, and plenty tasty on it’s own just with the water.

Each pack has 170 calories and 10 grams of protein. If there was anything I would change or suggest it would be if there were more grams of protein. Ideally, post-run and post-workout you want at least 25 grams of protein. But other than that, I really liked this one…it also comes in Chocolate and while I didn’t try this flavor, really I’ve not met something chocolate I don’t enjoy.

Clif Electrolyte Hydration Drink

These little guys come in tiny sleeves and are really easy to carry around and stash in a bag. I tried the Cranberry Raz and it was a win in the taste department. The thing with hydration for runners is this is an ALL DAY thing, you need to continually be drinking water and fluids…not just right before or after your runs.

I’ve also explained a lot how crucial it is to drink not JUST water, but to find electrolyte replacement drinks to ensure your balances there are correct. Especially with the potassium and sodium. So this is why the market for electrolyte drinks has exploded the past few years. Taste-wise Clif nailed it. The only recommendations I have is that they offer a few with less calories…one pack is 80 calories because it also contains the simple sugars.

If you’re actually RUNNING (ie: part of your marathon training fueling strategy) you DO need that quickly digested glucose. But, if you’re not and you’re just needing the electrolytes the extra carbs and calories may not be what you need.

Thank you, Clif, for sending me these to test out and review!! All their products are available online and I’ve seen them in lots of stores too. :)

Soooo, while I STILL feel entitled to complain and be irked at my stomach any and every time it causes me trouble…on some level, when I imagine the bumping, jumping, jiving, and all that other stuff it has to put up with I can kinda sympathize with it for putting up with me as much as it does! ;)

Treat your stomaches with care, Runners!

1) If you’ve had a dialogue with your stomach how did it go? Do you say a little hope/prayer before long runs?? haha.
2) Something you’ve learned about running and nutrition lately?
3) Have you tried either the Clif Recovery or Electrolyte Drinks?

Running: Brought to you by dreams of pancakes and carbs

That long run brought to you by dreams of PaNcAkeS!!! Or insert your favorite post-run food there. Actually, you can swap out the long run for a race. Scratch that you can preeeetty much just swap that out for any run. Any distance…any food. #runners #workforit #reward #bait ??
run for pancakes
While us runners certainly can eat more than a football team, amongst those pancakes, Pop-Tarts, burgers, fries, milk shakes, etc…we DO know that in order to run our best we need to fuel our best.

The beautiful thing though, is that eating to PERFORM doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat your apples too. It’s all about balance. There are some KEY elements that all runners in training should be mindful of:

* Protein: getting enough and timing that intake
* 30 Minute Recovery: eating protein and carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a run
* Healthy Picks: insert your fruits, veggies, whole grains, quality carbs here
* Vitamins and other nutrients: IRON is sooo important for runners and ensuring they get enough!
* Hydration: it’s crucial runners ensure they drink enough fluids and more than just water, replacing those electrolytes too

But it’s ALL about balance, and even professional distance runners are allowed their cookies and burgers too. Hey, when you’re burning all dem calories you earn those treats!

This post comes in step with my latest article over on Running Times: “The Power of Protein Timing”

Good luck to all those racing, and to everyone else go out there and get your run on…enjoy every sweaty mile!! :)

More posts all about how to eat to fuel your running and preform your best HERE!
Highlighting living in the real world and eating post: “How runners can stuff their faces at restaurants but still perform at their best”
More Cartoons and laughs HERE!
Tomorrow are the USA Cross Champs and here is one more recent article highlighting HTS Elite runners there tomorrow: RunBlogRun – Taking Boulder Back: HTS Elite looks to make this the distance runner’s power city once again

1) What’s your ‘drool dream’ food while running?
2) How do you keep track of your protein intake and ensuring you get enough?
3) How do you track your fruits and veggies and make sure you’re getting enough?

Runger: How runners can tame the beast and eat to perform

There’s a little beast that lives inside every runner. He gets really irritable after long runs. He’ll yell, he’ll scream, he’ll kick, he’ll throw a full on Toddlers and Tiaras style tantrum until you give him what he wants. He’s screaming, “FEEEEED ME!!!!”
Yup, that’s your Runger talking. Shut him up. Feed the beast! ;)

Runger’s an interesting thing, as is sports nutrition. It’s a tricky topic because running burns tons of calories so naturally runners need to EAT more. At the same time, what we fuel our bodies with has a direct correlation to its performance. Add in that every runner’s metabolism and body type is different and things can get kinda hairy, scary monstrous.

So getting back to Runger? Here are some more quick facts about our little belly-dwelling man:

* Running and Appetite: Exercise requires more energy, so duh, runners need more calories [energy] than the sofa-surfers of the world. Input versus output. Ideally everyone could eat intuitively, but food is such a cultural/emotional/past-time, growing up people tend to lose touch with their ‘intuition’ when it comes to hunger and fullness.
* Feeding Runger ASAP: The key to speeding up your muscle recovery, and to help quell the Runger beast from yelling at you so loud later that you over-eat, is to refuel RIGHT after you finish a run or workout. That 30 minute recovery window is critical! Get your protein and carbs in before you even shower!
racing weight
* Marathon Weight Gain? Lots of new runners jump straight to a marathon and think, “Hey, I bet I’ll lose weight!” The irony is that a good portion of those runners notice they GAIN weight and are puzzled. Why? Runger, Baby, Runer. Easy runs and long runs especially kick up the appetite of a person, incidentally the body doesn’t have a totally accurate gauge between the amount of calories burned running and then amount of calories it wants to eat. Probably a survival mode thing that’s outdated. What that means is after those long runs your hunger level will probably leave you wanting to inhale more calories than you actually burned.
* Female Runger: It sucks but the whole mistaken gauge of amount of running in respect to level of hunger is more skewed for women. So women tend to get even hungrier than men after the same run, so can wind up, again, taking in more than they need.
* Speedwork: The irony to the people who sign up for a marathon JUST TO lose weight, is that they would be better off doing shorter races and speedwork. Why? Harder workouts tend to suppress the appetite after and they also kick your metabolism up more than easy runs and they also keep it elevated hours after the hard run.

Taming Runger Tips:

* Protein! Not only do you need protein to build and repair your muscles but protein is also going to really help with satiation; it will keep you feeling fuller longer. If you’re finding yourself insanely insatiable you probably need more protein.
* Eat Fast: Not the rate of your eating, but you need to eat sooner rather than later. Meaning eat when you’re not on the verge of feeling like your stomach is sucking up against your spine, wait too long and you’ll be too famished. Again, another reason to refuel as soon after your runs as possible.
* Eat Healthy: Fiber will help fill you up, so get lots of fruits and veggies in there. Good for straight-up health but also, 10 apples are way more filling than 10 Cheetos. Who can eat just 10 Cheetos??

Gaining Weight:

I said how every runner is different, well the cruel irony is that some runners are constantly trying to tame their Runger in a way to avoid gaining weight, while other runners are constantly fighting to keep weight on. For those with speedy bullet metabolisms:

* Liquids: Fluids don’t fill you up like foods do, so adding liquid calories are super easy. Good choices are milk, smoothies, and protein shakes.
* Calorie Dense: Think the opposite of the 10 apples thing, look for foods that have more calories in smaller portions. Examples: peanut butter, avocados, cheese, nuts, ice cream!! :)
* Healthy then Plus: Just because you need more calories doesn’t mean good nutrition goes out the window. I liken it to the healthy+plus method. I tend to have a faster metabolism so I make sure to get my healthy stuff (fruits, veggies, enough protein) in and THEN I use whatever more calories I need as ‘fun foods.’ Totally inhale your cakes but don’t neglect your apples type of thinking.

Whew, I think we covered a lot about that hungry little gremlin dwelling in your stomach. All that food talk probably woke him up….if so, avoid Pinterest or Instagram. ;)


1) How do you balance healthy eating with Runger?
2) What kind of runs tend to leave you the most famished?
3) If you’re trying to gain weight, what are some of your go-to foods/liquids?

Runner Legs Are Complainers: 5 important ’tissues’ to avoid a total toddler-level tantrum

“If you’ve got an issue, here’s a tissue.” Certainly that fits with the ‘runner mentality’ for many things. Intervals hurt, well, they’re going to hurt until we finish all the repeats.

Long runs are…long. Yup, that’s how it goes. Just keep telling yourself to make it one more mile, one more mile, etc…until your done!

Then the legs start having their issues. They’ll start begging for their own tissues. The way to stave off some total toddler-level tantrums from the legs are to supply them their tissues on a consistent basis BEFORE their demands are too high.

Runner Bones

Runner bones are just, well, better bones. ;)

* Tissue 1: Warming the heck up. Don’t go into a workout with ‘cold’ legs. Don’t immediately blast like a bat out of he**, your legs like a little warning. “We’re going to workout now”…gradually lower into the pace and you’ll feel better, wind up running faster, and avoid the lactic acid booty-lock shuffle home.

* Tissue 2: Stretching. Yea, stretching is NEVER as much fun as running but if you want to run better you need to be loose. You’ve got to have the flexibility to open up your stride, you want as much range of motion as possible. So suck it up, get your stretching and yoga time in, your legs will thank you with faster times AND less injuries.

* Tissue 3: Massage. Look, I’ll be honest and say I’m as not-rich as the next person, so I self-massage regularly but I’m ALSO re-learning how imperative it is to see a professional massage therapist when I can. Running is pretty abusive on the body and to un-do some of that damage you need that massage work. Look at it as an investment in YOURSELF. Namely your sanity (my sanity hinges upon my endorphin fix) because the longer you run the more important it is to get that tissue work. Well, that is if you’d like to keep running for the rest of your life. [Side-note, I'll be doing another post on this later but my massage therapist of choice is Al Kupczak in Boulder, CO...Boulder Body Therapy. He's a massage GOD. Works on Olympians and us mortal runners alike.]
keep running
* Tissue 4: Proper pacing. I guess this more fittingly could be said as separating your easy and hard days. Run your easy days EASY. Scr*w the pace and run for effort, whatever effort that allows you to recover. Then, come your hard days you’ll have the bounce to go fast. Also recognize the difference between a workout and a race. Come race day you want to elevate to that next level, that’s tough to do if you’re redlining ever.single.hard.workout. Got it? Well, race day is also boosted by the mental energy and excitement, but still, don’t race all of your workouts, People, mmmmk?

* Tissue 5: Refuel. Said it zillions of times…hit that 30 minute post-workout recovery window. Get 20-25 grams of protein and some carbs into your system to jumpstart muscle recovery, repair, and regrowth. That way your legs will come back feeling better and stronger for your next run, your next workout, your next race.

The body of a runner is constantly crying and complaining. What a pain the butt, right? ;) Thankfully we’re mentally tough BUT we’ve also got to be smart enough to give our complaining legs and muscles their pre-emptive tissues to at least limit their tantrums.

Running ‘tough’ is a yin-yang sort of thing, my last post is all about how being ‘tough’ isn’t always about running through the pain or pushing. Being smart and all that.

1) Do you have a tissue to add?
2) How often do you see a professional massage therapist?
3) How good are you at hitting the 30 minute refuel window?

How dehydration can be causing your GI problems while running

Runners get thirsty: drink. Runners get hungry: eat. But, as with most things that seem idiot-proof, the most basic of basics, two of the most rudimentary bodily functions can often turn into a runner’s nightmare. I just finished an article for Competitor providing the perfect example of this: “Got Stomach Issues? You’re Probably Dehydrated”.

What’s interesting, and as you will learn from reading the article, it’s often not FOOD wrecking havoc on your stomach and intestines during your hard or long runs. It’s the (not) DRINKING thing that’s giving you a GI nightmare! Talk about a whodathunkit moment, right? ;)
road runner
I’ve been a runner for years and years and still, learning that dehydration is the culprit to most GI problems, both the upward and the downward, came as a bit of a surprise. But if you think about it, it really shouldn’t be; let’s look at what happens when you run:

* Muscles working: Brain and body prioritize the hard-working muscles as the top-tier function at the moment.
* Body delegates: In moving the muscles to priority number one, the stomach, intestines, and anything digestive related gets bumped down.
* Blood to muscles: All the major blood-flow gets shunted to the muscles, leaving the stomach and delicate intestinal tissues simultaneously deprived of blood-flow. This lapse in blood causes slight damage. Aww, poor, intestines. ;)
* Dehydration: Now water is INSANELY important to the body, it makes up darn near most of it, so NOT having enough water content in the blood stream exacerbates the damage caused to the already weakened stomach and intestines.
* The Backlash: Need I say more?

Runners experience those GI disasters, up and down, because the stomach and intestines are already deprived of blood-flow while you’re running and then on top of that if there isn’t enough water content in the body to begin with, they stage a major revolt.

Bottom line: It doesn’t matter what kind of food you’ve got in your stomach or intestines, if a runner isn’t hydrated, that food can’t be digested so it’s coming out…pick a direction.

Solution: Duh, Runners, stay HYDRATED! ;) I jest, I jest, kind of…but the reality is, many times runners underestimate just how much fluids they need. What’s more, when I say fluids that includes more than just water: also electrolytes.
burrito pooping beans
The tricky thing with hydration is, once you’re dehydrated and experiencing the effects of it you’re already on a sinking ship. Kind of like it’s too late at that point; that’s why it’s IMPERATIVE you stay in a constantly hydrated state and remain that way through the duration of your hard workout or long run.

Staying hydrated during long runs, and marathon geared workouts, means taking in fluids and replenishing those stores at a steady rate. Read the article for some awesome tips from Molly Pritz and Krista Austin, Ph.D., on how to come up with a personal hydration regimen.

See, you think relying on those little “I’m thirsty” cues is enough to keep you hydrated. But the truth is, especially for runners, by the time you FEEL thirsty you are already in a state of dehydration. So go chew, err sip, on that. ;)

1) Had you been aware dehydration could be the culprit of you GI problems?

2) Especially in the heat GI problems become more common, how do you make sure to stay even more conscious of fluid consumption when it’s hot or humid?

3) An upset stomach after a hard or long run can be common too, and traced back to dehydration. What are some of your go-to ‘safe’ foods for restoring and repairing those muscles AFTER your runs?
best running shirts

Runner’s Strip: Racing Weight

Oh what a difference running crazy amounts of miles in training makes. Come time for that post-race break those racing shorts…errrr, ‘shoes’ may be fitting a little differently! ;)
racing weight
Sunday morning deserves some running cartoonage! That being said, we can poke fun but one needn’t get TOO would up over some post-race ‘love’ weight, giving the body a chance to recover is incredibly important and your racing will be much better off in the long-term.

On the flip side there is a difference between recovery and gluttony…haha. As with most all things in running and in life, it’s all about balance. Now, pass this runner the Pop-Tarts! ;)
POST on fueling for races.
POST with tips on runners eating out.
POST on the importance of the 30-minute refuel window.
POST on timing your fuel to best support your running performance.

Get more Running Cartoons HERE! :)

1) When it comes time to break after a race or season, do you eat differently?

2) What are some of the things you do to give your body some TLC to recover after hard races or between seasons?

3) Favorite thing you treat yourself to after a great race?
best running shirts

Running and the Science of Nutrient Timing: WHEN to eat to best fuel your performance

Running and fueling the machine. In my recent article for Competitor: Nutrient Timing is Everything for Runners I really like the bottom line to everything my go-to sports nutritionist Krista Austin Ph.D. professes, “Food is a performance tool.” She teaches her runners to “eat to perform.”
runner eating
Runners are human, of course, but at the same time it would be naive to ignore the fact that what goes into your body has a direct correlation to what it is able to give you right back. Thankfully, I also like that quick on the heels of that Austin also says, “However, my policy is that at least once a week every athlete should have a ‘fun meal’ where they don’t think too much about what they are eating and just enjoy fun food-the key is to watch the portion sizes.”

It’s all a matter of balance. Just as runners and training, balance, consistency, and the law of averages often wins out with their nutrition. That isn’t to say there aren’t times when the PERFORMANCE style of eating trumps the LIFE side of eating.

Case in point, the night before a race or the actual day of your race. Here is where, if you’re a runner, ignoring your taste buds and eating with your HEAD is the wiser choice. Austin has explained to me that Dathan Ritzenhein’s top pre-race meal of choice is plain, white rice. Is it his favorite tasting meal? Probably not, but you know what? He knows it sits well in his stomach, it will give him the non-complex carbs he’ll want in his system right before the gun goes off, and he knows it works. His race, his PERFORMANCE, is the priority. Taste buds can wait until after the finish line.

I’ve done numerous articles on runners and nutrition, a few you can revisit:

How Runners Can Stuff Their Faces at Restaurants But Still Perform at Their Best

Runners Going Gluten-Free: Could making the switch work for you?

The Post-Run Refuel: Why 30 minutes is your winning window of opportunity

run for cake

Dreaming of cake works as motivation…just wait until after the finish line! ;)

My latest one is on nutrient TIMING and just how crucial WHEN you eat is when tied to your running performance. Read the original article, but here are some more tips I’ve got from talking to Austin:

* Think long term goals AND short term nutrition goals: With nutrient timing there are macro and micro cycles; the macro would be your BIG training goal, think an entire season or build-up for a marathon. Tailor your food choices and nutrition goals for that, but within each multi-week/month macro cycle fit in 3-10 day micro cycles. An example- A macro cycle would be if you’re training for a marathon, a micro cycle IN that would be a week where you’re focusing on building your speed with shorter intervals. For the micro cycle your eating would be different than in your longer/base phase.

* A second recovery window: We’ve all heard that within 30 minutes of finishing your workout you NEED to get protein and carbs back into your system. What I didn’t know was that there is ANOTHER window of time that is particularly important to refuel your stores: just before bed. Aim to get 20-25 grams of protein, preferably in the form of dairy (cottage cheese, milk), with some carbs. It’s been found the muscles will respond to this, and it also aids with sleeping.

* Marathoners and carbs: Yes, we need carbs as runners, but a mistake many marathoners in training can make is just over-doing the carbs. Meb Keflezighi has become more strict with his carb intake as he’s gotten older; he’s moved up in distance but switched some of those carb calories over to fats and protein and they help keep him fuller. He’s a lot more picky about the KINDS of carbs he eats, WHEN he eats them, and WHICH training phase he’s in.

For more information on how to time your eating so that it’s best fueling your running performance check out the article.

Food is fun, one of the BEST perks of being a runner is we have way more entitlement to stuff our faces. BUT there are times when we must stuff our faces with our brains…because in fueling our bodies right we can fuel them to perform at their optimum level. Read as: Run PR’s! :)

1) What is something you learned from either this post or from the article? If nothing care to share a tidbit of your own?

2) What is your go-to pre-race meal?

3) What is your go-to post-race meal or ‘fun meal’?
best running shirts

The GI Issue Cursed Runner: Tackling those great, poopy disasters

This runner has had burritos on the brain. That being said, tucking into a 5lb burrito bomb and taking off on a 5 mile tempo isn’t such a hot idea. Actually, going for any run after that may be iffy…
burrito pooping beans
I’m more than open in sharing my runner stories of GI distress, gut woes, and tales from the poopy trails. HERE is a previous post and with lots of tips to tackling your own GI issues. Though I happened upon an interesting interview with Dr. Barry Schlansky, specializing in gastroenterology and hepatology, over at FloTrack.

Go read the article yourself, but here are some settling, and not-so-settling things I took away from it:

* Blood Flow Bottom Line: The root of many GI issues is how the body is delegating blood flow through the body during and after exercise. When we’re running our butts off the body’s first priority is to send blood to the muscles in order to fuel our exertion. The intestines are the low-men on the totem pole here and when they are deprived of adequate blood flow there is a bit of damage being caused. Without the adequate oxygen from the blood flow the intestines start to stage their revolt.

* Post-Run Gut Revolt: Sometimes the worst pains and episodes happen AFTER a hard or long run…talk about being chained to the lou for the rest of the day. I’m sure many runners can relate to this feeling, and Dr. Schlansky states it as much, “Right, the longer or more intense the workout is, it will increase the symptoms during and after the workout.” In short it comes back to the intestines not having adequate oxygen/blood-flow WHILE we are working out; then, once we stop working out and blood begins to get shunted back to these organs it’s almost like opening a flood-gate and the intestines aren’t prepared to handle such a quick supply of blood/oxygen. So, they then stage their revolt. “The influx of oxygen to the vulnerable ischemic (damaged from earlier lack of blood supply) tissues can result in a chemical reaction called “oxidation,” which is thought to be the basis for additional injury to tissues after exercise has stopped.”
running after burrito
* Endurance and Effort: Not surprising is that over 80% of elite marathon runners complain of some GI issues; this is both the upward and the downward. Unfortunately Dr. Schlansky is blunt, “I wish I could tell you “why,” but to be honest, at this point the associations are unknown.” (unsettling) Most likely the fact that running puts our guts through quite a POUNDING has a strong link, and “Additionally, researchers have hypothesized that friction between the organs and the lining of the abdominal wall with pounding exercise may cause irritation that causes symptoms.” As for effort, I’m no doctor but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that the fact that the harder we run, there’s got to be an extra level of ‘pounding/driving’ force shaking that sh*t up. ;)

* Females: This really stinks, Runnerchicks, but woman are more apt to GI issues than the runnerdudes. He’s not able to give us a reason, but it’s probably due to differing hormones.

* Eating and Food: Burrito bombs aren’t recommended (duh) and it’s wise to seek out ‘blander’ foods, not too high in fat, not too spicy, not too beany or cheesy, nix the dairy, and so forth. Learn your ‘tummy trigger foods’ and avoid them. Also, timing your last meal is just as important so you can revisit my post on that.

* Iron and Anemia: Any extra blood loss from diarrhea, especially if it’s on a continual basis, can lead to iron deficiency/anemia. “Yes, because it is also possible to lose small amounts of blood in the gastrointestinal tract that is invisible to the naked eye but can result in iron deficiency,” says Dr. Schlansky. If you’re having a lot of GI issues it’s important to keep tabs on your iron levels, I know that runners who later find out they have celiac disease and are gluten intolerant, that because of all of their GI problems they are then anemic.
runner eating
* Dehydration: Any kind of increased vomiting or diarrhea leads to fluid loss and dehydration, that’s why it’s so important to rehydrate yourself. (The issue there is if you’re running a marathon but aren’t able to take in any more fluids or gels…sadly, you’re kind of screwed at that point, that’s why it’s important to test out and try a bunch of different foods/supplements BEFORE your race to find one that works.) So with any kind of GI issue run make sure you’re extra mindful to replenish those fluid and electrolyte stores.

I’m a sucker for a good poop read, so you should read the full interview done by Danny Mackey. Who is actually a super cool guy in addition to being smart. He’s also married to one smoking fast runnerchick, Katie Mackey, so he gets extra cool points. ;)

1) What was your last GI disaster run? Can you link it back to one food in particular?

2) Do you have more GI issues going the up route or the down?
Down. I’ve never thrown-up actually during or after a run.

3) What foods have you learned are GI suicide for you? What is a ‘winning’ combo that’s worked?

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