The Hunger Games Get a Running Twist: Workouts that Awaken the Hungry Beast

Let’s talk The Hunger Games. I’ll be honest, I don’t usually fall into the mass hysteria type trends; I have never read nor seen a Twilight installment, we all know how I feel about P90X, and I have yet to hyperventilate due to Bieber Fever.

audrey hepburn

Did you laugh yourself hungry? ;)

Then everyone started talking about how epic The Hunger Games books were and how they were even more excited when they saw the trailer for the movie. My interest was piqued, but then anyone I talked to was so mysterious when it came to describing said book. “Well, it’s kind of hard to explain, I can’t really without spoiling it. All I can say is you HAVE to read it.” Hmmm, thanks for the glowing review, could you be any more vague?

So what I then started to picture in my mind was a cross between some weird eating disorder stand-off, Survivor-esque torches and challenges somehow involving food, and maybe even some feats of strength. (Double points to anyone who just thought of Seinfeld at that last one.)

Eventually I DID in fact read the first book, thanks to my brother who hates reading telling me that it’s his favorite book and he couldn’t put it down…that said something coming from the high school sophomore. I scorched through the book in time so that he and I could go see the movie when it comes out this Friday. How awesome that he just informed me that he bought tickets for the 12am showing…the kid is the best especially since he’s got school later in the day, but c’mon a person’s got to have priorities!

rugby runner

Check my lil' bro run! He's got all the coordination I lack...and then some

I will say the book is great and I’m looking forward to the movie, however a part of me is a bit disappointed that none of my imagined plot lines or scenes were anywhere in the book. So without further adieu, I think I’ll share a version of The Arty Runnerchick’s Hunger Games: What didn’t make the cut:

* You want hungry? We’ll start of course with a morning long run, but not your ordinary long run. To really get the pistons firing on all cylinders and really spike that metabolism we know that intervals are the key here. So what better way to wake up the bottomless pit stomach monster than combining BOTH intervals and lots of miles…oh yes, we went there.

* Marathon training awakens the beast. Remember our first running comic episode (Runner’s Strip: Marathon Dad)? I think it illustrates our point well. Not all of your long runs should be hard, we know this, most are just getting the distance in. However, every so often adding a tempo or harder intervals (think mile repeats or 2 mile or 3 mile repeats) within the long run will set you up for success. A progressive long run is another way to go where you break those miles up into segments; warm-up/slightly slower than marathon pace/marathon pace/slightly faster than marathon pace/half marathon pace/etc. I even read that one of the top marathoners would end his long run at the track and do that last mile literally all out. You don’t have to go that far, but progressively lowering the pace is a great way to condition yourself to negative split.

running for cake

Our Cake Runner.

* Weight session. Muscle burns more calories than fat, make yourself more lean muscle and you’ll be elevating your metabolism all day even while you snooze. Let’s hit the weight room and for us long distance folks we’re going for lower weights and higher repetitions…do them circuit style so you don’t get rest between and you keep your heart rate up.

* Plyo it out. Plyometrics are explosive efforts and, similar to intervals, they spike your metabolism and keep it elevated hours afterwards in what is called the ‘after burn’ effect. Interestingly, you could then be famished more from a shorter but intensive plyo session than than a steady state run that lasted longer.

* And then we drool. We all know as athletes we should refuel within 30 minutes of finishing our sweat sessions…this is CRUCIAL! :) You wait until after those 30 minutes and your muscle’s and body’s recovery rate drops by at least 60%. But because it is the Hunger Games after all, we now must wait and ogle over all the glorious mounds of foodset before you. Here is where we go Survivor style.

tough boy

Did you own our hunger games?

Nope, none of this was in the actual Hunger Games, but do any of the above and I’m sure you’ll be hungry. Gotta feed the beast! ;)

1) Did you read The Hunger Games? Are you planning on seeing the movie?

2) What workouts leave you the most famished? Do you have those days where you feel like you’ve got a hollow stomach?

3) Do you have anything that should be added to our new take on The Hunger Games?

4) Favorite recovery food? Then food you most often dream about while working out?
Eggs and some kind of doughy carb/Pop-tarts or sweet doughy carb…hehe

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8 thoughts on “The Hunger Games Get a Running Twist: Workouts that Awaken the Hungry Beast

  1. Haha yea I read the hunger games, all 3 books actually. And I was like you I didn’t read them until my 18 year old brother (who never reads) told me it was really good. So I read it and I definitly can’t wait to see the movie.
    Swim workouts leave me the most hungry. Yea running does too but not as bad as swimming.
    Haha I don’t think I have anything to add.
    And eggs, definity eggs and cranberry juice.

    • completely forgot swimming! heck, it’s not even when i workout in the water, but if i grab a floatie and just splash around my stomach starts growling!! lol

    • amen about the swimming! i read that it has something to do with the lower temperature it tricks our bodies into feeling hungrier because our body temp usually stays much lower than while running. i wonder if it would be the same if we worked out in a jacuzzi….lol.

  2. Err I’m with you on the trends thing. I haven’t read Twighlight, or Hunger Games, haven’t seen the movies….yeah, I’m not too enthusiastic about it haha. I’m ALL about playing hunger games with running though!! the progression run is my FAVORITE run of all time, I sometimes do them unintentionally when I get into my happy running groove haha. And weights…dude, my coach is having me take a 3rd week off from the swim/bike/run workouts to JUST lift weights (she wants to get all the muscles firing so that I can start running strong)….and OMG it makes me ravenous!! I guess cuz my body’s not used to that kind of workout haha. Nothing compares to runner-hunger, but weightlifing is def close!

    • hey, so long as i can wrangle u into OUR style of hunger games!! ;) and it’s true, that weight lifting and hard work in the weight room can awaken the beast as well. keep up the great work in the gym girl because all of this will parlay into improved running when u get back to it! u’ll rock! :)

  3. yes!!! read all 3 books in record time this past fall. it was kinda nuts actually. i cant wait to see the movie…the actress is from KY. woo hoo. shout out to the home state.

    pretty much getting up makes me hungry every morning…but running definitely brings out the HUNGER BEAST. and i really do love cake :) have so much fun with your bro!!! sounds like a blast!

    • haha…i’ve never been to KY but i’ll give a little woot woot! :) okay, but i love this part soooo much “pretty much getting up makes me hungry every morning” TRUE THAT! :)

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