Writing and running in Austin, TX.
“One explanation is that as you’re training, you’re building more muscle mass, which is denser than fat.”
“Your body is learning to store carbohydrates as fuel (glycogen) for your long runs. Those glycogen stores are important to completing your long runs without ‘hitting the wall’, but you may see a couple extra pounds on the scale.”
|Photo by thomas_sly|
And then the dark truth comes out:
“Also, you may have been increasing your calorie intake without realizing it…running a lot does not give you carte blanche to eat whatever you want.”
Luff goes on to suggest that we runners, as a group, also tend to drink a lot. Since about.com is a fairly PC site, she focuses on the evils of Gatorade, but let’s be honest, beermile.com is a real Web site. (Chug a beer, run 400m, chug a beer, run 400m…until you complete 4 beers and 1600m. Plus a penalty lap if you vomit.)
Yes, running burns a lot of calories, but running also makes you really really hungry. On a long run day, I get hungry roughly every 90 minutes, regardless of how much I ate previously.
During the run itself, your body does an amazing job of letting you know exactly when and what you need to be eating. Suddenly dreaming of juice? You probably need some glucose. Fantasizing about pretzels or, in my case, breakfast tacos? Sodium’s low. Feel like you’re about to pass out? For the love of God, eat something now.
It’s after the run that’s hard. After the run, you lose that zen-like feeling that comes from your entire existence being reduced to the pursuit of forward motion. After the run, you’ve stretched, iced, and pulled up a chair to relive the glory of your run over a huge breakfast with your fellow runners.
After the run, it’s impossible to believe that one or two or twenty-five little M&Ms could possibly do any harm. You just ran 18 miles! You’re a calorie-burning machine!
No matter how hard I try to intellectualize the situation, after a long run, I just can’t get my brain to focus on calories in vs. calories out.
So now I’m wondering if I can trick myself. If I can surround myself with heaping piles of fruits and vegetables, can I convince it that I do not, in fact, need 3 huge breakfast tacos to prevent imminent death?
Rogue is hosting an info session with a nutritionist on August 7th, so maybe I’ll run my fruits and veggies idea by her. Assuming, that is, that I can put down the breakfast taco. This isn’t going to be fun…