Food isn't one of the main reasons why I run, but it certainly is a benefit of running.
According to running guru Hal Higdon: "The average runner training for a half marathon and running 20 to 25 miles a week probably needs a daily caloric intake near 2,500 to maintain muscle glycogen stores. As your mileage climbs beyond that, you need to eat more and more food, not less."
I had to do a double take. Near 2,500 calories a day? That's just awesome.
Since I'm in taper mode, I was looking around to some sorts of tips on tapering, specifically with food and caloric intake. My Loper pace leader sent a thing out a while ago about food, but it didn't include caloric intake. So I went looking around and figured I'd check Hal Higdon's Web site. It really has a bevy of information, and among the things I found was a story called the Runner's Diet.
In simplified terms:
* 2500 calories
* Common recommendations suggest 15-20 percent proteins, 30 percent fat, 50-55 percent carbohydrates (score!)
* Concentrate on complex carbs: fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, legumes
* Nutrtionally adequate food selection: fruits, vegetables, grains/legumes, lean meats, low-fat milk products, fats/sweets (listed in descending order of importance)
So how does that help me? Well, coupled with the list I received a while ago, it's helped formulate a plan, or least has helped give me some options. Here's the list of suggested foods my pace leader had given us.
Oatmeal (with blueberries)
Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast (no/little syrup)
Bagels-whole grain (with peanut butter)
English Muffin/Bread-whole grain
Brown Rice with Chicken or Fish
Black Bean and Rice Burrito
Potatoes (baked, sweet, yams)
Whole Wheat Pasta (with marinara)
Sandwiches (with lean meat)
Salads (watch dressing)
I don't like eggs so that's out but I think the rest of the stuff includes things I can plan some meals around.
I can't keep bananas around here that often as I'm already helping myself to so many of them, so I have to restock often. I need to get me some sweet potatoes and bagels too. Nonfat plain yogurt is my new best friend. And also I bought some Fiber One cereals recently as they were on sale. Those things are good but so expensive.
If there's one area that I need a lot of work and practice on, it's nutrition, and to make sure I not only stay around the same amount of calories but also to make sure I'm consuming the right kinds of calories. That's not only important now in this taper but also beyond Surf City, especially if I'm going to continue running long distances.