Follow by Email

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You don't LOOK like a runner..

So running AND weight training, huh? How do we make all of this work together?

Well, first off you need to know your ultimate goal- to run a specific race (5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, ultra..) or to use running as part of your weight training and physique development.  Since this is my blog we'll look at what I'm doing..and I'm assuming if you are reading it, you are interested so here we go..

Yep, background in physique competition meant lots of weight training and not too much running for me for years. Quite sad as running was my first love.  Thank goodness I have become older and wiser (did I just say I was thankful I was older??? Oh well..)  Can't be too upset about it as physique development and competition is what lead me to discover my passion for nutrition, sports nutrition and supplementation. Don't even want to think where I would be without that.
As my competitive career on stage slowed, my drive to get back into running increased 10 fold.  I began slowly increasing my running mileage and working toward my first race.  My training changed a little as I had to juggle time between training and running.  Dedicating 3 days to running meant I only had 3 days to weight train. (I don't like to do both on the same day-more on that later).  My nutrition didn't change too much- still eating every 2.5-3 hours. My physique changed a bit, a little less muscular, but heck, I wasn't training to be muscular, I wanted to be able to perform well.

My body was following the plan I had laid out.  It is sort of like a science experiment..combine X and Y and get Z.  If Z is what you want then you did the right thing.  If you want to get something else out, then put something else in.  Easy as that.  If you put the correct things together there is NO WAY that you CANNOT get what you want. Period.

After 2 months of training, and a month ahead of my original plan, I entered my first half marathon.. (thanks Katie).  As they say the rest is history... ran my first 15k the following weekend and my next half marathon 2 weeks after that.  Add in a relay race across the state of Florida and 2 more half marathons and I was well on my way to training for my first full marathon-something I said I was not interested in doing (thanks again Katie).  Marine Corps Marathon 2009 was my first full marathon, and what a great experience.  I already had plans to run another full before we even arrived in D.C. I wanted to train harder.

Through all of these first experimental races I kept my nutrition plan pretty much the same..basically a hybrid of the nutrition of a physique athlete and an endurance athlete.  Physique athletes are notorious for taking in few carbohydrates while endurance athletes suffer from protein intakes that are far too low.  Combining these gave me a plan that seemed to be getting me what I wanted.  Improved endurance and muscle maintenance.
 I do get the "are you crazy??" looks from people when I say that I eat protein and carbohydrates in every meal..and most people would assume when I say that that I am eating copious amounts of bagels, pasta, bread..I mean, after all I AM a runner, right? This is where the sports nutritionist in me comes in handy.  Nope, no need to think like an old school runner.  There are plenty of other great carbohydrate sources that will help to fuel me without causing excess weight (read:fat) gain or impairing my performance.  Most people would also assume that the inclusion of carbohydrates in each of my meals means that my overall % of calories coming from carbs each day is high (or at the very least equal to that of the typical American-55-60%).  Sorry, have to squash that idea as well.  The low glycemic index/glycemic load carbohydrate sources included in my day usually land me somewhere around 30-32% of my total caloric intake, keep my energy levels and blood sugar stable and help to keep me lean.  Protein in each of my meals means that my body has plenty of amino acids to use for fuel, for repair and for any other process necessary.  There is no need for muscle tissue breakdown to get those amino acids that are so desperately needed.  Not only does my protein intake keep me from breaking down tissue to get amino acids, it also helps to build and repair the muscle tissue faster! All of that means I can train more effectively and perform better..and be faster!  Who wouldn't want that??  So when I hear "You don't look like a runner. You look too muscular." I know I must be doing something right.

No comments:

Post a Comment