Running/Eating Advice

TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
edited July 2012 in Fitness
'Allo! So, I enjoy running quite a bit. I've done some half marathons, and I run 4 or 5 times a week... But I feel like it's time to kick this up a notch. I want to run in the LA marathon. In fact, I want to run in several marathons.

The problem is, I'm a lame vegetarian, and I have a problem with my energy levels. I can run for very long periods of time, but I can't for the life of me pick up any kind of speed. I've maxed out at about 6 miles an hour on my best runs. I'll usually slow to an even 5. That's okay for my daily runs, but I'd rather make better time in the marathons/half marathons. Anyone have any advice for what I can do, or how I can kick up my training?

Also, if any of you LA runners would like to do this with me, let me know!
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Comments

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    Well, some vitamins minerals and ionic substances help with kicks in energy, but I am not a runner due to a heart condition so I will let others comment in more detail.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited July 2012
    http://www.nomeatathlete.com/ probably has lots of advice. Paging @_k_
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth
    Man I wish I liked running.
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    edited July 2012
    @Tushon, thank you for the link. This looks like it will be really helpful. :)

    @GnomeQueen, I haven't always liked running. My dad's been running since I can remember, so I finally decided to try when I was about 20. The first time I went running, I couldn't run from my driveway to the next stop sign. I remember feeling really sick, too. It took me a while to build up some endurance, but eventually I was running 3 miles no problem, and I ended up losing 40 pounds. The nice thing about running is that it kind of becomes addicting because of all the pretty chemicals that get released while you do it, so if you do it enough you will end up enjoying it. It's also pretty great, because no one can really bother you when you run. I work out a lot of my problems on the track.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth
    @Tushon, thank you for the link. This looks like it will be really helpful. :)

    @GnomeQueen, I haven't always liked running. My dad's been running since I can remember, so I finally decided to try when I was about 20. The first time I went running, I couldn't run from my driveway to the next stop sign. I remember feeling really sick, too. It took me a while to build up some endurance, but eventually I was running 3 miles no problem, and I ended up losing 40 pounds. The nice thing about running is that it kind of becomes addicting because of all the pretty chemicals that get released while you do it, so if you do it enough you will end up enjoying it. It's also pretty great, because no one can really bother you when you run. I work out a lot of my problems on the track.
    I used to run when I was in better shape, and I always, always hated it. I know people say that eventually you start to like it, but I wonder when the heck that is, heh.
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    @Tushon, thank you for the link. This looks like it will be really helpful. :)

    @GnomeQueen, I haven't always liked running. My dad's been running since I can remember, so I finally decided to try when I was about 20. The first time I went running, I couldn't run from my driveway to the next stop sign. I remember feeling really sick, too. It took me a while to build up some endurance, but eventually I was running 3 miles no problem, and I ended up losing 40 pounds. The nice thing about running is that it kind of becomes addicting because of all the pretty chemicals that get released while you do it, so if you do it enough you will end up enjoying it. It's also pretty great, because no one can really bother you when you run. I work out a lot of my problems on the track.
    I used to run when I was in better shape, and I always, always hated it. I know people say that eventually you start to like it, but I wonder when the heck that is, heh.
    Yeah, Dan says the same thing. He used to run track, but never liked it. I'm not really sure when I started to enjoy it, but beforehand it always felt like a chore. It hurt and was boring. I mean, I still have runs where I'm just not feeling it; I'll start with a really positive attitude and then want to give up after 20 minutes (part of my NO energy problem)... Those are the times my dad says make you a better runner. You only get better when you push through the times it gets hard. Honestly, me enjoying running probably has a lot to do with my father. He's always been really encouraging, and it's something we do together a lot.

    Perhaps if you had a running partner? If I lived near you, that would be pretty awesome. I'm always looking for people to run with...
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    I just get so bored. I think people with short attention spans have real trouble with running or any long-duration cardio.
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep
    I've started running in the past few days, and I'm not gonna stop but I get bored really really fast.
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    I find that zoning out to music really helps with the boredom. Or, I once memorized all the words to "Gladiator" so I could recite them to myself on the track. That was cool, too, because by the time I finished I knew I'd ran for at least an hour.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth
    Yea, boredom is a huge part of it.
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario
    A running partner is a great way to stave off boredom and develop good routine, after all it's more fun to run with someone than alone and if they're faster than you and you're competitive then you'll push yourself to try and beat them.

    Also you NEED to make it a regular routine, try to find a regular time to run at after a few weeks it'll just become second nature.

    I recently started running again to complement the workout I'm getting as a mover (Lost 15 pounds since EPIC!) because I've drawn the conclusion that there's no point in being able to single lift 400 pounds if I'm out of breath taking it up a stair case. I've also taken to using the track at my local High school and an athletic friend of mine promised to take me on as a running partner to keep me from stopping.

    All the best on your efforts!
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA
    Running is either a love or a hate and I don't mind people on either side of the fence. I personally despise running and don't do it anymore than my workouts call for. When I do run it's done in a HIIT fashion (High Intensity Interval Training) to save on my knees and back. Dude, 5-6mph for a long time such as a half or full marathon isn't something to not be proud of, that's amazing to maintain that speed THAT long! 6mph = Just over 4hrs in 26mi...NOT bad.

    As far as eating goes (vegetarians aren't lame ;) I would ask what it is that you're eating now to begin with? With the amount of carbs found in bread, fruit and other complex carbs I would have a hard time believing that keeping energy levels up is an issue (contrary to popular belief carbs aren't bad for you if you eat the right ones...)

    It sounds to me more like your muscle endurance isn't quite where you'd like it to be. I would suggest adding in weight training days into your routine (2-3 days a week). When you train with your legs look at doing lots of interval training with your legs (5-6 exercises x 3 rounds then another 3-4 exercises x3 rounds). The reps are 15-20 and there is a 5-10sec rest in between exercises. The weight isn't overly heavy, but it should be somewhat challenging (trust me, by round 2 you'll feel great and almost worn out already).

    As a vegetarian you have a ton of options when it comes to protein with the various amounts of nuts (unsalted almonds, unsalted peanuts, etc...), beans, tofu (11g of protein per 100cal) and various others. As I'm sure you're aware don't forget about taking a multimineral/vitam as well. If not, then make sure you're getting enough B12 too...which may also be your key to keeping up muscle endurance. Hope this helps!
  • maliamalia Sconnie Nation
    @teramona - to add on to @JBoogaloo's list, imho cottage cheese also a good option. The kind I buy is low fat (and lactose free, for obvi reasons) and has no rennet, and I think most small curd cottage cheese is rennet-free, although don't quote me on that. A half cup is 12g protein/80cal.
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    @JBoogaloo, yeah, I have a feeling the muscle thing is right. I have no muscle tone, and I do think it has a lot to do with running a lot without any kind of weight training. This sounds like a really good idea. I'll start tomorrow and report back in a little while on the progress. Thanks a lot for your advice!

    @malia, I never stopped to think about how much protein cottage cheese had. I eat it every now and again, but I should start incorporating it more in to my diet!
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA
    @Teramona, absolutely! I'm glad that you're gonna give it a shot and I really look forward to hearing about your progress. Don't forget to try and up your protein intake as well when lifting. Not too much, but enough to supplement the recovery and building your muscles will need. Also, here is a link for some vegetarian friendly vitamins if you're looking at going that way too. GOOD LUCK!!!! :)

    http://store.veganessentials.com/vitamins-and-natural-therapeutics-c43.aspx
  • maliamalia Sconnie Nation
    @teramona - I'm pretty much in the same place as you right now; trying to build muscle and eat more protein (but not a ton more meat...), so please let me know if you find anything super delicious!
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA
    @teramona - I'm pretty much in the same place as you right now; trying to build muscle and eat more protein (but not a ton more meat...), so please let me know if you find anything super delicious!
    If you enjoy them I would highly recommend egg-whites, water and some fruit/veggies for a post-workout dinner. The boxed egg-whites are the ones I'm referring to, a bit cheaper and less time consuming than cracking eggs. There is a ton of protein in them (I usually eat about 1.5-2cups for dinner), but you don't have to eat that much. They are extremely low in fat and very high in protein (one of the best post-workout meals). Of course, I only eat them with a little salt, pepper, and paprika. It's not the most elaborate or delicious dinner, but functionally it's great. You can add more spices, veggies, etc...if you'd llike, I just wanted to toss that out there as an inexpensive, quick, and fairly delicious (my opinion only) meal. I eat this about 3 times a week.

  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    @malia, this is going to sound kind of weird, but... what do you think about chocolate milk? I know you can't have lactose, but maybe soy or lactose free chocolate milk? I used to drink a bottle of chocolate milk after every run. It's got just about perfect amounts of all the things. I think I'm going to start doing it again; I think I read somewhere that it has twice as much protein as regular milk.

    @JBoogaloo, eggs are out for me, unfortunately. :(
  • maliamalia Sconnie Nation
    edited July 2012
    @JBoogaloo Egg whites - that is seriously brilliant. Eggs have become a total staple food, but they were hard to fit in the diet because of all the calories in the yolk. That is totally going in my next batch of breakfast freezer burritos. And I've got an immediate home for the yolks; they should make the pup's coat all shiny.

    @teramona there is likely something wrong with me, but I have always HATED chocolate milk. I suppose I should try it again with not-milk...coconut or almond milk sounds like it would taste just like a mounds/almond
    joy bar??
  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH
    I usually just slam down a Nature Valley Protein Bar right after running. The calorie count isn't horrible 150-200 calories, and it has a pretty good amount of protein in it as well. Not to mention quick and easy.
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    Hey, @malia! It turns out that brown rice and quinoa have a good amount of protein. I read that quinoa has all the essential amino acids so that it's actually a "complete" protein, and a full 18g at that. I could live with eating brown rice or quinoa with dinner every day. Haha...
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    So... I've been adding the weights to some of my running days. Sometimes I wake up feeling like one giant, warm noodle. Other than that, though, I feel pretty good. The only thing is I've lost 7 pounds at this point rather than having gained any. I wasn't overweight to begin with, so I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    Only 7 pounds can be water loss if over a couple-three weeks or so. More water might handle that. Exercise makes sweat, hot-temp exercise makes more sweat. So.... Maybe?
  • TeramonaTeramona Consulting Tea Specialist Best Coast!
    I've actually lost all the weight within a week. I've changed my diet drastically, though. I stopped eating anything that isn't adding to my overall health so... no desserts, no extra carbs, etc. I should probably replace those calories with something, I just don't know what.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth
    I've actually lost all the weight within a week. I've changed my diet drastically, though. I stopped eating anything that isn't adding to my overall health so... no desserts, no extra carbs, etc. I should probably replace those calories with something, I just don't know what.
    Weren't you malnourished to begin with? How many calories a day are you eating now?

  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI
    TL:DR version: Eat more ;) You are not a large person to begin with; losing 7 lbs is probably more than water weight.

    If you are running and not aiming to lose weight, you will need those "extra carbs" so your body doesn't start breaking down muscle tissue when you are short on energy. The carbs may give you some quick energy to help you run if you eat some time beforehand too. Way back when I used to still play sports, we were always told to eat spaghetti (or pasta, etc) 1-2 hours before a game.

    You can figure out how much you were eating before you changed your diet/running/weight lifting habits in terms of calories. I've been using tracker.dailyburn.com to figure out how many calories I've been eating; its relatively easy to use and free. Once you know how many calories you should be eating for a set amount of running, you will need to eat more calories to make up for the calories of the extra running PLUS more calories if you want to gain muscle mass.

    You will be surprised how many calories you will need to make up for when you run. You can try looking at some websites to track how far you ran and how many calories you burn while running to get an idea of why you might be losing weight. Dailyburn does this, but I know some other people have been using endomundo on their phones to track the data behind their runs, including calorie output.

    Its amazing to me how much just paying attention to what I eat and do with my body has changed what my body looks like and is capable of in the short time I've been doing so.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI
    Terin, I love you, and I wouldn't say this if I didn't, but I think you need to add more and new sources of protein to your diet. You told me while you were here that you were thinking of starting to eat eggs. I really think you should.
  • maliamalia Sconnie Nation
    To add on to Brian's comment, now might be a good time to go talk to an actual registered dietician since you're changing your diet anyway. I went to one when i was diagnosed as lactose intolerant, and she was really helpful in explaining what i could and couldnt eat, and how to replace (with other foods) the nutrients I was usually getting through dairy. She was also covered through my heath insurance, so it didnt cost me anything (although ymmv; state health insurance is usually above average)
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA
    I've actually lost all the weight within a week. I've changed my diet drastically, though. I stopped eating anything that isn't adding to my overall health so... no desserts, no extra carbs, etc. I should probably replace those calories with something, I just don't know what.
    @Teramona, since you've been adding the weights to your running your body is going to be pushing harder and harder to develop muscles for endurance. Removing "extra carbs" is a terrible idea. You need to actually up your carbohydrate intake because of this reason. Stick with complex carbs and eat the majority of your carbs in the morning (lots of fruit) or the afternoon prior to your workout (about 1-2hrs). Make sure that you're also eating grains for fiber and energy (some fat is acutually good for you, minimal refined sugars though). Definitely look at taking a multivitamin/mineral to compensate for what you're burning. Eating the rice and pasta is a good idea, but I would recommend only eating them as early in the day as possible. Eating these foods at night is terrible and when you drink lots of water (which you should be doing anyhow...about 1 gal a day to flush your system and keep you hydrated) because they help your body retain water (which is a crappy feeling in the morning, I know :)
    As we mentioned before with your muscle development as your run you're going to only burn calories while you run, once you stop the high calorie burn basically stops. But, since you have weights with you, your legs are developing muscle. Muscle development usually lasts for about 48hrs after you finish working out and the calorie burn continues at a moderate rate. MAKE SURE you are eating AT LEAST 4-6 times a day as well to maintain a high-metabolism (constantly burning food keeps metabolism going and stores less fat because the body doesn't sense "starvation phase").
    My opinion, a good breakfast to start the day (full of complex carbs for energy in the day), a mid-morning snack (fruit or high protein snack like unsalted nuts), then a decent lunch (something that will provide energy for the workout later - higher protein mid carbs), a mid-day snack (nuts, fruit, small granola bar), Dinner (post workout I'm assuming - lean protein, low carb high fiber) then finally a small snack later in the evening (glass of OJ with a small low-fat yogurt or something like that). MAKE SURE you are drinking PLENTY of water! Water is key to losing weight. Juices are good (natural juices like Purley Orange, etc...No HFCS juices, refined sugar, etc...)
    If you are going to change your diet drastically (be careful!) you need to make sure it's a diet you can stick with basically forever and one that meets all required intake (35g of fiber a day, protein is exercise dependant, 3 servings of grains, etc...) Most "diets" are a terrible idea, beause when you got off of the diet when a goal is reached you usually end up slowing your workout routine, maintain old eating habits and end up back where you started, usually worse off than before. Drastic diet changes can, and usually do, wind up being detrimental to your overall health later on (skin issues, internal issues, female issues, male issues, etc...) Definitely go speak to a dietician. But, if you choose not to, make sure that your dietary change still provides you with your daily recommended dosage of vitamins and minerals.
    Best of luck and take care! =D
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA
    That statement about water being key to losing weight...I meant to say it's key for maintiaining weight (keeps you feeling fulfilled, keeps you hydrated, keeps you cool, and flushes toxins out of your system). I was thinking faster than I was typing, lol!
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