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Calories and long runs

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T Miller
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Post  Reina Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:25 pm

Hi all,



I have a question ... I have spent most of the last several years working on losing weight ... and I think I'm at a weight now where I don't think I have to lose any more ... but I'm so used to watching/logging what I eat, that I'm a bit paranoid about loosening up in fear I'll put a bunch of weight back on. But I'm also running a lot right now, about 65-70 miles per week. On my long run days, 20+ I'm usually pretty hungry, but I worry about eating too much ... anyone else out there have any experience with that? I suspect I'll get a lot of answers that I shouldn't focus on counting calories on those days and focus on eating healthy (which I do). Just curious if anyone else has had the experience of trying to balance out calories and long running and any other advice.



Thanks in advance!



--Reina
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Post  Julie Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:41 pm

They don't really mix, cutting calories and running 20 milers. You are putting in some serious mileage! And honestly, the day before a 20 and the day of, and day after, you should be eating plenty. If you think you've hit your low wt I guess just see what it takes to maintain. You don't want to eat too little. Do you have Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook? Lots of good info there. Your running and sleeping will go better if you're eating enough so experiment and if you're hungry, eat.
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Post  Nick Morris Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:24 pm

Julie wrote:They don't really mix, cutting calories and running 20 milers. You are putting in some serious mileage! And honestly, the day before a 20 and the day of, and day after, you should be eating plenty. If you think you've hit your low wt I guess just see what it takes to maintain. You don't want to eat too little. Do you have Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook? Lots of good info there. Your running and sleeping will go better if you're eating enough so experiment and if you're hungry, eat.



+1



I agree with Julie. You need to make sure that your body has the fuel to get you through those long runs, as well as, recover from them. I think that you have made a lifestyle change in your diet and continuing to eat healthy will help you maintain your weight. You should definitley check out Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. I got a used copy on Amazon for $0.99. It has a lot of great information in it.
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Post  Liz R Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:50 pm

Good advice. I think it is time to change your mindset from that of a dieter to that of an athlete. Focus on eating the right stuff in the right amount to perform better and forget about the number on the scale. It won't be easy and your weight may go up and down before it settles.

Easy for me to give this advice, harder to follow it. I get really hungry after long runs, too, usually on Tuesday after a Sunday run. I can polish off a pint of ice cream no problem. To keep that from happening, I do best eating at regular intervals, not getting too hungry, and starting with the high water content foods, like fruit, that fill me up. I also do best when I am away from home being very active, if you can imagine. Less eating from boredom or habit, and more eating 1)for taste and 2) to have energy to stay active.

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Post  Natalie Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:55 pm

I'm not one to be giving advice on this matter, seeing how I just ate a bowl of Big Boy chili and onion rings following my 16 miler...

That said... I think it's more important to think about what you are eating in the day before your long run, in order to successfully complete the long run. When I'm running high mileage, and your is higher than mine ever was, I don't count calories. Give yourself a break and make sure you are eating 5-6 meals/day. In my experience, the weight comes off during peak training and comes back in between marathon cycles. If you maintain your high mileage, the weight will stay off.
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Post  T Miller Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:31 am

Congratulations on getting to your ideal weight. I typically throw the calorie counting out the window while I'm preparing for a long run. I simply try to eat a sufficient amount without overdoing it. After a long run or any run for that matter I allow myself 65% of my calorie burn. I calculate that I burn about 100 calories / mile so my allowance is .65 of that or 65 calories / mile. I'm still trying to lose weight so maybe you would do a larger percent. Just an idea.
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Post  Mike MacLellan Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:11 am

I'm usually a little bit under by the time I hit Friday, which is the day that precedes my double longs. So I stock up well on Friday and try to break even, stuff my face Saturday, and usually I'm not as hungry Sunday after my initial post-run meal. That way it balances out pretty well and I'm able to fuel/refuel properly over the weekend.
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Post  Jerry Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:32 pm

Yes, you should just focus on eating healthy and ensure sufficient fuel for the long runs. The trick is though to make the ideal racing weight on race day, which Jerry has been having problem for more than a year now. Basketball
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Post  Reina Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:08 pm

Thanks all for the thoughts and advice. I'm generally feeling pretty good during my long runs - at least for the most part ... it's after and the next day it seems like I feel extra hungry. And those are days that aren't as high a burn.



I guess it's trial and error to get it to balance out - it's just a strange position for me to be in ... I don't think as an adult I have ever had a "habit" of not eating enough ... I just don't know what to make of it!



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Post  ounce Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:01 pm

You have a high-performance machine, now. Whereas my carbo load for a ~20 miler use to be pasta and either chili or Alfredo sauce, I can do just fine with marinara or garlic 'n olive oil and save the non-essential calories.



Immediately after the run, it's 500 calories from a carb:protein ratio of 4:1, which can be 2 poached eggs on toast with chocolate milk or 2 Ensure-type beverages with the 4:1 ratio.



Post-run, it's 100 grams of protein a day for 3 days to help the muscles repair plus a regular-for-me meal plan. Cheeseburger or salmon? Usually salmon, but I can do a hamburger under the right conditions.



Gratz on the mileage and the weight. Has your back settled down?
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Post  Dave P Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:23 pm

I agree that we all need to fuel right & recover right, especially after 20+ milers. However, I find it easy to over-do it & have to hold myself back from stuffing myself.
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Post  Reina Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:13 pm

Oz ... thanks for the info on what you do. And thanks for asking about the back ... it's a chronic thing that will only get worse and likely will require surgery at some point (bone and disc degeneration and slippage leaving not enough room for nerves). I'm hoping to put that off as long as possible. Losing weight and strengthening my core have both helped.



--Reina



ounce wrote:You have a high-performance machine, now. Whereas my carbo load for a ~20 miler use to be pasta and either chili or Alfredo sauce, I can do just fine with marinara or garlic 'n olive oil and save the non-essential calories.



Immediately after the run, it's 500 calories from a carb:protein ratio of 4:1, which can be 2 poached eggs on toast with chocolate milk or 2 Ensure-type beverages with the 4:1 ratio.



Post-run, it's 100 grams of protein a day for 3 days to help the muscles repair plus a regular-for-me meal plan. Cheeseburger or salmon? Usually salmon, but I can do a hamburger under the right conditions.



Gratz on the mileage and the weight. Has your back settled down?
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