Fueling for marathon training

First things, first – Congratulations to the JASON natural product/ped-egg  give-away winner:

Erika @ Dr.TriRunner says:  August 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm  

I. NEEED. those socks!! No joke – I’ve been looking for those all summer. The neon green ones specifically. And CANT FIND THEM. Grrrrr….

My favorite summer moment so far is a tie: I would have said hands down farmers market, but I had the best open water swim of my life yesterday at the lake practically out my backdoor. It was 50 minutes of clear, still water, sunny gloriousness!

Erica – Email me your mailing address! runnerskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com

I ran an easy 4 miles on Monday night and then trekked to the E. River track for a sweaty, soupy Tuesday speed workout. Can someone please remind of this gross weather in January? I’m trying to enjoy Summer, but I’m nearing the end of my rope regarding running in heat and humidity. Ew.

Anyway, I felt good on the warm-up, but a little fatigued during the workout. Our coach gave us a lighter workout this week (intervals were to be run at 5 mile race pace instead of 5k pace), but it was not as easy as I was expecting. In the middle of the 5th  repeat, I felt mentally and physically “done” with the workout, but alas I pushed through and got it done. That’s what it’s all about, right? When I was finished, I cooled down back to my gym for a few minutes of core work.

The assigned workout was 6 x 800m at 5 mile race pace (~6:30-6:40 per mile) with 200m jog recovery in between. For simplicity’s sake, I combined all of the 200m recovery jogs into a 1 mile recovery run. Make sense?

Activity Reps Distance Duration Pace
Warm Up 1 x         3.00 mi  00:27:00 9:00 min/mi
Intervals 1 x            .50 mi  00:03:15 6:32 min/mi
Intervals 1 x            .50 mi  00:03:13 6:28 min/mi
Intervals 1 x            .50 mi  00:03:11 6:24 min/mi
Intervals 1 x            .50 mi  00:03:13 6:28 min/mi
Intervals 1 x             .50 mi  00:03:11 6:24 min/mi
Intervals 1 x             .50 mi  00:03:09 6:20 min/mi
Recovery Run 1 x           1.00 mi  00:12:00 12:00 min/mi
Cool Down 1 x           2.02 mi  00:18:00 8:54 min/mi

9 sweaty, sweaty miles total. I swear, Gatorade never tasted so good.

In other news, I’ve been a ravenous beast lately. I ate neatly an entire loaf of cinnamon date manna bread yesterday afternoon. 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving X 5 servings.  At least I got good nutritional bang for my buck 🙂

But in all seriousness, I’ve been increasing my mileage steadily over the last few months and my appetite has increased as well. I’m not complaining – there are definitely worse things than getting to eat a lot of yummy food, but it does pose certain challenges. For starters, I’m away from my apartment for a minimum of 10 hours a day (usually it’s more like 12 hours). I eat breakfast and lunch at work and usually (ok, always) need some snacks afternoon. By my estimates, I need to consume (and pack) close to 2,000 calories to last me until I get home for a late dinner.

I suppose I could buy all of my food from vendors/restaurants, but purchasing food gets expensive and since my days are busy, I don’t always have time to search for something healthy and inexpensive. What’s a hungry gal to do?

I pack a decent sized breakfast and lunch each day, but I’ve noticed that snacks have become more important than ever. Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered some tips for surviving till dinnertime, read on to learn more about my desk drawer stash!

I’ve stopped buying non-fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese. Reading Nina Planck’s book, Real Food sparked this change and I’m more satisfied with higher fat versions of dairy. Plus it tastes better! I try to keep a couple cups of 2% Greek yogurt in the office fridge at all times.

I’ve also been stocking my desk drawer with filling and nutritious non-perishables such as raisins, dates, and cashews. These make great pre-run snacks!

An apple and peanut butter is one of my favorite snacks. The combo of fiber, protein, and healthy fat work well as a light pre-run meal or an afternoon snack.

I try to stick with whole foods, but I’m busy and energy/granola bars make eating on the go a lot easier. I keep a lot of varieties on hand so I don’t get bored. The new Clif crunch bars are yummy and the pb granola bars from Trader Joe’s are a great deal (less than $2 per box!).

Belonging to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group this year has provided me with a lot of produce. This means I always have veggies on hand for snacks! Have you tried carrots and celery dipped in peanut butter? Yum.

Question: What essentials do you keep in your desk drawer/glove box/purse for snacking?

*Exciting Announcement* – I just updated my recipe page, so all of your Runner’s Kitchen favorites are now easily accessible! Check out the recipe tab at the top of the page.

  • I definitely remember the increase in appetite when I went from mileage in the 30’s per work to up in the 50’s– plus, with the heat, you’re probably really feeling it this summer.

    My work often keeps me away for 10+ hours, and unfortunately, some of that ends up being car-bound. I do keep my cube stocked and home has lots of things that can be tossed in gladware or ziplocs for travel. I always keep instant oatmeal, a few granola bars, and fruit leathers at the office. I like your suggestion for some other non-perishables too. Thanks!

  • I always keep a jar of peanut butter at my desk, since the office fridge gets emptied out every other night (so frustrating!) I always try to bring carrots and green beans/sugar snap peas to work to snack on, something about the orange+green combo makes the two complement each other in taste! I’ve never tried peanut butter with them though, I seriously don’t know what I’d do without peanut butter!

    I’ve also switched up to higher-fat versions of dairy, definitely more tasty and satiating.

  • I haven’t been very good at this lately because I work within a minute of a big grocery store and it’s so easy to just pop over there for something when mid-afternoon hunger strikes! Usually though I keep a jar of peanut butter at work and like to have granola bars on hand too.
    I also pack my lunch everyday so I try to incorporate my snacks into that!

  • I’m with you on the running in the heat–enough is enough! I’m not asking for winter yet, just a little drop in the insane temps. I get up at 4 am to do long runs and even then its over 80 degrees!

    As for snacks, I keep lots of fresh fruit and larabars on hand! I’ve been doing a lot of late-night snacking on stove-topped popcorn too!

  • I’ve been wanting to try making my own larabar-esque treats. Sometimes I get tired of the apples & almonds routine.

  • Dude, I love the fact the we both referred to ourselves as “ravenous beasts” in our respective blog posts today. 🙂

    I always keep apples and trail mix in my desk drawers and bags when on the go. Lemme know if you’re still up for a run Friday a.m.!

  • Um. We eat the same foods except for the energy bars – I prefer kasha cereal in zip locks instead. But yeah- fresh produce, almond/ peanut butter and yogurt are consumed daily. I’m also a big blue chip fan. And if they were less messy and more portable, I’d eat a sweet potato every day – but I like to keep things clean, ya know? 😉

    Haaaappy humpday!

  • I’m just going back to work (a new job) on Tuesday and since I ate very healthfully at my old job and was able to have a lot on hand in our big fridge, I’m very interested/nervous to see what this new office environment will be like. I hope I have space for healthy snacks and a place to keep lunch cool till I need it!

  • I always have to keep snacks around me at work plus lunch each day. I keep nuts and fruit around and sometimes hummus with crackers and veggies. Whole foods keep me feeling good and energized throughout the day.

  • Hi Megan,
    I just found you…your site makes me so hungry! I am training for the Chicago Marathon and always notice an increase in appetite when I train. I recently started to add Chia seeds(like the ones in the book Born to Run) to my yogurt or sprinkle it on my Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Flax seeds sandwich(love that stuff!). I purchased them in the organic section of my grocery store. They are full of nutrients and noticed they actually suppress my appetite during the day. You might try them. Best of luck on your marathon!

  • vosges in the drawer? hehe…

  • Nancy Dickison

    My co-workers make fun of me because I am constantly eating at my desk. I go to Trader Joe’s about twice per month on my lunch hour. I stock up on Greek yogurt, nuts, Cliff and Lara bars, and almond butter. I could probably survive for a week with all of the food in my cube. It makes it so much easier the night before work to just deal with lunch.
    PS: How do you post a picture?

  • Celery and carrots in peanut butter, or almond butter :D, is my favorite pre-run snack! I like the way you think, girl! This is my first time on your blog, but I’ll definitely be back 😀 Love your blog already!!

  • Marathon training has definitely turned me into an eating machine, ESPECIALLY on long run days! Bumping up to full fats is a great idea!

  • Katerina

    mý long runs are def.not as long as yours are, but: it makes me a lot hungrier..,
    i try to bring fresh fruit every day (grapes, apples, banana). and i keep nuts and dried prunes in my drawer – plus occasional musli bar. its a great idea to have a pb in my drawer, though i am afraid i wont be able to concetrate any more….

  • Yes, I am totally on the full/low fat dairy bandwagon! I pretty much always get lowfat yogurt now instead of fat free, and I’ve even started buying whole milk – forgot how yummy it is.

    I pretty much snack on the same things you do. I also like fruit leathers before runs (more expensive than raisins though), and I’ve started drinking protein powder with milk after my workouts. I used to be very opposed to protein powders, but I decided to try an all natural whey one from Wegman’s. I just mix one scoop of PP with 8 oz. of milk, and I get a delicious vanilla milkshake-esque recovery drink. It’s done wonders for my muscle recovery.

  • Mini Vosges bars on sale at WF for $1.99. They are the size of a Brazil nut but I consider them a deal.

    I was never a big snack-hoarder at my desk, but what I HAD to learn when I was at my last job was to keep snacks in my car: I was often on the road or on the go all day, and suddenly I would be so hungry I could scream. This, sadly, made keeping real food difficult: carrots don’t keep well in a glove compartment in 80 degree weather. I ate a lot of Clif bars.

  • i literally always have a bag of almonds in my purse – they’re inexpensive, portable, and generally pretty filling. i really can’t imagine fueling for marathon training though (or, um, the running you usually do haha). packing my lunch and a couple snacks is enough of a pain when i’m getting ready for work in the morning!

    dinner/drinks next week please?

  • Oh boy – I remember that raveous feeling well from my last training. I was definitely keeping a huge food stock at work then. Now, if you look in my food drawer you will find raisins, tea, popcorn and granola (that I add to my afternoon yogurt), as well as Triscuits now and then. I’m attempting to bring my lunch more often and boy does my shoulder bag feel heavy in the morning!

    Keep up the great training – I think we have a break in the heating coming!

  • I usually try to fill up on water (since I’m not in training mode), but I also keep packets of hot chocolate and apple cider on hand for when I need some calories a couple of hours before or after lunch.

    You might consider going to an Indian grocery store for packages of toasted chana dal, bhel puri, chapatis, etc. These are all pretty healthy and would make a nice addition to your desk drawer stash.

  • I totally agree with eating full fat dairy. I have started buying full fat cheese and 2% yogurt as well. It helps keep me full and it tastes better 😉

    I just always make sure I have some snacks with me while I am out. I like to keep clif bars and fruit with nut butter. Easy and portable.

  • What?! Those bars are less than $2 a box?! I NEED to start shopping at TJ’s! It’s totally worth the train ride. I’m going to Montauk this weekend, so I was planning on stocking up on 3 Buck Chuck anyway. Maybe I’ll check out the snacks too 🙂

  • yes! TJ’s is great for road (or train) trip snacks. Some of my favs – crunchy pb granola bars, spicy dried pineapple, sweet & salty trail mix, crispy dried green beans (sounds weird, but delish!), and reduced guilt pita chips, and tortilla chips with roasted corn salsa.

  • My days are also somewhere between 10-12 hours. I usually have nuts (almonds are my favorite) and Clif Z bars (my current favorite) on hand. I also try to remember to pack some kind of fruit and dairy (string cheese or yogurt) to snack on as well. It usually gets me through my day alright! And there’s nothing like an afternoon coffee to get you through! 🙂

  • For now all I’m doing is fueling for the daily marathon of being nine months pregnant so I just keep a little thing of trail mix and some fruit at my desk. When I’m running I try to be more high calorie and include nuts or cheese or something.

    Way to work that run sister!

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