So, I can't just eat french fries and bagels the entire time?

Courtesy of Corbis Images

I wish I could say that when I 'hit the wall' during my marathon a couple of months ago, I looked as graceful and model-esque as this image, but really, I looked like someone had run me over with a truck. Normally, I would do a cute play on words here, but it really was not cute. 

One of the first things that experienced runners tell you when you mention that you're signing up for a marathon is that, yes, training is important, but so is your diet. Now, originally, I felt (despite being a pretty seasoned runner) that I'd be able to eat pretty much whatever I want and still shed pounds. But, alas, this is untrue. If anything, you have to be STRICTER about your diet and meticulous about recording what you are eating and how that particular item is making you feel during your runs. For example, my normal fail safe meal before a long run used to be a bagel with peanut butter and a cup of coffee. However, during marathon training, I found that the meal that worked best was oatmeal with fruit and a cup of coffee. Go figure. 

I only bring this up, because I recently read an article in Runners' World about carbo-loading and how most runners actually carbo-load ineffectively and end up hitting the wall during their marathon because their glycogen stores are depleted. Apparently, you should actually start carbo-loading a full SIX WEEKS pre-race. Reading the article I thought, "Uhh...definitely didn't do that", so that certainly brought some deficiencies to light. 

And while they certainly don't advise having the post-race meal that I had (pizza, salad, a couple of cocktails, and cannolis), it's still an interesting read for the endurance athletes among us. 

Happy (rainy) Thursday gang!


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