Monday, May 17, 2010

A Fueling Experiment

My blog friend Liz over at Eternal Lizdom often writes about how she thinks about food as fuel now that she has really wrapped her mind around a healthier lifestyle. Most people still struggle with junk food now and then, and I am no exception- however, I may have had a real life "A-HA!" moment that really made it sink in.
I've been working VERY hard to get back to running since I was 6 weeks post-delivery of my 2nd child last November (09). I started back with the Couch-to-5K program over at and then adapted my own program from there while training for other races along the way (I've done 3 5Ks since January).

I have mentioned the big race I am training for in June. And I have been frustrated that I couldn't seem to get past running 10-12 minutes without having to take a walk break. It was hindering my overall avg pace and I didn't like that. Generally- it was because my legs felt heavy, almost crampy.

This past Saturday (see my last post)- I had an AWESOME run. And the only thing I did differently than usual was that I ate a banana - and only a banana- about an hour before my run. So- in a little experiment, I tried it today. I had to do my run in the afternoon - so it was about 4 hours after lunch and then 1 hour before my run, I ate a banana. IT WORKED!

I ran 3.7125 miles in 45 minutes - a 12:12 minute mile avg pace. I only walked 3 times- to warm up, in the middle and then at the very end. And, in fact, I would not have walked at all in the middle if it wasn't for my Nike+ malfunctioning again (seriously with this thing! Again?!?!).

Is it the banana? I don't know- maybe. But I know I'll keep it up until it proves otherwise!

1 comment:

  1. My trainer has given me a lot of information about fueling and I've been doing a good amount of reading online, too. It shocked me when I found out that what I eat 2-3 days before a big run/race will impact my performance! It makes sense when you stop and think about it... but I've spent so many years just eating and NOT thinking about it!

    As you lengthen your distance and run longer, you might want to add a little protein with your banana. I do a mini whole wheat bagel with a little peanut butter. Sometimes I do a banana with peanut butter. Or maybe even a little PB & B sandwich on the mini bagel! Just depends on how the morning has gone so far. I have to make sure that whatever I fuel with will last me the duration of my exercise. So you just keep trying different things until you find the exact right thing. And sounds like you've found something that works!

    I also remind myself that things change and what works now- at this weight and this ability- will change and I have to stay tuned in to that.