Are you getting enough carbs to fuel your training?

100 miles a week by the end of this training block. I’ve never run that much in a week before. Maybe I’ve hit 80? Maybe. Anyways, I’m really excited. Give me all the miles. I am currently at 70 mi/wk, which includes back to back long runs on the weekend and one tempo (easy runs the rest of the days). I also include about 30 minutes of full body strength 3 times a week. I would love to get in more cross training and yoga, but I can’t find the time at this point in my life. One day.

Crab walking exercise. I have been trying to focus on movements that force me out of linear motion

I met with my coach on Friday last week to discuss the 10 mile race and the game plan for my upcoming races. He touched briefly on diet (due to my increasing mileage) and making sure I’m eating enough calories, specifically from carbs, to fuel my current training needs. Nutrients and diet quality are also important during this training period. Inability to fuel the body correctly could result in poor performances or injury.

A table from the book “Racing Weight” by Matt Fitzgerald showing recommended carb intake for endurance athletes

Diet quality and high nutrient intake is something I already do pretty well. Almost all of my food choices come from whole, natural, minimally processed sources. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and a pretty good variety. However, my carbohydrates intake is lacking. Pretty significantly. According to my coach, and the research compiled in “Racing Weight”, endurance athletes should be consuming around 50% of their diet from carbs! And depending on how many hours and intensity of your workouts, you may perform better with even more!! I know I don’t consume that much, but in order to find out just how much, I started tracking my macronutrients (macros) using the MyPlate app on my phone.

MyPlate app tracker for February 20 macros

Results from the day before yesterday’s tracking showed 29% from fat, 30% from carb, and 34% from protein. So I made a few adjustments. Higher quality carbs can come from sweet potatoes (or any potato), sprouted wheat, oatmeal, banana, whole grain pastas, brown rice…the list goes on. So the next day I had some yogurt with granola and blueberries, oatmeal protein pancakes with peanut butter and honey, whole grain pasta with butternut squash and spinach, and some granola bar bites (recipes below). And the next day and I came up with 28% fat, 47% carb, and 24% protein. Better! I’m going to continue the higher carb intake for the duration of my higher mileage period and note any changes in my workouts, recovery runs, or the Shamrock Half in Virginia Beach, VA I have coming up on March 17. So stay tuned and happy running!

Granola Bar Bites

Granola Bar Bites

  • 1c oatmeal
  • 1/2c peanut butter
  • 2-3 tbs honey
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2tbs flaxseed meal
  • A handful or two of chocolate chips

I melted the peanut butter before I mixed everything together so it was easier to manipulate into balls. Once formed into balls, refrigerate or freeze and enjoy! Takes 5 min!

Homemade protein pancakes topped with peanut butter and honey. THE BEST!

Protein Pancakes

  • 1c oatmeal
  • 1/2c egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs flaxseed meal

Heat pan while adding ingredients to blender. Blend and pour into hot pan. I make a big batch and then freeze to have on hand! Just add your toppings (my favorite, if you haven’t already guessed, is peanut butter and honey).

Happy fueling!!

-S

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