When I first started running, I wasn’t as concerned with what I put into my body as I am now. I just didn’t really even think about it. I ran because it basically allowed me to eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight (and we all know I love to eat). I was never a terrible eater due to the fact that I’ve never been a huge fan of the things that most people coin as their guilty pleasures (fast food, soft drinks, greasy delivery pizza, etc.) but I also didn’t realize that the quality of my food had such an impact on my performance.
I still don’t think of myself as a super competitive runner (although some would disagree). It’s more about how I feel. If I’m feeling good and happy at the end of a race, that’s more of a win to me than breaking a PR but suffering the whole way through it (well, I guess it depends on how big a break it is – If I run a 1:30 half-marathon someday, I may be revising this post!)
That’s one of the reasons why I don’t check my wear a Garmin watch, check my pace every mile (or ANY mile for that matter) and constantly obsess over hitting certain speed goals with my training. It’s important to me to keep running my outlet, my escape from reality, and I don’t want to change that by putting unnecessary pressure on myself.
Feeling good while running and eating/fueling right go hand-in-hand. Sure there are a lot of runners out there who load themselves up on soda and burgers and feel great when running but everyone’s different and that just doesn’t work for me. I also wonder if they would feel even better during their runs if they ate differently.
All of this is exactly what Scott Jurek talks about in his book Eat & Run. One of my favorites, which was also part of my inspiration to give up meat. It just made sense to me. Not only giving up meat but more so cutting down on overly processed foods, refined sugars and white carbs.
Has anyone else changed their diet to fit their running lifestyle?