How can I carb up when I cut out carbs?
We quit eating pasta, bread and potatoes back in January. I’ve lost ten pounds and feel great, but now that I’m trying to get ready for those fall half marathons I find myself hungry and tired on my long, slow runs.
Running on Empty
Hi Running on Empty,
I have had similar issues in the past! When you start minimizing your carb intake you feel great with daily activity level, but when you start training more, you can run into some problems including headaches, stomach aches and digestive issues, increased fatigue, cramping, and so on. I think it is very important for you to realize you need to take in more calories than you are used to to ensure you are properly fueling your body. Carbohydrates are also necessary for your body to have the energy it needs for longer workouts. If you are increasing mileage, speed, and training time, you are expending more calories than you were earlier this year and your diet should reflect that. Increasing your caloric intake to match your activity level will help keep you at your current weight without gaining the weight back that you lost.
One way to help reduce the hunger and fatigue is to use items like GU, Cliff Shot Bloks, Honey Stinger Waffles, etc. during your workouts. There are an overwhelming number of options, but I recommend trying out different types during training runs to find out what you like best and what works best for you. You can always get more assistance with the specific types of products and how to use them during your workouts when you go into Fleet Feet Syracuse and talk to one of our Outfitters.
To fuel for longer runs, I would recommend that you eat slightly more carbohydrates than you normally do. If you typically do your long runs in the morning, add an extra serving of carbohydrates the night before. If you are an evening runner, I would recommend eating some carbs in the meal prior to your run. This doesn't have to be something very high in calories; for example, an English muffin with peanut better, pretzels with hummus and/or crackers are good options.
Hope this helps!