Thursday, July 21, 2011

What do you eat before a run?

I don't know if it's the heat or my diet or what, but lately I am finding myself struggling to make it through even a short run or a 25 minute workout with Jillian. Yes, it's hot outside, but most of my workouts have been indoors in the comfort of my air conditioned home.
Excuse the shweatiness

I once read that summer workouts, whether indoor or out, are affected by the air temperatures outside, as well as the humidity. Of course it is more humid in my house in the summer than in the winter when the dry hot air is blasting through the vents. But could that really be why I'm struggling to push through a workout? I seriously doubt it.

So then I turn to my eating habits to see if that has something to do with my energy levels. This morning I ate a granola bar (almonds and yogurt, not the little chocolate filled kind) and drank half a cup of coffee. Then I proceeded to eat a small container of low-fat strawberry yogurt. And now I am munching on some plain wheat toast. Lunch will typically be a salad with chicken and fruit, and sometimes if I eat out, like yesterday, a chicken or turkey sandwich with my salad. Dinner is often some kind of lean meat, a vegetable or two, like corn, and then fruit for dessert. I think I eat pretty balanced, but it seems like something is missing.

Maybe I need more protein? I'm not a huge meat eater, other than chicken and turkey or lean pork. Red meat and fish are just not my thing. I try to get protein from nuts, protein powder in my smoothies, and some dairy products. Sometimes I even eat energy bars like Luna or Powerbars. Yesterday post-workout, I had a whole wheat bagel with almond butter on one side, peanut butter on the other (I'm conservative with that expensive almond butter!!) with banana:
Yeah, don't hate on my Christmas plate in July!!
 I also have a love/hate relationship with caffeine. Of course, I am a sweet tea lover (real or fake sugar) and I have coffee every morning. On the days I drink a ton of caffeine, I feel like I can workout harder if I do it before I crash from post-caffeine wind up. But like yesterday, I had tea at lunch and then by the time I started Ripped in 30, I was exhausted and that was after a nap.

Most days I drink lots of water and/or Powerade Zero (after a workout). The last few days I have been lacking on water because I was sitting in professional development classes with a big cup of sweet tea. And I drank and drank until it was gone--I prefer to drink my calories, obviously. I started wondering about dehydration last night when I had double Charlie Horses in my hips. Talk about painful.

After everything I've eaten this morning, I still don't seem to feel energetic enough to hit the treadmill and run a few miles. Some days are better than others, but lately, I just feel drained when running or working out.

Sometimes when I try to run in the morning or around lunchtime, I struggle more than when I run at night. Maybe I need to have a full day's calories before I workout??

So I guess my question for you is,  
What do you eat before you run or workout to give you the energy to keep going?

1 comment:

  1. The Christmas plate totally works. Christmas in July!! I usually don't eat before I work out. If I work out in the mornings I never eat my breakfast until after my workout. Otherwise, I feel sick. If I work out at night, I have to do it before dinner or I won't work out at all. Sorry, I know that's not much help!