My training for a marathon has me looking at my current diet in more detail lately. In general 2013 has probably been one of the years where my diet has really improved. Not that I was eating super-bad before, but in February I completely turned my old diet upside down and added more and more veggies and fruit to my diet. Mind you, over the years I never weight more than 174 lbs. (I am 5’ 9” tall), but back in February I simply did not feel very good. I was eating too many carbs, especially bread and so my diet was a bit single-sided so to speak. I also read a lot about diet, Candida, and acidity and how all these things can cause “side-effects” like bloating, constant headaches, and low energy levels – stuff I was indeed experiencing.
Based on recommendation of a friend I changed the quality of my diet significantly and have been able to maintain it for quite a while, too. At one point I was probably at around 75% of my diet coming from veggies and fruit. Right now I am probably at roughly 50% with my effort. I also replaced more carbs with other food groups. Now that I am officially in training for a marathon I am reading up on how to eat better to accommodate my training needs. Preferably I’d like to lose some more weight along the way to further increase my running performance– I am at 160 lbs. at the moment.
Anyway, my run last Monday was crappy. The first 3-4 miles I simply felt like crap. I had the feeling that I needed to empty my bladder even though I just went before the run. I also felt bloated and had some gas “output” (stink) even though I went for number #2 around noon that day and my run was around 3.30 PM. Finally at around 4 miles I was able to concentrate on something different and the run improved significantly, but the damage was already done. I did not run as far as I wanted to and stopped at 5.5 miles.
So, yesterday I was reviewing what I had eaten the day before and what I had taken in as water and other fluids. The food side of things did not look too bad, but was not superb either. I had eaten some whole grain flat bread filled with ham and cheese, some bananas, and some Raspberries. I had some water (naturally), but I also had 2 coffees (Latte) with artificial sweetener and I think that’s where the majority of my ill-feeling came from. Back In February I completely cut down on coffee consumption. I also switched from coffee with artificial sweetener like Splenda to drinking green tea with honey. My body certainly felt different, better since then. I was tired Monday morning and I used coffee to get up to speed and to “stay awake”. My guess is that I had too much coffee and too much artificial sweetener in too short of a time and it could explain what was going on Monday. I did not have a lot of fruit or veggies on Monday that could have made up for some of the acidity in my stomach and so my performance and energy levels were down.
Yesterday I did better and completely stayed away from coffee (or tea) and made sure I drank enough water. I also ate a bit better through-out the day and so when it was time for running in the afternoon the picture looked so much better. I was full of energy. I did some speed workouts combined with some tempo running and the entire workout session I felt really good. I did not experience any of these problems from the day before. Now granted, one day is not proof of what was going on – there are simply too many factors that can affect your running performance, but it reminded me of how important diet is and I am going to put in some more effort to monitor what I am going to eat.