Feeding the Hunger
Today I received an email that Ironman Couer d'Alene is less than six months away. How crazy is that?? I am right at four weeks into training with the last two weeks being the beginning of the bulk of training. Next week will be more of an active rest week due to Brandon being out of town which always makes it a little more difficult for me to motivate, but it makes for a perfect active rest week. :) An active rest week means that the week after kicks off an increase in training for me. I have not fully decided what that will look like but am playing around with a couple formats. With training increasing and daily doubles seeming to take over my life, gym in the am and gym in the pm, I am finding that my calorie count and macro count is increasing right along side of it. I AM ALWAYS HUNGRY!!!
I haven't been a calorie counter or even macro counter in years, even during competition training I did not keep track of my macros. I have purposely avoid counting calories due to an old eating disorder in which I meticulously counted calories and weighed myself at every meal. It was an obsession and something I never wished to go back to. However, now that I am 1) very much in control of that crazy part of my brain 2) my training is quickly increasing and 3) I have a tendency to not eat enough food (despite eating all the time) I have moved back to keeping track merely to ensure that I am consuming enough to fuel this crazy journey that I am on; on top of that I don't want to lose all my muscles I worked so hard for and food fuels muscles.
Currently I am pulling daily doubles Tuesday through Friday with Saturday and Sunday being my long workout days and Monday being my active rest day. That means that I have had to increase my caloric intake from about 1700 calories to 2100 with the goal of eating around 2500 calories. Truthfully I am finding it very hard to eat over 2000 calories, you would think that when you eat about every two hours it would not be that hard but due to the fact that I stick to very nutrient dense foods I tend to become satiated quickly.
Now I get that when I complain that I am hungry or really want cake most people think I am crazy when I don't just give into it. They say "you're ironman training you can eat whatever you want" and while yes I could stuff my face with all the cake that I want and hit my caloric intake no problem that would not be nutritionally smart when it comes to training.
Currently I am working towards eating a diet that is 40% Carbs, 35 % Protein and 25 % Fat at around 2,400 calories. I seem to hover right about 2000 calories consumed in a day though as of now.
Most of my carbs come from un-refined carbs such as oats, veggies, fruits, sweet potatoes, and quinoas or rices. On the protein side I get most of my proteins from chicken, steak, protein bars and powders, and when I have the time fish.
My favorite fuel right now
My morning Shakeology (learn more about HERE)+ 1 scoop protein powder. I drink this every morning after my workout. It is chalk full of antioxidants, pre/pro biotics, carbs and proteins that help me get a good boost right after my workout.
Steak. I have been on a HUGE steak kick lately. The combination of high protein and high fat seem to be the best combo for not only increasing my energy but actually making me feel full for a change.
Protein pancakes (or muffins) We get this protein pancake mix from costco that is delicious!!! It is high carb and high protein, great for pre-long workout as they are filling but also light on the stomach.
Pro-bar Bolt Chews. During my workouts I have a hard time eating and I have found that energy chews tend to be the easiest thing for me to get down and I love the pro bar ones. They have great flavors, more natural ingredients, and I find I get a good little energy boost from them.
Ultima Replenisher With ZERO sugars and ZERO artificial flavors but 6 balance electrolytes and support minerals I LOVE having Ultima along with me during my workouts and throughout the day. Once again, I have a touchy stomach so I have always had a hard time finding electrolyte replacement drinks that I can get down without causing any gastric stress. Ultima has been a savior in that, I can even drink it when I run without causing any issues.
Nutrition is a learning experience. It is always changing and everyone has a different opinion on how to fuel their training. The key is to find exactly what works for them. Some people look at my daily diet and wonder how I function without more carbs, it is just something that works for me. Even in the last two weeks I have had to rethink my nutrition as I was coming to realize that I wasn't going to be able to keep up the pace with the daily diet I was on. It will continue to be tweaked here and there as I grow throughout the season.
For right now I am just trying hard not to eat all of the cake :)
How do you fuel your workouts? Do you find that you preform better on high carbs, proteins, or fats? What are your favorite intra workout snacks?