This is the time of marathon training for me that staying healthy gets a little bit complicated. I am running a lot, I am hungry a lot, and I am tired a lot. This is not always the best combination.
Hungry + tired is when my bad eating habits start to emerge. Whatever is easiest and whatever sounds good is what I go to first and I start losing my momentum a bit with keeping up with my healthy eating.
I am a big believer in rewarding myself with treats, but I also am a big believer of putting good things in your body to get good results with training. I definitely reward myself after long runs or big workouts and try to keep it healthy and clean during the week especially.
So how do I balance these contradicting factors?
Load up on healthy food.
We try to keep the house full of healthy food and good snacks. That way they are available when I am on an eating rampage like this week and I to go to those first. I keep fast options available for the days I don’t have a lot of time to cook, so I try to go to a more well balanced meal instead of eating massive bowls of cereal for dinner.
Instead I follow my brown rice and vegetable dinner with a bowl of cereal for dessert! That way I make sure I am getting in my vegetables like a good girl.
Don’t keep the bad things in the house.
Chris and I don’t buy bags of bad chips, boxes of cookies or big cartons of ice cream very often. I know if it’s there I will want it just because it’s there and mindlessly eat it. Instead I wait until I actually have a real craving for something, then if I want it bad enough I will go out and get it… and trust me I do.
When this does happen, I don’t buy mass quantities of said craving. I buy enough to satisfy my craving, and even a little more, and that’s that. Ben and Jerry’s little cartons of ice cream? Yes please!
Try the healthy unhealthy foods first.
There are definitely healthier version of unhealthy foods or at least ways to make my mind think they are healthier. Whole grain chips, whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat pancakes, oatmeal cookies… all ways of getting my cravings satisfied while still keeping it semi-healthy.
When I really wanted a big burrito this week, I got one with a whole wheat tortilla and black beans in it and it definitely satisfied my burrito craving.
Sometimes you just have to give in to the cravings. I am running 55+ miles a week right now, a cookie, some ice cream or a bag of chips is not going to hurt me. One of the reasons I like to run so much is to eat more! I love eating.
I think sometimes your cravings are your body’s way of telling you it needs something, so listen and try to respond the best way you can.
Give your body good fuel, it will respond with good workouts, but also make sure to reward yourself for all the hard work you are putting in.
Do you get to a point in training where you find it hard to eat healthy?