Intermittent Fasting While Marathon Training

Intermittent Fasting While Marathon Training

Intermittent fasting is quickly gaining in popularity.  Many stars including Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and Hugh Jackman swear by intermittent fasting.  With so much fame behind this fad there may be something to it right?

So what is it?  There are many methods some of which are described below, but in a nutshell, it is scheduling periods of eating normally and then periods of not eating at all.  The spans of eating normally are what make this so attractive to so many, but don’t let the “no counting calories; no cutting carbs; no macros” tag-lines associated with it trick you into thinking it’s easy.  In fact, this may be more difficult than anything else you have tried in the past.  Intermittent fasting requires: purpose, planning, and discipline.  Compared to other lifestyle changes this one is rated difficult.  Hey, but you’re a marathon runner.  Difficult is your middle name.

Methods of Intermittent Fasting

16:8 Method; Eat for 8 hours fast for 16

With this method you choose an 8 hour window for eating your meals each day.  One example is eat from

Intermittent fasting diet

breakfast to mid-day; 7 am – 3 pm.  Or, if you usually skip breakfast anyway, you may choose your meal hours from 1 pm – 9 pm.

If choosing this method when training for a marathon you will want to plan your meals with your training schedule.  If you are a morning runner, then you will want to fuel up for your runs and plan your 8 hours of eating at a time that helps your running performance.

Personally, I having been trying this method for about 2 months.  I started with an eating schedule of 1-9 and found that since I run in the morning, this did not work at all.  Crash, boom, bang!  I could hardly muster the energy to get around the block let alone get my long runs in.  Switching to a 7:00-3:00 schedule I have found is better for my training schedule, but horrible for a social life.  Meeting up for drinks after work, date night, and even enjoying popcorn with a late night movie are all out on this schedule.  What I have found to be pros of this method are: evening snacking is eliminated and better discipline to food choices since I am putting more effort into the planning.

5:2 Method; Eat for 5 days and fast for 2

This method may be preferable for runners because chances are your running schedule is already 5 days on 2 non-consecutive days off.  Your rest days would then also be your fasting days.  Somewhat more extreme than the 16:8 Method because you have 2 complete days of fasting, but it does allow for less social life restrictions.  Many plans do allow for some calorie intake on the fasting days.  Typically around 500 calories which are divided into two small snacks of 250 calories each throughout the day.

I have tried this method in the past and have found it to be extremely difficult.  You will be hungry.  There will be temptation, but once again, it does allow you to maintain better balance with life and lifestyle.  On your 5 eat days you can still enjoy date night and meeting up with friends after work.

Eat Stop Eat Method

The Eat Stop Eat Method involves eating a meal then not eating again until that same meal time the next day.  An example would be eat a normal dinner Monday evening and then don’t eat again until dinner time Tuesday evening.  If you are training in the morning, then you may prefer eat breakfast Monday morning and then don’t eat again until breakfast Tuesday morning.

I don’t have personal experience with this method, but based on the number of hours you are active with no meals, this may be quite difficult.

Benefits of intermittent fasting while marathon training
  1. You cannot improve in one area of your life without improvements trickling into other areas of your life.  By planning your meal periods, I have found that you plan the quality of the meals as well.
  2. Weight loss can occur.
  3. For runners, this is important, there can be a reduction in inflammation.

Have you tried this while training for an event?

How’d it go?

1/2 Marathon Training in Cold Weather

1/2 Marathon Training in Cold Weather

Baby it’s cold outside and you are training for a 1/2 marathon in this cold weather.  Brrr!  For me, the worse the weather the more I feel like a badass.  In fact, this winter is no exception.  It’s been frigid!  Stay indoors and get those miles in on a treadmill, but if you prefer the outdoors here are some tips to make your outdoor training miles more bearable.

Cold Weather Running Tips
Protect your skin

Not just your exposed skin, all of your skin.  My first layer is always moisturizer.  Lubriderm all over, heavy lotion on my face, and Burt’s Bees on my lips.  It’s very windy where I train and I find that this first layer keeps the wind from cutting through to my bones. (more…)

6 Keys to Staying Hydrated

6 Keys to Staying Hydrated

                                 Hydrate

                                 Nutrate

                        Poop

                                 Run

In the summer, planning out your run the day before is just as crucial as logging those miles.  I am a Weather Channel app addict.  Extreme amazement at how often they get it wrong.  It still helps to have some sort of expectation as to the elements.  The next two weeks are gonna be scorchers here in Chicagoland.  With training runs of 16, 17 and 2 10 milers during the extreme heat I’ve gotta plan on getting up as early as possible to get some relief from the blistering heat and have a strategy for hydration.

If you are planning a long run, walk, or hike here are some tips to stay hydrated.
  1. Hydrate before you go.  This takes some planning so you don’t have to “go” when you go, but if you start hydrated it’s easier to maintain hydration.
  2. Choose a course that provides water.  Many public parks have drinking fountains throughout.  I am lucky enough to live near one that even has fountains for my furry running companion.  Gotta keep pups hydrated too.
  3. Carry a water bottle.  Not the most convenient because it gets tiresome carrying the bottle around.  It’s funny how heavy a water bottle can begin to feel when you start to get fatigued.
  4. Drive ahead and leave bottles on your path.  Not the safest most secure method, but if you are very familiar with your territory this plan can work for you.
  5. Wear a water bottle belt.  The sloshing around may be uncomfortable, but it is handier than carrying that bottle around.  I found that strapping the belt around my hips was much more comfortable than around my waste.  It also doesn’t put as much pressure on your bladder if you take in too much liquid.
  6. Wear a hydration pack.  A new favorite of mine.  My husband was careful to select one for me that couldn’t get over-packed and become too heavy, the Camelbak Rogue is a game changer.  Comfortable and able to store GU, keys and a cell phone it allows you to take frequent small sips and stay refreshed.
Happy running.  Stay safe and hydrated.
My 2018 Chicago Marathon training schedule.
 
Build Flexibility into Your Marathon Training Plan

Build Flexibility into Your Marathon Training Plan

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

A training schedule to prepare for a marathon is a must, but you must build in flexibility both in your plan and in your mindset.  Things are going to happen.  Life is going to happen over the course of the months you will spend training.  If your schedule is too rigid it can cause frustration or worse, cause you to give up.

My 2018 schedule is loaded with (more…)

What’s on My Reading List; Born to Run

What’s on My Reading List; Born to Run

Running is a great sport to give a whirl because you literally do not need a thing to get started.  Zero start up cost.  You don’t like it; no worries, you’re not out a thing.

If you do like it and stick with it, unlike other sports that require a ton of expensive equipment, you can maintain a very low budget.  One way I keep costs low is by not worrying if my running
shoes are the latest and the greatest.  By purchasing last year’s model instead of the newest release I save a ton of dough.

My normal run essentials are: Burt’s Bees lip balm, Maui Jim sunglasses, toasted marshmallow GU, and a great play list.  A very eclectic great playlist.  I love to run to music.  Black Eyed Peas, Led Zepplin, Bruno Mars . . . and then I met this book.  Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  On long runs it’s my new fave.  It gives me the motivation I need to get the miles in.  I figure if they can run hundreds of miles then I can certainly get in 13.

A great friend gave me a great tip, use the speed feature on audible.com.  Putting this story at 1.25 x speed is the perfect tempo to run to.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very inspiring story. I loved listening to it while out for a run.
Just a few of my favorite quotes…
“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
“If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”
“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
“There was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running.”

View all my reviews

Training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon

Training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon

Chances of getting drawn were slim to none I thought.  It was November 30th and the last day to enter the lottery for the 2018 Chicago Marathon.  “I’ll never get drawn anyway” I remember thinking as I completed the on-line registration.

The very next day I got fired.  My very first thought as I stared at my boss as he delivered the message was “shit, now I’m not even going to live in Chicago.  I’m going to get drawn for sure now”.

Not that you need to live in the area of the event, but it does make it more convenient, much less expensive, and you don’t have to burn vacation days to do it.

Fast forward, and here we are, day 1 of official training.  I like to do my training in reverse of most conventional training schedules and start with the long day.  This way instead of dreading
the impending doom of the long run I “eat the frog” and get it done first.  The whole rest of the week is a piece of cake.  Leading up to this week I started piling on miles to prepare for a 1/2 marathon in April and continued getting in one 13 miler per week since then.  Last month was a record month for me logging 148 miles, something I’ve never done before.

Here’s this week’s plan
Sunday – 13 miles Check. Done!
Monday – Shred class at Lifetime Fitness
Tuesday – 5 miles
Wednesday – 10 miles
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – 5 miles
Saturday – 5 miles or cross train depending on how the legs feel

Entire schedule

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