With a little help from my friends
My wife and I moved to Boston this past July. I’m pretty outgoing, and she goes where I go. But between planning for our wedding last September, both of our work schedules, training, and her school; we really don’t know very many people outside of work. That’s the primary reason we joined the triathlon team (although the training and sponsorships didn’t hurt).
Thankfully I made some terrific friends during my time in Columbus. One of those, Bengi, is a former co-worker and one of my very best friends. Bengi, along with my friends Chuck and Dan, have been sources of support and inspiration to me for years. In fact, Bengi was kind enough to unknowingly supply the inspiration for today’s post.
Bengi has gotten into distance running. She started last season by following a progression from walking to running, and then did a few 5k’s while working on her goal of finishing a half marathon. Not only did she finish, but she threw a 2:32 in her first half mary last fall. I can run that far that fast too… in my dreams. Anyways, she’s starting to ramp up for this season and because she looks to me as a font of knowledge, she asked me the following question:
“What do you eat in the morning before you workout? and after?”
Now that I think about it, she might look to me as a font of knowledge regarding just food. Not that she’d be wrong, but maybe I need to have a talk with Bengi about why she asked me this.
Anyways, it’s my very amateur opinion that what you eat before you work out is important, but not nearly so much as what you eat AND drink after.
Of course it’s important to eat properly before you workout. The question of what’s proper depends on what you can tolerate having in your stomach during a workout. We’re all different in this respect. I usually have a nice sized bowl of shredded mini-wheats about half an hour before my morning workouts. It’s full of carbs, and has enough fiber to make me feel full without eating too much, and a little sugar to wake me up.
I only learned how important eating after my workout was when I started swimming long distances in the morning. As usual I learned the hard way. The first few times I swam long distance in the morning, I’d get to work, sit down at my desk; and eat my entire lunch before the rest of the office finished their morning coffees.
Now, I plan ahead. I pack something to eat right after the workout so I’m not starving before I pull into the parking lot. Usually its a Clif Bar, or sometimes a fiber bar. Fiber bars are pretty filling, and usually contain about 100 fewer calories than the typical nutrition bar.
Most importantly though, is to replenish fluids lost during the workout. Not only does better hydration lead to better workouts, but a nice big glass of water can help you feel fuller without extra calories.
I know there are a lot of different theories on how to eat, and research says a lot of different things. This is just what works for me. I’d love to know what hints any of you may have, and I’m sure so would Bengi!