The Difference Between Eating Well and Eating Right
As my long runs get into 14-15 mile ranges for marathon training, I've had a few different instances where I hit the wall. Hard. It's somewhat disheartening, but it isn't as distressing as it has been sometimes in the past, primarily because I believe I know the culprit in my hardship.
The words of a friend of mine ring in my ears as I feel my body slowing down and my legs get heavier: "Fuel your body like a Ferrari, not a minivan."
Costco makes frozen food look good.
Keeping with that analogy, I think that I'm heading out the door with half a tank of low-grade gas and I end up running on fumes by the time I get to mile 7 or 8.
I've heard several variations on this phrase, most notably when a New England Patriots player had to miss a practice during the playoffs due to a rough bout with movie theatre food. My friend heard it from the owner of the gym he goes to. So it's not like I'm unaware of this truism nor do I just choose to ignore it. I do, however, have a bit of learning to do when it comes to what kind and what amount of nutrition my body needs when I'm pushing it into training for my first marathon.
My original line of thinking was that I just needed to work on similar proportions as I did for half marathon distances, but recent experiences are indicating otherwise. For instance, the jump between 10 and 15 miles feels like a geometrically bigger leap than going from 8-13 miles. I'm not new to exercising, running, or nutrition and I know that my body will perform differently based on what I put in it, but thinking more about this issue, the thought struck me that:
Eating well is not necessarily eating right.
Like I said, I'm not new at this so I have a pretty good grasp on eating well and general nutrition. General nutrition knowledge doesn't cut it when you really start making your body do challenging things, though. I knew this intellectually, but I didn't KNOW it. Mainly, I didn't - and still am figuring out - how much of a caloric increase my body needs if I'm expecting it to be performing optimally as I ratchet my miles up to 26.2.