Tag Archives | training

Race Training: What I Eat on Training Days

Training for a race is a lot of work – Running, cross training, recovering, keeping yourself healthy, and – My favorite part – Fueling your body.

As I talked about in my Race Training for the Injured post – I love running, but due to my chronic injuries, I’m not able to follow a standard training program.

Even with only one run a week in my program, I’m still working very hard in preparation for my next race, and fueling my body with whole foods. And plenty of them.

My diet right now is decently high in carbs and fat, and really high in protein. A challenge with a vegetarian diet, but not impossible.

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Here’s a peek into what I’ll eat on a standard running day.

  • 7am – Coffee or tea & half of a No Cow Bar
  • 8am – Head out for a run w/ the other half of the No Cow Bar in the pocket of my running tights
  • 10am – As soon as I’m home from my run I’ll make a quick smoothie
  • 11am – After the quick hit of carbs and protein from the smoothie, I’ll make something more substantial like a veggie scramble. High in protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals
  • 2pm – Pasta made with zucchini noodles and chopped veggies & tomatoes
  • 5:30pm – A large salad or roasted vegetables with a veggie burger on the side
  • 7pm – Bedtime snack of apples or rice cakes with Fluffbutter

What do YOU eat on training days? How do you fuel your runs?

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Race Training for the Injured

As a long-time athlete, I’ve learned a lot about my body. For the most part, I can tell when I should sit something out, and when I can push myself. I’ve trained and competed while injured many times of the years. Broken collarbones {gymnastics}, dislocated shoulders {volleyball}, and spinal injuries {diving} haven’t done much to slow me down over the years. But what they have done is taught me how to listen to my body and how to train smarter instead of longer/harder.

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Leggings & Tank – Fabletics

Active Colorblock Windbreaker – Forever 21

Sneakers – Saucony

Here are a few things that I’ve learned to apply to my programming over the years:

  1. Rest when needed – No matter how careful you are with training, you will hit a wall at some point. You need to learn to listen to your body and realize when fatigue can’t be pushed through.
  2. Recovery is vital – Giving your body time to recover is important, but you also need to think about the foods that you put in your body which also impact your recovery.
  3. Fuel is everything – How you fuel your body before, during, and after training is imperative for keeping your body in top condition. All of your hard work will be wasted if you try to keep yourself going on Hot Pockets and Coke.
  4. Invest in your equipment – Whether that means a bike or running shoes, you want to research what will work best for your needs. Quality equipment can stave off injury as well as help you heal.

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So how have I applied these to my own training? With back and feet injuries, I realized that following a traditional half marathon training schedule wasn’t feasible. Attempting 2-3 runs a week left me in so much pain that I couldn’t get through all the runs and my cross-training.

What works for me is, like I spoke about in my Workout Schedule: Weight Training & Race Prep post, is one run a week. I do either a longer, somewhat slower run, or a shorter, faster run. From a cardiovascular standpoint I’m capable of running 13 miles if I manage my pace, so training is much more about preparing my body to take the intense physical beating. 3-7 miles once a week does just that – My joints and muscles stay in top shape, without being overworked to the point of increasing my pain levels.

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{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

I’m sure by now some of you are thinking – Why do you keep running?

Because I love it!

I started running in my 20’s to get outside when I became utterly sick of the gym, and I quickly became addicted. And I just LOVE racing. I may not be fast, but the excitement and fun and rush of race day is a total blast.

I’d love to try a half triathlon in the future, but for now I’m stick to a few foot races a year. In the past year I ran five – The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Race, the San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health 10k to benefit the Feed Project, the Golden Gate Half Marathon, and the Kaiser Half Marathon.

Have YOU ever trained for a race or competition while injured? Any tips?

Reminder: I’m not a doctor and I don’t have background on your specific injury/injuries. Please do not take this post as a personal recommendation to you for race training – Please speak to your doctor about what would work best for you.

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SF Half Marathon

After loving every minute of the Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile race that I ran in April I immediately signed up for the San Francisco Half Marathon.

And then promptly got side lined by my doctor due to a foot injury.


I love running in general. Even more than just being a wonderful form of exercise, it’s absolutely vital for my peace of mind. It’s how I work off stress and frustration, it’s how I take a break from daily life, and it’s how I put a smile on my face!

Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled with being told to sit on the sidelines for nearly two months while we tried some different treatments on my aching feet.

Towards the end of June I gave a short midday run a try, then headed out on my favorite lake-side trail over the fourth of July weekend for my first “real” run. That means I had roughly four weeks to train for the July 31st San Francisco Half Marathon.

Rather than panic or stress myself out with expectations and fears, I decided to just give myself a break. Physically I knew I was capable of the distance, I work out regularly and have excellent cardiovascular health, and if I could keep my injuries in check, I knew that I’d be fine.

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I intentionally started this post before the race so that I could give honest feedback on my mental and physical states going into as well as finishing the race.

Side note for those of you who are new to MCLV – Welcome! Welcome! – I am a perfectionist. I am a Type A, high achieving, pain-in-the-booty. When I tackle something new – I am ALL IN. So going into this race knowing that I might not do as well as I wanted or even, gasp, not be able to finish at all, is a new feeling.

Here I am, writing down these less than inspirational words, on Saturday, the night before my race… So rather than go into it discouraged or with doubt in my mind – I’ve decided to adopt the oft repeated credo of The Ginger Runner {my favorite ultra-marathoning YouTuber}.

My goal is to have fun and to finish. That’s it.

Post-Race Update:

I did SO MUCH better than I thought I would. I was scared that I’d be disappointed by my time, but I was thrilled when I realized that I finished in 2 hours. My back didn’t bother me at all during the run, though my right foot hurt for a few miles and my left foot made itself felt around mile 11.

So, in summary, I had a blast, loved the beautiful, fog-covered course, and can’t wait to sign up for my next race!

Have YOU ever run a half marathon? Do you have a favorite race in Northern California?

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