Somewhat like this land was made for you and me, weekend mornings were made for long and foggy runs. Autumn has opened her heart to us and I’ve been feeling ready to rumble for over an hour on multiple occasions. Of course, social duties call to runners too in the way of weekend brunch. If I’m not up and out the door early enough for a run, I’ll miss catching up on the past week’s events with my friends. Too late a wake up call means I tend to miss a run, which always blows. This weekend though, I tried something new: eating brunch and then taking a run immediately after.
Crazypants, I know. But even though I was mildly terrified as to what the results would be, I gave it a whirl. And it kind of rocked.
Most runners tend to have an eating plan before they run. My plan? Don’t do it. Healthy, right?
I’ve avoided eating before a run for a few reasons. One, I hate working out with any sort of feeling of being full. That extra weight makes me lethargic and tired. Two, I live a life of fear, and one of my fears includes cramping. While yes, I can run through a cramp, it’s never my favorite plan of attack. Three, my brother’s nickname on the track team was “Puke.” He was known for throwing up during workouts. The last thing I want to do is be yarfing (yes, yarfing) on the side of Lake Merritt. Or worse, in a Piedmont neighborhood’s bushes.
Most runner’s will tell you that the “don’t do it” plan is not the dance to do. Here’s the deal: According to Runner’s World, If you don’t eat at least a little food before and during long runs, your blood sugar will crash, and so will you. On the other hand, most runners know that consuming too much food too soon before a run can trigger side stitches, nausea and even runner’s trots. You may have to experiment a bit, but eating about 250 calories an hour or two before the run usually will keep your energy up for 60 to 90 minutes. (Anyone else love how RW calls it “runner’s trots” while I selected “the runner’s deuce” for that phenomenon?)
With this in mind, I decided it might not be the worst thing ever to run after a light Saturday brunch; besides, knowing a run was around the corner made it easier to resist a veggie Benedict and agree to fruit and homemade granola. And only two cups of coffee! Gasp. So after a bowl of granola, a cup of berries, and a lot of belly-aching laughter, I bid my brunch crew farewell and hit the pavement.
I was hypersensitive to how I felt during this post-eating run. I actually selected a path that could stretch out into 7+ miles, but could also be cut short in case of any pain. Of course, I also made sure I knew where every public bathroom in a one mile radius was in case of disaster. My alertness was unwarranted though as I felt remarkably good throughout my entire run, and even afterward. I got home and even plowed through some dirty dishes before hitting the shower.
Final tally? Seemed that eating before I ran left me feeling fine, just fine. While I remain unconvinced I normally want to eat and run, it’s good to know that the possibility does exist, and I don’t have to wake up extra early on the weekends if a good brunch crew is in order.
*Remember kittens, do what’s best for your own body when it comes to running and working out. You might need to eat before a run, during a run, or after a run. I’ll be writing more about this topic soon, but don’t feel like you should or should not do something if it helps you feel amazing while you’re out there!