Last week, I read an article in the WSJ called Why Runners Canâ€™t Eat Whatever They Want.
Total clickbait, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker and clicked right through. Iâ€™ve been thinking about the relationship between running, food and weight loss/maintenance lately, so it was a timely read for me.
I really like to eat (and, letâ€™s be real, drink wine), so long distance running really appealed to me. I started my whole weight-loss adventure on kind of Paleo-lite, and started training for my first marathonÂ shortly thereafter. While I NEVER counted calories, I went from being fairly strict with my diet to â€œokay, I can eat mostly healthy but can have a lotÂ more carbs.”
I tried to stay away from obviously unhealthy foods like fried food and really rich and creamy foodâ€”and mostly white foodsâ€”but anything else, so long as it didnâ€™t upset my jerk of a stomach was basically fine by me.
This is also around the time I stopped blogging about all of my meals. (Which, thank god on that.)
Like I said, Iâ€™ve never counted calories, so I never thought: I run 6 miles a day, I can eat 600 calories of ___. But I definitely loosely correlated: Iâ€™m running a lot, I can eat more. And it basically worked. I mostly maintained my weight. Any weight gain has been during periods of less running.
But Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director (whom I met in October!), was recently diagnosed with coronary artery disease and a study in Missouri Medicine showed men who ran at least one marathon a year, for 25 years, had higher incidences of coronary disease than those who hadnâ€™t. Amby Burfoot, editor-at-large of RW, also found out he had high coronary calcium, a condition probably similar to McGillivrayâ€™s.
My sensitive stomach is usually pretty self-regulating with my diet – I feel awful if I have really rich food, so I usually stay away from it – but I try not to go too crazy post-race.
So while I think we all know deep down that no matter how much you run, you canâ€™t outrun the negative effects of a poor diet, itâ€™s still pretty easy to convince yourself you can, and I think all runners are probably guilty of this sometimes.
What about you? Do you feel running gives you a pass on what you eat sometimes?Â â€¦and whatâ€™s your favorite post-race treat?