Post Race Fueling

After yesterday’s half metric century bike ride,  I pretty much had no appetite. It was weird! However, Mark was extremely hungry, so we stopped at the first place we saw, Crispers.

 

I ordered a broccoli cheddar soup

 

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…and a carribbean chicken flatbread.

 

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Both were delicious, but I only finished about 2/3 of each. I then came home and slept the afternoon away!

I was slightly hungrier when I woke up, so I tried to pack in some calories. I started with a refreshing beer…

 

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…and made a plate of randomness. I had a veggie burger, topped with chili, some cheddar cheese, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. All leftovers. All random.

 

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For dessert, Mark and I split a brownie and vanilla ice cream.

 

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Today, I woke at 5:00am absolutely ravenous! I seriously could not eat enough!  I easily ate twice as much as a normal non-workout day. It’s funny how our bodies work.

 

Looking back, I know that I probably did not eat nearly enough yesterday. I probably burned upwards of 1200 extra calories, and definitely did not consume that many extra.

 

I am debating which of these post-race fueling strategies is better:

 

a. Listen to your Brain: Eating when you know you should, even if you are not terribly hungry. I waited a good 6 hours between lunch and dinner because I was too lazy to get up. I probably did not eat enough nutrients to replenish what I used up.

 

b. Listen to your Stomach: Eating when you feel hungry… which is basically what I did. I didn’t get hungry until today, so I ate a ton! I ended up waking up feeling so lethargic. I feel like I left my tank empty for too long.

 

What is your post-race (or just post-tough exercise) fueling strategy? Do you have a strategy, or do you just wing it?

 

Normally I’m all about listening to my stomach, but I think after hard races, there needs to be a balance so I don’t end up starving. Next time I need to make a more conscious effort to eat properly so that I don’t feel energy zapped the next day!

 

❤ MegaNerd

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17 Responses

  1. Sometimes it’s best to let your body tell you what to do, and “wait out” the hunger like you did instead of forcing it!

  2. I just bought a 6-pack of Rising Moon because I love regular Blue Moon, but it’s too bitter for me! I think it’s the lime peel. Sad times. I hate wasting food/booze.

    Re: refueling… I have a hard time with that whenever I up my mileage. I’m just hungry all. the. time. It kind of sucks, really. Because it’s so hard to know if I’m overeating or not or if I’m right on target.

  3. I think it will also help if you eat more calories DURING the race too!! It’s so hard to eat when you aren’t hungry (sometimes haha).

  4. My appetite is so low after a long run or bike ride, I have a hard time getting in all those burned calories. I usually make myself eat something right after cause I know I should and then just listen to my tummy. This weekend I did that though (after a long run Sat morning) and barely had an appetite all day. On Sunday I felt really weak and tired and sick…. maybe because I didn’t eat enough?? I’ll have to listen to my brain some more! I’m new to this whole endurance training thing.

  5. I am definitely a wing-it kind of girl. Like today for instance, I burned about 500 calories from my workout, but wasn’t incredibly hungry afterward, so I just waited to eat at lunch time. Usually I will drink a Green Monster afterward, though, partially to refuel and partially out of habit.

  6. I usually listen to my stomach. If I go too long after working out and still don’t feel hungry, I might try to ‘make’ myself eat something, as long as it doesn’t make me feel sick!

  7. I think your last paragraph sums it up perfectly. If I have an intense workout (which, to be honest, isn’t really happening these days!) I make an effort to eat more that day, even if I don’t really feel like it. Otherwise, like you said, I just wake up feeling weak and sick the next day.

  8. Well done on the race!

    I find my appetite is always increased the day after a race or long training session – no matter how much I eat on the day, so I guess I try and go with a combination of both of your strategies. If I know I’ve burnt off around 1000 calories, I’ll eat half quite soon after the race and save half for the next day when I know I’ll be really hungry! On the day after I try and make sure I eat lots of slow releasing things like porridge (oatmeal) or wholemeal pasta, or else I’ll end up eating way more than I should! 😀

  9. My appetite is always way down after any race, so I just stick to a plan, pack x amount of food, and make sure I eat it. After all the couple of hours after hardwork are really vital for refueling to make your muscles better etc, so I find it’s worth just forcing myself to eat 🙂

  10. I’m usually not hungry after an intense race/workout, but my brain knows I need food to recover adequately. I usually compromise- I eat something that I know will be good for recovery, and then after that I just listen to my stomach. I eat what I’m hungry for. I’m like you- I’m usually much hungrier the day after- so I eat a lot then too! 🙂

  11. Most of the time I try to listen to my stomach, but I think you’re right that when there’s a MEGA calorie burn like that one, it’s better to strike more of a balance. But in general I find that after a hard workout I’m actually more hungry the NEXT day, so I don’t fret if I don’t eat back all of the calories on the day of the actual workout.

  12. My appetite usually only disappears for a few hours and then I’m ravenous, so I listen to my stomach. But it would be hard if the not-hungry feeling lasted all day. I guess I’d probably try to eat some calorie dense foods and call it good.

  13. Congrats on the race! Way to finish it:)

    I feel like listening to your body is the best way to refuel. There are tons of days I’ll get done with a run and have no appetite at all but when I do get hungry I just eat til I’m full! No problem there. haha

  14. I am always starving the day after a long run. After my 18miler I was still starving after 2days. I think your body knows when it needs more and we should honor it’s signals.

  15. I usually have zero appetite after long runs, so I usually eat something with protein in it anyways, but then I listen to my stomache. I want to enjoy food, and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER when I eat it when i’m hungry (or ravenous!).
    So I do a combo of both!

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