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On Exhaustion and Hunger (Read 953 times)


madness baby

    I started running about a month ago. Of course I was not suprised at how sore I was my first couple of weeks, but I have been so surpised at how hungry and tired I have been. I have been falling asleep while relaxing on the couch in the evenings- very unusual for me. Also, my appetite has increased considerably. I am tracking my calories and trying to make sure I'm eating balanced meals, etc, but just wasn't expecting to be so affected by running. I mean, I was in decent shape before starting to run (or so I thought) and didn't imagine running would do this to me. My body does seem to be adapting well enough, but I'm just surprised at the exhaustion and hunger! Any thoughts, will this change with time as I get more accustomed to it?
    deb


    Needs more cowbell!

      During my early months I remember being REALLY wiped-out all day after a run. The appetite thing has really been an issue for me, too. I started running in an effort to be rid of my last 10-15#s and now I have 25 to lose. I think there may be other things at play, here (I am having my thyroid checked on Monday), but running has definitely increased my appetite and I know that happens to others, too. Some people (like my tall, naturally thin MIL) have the opposite effect. Those are the people I would like to smack--and hard. Now I find that I am only tired after my longest run each week. My shorter ones don't seem to have that exhausting effect, anymore. k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Scout7


      CPT Curmudgeon

        Well, this could be a few things. I'm not a nutritional expert, so take what I say for what it's worth. You track your calories, so you should have a good idea of what your intake is. Hopefully, you also know what the ratios are of different nutrients (how many grams of carbs, proteins, fat, etc.). As a runner, you're going to obviously need to take in more calories than a sedentary person. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what your specific requirements are, but there are calculators out there to give you an idea based on a few factors. I would try a few of them to get a couple different numbers, then try to average them out. That should get you pretty close to how much you should need. If you're trying to lose weight, you would then take off about 500 calories from the daily requirement. You should lose about a pound a week, give or take. Another possibility here is that your carbohydrate consumption isn't high enough. You're doing endurance sports. Your dietary requirements are going to be different. You need to increase your carb consumption, because that is the preferred fuel. That means eating more fruit, more whole grains, and more potatoes. Yes, potatoes, they are a runner's friend. Additionally, you may want to make sure that you're getting enough iron. Spinach or a vitamin will help with that aspect of things. I'm assuming that you're pretty new to running, and the adjustment does take some time. Eventually, though, your body will get used to the increased demands.
          My first thought was iron. You might want to get your iron stores checked just to be sure. If you are low, there are supplements that work pretty well. Otherwise it is probably just your body getting adjusted to the new workload. I can remember feeling like that when I've amped my mileage, but you do adjust to it.

          Runners run.


          A Dance with Monkeys

            To run, you need calories. To propel yourself at speed, you need stored glycogen, which is the storage version of carbs. At any given time your body stores a maximum of about 2000 cal of glycogen. Your body does not particularly care how it gets those carbs (i.e., there really is no such thing as junk carbs in terms of glycogen storage, however complex carbs are less likely to be easily absorbed from your GI tract and therefore less likely to replenish glycogen or to make you gain weight). French fries and potato chips help replenish glycogen as well as pasta, but bring with them extra fat. High fructose corn syrup may be more likely than other simple carbs to form abdominal fat when consumed in excess. Whether you run or not, your body uses up about a third to a half of its glycogen just to keep you alive as you sleep at night, so you are constantly using and replenishing your glycogen. To sustain and increase muscle mass you need proteins. To do this, you need to consume the variety of amino acids that serve as the building blocks for protein. As long as you are able to find and eat the diversity of needed amino acids, including the ones that your body cannot manufacture on its own (the so called, essential amino acids) then the source does not matter. If you like tofu, so be it. Egg whites, great. Steak or fish or chicken, bring it on. As long as you are getting all the needed amino acids in sufficient quantity, you should be fine (see the article on proteins in this past month's TN Running magazine). To sustain yourself when not running at maximal pace and to support your running at that pace, you need fats. You are always burning some fat, even when running at maximal pace; the proportion of calories supporting your effort coming from fat simply drop as you increase your effort. One pound of stored fat is enough to propel most runners about 80 miles, provided that there are also enough carbs around to support the fat (or that the runner is running slow enough that the carbs are not the major energy source). There are lots of different fats out there, and some are better than others. The fats that are bad are considered so because they damage your body in ways that the better fats do not, and some of the good fats actually protect your body. Trans fats inflame arteries. Saturated fats do the same, and increase your risk of cancer. Cholesterol fills the walls of the inflamed arteries. As we are learning more about fats, it seems that the more natural fats (e.g., olive oil, butter, grain oils) have fewer troubles than the relatively synthetic ones. The major problem with snacks and fast foods is that they are made using the synthetic oils that contain the trans- or saturated- fats. Eating out at nice restaurants, you often will encounter just as many hidden fats and bad fats as you will at a fast food restaurant, so don't be fooled by ambiance or price. However you choose to eat, you need to do it in a way that is sustainable. If you feel like you are eating special on a diet, or feel like you do not have energy then you will not sustain that type of intake. If all you eat is fast food, you will balloon up, feel terrible and then get sick and die, also not sustainable. A nice balance of interesting foods, including a healthy and well balanced base with occasional snacks and meals out is generally sustainable and inexpensive. Making your own foods helps you be in control, cut cost, and ensure that you get the needed calories to support your running. You do not need to eat salads only, and can loose weight eating pasta and bread and rice, so long as you balance those things with proteins and healthy fats, and keep the portions in balance with your energy needs. You can use on line sites like nutritiondata.com to figure out how many calories are in a serving of food, and match your running miles (~100-130 cal/mile) and your living calories (~1500-2000 cal/day) with what you eat. If you weigh, for example, 160 lbs and you run 20 miles per week, you need approximately 1800 cal/day to live and an additional 2600 cal/week for your running. No more.


            madness baby

              This is such great advice, thank you everybody. I looked up my caloric needs on a johns hopkins site and it says 1470-1680 cal/day for mod-active lifestyle (respectively). Sparkpeople says the same thing to maintain my current weight. I have been averaging about 1600 cals/day. I looked at Nutrition Data's site, but I feel that they overestimated my calories a lot. It said 2165 for daily needs + 175/day to account for running. Ok, sorry, TMI, just thinking things through. I was originally tracking calories to lose my honeymoon weight from August and make sure I was getting enough protein, iron and potassium, and have been trying (with little success) to decrease my sodium intake. I have lost a few pounds, which is significant on my tiny frame, but now with my increased appetite I have been getting worried. I seem to justify more food as a reward for excellent training. Shame shame! I will definitely increase my carbs. That's hard for me. I did it the couple of days before races but it's hard for me to eat lots of pasta. The suggestion for more whole grains and fruit is good. And potatoes! I have low potassium, so I def. need that. I've always been worried about iron, so I do take an iron supplement every couple of days for that. And hopefully my body will get adjusted better. I am completely wiped out the days I run, and then I eat so much that day and the next. Unfortunately, if the next day is NOT a run day, it can get me into trouble. One of the reasons I began running was to distract me from my husband's eating habits and to counteract the newlywed weight. What do they call it - "the newlywed nine"? That would be a lot on my small frame! Modified-Oops, left out the word "NOT" a run day. If the next day is a run day, I'm not worried about eating more. I'm worried when I'm sitting on my computer for 10 hours eating everything in sight!
              deb
              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                Don't worry about the non-run days and your caloric intake too much. So long as you are consistent with your work-outs, you should be able to maintain your caloric intake at the same level for every day. Additionally, don't worry about weight (not that you specifically are). A better guide is how well your clothes fit. If you find that you can't lose much weight, yet your pants get looser, what's that tell ya? Remember, muscle weighs more than fat, so you'll end up replacing some of the weight lost, yet still be leaner and more in shape. And, on top of that, muscles burn calories, even when not being actively used. Hence the reason bodybuilders have to eat such high levels, yet have minimal fat levels on them, and do little to no cardiovascular work.
                  My first thought was also caloric intake, and specifically carbs. If that picture of you is accurate, I'm guessing a few hundred extra calories a day isn't going to hurt. Cool Have you also considered that you may just be running too hard, too often? To be honest, I don't remember what it felt like in the first month of running - but I do know that these days, I have to work pretty hard to actually tire myself out. I peeked at your log: in one month, you went from 0 running to 15 miles per week, you've already run two time trials (or were they races?), you've run 16 days out of 30, your long run is already up to 6 miles, and you've already started doing tempo runs. All of which is, of course, freakin' awesome ... but it's quite a workload. Were you a runner before? Or another kind of athlete? If not, if you really went from being completely sedentary to that kind of running ... no wonder you're tired out! Another thing: it looks like ALL of your runs are at a sub-10:00 pace; and your long run pace is, at most, only 30 seconds slower than your race pace. Too fast, in my opinion. And it would definitely explain the tiredness. If I were you, I'd change one thing: I'd make sure at least two of your runs each week are really EASY runs. As in, maybe 10:30-11:00 pace. Maybe slower. A jog. It won't hurt your training; it will probably help. And you may stop needing the naps. Smile
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                  madness baby

                    If I were you, I'd change one thing: I'd make sure at least two of your runs each week are really EASY runs. As in, maybe 10:30-11:00 pace. Maybe slower. A jog. It won't hurt your training; it will probably help. And you may stop needing the naps. Smile
                    Yes, you are totally right. I realize now that I have a watch that I was running my easy runs too hard. I will definitely slow down. Not a problem! I also have lost my honeymoon weight now, and my clothes are fitting back to the way they are supposed to (Ha!), so I am not concerned about weight much, except for maintaining. My main goal is to tone up all over. I have had a pretty rapid increase in mileage but I feel good about it. It's getting easier as I go along and I'm realizing the value of resting. Before running, I was going to the gym a few times a week for cardio and doing some strength training. I just had never run before. Aah, the tempo run. This was yesterday when was my husband pushing me on a very windy day. And I don't care about time, really, just finishign a half running, so I don't know why I huffed and puffed along with him. He also had a meeting to get to and had was going to be late. Not a good reason for me to do a faster run! Not all of my runs are sub-10 minute paces, just the race times pretty much (a 5K and a 5-mile race). Thanks for the help, and I'll try to remember to take it slower, as in easy runs. EASY. And eating more carbs. Does red wine count?
                    deb
                      Does red wine count?
                      Alcohol always helps. One of these days I'm downing a fifth of gin before a marathon, just to test my theory. I expect a PR. Or death. Not sure which. By the way, I heard that to get the full health benefits of red wine, you have to consume some ridiculous amount. Like 10 bottles a day. So get started. Pace yourself.
                      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                      madness baby

                        By the way, I heard that to get the full health benefits of red wine, you have to consume some ridiculous amount. Like 10 bottles a day. So get started. Pace yourself.
                        Well, as you can tell I'm not that good at pacing, so I might need some help with those bottles. It's 3 pm and I haven't finished my first. Just kidding, I am drinking water. (Geez, people, don't take everything so seriously!) It's too bad we're not rats, huh, then science would be on our side!
                        deb
                          It's 3 pm and I haven't finished my first.
                          Now that's funny. Start earlier tomorrow.
                          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                            Not all of my runs are sub-10 minute paces, just the race times pretty much (a 5K and a 5-mile race).
                            Nothing more to add to the topic--it's pretty much all been covered--other than to say your running picture looks like it is in Brentwood. Correct? What race was it? And if so, that probably narrows down where you are doing your grad work.
                            My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48


                            madness baby

                              Nothing more to add to the topic--it's pretty much all been covered--other than to say your running picture looks like it is in Brentwood. Correct? What race was it? And if so, that probably narrows down where you are doing your grad work.
                              Good one! It was Brentwood. The Harvest 5K a few weeks ago. Were you there? No, I'm not at UCLA, my husband is-I'm at Claremont.
                              deb
                                Good one! It was Brentwood. The Harvest 5K a few weeks ago. Were you there? No, I'm not at UCLA, my husband is-I'm at Claremont.
                                No, I wasn't there for the race, but I am familiar with and have run in the area in the past.
                                My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
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