Monday, May 16, 2011

Gourmet On The Run

Wondering what does gourmet have in common with running? Or vice versa? Quite a lot actually. After spending about ten years wondering how eat in order not to gain weight, I had to change the attitude towards what to eat in order to survive my training and benefit from it. Given that I love good food that was very pleasant switch ...

As said above, I have spent about 10 years of my life (before summer 2009) finding out what to eat to stay lean and not gain weight. I always felt that it was unfair that some people can eat anything in any quantity and never gain weight. And lot of those people do not even care what they eat!!! And me, such a food lover (I mean not quantity, but quality food lover), I have always had to choose wisely in order to balance the intake with the energy I gave out. 

The first change that happened in the summer of 2009 was that I changed from being jogger to becoming runner. It is difficult to explain, easier in English than in the Czech language though. Jogging is the activity that you pretty much don’t care about, you can even little dislike it, but you know it’s damn effective for staying lean or shedding off some extra pounds / kilos. You become a runner when everything changes, when you feel excited to be able to go out and run, to get 5 seconds a mile faster on your next workout, to complete longer distance ... Of course, there will always be days when you just don’t feel like running (even Paula Radcliffe has those as commented in a mini-interview with her for 

But the main importance of the transition from jogger to runner is the attitude that changes. As a runner, you can appreciate what running brings in your life. It is the freedom and the wisdom. It feels to me as if each time I lace up and get out there, I am becoming a better person. Nonsenses from my overwhelmed brain disappear and my mind clears up. And becoming a runner means that you will never think poorly of someone you find on the track who might be running too slow or too fast ... they are just in another point of their training. When you go slow, it probably means that you have 10 more miles to do on your weekly long run or you are just beginning with running. I sometimes even feel the urge to cheer on the people who I can identify to be just starting with running - tell them “I was there, just don’t give up, it will become way more pleasant ...”. And it really does. 

OK, back to the food and to the topic of Gourmet on the Run. As I went deeply in the training for my half marathon in NYC in summer 2009, my mileage increased to approx. 20-30 miles a week. And a sudden change happened with my body. While maintaining my “not-to-gain-weight” diet, I felt exhausted and I was loosing the excitement that came from running. After doing bit of research, I realized that there is a time for big change and adjustment. Suddenly, I had to learn how to eat in order to support my running training. I had to increase my protein intake, eat also more carbs - can you understand it, after all those years I have been trying to eat less carbs, I literally had to eat more of them.

Long story short, there has been many testing and adjusting in order to avoid too much of an increase of my delicious food intake etc. The key is not to over-obsess with theory and listen to your body. But regular running definitely permits you to enjoy the food you like. And an interesting and very pleasant side effect - somehow automatically you become to long for healthier foods, or at least “real” foods and not the pre-processed ones and you become more aware of the quantity of alcohol you might intake on a Friday night. Because you just know that your training will be way more rewarding when your body is properly fueled  and not too exhausted by dealing with the excessive alcohol that came in the system. But don’t take me wrong, I still have one or few glasses of wine now and then or a delicious beer or two after demanding training, but I am trying to be more conscious ...

OK, so this article was originally meant to tell you about the delicious home-made pesto, hummus and brownies I made last week. But I guess this was a more important base stone of my journey as a runner. In short, I tend to cook more when I train hard, since you want to know what you are fueling your body with and also since I am a Gourmet on the Run!!! I will definitely share the recipes and photos with you in my future posts, this one is getting way too long.

I have just one last remark. I started my “serious running” and also using the Nike+ to map my running on May 16, 2009.

Happy 2nd anniversary to running, Nike+ and myself!!! :-)

Stay tuned, sign up for email updates or RSS feeds or leave a comment, tell me about your story or send me a link to your blog! And just keep running and listen to your body.

1 comment :

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