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Picking Up The Pace

April 7, 2011

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my intuitive eating post – they were really thoughtful and interesting. Just to pick up on something that Laura said in her comment about preferring healthy foods. I totally agree and actually thinking about intuitive eating has made me realise how much I actually enjoy healthy food. I can honestly say if I had the choice of eating a juicy slice of melon or a bar of chocolate I would choose melon 99% of the time. However, by giving myself permission to eat previously “forbidden” foods I think it prevents them becoming a temptation that I gorge myself on and feel guilty about later.

Yesterday morning I got in my first run of the week. The 10k plan I’m following called for 15 mins at effort level 6. At the moment I haven’t got any high-tech equipment, I’m just relying on a basic sports watch and the effort levels that the plan describes. Level 1-4 are walking and 5+ is running. All my previous runs have been at level 5 (i.e. a very easy run) and I was looking forward to taking it up a notch. The problem was that I think I took it up at least a couple of notches. I survived and kept going but it was a struggle and my face was burning, nicely matching my pink top by the time I got back. The good thing is I think I now know what level 6 is (a notch below what I was doing) and I haven’t suffered from any soreness today.

I also got my pre-run food wrong. I woke up starving yesterday I really wanted to eat something before I started out. I had a Nairn’s oatcake and three dates, but it didn’t sit well while I was running. I think I’m better off with an empty stomach, but I really hate feeling hungry. On Sunday I had a small glass of juice before running, which was fine, so I think I’ll try that again tomorrow.

I’ve been a bit slack in taking photos of my food lately, but I have had a couple of really nice lunches that are worth a mention. Yesterday I mixed together some brown rice, cucumber, red pepper, sweetcorn and chickpeas:


I enjoyed it so much that today’s lunch was a variation on the same theme. This time I mixed together quinoa, cucumber, red pepper, sweetcorn and feta cheese:


Yesterday I also tried out a Raw bar that I picked up in Cambridge:


I am a huge fan of brazil nuts and I was really pleased to see big pieces of them in the bar. It was truly juicy as the name suggests and was a really substantial snack that kept me going between breakfast and lunch. The downside for me was that it had quite a strong coconut flavour and I’m not that into coconut. If you’re a coconut fan I think this will be perfect for you. I’m going to be contrary now and confess that I have developed a coconut water habit. Somehow I like the taste in liquid form (the same goes for pina coladas and Malibu!) and coconut water is really satisfying after a workout. At the moment, for the sake of my bank balance, I’m only having a can after my weekly gym visit which is my longest and hardest workout of the week.

I had a great gym workout today to earn my can of coconut water SmileI was feeling really tired and lethargic when I got home. I decided the best thing to do was to take a power nap. That 30 minutes of shut eye really injected some energy into my workout and everything seemed so much easier and enjoyable. I am a nap-addict. I started when I left school after my A-Levels and had loads of free time – I would have a nap everyday just because I could. Things escalated at university when I burned the candle at both ends – getting up at a stupid hour for rowing training and staying out late several times a week. I don’t take naps too often now, but sometimes they just hit the spot. The ideal length is 30-45 mins to feel refreshed.

Are you a fan of taking naps?

Do you run first thing in the morning? If so do you eat anything first?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2011 7:25 pm

    Working on RPE takes some practice — it’s definitely easy to overshoot! Before you’ve done that though, it’s difficult to map out your own scale. So in a way it’s kinda necessary..

    And you know, I had a convo with my PT yesterday and sleep, and he actually recommended that I sleep a little less at night and then take a nap mid-afternoon, to help combat my lethargy 🙂

  2. April 7, 2011 8:00 pm

    I can’t do naps as they tend to knock my body clock right out of sync, sometimes I really wish I could. If I’m not working out really hard and have fuelled well the day before then sometimes I’ll run on empty but usually I like a couple of dates just for a boost. Have your tried a small glass of orange juice? It would give you some energy to fuel the run but hopefully shouldn’t sit too heavy on your stomach. Thanks for the mention, I see the fact that I really love healthier foods over other stuff as a sign of how far I’ve came. Two years ago I would have ripped your arm off for a macdonalds now the thought turns my stomach! I think you have the right approach with not making any foods off limits x

  3. April 7, 2011 8:04 pm

    I like that lunch idea – quick, easy, and yummy. I may be stealing it soon.

  4. April 7, 2011 8:13 pm

    Odd, I am the opposite: I love anything else coconutty yet hate coconut water. It just seems so bitter to me!

    I wish I could nap…heck, I wish I could sleep properly 😉 But power naps are indeed meant to be the way to go in terms of maintaining good energy levels.


  5. April 7, 2011 9:57 pm

    I love coconut after- so refreshing, but it is even better in a smoothie with some frozen fruit- yummy!
    If I am running 3 miles or less I can do it on empty in the morning, but any longer and I have breakfast and let it go down,. But I can in the pm go about 30 mins after a cereal bar- so you could try something else small?
    But for me it is porridge all the way now (although that used to make me feel sick on a run even though I had it every other day, so I used to run on cornflakes- I trained up my stomach!)
    Its trial and error though- everyone is different.

  6. April 8, 2011 3:58 am

    I can’t remember the last time I took a nap. I’m torn on them- sometimes I feel like I could really use the sleep, but I hate feeling like I’m missing part of my day!

  7. April 8, 2011 6:30 pm

    If I exercise in the mornings first thing I don’t eat much, I have an espresso and half a N’ked bar and thats all I can stomach but I’m not clocking out 10km though 😉

  8. April 9, 2011 2:58 pm

    I tend to exercise in the afternoons mostly because thats how it fits into my scheduel…I prefer to run on an empty stomach then rehydrate, and refuel about an hour later! Im loving your salads of late! Chickpeas are the yummiest of legumes =]


  9. April 9, 2011 6:16 pm

    Great to hear your training is going well! I think figuring out what works best for you (pre-workout fuel wise) is a difficult one. Once you find something though its great to not have to worry about how it will affect you.
    I love that bar, too!

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