Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Wilful Over Consumption

That title sounds a bit dramatic doesn't it? Don't worry, it's nothing bad, and I'll return to that in a moment.

Yesterday was a rest day so I limited myself to a stroll to the gym where I spent 15 minutes stretching.

My legs didn't feel too bad, considering, just a little soreness in the calves. Compared to typical post marathon or post long run recovery I was way ahead of the game. For example, I had no problem with running up/down stairs but I didn't feel much inclination to do it.

This is where the title comes in.

On Saturday I carb loaded and hence went way over maintenance level in terms of calories. On Sunday I wasn't far off. So, yesterday the initial plan was to get my diet back in order by not quite eating to maintenance level.

By late afternoon that was pretty much where I was at but with 10 miles scheduled for today, a little soreness and a feeling of fatigue, I decided to give myself a blast of both protein and carbs; and therefore calories too.

I'd love to say it was all very clearly scientific, measured and structured but while it did include a protein shake, an extra serving of quorn, a glass of skimmed milk and a night time recovery drink (Nocte); it also included sweets, biscuits, chocolate, crisps and ice cream. That will have taken me some way over maintenance level.

Thing is though, there was a degree of design even to that. I felt jaded so was happy to bombard myself with carbs to refuel the muscles ahead of today's run but more than that I wanted to recognise that Sunday's run was a decent effort and accomplishment and in the context of that eating a number of treats was quite permissible. I could relax a little.

Not sure if that makes sense (or this bit) but from an emotional perspective it was very different to stress induced binges. There was little feeling that I had to cram as much in as possible (sometimes I've eaten lots of toast and cereal way beyond the point of being full and bloated) , no feeling of being hemmed in by diet and that it was one last hurrah, no feeling of self-sabotage. I wouldn't say it was entirely guilt free but it was certainly very much in that ball park.

That means that today I feel no guilt about it and a return to slight calorie restriction today isn't met with grim resolution but with contentment that that is the right thing to do today, as yesterday's intake was the right way to go then.


Maria said...

You seem to be handling everything with great balance right now. You do need to acknowledge that your long run was extremely long, and so listening to your body was the right thing to do. Going up to maintainance on rest days seems sensible, but it is hard to work out the after effects of such a long run in terms of muscle repair etc, so I think that as you were not eating mindlessly, but eating because your body felt you needed it, was right.

~Jessica~ said...

Sounds like you were just relaxing a bit and giving yourself a little treat or reward for doing such a stunningly quick run and then recovering so well. It's not even about the amount of food, but the emotions behind its consumption, that matters in my opinion. As long as your thoughts were in the right place, which it sounds like they were, then I don't think you have anything to be concerned about anyway!

Manj said...

Oh my, we were clearly on the same page but maybe reading different books :)

I too succumbed to a binge yesterday, except I felt that mine really wasn't justifiable and included too much of the wrong food, and this morning the guilty after effect was definitely felt.

However, reading your post has made me realise that perhaps that particular binge was needed at this point in training and I too can move on :) Thank you for the fortuitous timing of your post Rob :)

Alison said...

It definitely sounds like allowing yourself the extra food, rather than eating it in a sort of trance, is a big step forward. That and the absence of guilt. I think in many ways that's the most important part.

chris mcpeake said...

great post. Cool blog!