Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Diet Tweaks

I figured my tummy issues during Sunday's Xterra run were a fluke. But now not so much. My stomach ache has yet to fully disappear, even when I'm just resting. It's way different than that flu feeling, so I know it's not food poisoning or something. I attempted swim this morning and even that was no bueno. Ugh.

My first thought: it's not the food I'm eating, it's that I'm drinking too much coffee/caffeine lately--that's the only glaring difference in my diet as of late. With evening classes, that extra big mug of caffeine is a permanent fixture and my daily oz intake of joe is probably off the charts. Combine that with the stresses of exercise and life-in-general. Not that I'm "stressed out" but I am always on the go and sometimes forget to just chill out.

So... I think it's reasonable to wean myself off the coffee to see if that's the culprit, as well as keep on with more rest than normal. Nothing to lose, everything to gain with O-side on the horizon.

Stomach/GI issues are not completely new in my world. Last year I went to the doctor because I was experiencing some bad stuff during long runs. We determined that cramping, etc, would happen on the runs that were being done in the late afternoon--in other words, after eating at least a couple meals & snacks, so we figured it'd be good to try running in the a.m. It worked alright. Then offseason came.

Now that long runs are consistently back in my life, I've looked over my training log and I'm seeing a trend: cramps/issues occur more often than not when I get into double-digit miles, that's especially the case in the last couple months. I still do long runs pre-lunchtime but post-breakfast and post 1-2 cups of coffee. In training I'll allow myself to stop briefly and let the pain pass. I won't do that in a race--duh!--which is one reason why I think I had that episode at Xterra.

Also, before you ask, my breakfasts are nothing elaborate. I make a point to avoid majorly high-fiber breakfasts because I know what that can do. I also have lower-GI foods. Normally I will have some form of gluten-free carbs (either GF pancakes from TJs, brown rice tortillas, oatmeal, etc), protein (eggs or sometimes yogurt) and a little fruit.

Anyways, I'll stop rambling about gross issues, but it's something I hope to nail down sooner than later..... I just realized I'm signed up for Boise 70.3 and that starts at 2 p.m. uh oh.


  1. Giving up coffee? That's just crazy talk...

    Keep us posted on what you find out and thanks again for answering my shoe/saddle questions.

    All the best,


  2. Have you read any literature on the work done by Bob Sebohar? fuel4manceblog.blogspot.com/ He wrote a book called "metabolic efficiency training: Teaching the body to burn fat" obviously not that you need the fat side of the topic but may be the sugar side? I dont know just a thought. He talks a lot about how to control long run nutrition/cramping issues with regard to blood sugar and that defeats the cramping issues.

  3. try switching to half caf, i did that i realised i stopped getting afternoon headaches, i know thats not your issue. but it might help, also, no coffee after 5pm, thats a no no.

  4. off the caf til O'side. Lookin like I will be in Boise as well. that 2pm start is going to be interesting. Here's hoping you get this under control b4 O'side.

  5. You probably have done this, but have you ever tracked all your food intake so you can correlate foods with runs (GI issues)? Hope the coffee trick works!

  6. Hope you figure it out. I'm so glad caffeine doesn't give me major problems like that, it's a key ingredient in my races.

  7. wow. no caffeine? i'd crumble! keep us updated on how the experiment goes. i was thinking of cutting out caffeine the week before race day, but i'm worried it will do more harm than good (headache/withdrawls)..so sad my addiction :)

  8. i've had similar problems... most of my days are class 8-5. I always drink way too much coffee, forget to hydrate, and then sometimes forget snacks. let's just say it's an ugly and nasty combo. i've had to learn my lesson from this more than once. hope you sort it out :)

  9. I go back and forth with Caffeine too. I love the taste of coffee so cld never give it up. I drink half caff unless I really need the extra jump. I also don't find any added benefit from caffeine by giving it up the week before a race then going full throttle race morning. But some swear by it.

    But in reading what u ate before the Blk Mtn run I wonder if u just took in too much. Remember that before a run race you want to eat/drink less. U really don't need much to get through a 90min race. Try a GU for the 100 calories (and caffeine) instead of FRS+coffee. That way your stomach isn't packed full and sloshing around when you start. Your dinner from the night before is more important. Plus, you don't have the time from the swim/bike for the food to settle. Just an idea to try to reduce your intake b4 pure running races.