Last Week in Running + GF Energy

>> Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I think one of my biggest worries with going gluten-free is that it will somehow impact my energy levels, especially while working out. I have a 4-mile race this weekend where -- ideally -- I'd like to PR. Obviously going GF doesn't mean going carb-free, that's another thing entirely.

Still, how will my body react without its usually well-stocked arsenal of bread?

Here's last week's at-a-glance from Daily Mile:

M: Totally off (after speedy 10-mile LSD)
T: 5 miles easy around the neighborhood
W: 3 treadmill miles, alternating 1/2 mile repeats 8:30/7:30 pace + kettlebells
T: 4 miles easy around the neighborhood
F: Totally off
S: OFF (drove to my hometown/back + was too tired)
S: OFF (cleaned house, 2-year-old's birthday, wasn't a priority)

Underwhelming, no? Grand total of 12 miles for the week. I'd say a "bad" week of exercise happens to me every 5 or 6 weeks. Of course, any exercise is good -- and I'm happy I'm not injured because my knee was giving me guff earlier in the year. Sometimes life just get in the way. Or perhaps the previous week had been more taxing than I'd realized.

In this case, yes + yes. It happens.

I made up for my lack of a long run on Monday afternoon with a 7.5 jaunt. It's a step-back week PLUS a slight taper, so I doubt I'll get over 20 this week. However, if I'm not too sore after Saturday's race, I would like to run 10 miles on Sunday. We shall see.

I rarely write about strength training using anything besides body weight ($0 Strength Training is my favorite). I never did much and then I got pregnant and did even less. I've started up a little routine that I do twice weekly. What I'm discovering already is that I also need to balance this out with stretching. I tried doing a wheel (yoga) yesterday -- usually a fun pose for me -- and almost fell over because my hip flexors are so tight!

It consists of the following. In all, between 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
  • 3 to 4 sets of squats 
  • kettlebell swings (35 lbs), deadlifts (45 to 55 lbs), etc. -- 3 sets of 20 each
  • pushups (2-3 sets of 30)
  • planks (whatever I can manage -- I hate them)
Yesterday I squatted starting with 65 (of that, the bar weighs 45), 75, 85, then 95. It's nothing remarkable, but it's a start. I don't really know how much I should be able to squat, so I'm playing it safe and focusing on good form, squatting deep enough, doing a good 12 to 15 reps. That sort of thing.

I don't love strength stuff. Good news, though: I can already feel a major improvement in my running. I don't tire as quickly. My legs feel solid and strong, like they could carry me farther than before without needing rest. I don't see myself getting into huge amount of strength training, but I think some is better than none.

But how gluten-free will play into my activity/running is still to be seen. Some of you have preached the importance of sweet potatoes. Some of you are doing Paleo which is even stricter with its grains (or zero, I don't really know the deal there). I know it can be done, but I guess I'm skeptical I'll have the right mix of energy without eating pizza all the time.

I know I need to look beyond bread + pasta for my healthy carbohydrates, but I guess I'm set in my gluten-y ways.

What's your favorite gluten-free pre-race/workout dinner?

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