For today, I decided to just focus on fueling and training with a baby and have one separate post dedicated to my workout recap from the past ten weeks and race goals.
An important component of being on a training plan is how many and what type of calories you consume. There can be a lot of variables to take into consideration, so I’m going to share what my fueling needs are based on my current situation.
I’ve never been one to track calories, choosing more to just focus on whole goods and a balanced diet (which includes cookies, obviously) and how my clothes fit. However, having a baby and subsequently being the only source of food for said baby changes my caloric needs quite a bit. I would estimate that I’m burning an additional 500 calories per day, not to mention needing to drink a lot more water to stay hydrated. That being said, I need to make sure I’m getting the most out of my meals and snacks. I simply don’t have time for empty calories.
Without going into extreme (boring, for you) detail, here’s a quick breakdown of what my typical eating looks like in a day:
*Breakfast – 1/2 C scrambled egg whites topped with Sriracha sauce, 1-2 slices Ezekiel bread with homemade almond butter, 1 C unsweetened almond milk
*Mid morning snack – homemade Larabar ball (dates, cashews, coconut, raisins)
*Lunch – leftovers from previous nights’ dinner (see dinner example below)
*Mid afternoon snack – bell peppers/raw broccoli/tomatoes/raw carrots with hummus
*Dinner – Baked salmon (4 oz.), roasted broccoli, 1 C quinoa
*Snack before bed – cereal with almond milk or another slice of Ezekiel bread with almond butter
*Water consumed – about four 24 oz. bottles plus 0.5L of coconut water on running days
*Any time I’m hungry other than these times which happens often, I just grab another Larabar ball or more hummus/veggies or a handful of nuts)
Like I said, I have no idea how many calories I’m actually consuming so I just make sure that I’m snacking and drinking plenty of water.
Training with a Baby
I’m certainly a newbie when it comes to running with a baby but here’s my experience so far. The first step was making sure we had appropriate gear. When I was pregnant, we already knew based on our lifestyle that having a jogging stroller was going to be a priority. We chose the BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller and in a word, it is AMAZING. I’ve been using it since day one of training (with the car seat adapter at first) and although pushing a stroller while running will never be easy, I’m just glad this one makes it as easy as possible.
A few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the past 10 weeks:
*Do additional arm strengthening exercises. In addition to any strength training days already built into the plan, I try and do these a few times a week. I use my 5 lb. dumbbells and do 12 reps, 3 times of bicep, triceps and shoulder exercises. I found it helps a lot with pushing the extra pounds. Carrying a baby around also helps.
*Focus on running form. I just use one arm at a time to push and alternate every few minutes. When you’re pushing a stroller especially with one arm, it’s easy to slouch over. I’ve caught myself doing this many times especially when I’m at the end of my runs (i.e. tired) so I have to make a more conscious effort than if I was running without the stroller.
*Don’t run on gravel or loose sand. This is sort of an obvious one I think, but honestly it didn’t cross my mind until the stroller slipped once. Also along the same lines, avoid big bumps and high cracks in the sidewalk. If I’m running in a quiet (no traffic) neighborhood, I usually will just run on the road. Side note: I now have all the high cracks/big bumps on my regular routes memorized.
*Run long runs alone, without the stroller. Thankfully, my husband has been generous with his Saturday/Sunday mornings and I’ve been able to go alone on all my long runs. Not only am I not worried about being out too long (and baby gets cranky because he’s getting tired) but I also don’t have to worry about making sure my route is stroller friendly.
*Add 60 to 90 seconds more for each mile run. There have been plenty of days where I’m truly exhausted be it from a long night of broken up/little sleep or just because I ran hard the previous day. Whatever the case, pushing a stroller has a way of making you feel slow even if you aren’t. I know that the few added minutes are just temporary and a part of training right now. Unless I’m planning on racing with the stroller (which I’m not) for the half marathon, then I can rest assured that come race day my times shouldn’t suffer.
Next time, I’ll write about the past 10 weeks of training and my race goals.
Have a great day!