Here’s the thing. I know the basics of managing my nutrition during training and races for sprint and olympic distance triathlons. I know after extensive workouts (including two-a-days) I need to recover with the right mix of carbohydrates, potassium, sodium and protein. I know I need to consume a certain number of energy gels during long workouts and races. I know I need to replenish my body with electrolytes. I know eating fries and a burger before I workout (whether it’s the night before or earlier in the day) will cause a crappy session. And yes I do know I have a lot more to learn.
To start I want to learn more about the body’s sensitivity to different foods during racing season and actual training sessions.
The other night I treated myself to a Starbucks Petite Cake Pop, the Peppermint Brownie Cake.
Silly me, I thought, “oh it’s a petite dessert; filled with only 170 calories. It’s not a big deal.” Whatever! I came crashing down about an hour later, and felt it the next day during my workout. Why did I feel this small, little, seemingly harmless dessert? Was it psychological? Was it a shock to my body? I’ve been trying to eat more healthy for a while so maybe my body isn’t used to such sweets? (Note: The bar for eating “more healthy” is pretty low since I’ve been known to eat dessert several times a week and chow down on burgers, pizza and fries on a regular basis. And don’t get me started on my love for cheese!) Perhaps my body is demanding more of the right kind of nutrients during my workouts and the cake pop actually hindered the supply. I’m not sure what the explanation is.
And last night I consumed pasta with shrimp and crab with a touch of butter. I thought “oh I’m eating pasta; that’s great!” Well I didn’t sleep well at all. Did I eat too much? Was the seafood not sitting well with me? Maybe I should have skipped the lemon garlic butter. Proper rest is critical for everybody, and for an endurance athlete it’s even more important. I did not get enough sleep last night and I’m feeling it now.
I do try to think twice before treating myself to a dessert or other delicious – aka unhealthy – foods. I don’t want to mess up my next workout. In fact I want to do what I can to ensure I have a great session! And I want to make sure my body doesn’t damage itself during training and can recover properly afterwards.
One other thing I’ll tell you I know: I know “knowing,” “wanting” and “doing” are three very different concepts.