Countdown to Race Day: Fueling for 100 Mile Weeks
This week, we will be talking to Atlanta Track Club Elite team members competing in the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon this Saturday, November 5. Each will address a different aspect of their training. Today, Sallie Post talks about fueling for 100-mile weeks.Atlanta Track Club Elite Team Member Sallie Post has never ran as much in one week as she did while training for Saturday’s Monumental Half Marathon in Indianapolis. A month out from the race, the Olympic Marathon Trials competitor hit 100 miles in a week consisting of two hard workouts (the infamous Michigan workout and a 10-mile tempo) four doubles, a 14-mile midweek run and a 23-mile long run with a fast finish. “It was every bit as tough as it sounds,” says Post.While many runners taking on high mileage have trouble replacing the calories they burn, Post says maintaining a diet that meets her added nutritional needs comes naturally. “I eat three meals a day with a mid-morning snack, a mid-afternoon snack, and sometimes a nighttime snack,” says Post. She says she doesn’t count calories and has never been shy about her love for food. Undereating, she says, is never her main concern. “Growing up I would always eat past the point of feeling full, so over the years I've really had to learn a healthy dose of self-control,” she says. “There are definitely times during each training block when I feel like I just can't eat enough, or when I am full after a meal, but it wears off very quickly. Eating snacks throughout the day helps with this.”Post likes rice cakes with peanut butter or hummus, graham crackers with peanut butter or yogurt with fruit for snacks. She says she doesn’t try to hit a specific amount of carbohydrates, protein or fat, but she and her husband Chris, who is also a runner, work to make sure they are eating well-balanced meals each day. It’s because of Chris that Post doesn’t give into temptation and eat her favorite dish every day. “I love pasta,” she says. “I could eat pasta every day for the rest of my life, but Chris would probably not enjoy that as much as I would, so for his sake we try to have some variety in our meals.”Even though she tries to eat healthy, Post says she craves sugar after a hard workout and won’t turn down a cookie or a doughnut. She believes hard work sometimes deserves a reward. But, come race week, she says she makes what she eats count. “Tapering is not the time to indulge.”Proper nutrition is part of the program for Atlanta Track Club Elite, which is developed by Coaches Amy and Andrew Begley. Andrew Begley says all athletes are trained to eat a balanced diet with focus on protein and pre and post-run recovery. “We also use Generation UCAN for our pre-workout and long runs. We use Scivation BCAA for our post-run drink,” Begley says. “Taking in amino acids right after you exercise speeds up recovery.”Post’s half marathon PR is 1:16:06, but she has sharpened her speed and hopes to run between 1:13:30 and 1:15:00 on Saturday. Other than cutting the sweets, she says her eating habits aren’t much different this week than they were during that 100-mile week one month ago. “I definitely am stricter about what I eat as race day gets closer, though. I wouldn't say I eat any less--I'm just as hungry when I taper as I am when I'm running my highest mileage weeks.”You can follow this final week of training and get race day updates by following @ on Twitter. You can follow Sallie at @About Atlanta Track Club EliteAtlanta Track Club Elite is comprised of the Club’s top athletes who train together and represent the Club at local, regional and national races. The team aims to help athletes realize their goals while promoting competitive distance running, track and field and the mission of Atlanta Track Club. For more information on Atlanta Track Club Elite, visit atlantatrackclub.org.About Atlanta Track ClubAtlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 26,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Georgia Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.