MY TOP 3 SECRETS TO RUNNING FASTER: SECRET #2 FASTING
Secret #2: FASTING
Why does a runner (someone who needs to eat lots of calories) also need to fast?
Well, let’s talk first about the benefits of fasting.
Here’s the deal: your body is always in one of two states. You’re either in a fed state or a fasting state, meaning your body is either digesting food or repairing your cells. If you’re constantly filling your belly with six mini meals, day in and day out (like so many running programs have taught you), you are continually digesting food and your body doesn’t get a break from the constant insulin spike. You’re not letting your body tap into the fat stores to start burning fat as fuel.
Think about it: Let’s say you go all-out in your workout on Tuesday. You fuel your body with whole foods and you allow your body to digest that food. Now your body needs to focus on cell repair. It needs to rebuild the muscles in your arms, legs, and core, so that the next time you do a speed workout, your body can come back stronger.
Fasting allows your cells to repair, and it supports burning FAT AS FUEL for your workout.
When I started training with my coach, she required fasting as part of my training plan. And I was NOT interested! Honestly, on my first day of fasting, I made it until about 11AM before I HAD TO EAT! I was too hungry! But when I started practicing 24-hour fasts, eating the right amount of calories overall, and drinking water whenever I felt that hunger cue, everything changed. I was more focused during the day, and I had a better attitude, as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur.
The awesome thing about fasting is that you can pair it with an active recovery or off-day. I’m really passionate about training smarter, not harder. I don’t think you need to run 6-7 days per week to hit a race PR. Instead, you can run 4-5 days per week, with nutrient timing and really good, effective workouts; then you can have two solid off days and still see really great running results, even better than before!
Your body needs a break.
You run around all day, doing this, that, and the other, and you never get a break. But when you allow your body to rest and take a day off, (a) you will feel so much better, and (b) you will have more time to do things you love! What could you do with that extra hour in the day- that maybe you normally use for your 2-3 hour workout? You could do things like reading, writing, praying, spending more time with the ones you love, going for a walk, being outside…! You could do anything that’s enjoyable for you, so that when you approach your workout the next day, you’re refreshed and ready to take it on.
Fasting requires some time and effort to learn. My athletes take a few weeks of their training to really dive in (with me holding their hand the whole way!), to really get it down and maintain the best practices. But truly, fasting is a game changer!
Now I’m to the point where I fast every single day. My feeding window is about eight hours, so I break fast at about 11 AM and continue eating until about 7 PM. I eat for eight hours and then fast for 16 hours, every day. And I’ll tell you what, I’m thriving! I fasted throughout my whole pregnancy, and I’m doing it now while I’m nursing; so as long as you’re eating the right number of calories, it is still totally safe.
Keep in mind, when you’re fasting, you’re not cutting out breakfast or a certain number of calories; instead you’re eating them during a smaller window of time.
You’re still eating 2,000-3,000 calories per day, but you’re focusing on one big lunch, one big snack, and one big dinner.
For the last two years as an online coach, I have been toying with the best practices and strategies for my runners. Even now, I’m constantly considering: what are the best ways my runners can THRIVE?
And I’ve taken ALL of my experience, as a runner and run coach, and put it inside the Faster Runner Academy membership site.
What’s the membership site about?
Faster Runner Academy [Premium package- the most popular option] includes:
Custom Race Plan, specific to your race and ability level (with one plan edit per month): STRUCTURE to help you THRIVE!
Nutrition Support, including Fuel for Runners Meal Plan, Shopping List, Calorie Calculator, and Pre- and Post-Workout Fueling Tips and Foods: the exact STRUCTURE you need to begin implementing CARB CYCLING and FASTING!
Exclusive Members Only Portal, including video demos, meal plans, workout descriptions, and more: each day you’ll receive an email with your daily run or workout, with links to the membership site!
Online Training Community, filled with like-minded runners to support you!
AND Livestream Coaching, where you can ask your coach anything on a Monthly, Members Only LIVE Video Call: you can tune in and ask your coach anything specific to your training plan!