Training Fuel – Making Good Choices… Or Not

I’m hungry. And I want caffeine. Lost of caffeine. So instead of my healthy and pro-training blueberry and vegan protein shakes in the morning, I’ve been hitting back-to-back cappuccinos and cinnamon raisin english muffins, with butter, sugar and cinnamon on top…

It doesn’t stop there. I find myself extra hungry and extra tired throughout the day. More running + less sleep + poor diet = sugar & caffeine cravings. I’ve upped my training but haven’t changed my eating so, unsurprisingly, the flood gates broke. Enter coffee and sugar.


what i see in my cup every morning








And it’s definitely affecting my running in a negative way. Ugh, I don’t even want to write this but I burned out on my long run this weekend. I didn’t finish it. It was a drop down week of only 10 miles but I only did 6 of them… and I did those 6 with terrible form, no energy and with a walk break. My last 2 long runs have been energy fails like that (although I did complete my 12 miler – just poorly). It’s got to be the sleep and diet thing. I feel in such a hole that I can’t climb out of it. Every day is supposed to be the day I wake up energized and don’t need coffee and where I knock it out of the park!… only it isn’t. Not finishing my runs?! That’s unacceptable!

Oh and there are a million articles lately breaking down the exact ways that coffee/soda/caffeine is bad for you. You can read about the evils of soda here and here. Ok, everyone knows soda is bad for you. I don’t drink it often (maybe once a month?) but I LOVE it and think about it all the time! I just don’t drink it because, yeah yeah, I know it’s bad for me. But, in my opinion, these public service announcements are not really working. They’re like blah blah blah blah… soda is as deadly as vacationing in Chernobyl… blah blah blah… and then THIS:

  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

Wait… did I read “preventing drowsiness” ?!? “stimulating pleasure centers” ?! Um, this is all sounding AMAZING to me right now. This is a bad thing?! Ok, remind me of that when my face hits my desk later – or when I know that in exactly 45 minutes I have a 9 mile interval run. All of a sudden that heroin soda is sounding pretty darn good.

coca cola life

this can’t be bad for you! it’s green! it’s found in nature, see?!










I was supposed to run this morning but seem to have forgotten that as I slurped down my second cappuccino. Now it’s going to have to be an evening run. And it’s already Tuesday?! These weeks are flying by without me tackling my training and fueling issues! I know I need to prepare healthy foods ahead of time (even breakfast). I know I need to JUST SAY NO to simple carbs that, yes, help me in the short run but have me crashing in the long run. I need to stop using coffee and soda as a crutch because they end up making me crash (unless I time them just right and then they can be gold… no no, they still need to go!). I need to prioritize sleep, which means no more crazy late night treadmill sessions that end up keeping me wide awake afterwards.

Piece o’ cake, right?

Anyone else having trouble fine-tuning your training diet? Do you drink caffeine to help you workout? What’s your go-to caffeinated beverage?


2 responses to “Training Fuel – Making Good Choices… Or Not

  1. I swear by black coffee to help with important pre-run bathroom visits, but I’ve been a lifelong coffee drinker and probably tolerate it somewhat well. If I don’t have food available, I eat things that get me in trouble. I usually do all right if I have a pot of oatmeal in the fridge, ready to heat and eat first thing in the morning.


    • I was thinking the same thing about coffee and how we get used to it and tolerate it better if we have it every day. But I’m still trying to get rid of it because of the acidity (not going well though). Good idea on the oatmeal in the fridge. But a lot less fun than cinnamon sugar muffins. :/


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