Week 4: Cross Training Fails and High Protein Granola Wins

Every week I'm learning a little more about what I can and cannot do during marathon training, or maybe should and shouldn't. These past couple weeks I've learned two main lessons:

  1. I can't lift heavy and train for a marathon.
  2. Eating for training for a marathon is different than eating to train for a bikini competition.

Lifting.

I should've learned this lesson during my half marathon training but apparently I didn't. My typical training program consists primarily of lifting and HIIT training, neither of which are in my marathon training program.

Yes, cross training is so important to keep your body strong during your runs... but I should've skipped leg day. 

Wednesday's are my mid-week off day of running and so I decided to lift my traditional leg day and was feeling pretty weak. I went for high reps and low-ish weight. I did a series of squats, squat jumps, Bulgarian squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses and rows. I was feeling good. 

Thursday morning I wasn't. My legs were heavy. And by Saturday for my 8 miles, my legs were like lifting led. They weren't sore but they were tired, and it was a terrible feeling slugging through 80 minutes of pulling what felt like dead weight. 

Lesson #1 of the week: I can't be a body builder and a marathoner. And that's OK.

I've been a body builder before, I can be a body builder again. Right now I want to be a marathoner. 

EATING.

Which also means I need to be eating like a marathoner. So much of how I learned how to eat to train was eating for a bikini competition show, which is 110% different than training for a marathon. Instead of counting calories and breaking down macros I'm eating tons of whole nutritious foods until my body is satisfied. I'm not counting calories because it doesn't matter in the same way it did for the show. My body needs way more carbs and fats to keep me satiated. I just have to focus on those carbs and fats coming from good sources: sweet potatoes (by the dozen), oatmeal, bananas, almond butter, avocados, cashews (and way more). 

I'm learning to retrain my brain to stop focusing on those big numbers so much and more on the ingredient list. I'm spending more time at Whole Foods (bummer :) ) and really paying attention to what I'm purchasing, taking the time to cook more and have more meals available to me for those post run RUNGRY feels. Which also means I've been playing with recipes and wanted to share my new obsession, homemade high-protein chocolate almond granola with ya'll!


High Protein Chocolate Almond Granola

Dry Ingredients: 

3c oats (I use Bob Mills Thick Cut Oats)

1/2c chopped almonds

1 teas cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

1/2c unsweetened applesauce

1/3c honey

3 tbsp coconut oil

2 scoops chocolate protein (I use Pescience Select Chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 300 F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

2. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside

3. On the stove top over low-med heat combine all wet ingredients and continuously stir as to not burn the bottom. Heat until the mixture thickens up 5-6 minutes and then pour over wet ingredients. Mix well.

4. Spread mixture onto aluminum foil evenly and bake for 30-40 min, stirring every 5-7 minutes as to not burn.

5. Let cool and then enjoy with your favorite yogurt, nut milk (mine is from Jugos), or just on its' own!


This week's training plan: Jan 17th - Jan 23rd

Tuesday: 5 miles intervals --> I did this workout at MyStryde with Owner Becca, my first Endurance class!

Wednesday: Off day --> This was the faulty leg day. I'm going to start sharing some cross training workouts that incorporate strength but are manageable to balance with longer runs too.

Thursday: Off day --> 45min of boxing with George Foreman III at EveryBodyFights

Friday: Off day 

Saturday: 8 miles --> I felt really good during this run, it was also the day of the Women's March so seeing so many women walking to Boston Commons in their pink hats, I was fired up! I also was listening to Rich Roll's podcast with Coach about his experience in the Civil Rights Movement and being on stage with MLK during the 'I Have A Dream Speech'. How could you not crush your run during those!?

Sunday: Off day

Monday: 4 miles --> I got 3.5 in at MyStryde during Kelli's Power Stryde class, a series of hills, intervals and kettle bell work.

And as always, I'd love any and all support to help me reach my Boston Marathon fundraising goal of $9,000 for Horizons for Homeless Children. You can donate to the cause here! THANK YOU A MILLION!


Follow me on Instagram for the daily updates and activities! @ebailey_fitness <3 #WithErin

Instagram(Inspirations).

I love Instagram. I'm on it all the time. Whether I'm shamelessly uploading gym selfies or browsing through posts at lunch, I love it all. What I love most about Instagram is the health and fitness community I've found. I often need an extra push to go to the gym, or a small reminder to stay on diet. That's what Instagram has been for me, an added tool to connect with like-minded people and stay on track!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite people/pages that I follow and you should follow too!


@katefit_

Meet Kate! She's wonderful. We connected back in the fall as we both went through the NASM training to be personal trainers simultaneously. Since then she has launched her own training business and website you can check out here! I really like her page because she posts quick workouts you can do at home, beginner yoga challenges and her adorable husky. 


@rawfigure

Meet Cathee! We actually met randomly at the gym (Equinox), I had seen her around for a few weeks and she absolutely crushes it. She's wonderful, extremely determined and traveled international to compete in figure competitions. It's great seeing her lovely, familiar face in the gym. I love her Instagram because her abs are insane (amazing motivation) and she often posts simple clean recipes that I love to help switch up my normal diet. She also introduced me to #BuffButter so God bless her for that! Check out her website here.


@emmakate_92

Meet Emma! I randomly found her but I really like her page because of her authenticity. She's currently in college studying accounting and training/prepping for NPC competitions. Knowing how hard it is to stay on track with a career, I can' imagine how much will power it must take to do it in college! She's so cute and not afraid to tell you about her crazy cravings and fights through them!! Plus I love all her Nike gear, duh. Her next show is in one week so good luck to you lady!!


@fitmissdani

Meet Dani! She's a college student at my alma mater, UNCW! She teaches several classes at the college gym (which I always thought was a cool job and wish I had done!). I love her page because like Emma, she does a great job of balancing the healthy life with the college life. My favorite though is she posts amazing and simple recipes that are so yum. Her sesame tofu recipe is bomb!


Then I of course wanted to share the pages of the girls on my Anthrofit Team! They are a constant source of support and inspiration!

@lorenpete1991 @ashley_hatcher @jcfitness4u @nicole_kulma @johnny_loreti


And don't forget to follow my page! @ebailey_fitness

Part 1: The Diet.

When I was first thinking about doing a competition I kept looking for articles or blogs written by people who were going through the process. I wanted an inside look at what it was really like, not just pictures of the end result. That's what I want this to be, a window into the journey. My goal is for this blog to be that resource for you and hopefully help as some framework, discussing various components I'm juggling and how I'm handling (or struggling) with them. So to start the competition prep is comprised of two main parts, diet and exercise, and diet was the biggest question mark for me.

Part 1: Diet.

This is often the scariest part for people, which I completely understand (and it's honestly still scary to me). It takes time, thought, and some serious self control. But it's very doable, trust me. My diet plan started the beginning of January (convenient timing to be able to enjoy the holidays fully!) and has since slightly changed week by week. My trainer Johnny, helps with both my diet and workouts which makes life much easier. He creates a targeted meal plan for me each week and that's what I follow and can then plan my meals accordingly. As a whole the plan consists of five meals ranging from 250-400 calories each, hitting different macros (carbs, proteins, fats) at each meal.

I honestly really struggled with this the first couple weeks. Like I mentioned before, I've always eaten pretty healthy but never had to think about how many carbs I was having at breakfast, and wondering if I had fit in enough protein by dinner or make sure I planned my meals at convenient intervals so I was full all day. It's a lot to think about! MyFitnessPal definitely helped, it allowed me to enter my meals and track my numbers throughout the day. It's really just developing a plan, setting aside an afternoon to meal prep (my Sunday's), and then you're set for the week! I cook my breakfasts, lunches and most dinners for the week and can just heat them up when I'm hungry and it's impossible not to eat well (OK not totally impossible, but definitely helps!). Don't give yourself excuses!!

This week I'm at 2100 calories** which means extra carbs for me! I'm currently looking to intake 243 grams of carbs, 151 grams of protein, and 58 grams of fat each day for this week. That is one thing I really like about this diet plan, there's no crash dieting, or crazy supplements suggested. The point is just to "eat clean" which includes lean meats, unlimited amounts of greens, and whole grains. No one is limiting my coffee intake so I'm happy. I'm also a solid 16 weeks out so I still can drink wine and can incorporate "cheat meals" (which I will definitely be sharing...I take those seriously and I'm talking to you Regina's Pizzeria!).

I wanted to share just a few examples of some of my meals, they aren't super exciting and I'm almost already sick of chicken but a good base to start with!

A standard day for me looks kinda like this:

Breakfast 8AM

  • 3-4 egg whites (with salsa!)
  • 2 pieces of Ezekiel toast (I'm currently really into the cinnamon raisin)
  • LARGE coffee with almond milk

Snack 1, 10:30AM

  • Banana
  • or Ezekiel toast (again, it's really yum)
  • ...usually a second coffee

Lunch 1PM

  • 4 oz. grilled chicken
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli (or any other veg) 
  • 1/2 cup brown rice

Snack 2, 4PM (pre-workout)

  • Quest bar
  • or Ezekiel bread (with peanut butter)

Dinner 7:30PM (post-workout)

  • Broiled salmon (Whole foods has awesome fillets that are already seasoned!)
  • LOTS of veg (peppers, onions, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, you name it, I eat it!)

Dessert 9PM (my favorite part)

  • Casein protein shake (with almond milk, PB2, cinnamon and ice)...honestly it's a milkshake and I love it
  • or cottage cheese with blueberries (this usually feels more filling so if I'm still hungry or have already had a protein shake I usually opt for this)
  • *For dessert it's great to have a slow acting protein incorporated like casein so that it can fuel you all night and won't break down your muscles while you sleep...or so you don't wake up STARVING!

This is just what a typical week day looks for me, I get more adventurous on the weekend because I have more time to cook and try different recipes. Not as scary as you thought right?! This plan works for me, and helps me feel full, satisfied and energetic, ready to get after a workout at the gym!

I'd love to hear your thoughts or if you have any other recipes or ideas for me! 

 

**This is a targeted meal plan created specifically for me and my individual needs. This plan may not be right for you so please consult a professional before beginning any new diet plan.