How to Beat Runger at its Own Game

Happy Monday to you all!  Today my boyfriend and I will be moving the rest of our stuff into our apartment, so we can finally call it HOME at the end of today!  How exciting!  Since I'm still swamped with packing/unpacking, I'm delighted to have another guest post for you!  Susie is a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador, an avid runner, and a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast.  She blogs about her running journeys and offers healthy living tips over on her blog, Suzlyfe.  After we learned some easy ways to get started running last week, it seems like a great next step to learn how to deal with the sometimes insatiable hunger that can come from an increased fitness regimen, particularly from running.  Take it away, Susie!

Hi everyone!  My name is Susie (or Suz, if you prefer) and I am the captivating force behind Suzlyfe, a heath, fitness, and living blog that focuses on living life beyond expectation. I may be a runner and coach now, but I did not start out as one. While, sure, I would experience hunger and cravings from time to time -- who doesn't? But it wasn't until I started developing into a runner (even when I was doing shorter distances) that I learned about a little ol' thing called RUNGER.

How to Beat Runger at its Own Game

Runger is the insatiable need to mow down everything in sight that develops as a result of increasing your running. Run + Hunger = Runger. Not to be confused with Hangry, though it can be major trouble if a rungry runner is not fed and then the runger becomes hanger. Don't poke the bear, essentially.

Runger results from the increased number of calories burned as a result of increased fitness and metabolism as well as, often, the fact that many newer runners or runners who have recently increased mileage do not understand how best to fuel their new activity. For the sake of your relationships with your friends and family as well as your cabinets and wallet, check out these methods of appeasing the runger gods.

5 Ways to Deal with Runger:

1 | Drink fluids 

Hunger is often confused with thirst. You might actually be thirsty! I suggest hydrating throughout the day, but sometimes you just need to get a class of water--infused water is a lovely change! Just make sure that there is no added sugar or caffeine. 

2 | Pick filling and lower glycemic index foods

Choose these over empty, white flour, and blood sugar spiking choices.  Now, I don't suggest doing this before your run, but reach for oats, whole wheat flours, and low-sugar veggies to fill you up without overdoing the calories.

3 | Healthy fats are important 

I start my day with a high fiber english muffin and nut butter before my workout. It helps keep me full throughout my workout, which I follow up with protein and carbs. The fats will help you stay satisfied, fulfill crucial cravings, and provide richness.

4 | Carbs are lovely, but they are not everything

When I am marathon training, I do increase the ratio of carbs in my diet, but only by about 5-10%, aiming for about 50% carbs, 35% protein, and 15% fats (for my personal situation--consult with a dietitian for your own situation!). Also, like in #2, white carbs will spike your glycemic index, encouraging you to crash and feel hungry much more quickly.

5 | Refuel properly 

This is one of the best weekends of fueling I've had.  The kicker?  I got hydration and a protein-, carb-rich snack right after my run (even though I wasn't totally hungry) and then had a substantial veggie filled egg white omelet with whole-wheat toast, jam, and nut butter.  All the macronutrients in one, highly satisfying go.  I continued to eat in substantial but controlled amounts throughout the rest of the day (and still had fun!) to make up my calorie deficit after 20 miles.  And I wasn't rungry the next day!

Experiment, finds what works for you, and try some new products.  Nutrition can change the game when it comes to your training, your mentality, and injury prevention.  Plus, FOOD IS AWESOME.

Readers: chat with us!  Do you get rungry?  What's your favorite post-run/post-workout snack to have that quiets your hunger?  Did you notice an increased appetite when you started getting serious about running or working out?

Susie is the captivating force behind Suzlyfe, a heath, fitness, and living blog that focuses on living life beyond expectation. In addition to blogging and her full time job, Susie is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a soon-to-be-certified RRCA Running and Marathon Coach.

Live your life beyond expectation, every day!
You can follow Susie on her blog and here on social media:

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A 5-Step Guide to Starting Your Running Journey from Scratch

Happy Thursday!  The guest posts continue this week here on the blog since I'm probably buried in packing boxes and wrapping paper by now.  I'm excited for you to read today's post about getting started with running!  This is an area of fitness that I know practically nothing about as I'm not a runner myself, but I know many of you out there want help with starting your running journey.  Well, Judy from Chocolate Runs Judy is here to tell us all about how to get started!  She's a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador and she's got some great advice, so let's get to it!

Getting started running is the simplest thing in the world, right?  You just need some shoes (or not, if you read Born to Run, soon to be a movie with Matthew McConaughey) and then you just run.  Right?  If you have ever tried to run, and failed, or started and then stopped, you know that for some of us, it really isn't so easy.  But it can be, if you get started running right.

A 5-Step Guide to Starting Your Running Journey from Scratch

1 | Visit your local running store

Almost any runner will tell you the first step to getting started with running is to be fitted for running shoes.  Do you know if you pronate? Have a high arch? Need neutral shoes?  Stability shoes? I thought not.  A good running store will watch you run. They might even have you get on a treadmill and videotape you. They'll ask you if you're training for a race, how often you run, how many miles.  If they don't do any or most of these things, find another store.  And if they don't have a running group (they might), they can point you towards running groups in your area. Definitely make visiting your local running store a priority.

2 | Couch to 5 K (C25K)

If you ask a group of runners how they got started, I'm pretty sure someone will tell you C25K. That's how I got started.  C25K is a very sensible plan that has you running three times a week. It starts you off with short run/walk intervals and progresses you with longer and longer running intervals until you are ready to run 5k without walking at the end of those 9 weeks. And there's an app for that, too (for C25K).  After being injured last fall, I revisited C25K to get back into running after a few weeks off. I ran 2 half marathons in May.

3 | Join a Running Group

I wish I had known that there were running groups when I started to run. I didn't know any runners.  I had just moved halfway across the country. I had no clue. Or I thought that there would be no one who runs as slowly as me (more likely).  For the record, I am a slow runner. My easy pace is 13-13:30 mm (minute miles). My fastest half is 2:46. There are groups out there for people like me, I promise you!  Often there are running groups just for beginners. Don't think you can't join a group because you're too slow, although you may also want to ask some questions (do they have coaches who run with the slower runners? Will you be on your own if you're slower?).

I run with USAFit during the summer. It's aimed at both the beginning and experienced runners. It's a really great group and I highly recommend checking them out if you have one in your area!

4 | Join an online running group

So you say there really isn't a running group in your area? Not to fear. Because there are online running groups, too. Check out Another Mother Runner or Runner's Connect.  

5 | Sign up for a race  

Nothing like a race looming on the horizon to get you actually motivated to run!  And crossing that finish line will really be a confidence booster, I promise you.  Some local races may have training programs associated with them for a minimal fee -- this is a great way to start and meet other runners. Or they may offer a free training plan.  Another Mother Runner has challenges throughout the year, with training plans for a 5k all the way up to a marathon.  And speaking of marathons (or half, or shorter distances), many runners turn to Hal Higdon. I have never personally used his free training plans, but many runners do.  

I'll give you a bonus way to get started: get a subscription to Runner's World or peruse the Runner's World website. They have free training plans, too.

Readers: chat with us!  Have you been thinking about starting your running journey?  What tips of Judy's resonate with you?  If you're a runner already, what tips do you have for beginners looking to start?

Judy is an older, slower runner with a passion for chocolate and half marathons (she's trying to run a half marathon in every US state). She hated running until she started running in her late 40's... ran her first half marathon at 50, and has now run 10 half marathons in 8 states.

You can connect with Judy on her blog over at Chocolate Runs Judy, and follow her running adventures on Facebook & Instagram.