Detox vs. Training

For the third year, I have decided to do a detox/cleanse after the holidays.  After all of the buttery sauces, cookies, wine and candy that I consume in November and December, I feel like I need to do something to give my digestive system a rest and my body a jump-start.  The plan is to cut out all processed foods, gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol and caffeine for 3 to 4 weeks, and for the first week no meats or fish.  Meals consist of fruit and vegetable smoothies for breakfast, dried fruit, seeds and nuts for snacks, and a combination of raw and steamed vegetables for lunch and dinner.  The meals are tasty, but are not completely satisfying and I am left feeling a bit drained.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is normal for a detox including headaches and feeling hungry numerous times a day.  The point is to get all of the toxins out of your body and focus on clean natural foods, so your body is obviously going to have a reaction to the withdrawal.  Caffeine isn’t an issue for me since I mainly drink decaf green tea, but I think the lack of protein is really getting to me.  I’m also having trouble sleeping and keep waking up every hour or so, something that is not normal for me.  This can all be a bit of a problem when you are trying to train for a half marathon.  In my prior years of doing this program, I was not training and was able to deal with the fatigue, which is something I didn’t take into account for this year.  It’s funny how you forget the side effects after only one year.

This morning I had the plan to get up and do a 2.5 mile run on the treadmill.  When my alarm went off at 5:45 (which is my normal wakeup time), all I wanted to do was turn over and hit snooze…which I did.  I just had no energy to get out of bed.  I finally rolled out of bed at 6:15 to make a smoothie for hubs before he left for work (yes, he’s attempting the detox too).  After the smoothie, all I could manage was about 20 minutes of yoga to at least get my body moving.  The idea of running wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities.  So clearly this isn’t working.

I think the key is to add in some lean protein, like chicken, pork and fish to some of my meals, and a small amount of carbs before my runs.  The protein is really going to boost my energy throughout the day and the protein and carb combo will give me that extra boost before my morning runs.  So today, I will be adding chicken to my lunch salad, but I’m still going to stay away from processed foods, sugar (except for fructose and Gu), dairy, alcohol and caffeine for the next few weeks.  I guess I should say until my Disney trip when all bets are off!

I’m curious to see if any runners out there have tips for detoxing while training, or have suggestions for natural energy boosters.  If so, please leave me a comment below!

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