Wise Running

Train smart, eat well, and enjoy the run.

Tag Archives: nutrition

The Gift of Running: A Book for Runners and Future Runners

My first book, The Gift of Running, is available in both paperback & ebook

Paperback Version – Amazon.com   $9.00

Ebook Version – Kindle Store $2.99

I wrote this book for several reasons.  Many of the books on running are tough to read, a lot like technical manuals.  I wanted to offer something more personal, runner to runner.  Moreover, I wanted it to be easy to read for the inexperienced runner.  I think I have accomplished this with The Gift of Running .

Below is the official description.  A small excerpt is included at the bottom of this page.

Book Reviews by Runners:

Book Reviews on Amazon.com:

If you would like an autographed copy of the book, please email me at pmark67@gmail.com


The Gift of Running: a book for runners and future runners

by P Mark Taylor

Running is a gift, but not only for the gifted.  Whether you run just for fun or want to become a more competitive runner, The Gift of Running is for you. In The Gift of Running, P. Mark Taylor shows runners how to get started and stay motivated.

The book includes:  advice on how to get started as a runner, tried & true methods of running faster and longer, how to prepare for a marathon, tips on staying healthy & happy, motivation to keep you running, an insider view of the running community, & training programs for a 5K, 10K, half marathon, & marathon.

P. Mark Taylor is a runner & author of the blog at http://www.WiseRunning.com.

Publication Date:    Jul 20 2012
ISBN/EAN13:    0615668607 / 9780615668604
Page Count:    196
Binding Type:    US Trade Paper
Trim Size:    5.5″ x 8.5″
Language:    English
Color:    Black and White
Related Categories:    Sports & Recreation / Running & Jogging

How to read this book:   (an excerpt from the book)

“This book is not a technical manual.  I have intentionally tried to keep my explanations brief and simple.  I have avoided technical terms and explained what I mean whenever needed.  It does offer important research-based information, but it offers more than that.

The book is about:

  • the human side of running,
  • becoming a runner,
  • working to become a better runner,
  • & staying safe, sane, and happy as a runner. 

It moves back and forth between personal stories, quotes from runners, and advice on running.

Most of the subsections of the book could be read independently, but I encourage you to read it from front to back.  This is especially true for the inexperienced runners.  Read the whole thing first, then go enjoy the run!

This book is the culmination of years of running, studying, and life experiences.  Most of all it is about the love of running and my respect for runners.

This book is dedicated to all of those who share my passion for running & to all those who are trying running for the first time.”


 Click here to see my second book on running:
Wise Running: Thoughts on Running and Life
Wise Running Book COVER mockup

50 Pounds Lighter: Why, When, and How?

Almost a decade ago, I weighed 50 pounds more than I do today.  I knew I did not feel comfortable at that weight, but everyone told me I looked healthy.  Hence, I was not too concerned.  The day that changed that was the day a nutrition expert came to our church to give a talk.  After the talk, she used her fancy gadget to measure my body fat percent.  I was 5 pounds of fatabout 20% fat.  Then I did the math.  20 % of 210 pounds is 42 pounds.  I had 42 pounds of fat.  Have you ever seen what 5 pounds of fat looks like?  Here is a picture.  Each of the hosts are holding 5 pounds of fat.  I was carrying more than 8 of those blobs on my body!

This info was too much for me.  Something had to be done.  I did a little exercise now and then.  I would run 3 miles every week or two.  I would jump on the trampoline with my kids.  I knew however that you exercising is not the most effective way to lose weight.  It can be done, but you have to be willing to make the increase in exercise be a permanent one.  Besides, research shows that changing your diet is more effective than changing your exercise for successful, permanent weight loss.

Remember This:
If you want to lose weight, exercise is not the right place to start.
Your diet has a much larger impact on your weight than your exercise.

Lifestyle Change 1:  Changing How Much I Ate

I knew that I had to change my diet.  I had watched many people failing at dieting in the past.  The thing that most of them had in common was that they made changes that were too drastic to be able to maintain.  I decided that I would start out by only changing one variable:  how much I ate.  I decided NOT to change what I ate, figuring that I could change that after this part had worked.  Hence, I did not stop eating fast foods and the other things that dieticians disdain.  No, I just cut back on my calories for the day.

I did not starve myself.  I know that that cues the body to store fat, which is the opposite of my goal.  I set up a little spreadsheet with and schedule of how many calories to eat during each part of the day.  I did not cut out nay meals or snacks, just consumed fewer calories at each stage throughout the day than before.  I was also determined to not deprive myself of my ice cream.  I saved an allotted number of calories for the ice cream that I always had in the evening.  I did not have as much as before, but I had some.

No depriving.  No skipping meals.  I merely cut back about 300 calories a day for several months.  I lost 20 pounds through this method and it never came back.  It was a lifestyle change.

Lifestyle Change 2:  Regular Running

I had leveled off at around 190 pounds and maintained that weight +/- 5 pounds for several years.  The second stage of weight loss occurred when I started running again.  I had taken about 24 years off of regular running, so any increase in mileage would make a difference.  I went from maybe 3 miles a week to around 25 miles per week.  Over the next several months, I gradually lost weight until I leveled off at around 180 pounds.  I was thirty pounds lighter after these two lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle Change 3:  Changing What I ate

The third lifestyle change was not my choice.  I was sick for 6 months and eventually we guessed the problem: gluten intolerance.  The transition to gluten-free living was quite difficult.  I had to give up real bread (gluten-free bread is NOT the same).  Especially at the beginning stages, my GI system was quite frail.  I had to eat simple whole foods as much as possible.  I had to avoid red meat for a few months.  I still do not each it very often.  I gave up all dairy products for the first few months too.  My diet revolved mostly around plant-based foods:  legumes, fruits, & veggies.  During this time, I ended up losing about 20 more pounds and leveled out at about 160 pounds.  Although I have added some foods back in, I maintained most of the changes in what I eat.  as a result, I remain leveled off at 160 pounds +/5 pounds.

So there you have it.

  • Exercise accounts for only about 20% of my permanent weight loss.
  • Changes in how much I eat account for 40% of my weight loss.
  • Changes in which foods I choose to eat account for 40% of my weight loss.

None of these changes were exercises in starvation.  None of these changes were radical shifts in how much I worked out.  They were relatively mild.  My weight loss journey took several years.

Train smart, eat well, and enjoy the run!

wise running logo 7_25_12



Marathon Nutrition

...about the same time as the last one...

Carrying my calories on a Fuel Belt.

Amy left this note for me on Facebook:

“I was just curious if you had any tips or blogs or any help on nutrition for running a marathon! I ran my first Marathon about a week and a half ago. It did not go to well, I got really dehydrated and hit the wall fast, after that ! 17-23 turned into the death zone! Anyway I did train but my stomach is just not that good and cramps a lot! So it is hard for me to drink a lot and eat much of anything while I run! Also I lost weight training which is okay but I do not want to lose weight again! I am going to start my training up again in June for the Chicago Marathon. I would just like to feel good while I run and I know the key to this is nutrition! Distance wise I felt I was prepared! I am pretty sure I did not eat enough food before, looking back now! So if you have any pointers, info, book whatever I would love to hear it!! If it matters I do not run to fast but would love to pick it up for next Marathon! However not feeling like death would be great !!”

Amy, you are not alone!  When I first started running marathons, I didn’t even like to drink on the run.  The idea of drinking 4-6 ounces of every 2 miles seemed crazy.  That is one of the reasons that I had trouble starting at about mile 17 on my first marathon as well.

Marathon Nutrition is a tricky thing.  For most of us, our bodies will begin to run out of resources somewhere between mile 15 and mile 17 if we are not careful before and during a marathon.  I will split the nutrition advice into three stages: training, tapering, & race day.

Nutrition During Training

Before I get specific about foods and supplements, let me make one comment about weight loss.  Marathon training means an increase in weekly mileage and a gradual increase in the distance of your weekly long run.  As your mileage increases, your need for nutrition increases.  As a result, marathon training is not very compatible with weight loss.  You need more carbs during marathon training, not fewer.

As for the specific foods to eat to maximize the benefits of your training, the answer is simple: eat healthy.  Instead of cutting back on food to get healthy, you should be changing the kind of food that you eat.  As with any time, you need a balanced diet.  You also need to eat less and less processed foods while increasing the amount of simple natural foods.  Dietician Cassie is always talking about striking a balance at each meal with PFC: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  In marathon training, it is still ideal to balance these three, with an increased emphasis on carbs.  While carbs are the focus in the last days of the taper, you must keep eating healthy fat and a good amount of protein at each meal.  Here is my blog post about protein for runners.

Some folks, including me, need a little extra help from supplements during marathon training.  I need extra the electrolytes offered through capsules, tablets, drinks, & powders.  I mostly stick with Endurolytes Capsules from Hammer Nutrition.  Each electrolyte supplement has different directions to follow.  Personally, I need more than the average person.  I know that I need more electrolytes when my leg muscles are twitching a little bit while I am relaxing after my workout.  Finding your electrolyte balance during  training & especially on your long runs can save a great deal of pain and cramping during the marathon!

Nutrition During the Taper

The taper is usually about two weeks of gradually lowering your mileage and effort as you approach the marathon.  Nutrition for most of the taper period is no different from during the rest of training.  It is normal and healthy to gain a few pounds, especially during the last week before the marathon.  Your body knows what is coming and is storing energy, electrolytes, and water.  This weight gain is good.  You will use it all during the marathon, I promise!

In the last 48 hours before the marathon, you will no longer stick to the protein/carb/fat balance that you normally consume.  You will gradually reduce your intake of protein and fat while increasing your healthy carbohydrates.  You also want to shift towards carbohydrate sources that have less fiber.

Jeff Galloway makes the following suggestions:

  • Rules:
    1. Don’t try anything new.
    2. Go through the same schedule and foods that worked for you in training.
    3. If you hear sloshing in your stomach, you don’t have to drink for the next 30 minutes.
  • 24 hours and before: Plenty of liquids all day long, especially electrolyte fluids. Before marathons you can eat extra carbohydrates.
  • 18 hours before race: Start eating small meals, every 2-3 hours. Keep drinking fluids. After lunch, cut out red meat, fried foods, dairy products, fats, nuts, and roughage.
  • 12 hours before race: Don’t overeat. Only light, digestible foods like energy bars, bread, small sandwiches, which you’ve tried before long runs and races. Keep drinking water and electrolyte fluids. Avoid salty foods.

Nutrition on Race Day

Before a marathon, you need to have a substantial number of calories in the morning.  One expert suggests consuming enough easy-to-digest carbs to provide 200 calories for each hour you are awake before the race.  Keep it simple.  Avoid fat of any kind on race morning.  Whatever you eat that morning, get it in your body about 3 hours before the start.  As the start approaches, shift to your race fuel.  (gels, sports drink, …)

Water mostly, with some electrolyte fluid, in small, regular amounts.  Cold water is absorbed quicker. I recommend 6 oz. every hour, 8 oz. on hot days.  If you want Vitamin C, take it two hours or more before the race.

DURING the marathon is even more complicated.  For a half marathon, most just need one or two gel packets to make it through.  There are mathematical formulas involved in the calculations for marathons and other races longer than the half marathon.  At 160 pounds, I know I personally have to consume around 1,100 calories through gels and sports drinks along the marathon route in order to avoid running out of energy.

Here is what Lucia Mahoney from FitBodyNutrition says about fueling during the marathon:

  • under “normal” conditions, the average runner needs 16-32 fluid ounces per hour of exercise. For best absorption, drink 1/2-1 cup of fluid every 15-20 minutes. You will require more on very hot or humid days.
  • for every pound you lose on a run, 2 cups of water are required to replace.
  • 1 pound of sweat = loss of 500 mg sodium (the equivalent of 1/4 tsp of salt)
  • dehydration will increase body temperature, reduce blood volume and thereby weaken muscular endurance and strength. Result —-> you slow down
  • your gel or sports drink should include electrolytes; studies show that ingesting electrolytes (remember: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium) during the run will improve performance and help delay fatigue. Electrolytes are important for muscular contraction and for optimal absorption & retention of fluids
  • **how much do you need?** Carb intake during prolonged exercise should be approximately .5-1.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per hour. A 165 lb (or 75 kg) athlete would therefore need 37.5-75 grams per hour. That is equivalent to 2-3 gels or 1-2 gels plus 8-20 ounces of sports drink per hour (most gels contain 20-25 grams of carbs and sports drinks contain 12-14 grams/8 oz)
  • important: each gel must be taken with 8-10 ounces of water (not sports drink) to promote absorption and avoid gastrointestinal distress

Remember This:

Start your eating and drinking within the first mile or two.
If you start your fuel and water intake after 2 miles,
you may have already ruined your marathon.

Be careful to consume enough of everything your body needs to succeed at the task that you are asking it to accomplish.

Train hard, eat well, & enjoy the run!


Check out these books by P. Mark Taylor for more advice on running:


The Gift of Running: A Book for Runners & future runners  Wise Running Book COVER mockup


Wise Running: Thoughts on Running and Life




What to Eat Before Running a Race

wise running logo 7_25_12

I recently wrote about the question of whether to eat or not before a run, but a friend recently asked me a more specific and detailed question:

What should I eat during the days before a race and on the day of the race?

The very clear answer: it depends on the race you are running.

If you are racing a distance of 8 miles or less, what you eat on the days before is not quite as critical.

  • Feeling Good:  It is always better to stick with healthy foods, especially as you approach race day.  This will help you feel your best.
  • Avoiding GI Issues:  There is no avoiding this topic.  It is hard to run your best when you feel bloated or suddenly feel the need to poop. You know your body best.  Eat foods that agree with your body and encourage regularity.  Eat early enough on race day to allow any extra pressure in that area to work itself out well before you head to the starting line.  Specifically, eat at least 2 hours before start time.  Three hours would be better, but do not lose sleep over it.
  • Energy:  Assuming you are eating enough calories to maintain your current weight, you are naturally storing enough calories to run a race of this length.
  • On Race Day:  You really do not need to eat much on race morning.  Stick with easy to digest carbohydrates.  Avoid fat, which can slow digestion and slow you just a bit.

If you are racing 10 or more miles, what you eat in the days before a race makes a much bigger difference.

  • Feeling Good:  It is still true at any distance; It is always better to stick with healthy foods, especially as you approach race day.  This will help you feel your best.
  • Avoiding GI Issues:  This is especially relevant for racing longer distances; it is hard to run your best when you feel bloated or suddenly feel the need to poop. You know your body best.  Eat foods that agree with your body and encourage regularity.  Eat early enough on race day to allow any extra pressure in that area to work itself out well before you head to the starting line.  The difference on the longer distance races is that you should limit your intake of fiber starting the day before the race.
  • Energy:  You must consider carb-loading.  At 10-13 miles, you might naturally store enough calories to run a race of this length., but you should keep your tank topped off to make sure.  For marathons (or anything beyond 13) it is absolutely critical!  Gradually increase the percent of your calories that you get from carbohydrates.  By the day before the race, as much as 80% of your calories should come from carbs.
  • Hydration:  An important part of carb-loading is hydration.  In order to store those carbs as glycogen in your legs, your body must store some water with it.  Most experts suggest sipping on sports drinks for a day or two before a marathon.  It delivers the carbs and water together.
  • On Race Day:  For a marathon, you need to have a substantial number of calories in the morning.  One expert suggests consuming enough easy-to-digest carbs to provide 200 calories for each hour you are awake before the race.  Keep it simple.  Avoid fat of any kind on race morning.  Whatever you eat that morning, get it in your body about 3 hours before the start.  As the start approaches, shift to your race fuel.  (gels, sports drink, …)
  • Calories DURING the race:  This one is complicated.  For a half marathon, most just need one or two gel packets to make it through.  There are mathematical formulas involved in the calculations for marathons and other races longer than the half marathon.  At 160 pounds, I know I personally have to consume around 1,100 calories through gels and sports drinks along the marathon route in order to avoid running out of energy.  I will save that technical info for another post.

What you eat in the days before the race can make or break your attempt at running a personal best.   Think about the consequences before you reach for something to eat.  Get enough of the right things at the right times and you will be happier with the results.

Eat well & enjoy the run!


The Gift of Running,by P. Mark Taylor, is now available in both paperback & e-book

Paperback Version – Amazon.com $9.00

Ebook Version – Kindle Store $2.99

Ebook Version for Nook $2.99


Ask P. Mark: How Much Protein Do Runners Need?

wise running logo 7_25_12

Today’s question comes from a half marathon maniac who has been trying to find the right fuel for every day running and recovery.

Question:   How much protein do runners need?

P. Mark’s Answer:  With all the conflicting dietary info out there, deciding what to eat can feel like a minefield.  As an athlete, however, we should always be concerned about giving our bodies what they need to recover.  We do specific workouts to cue our bodies to make specific adaptations to enable us to run farther faster.  One of the major components of of “recovery nutrition” is protein.  Hence, this is a question that I have been asking, too:

How much protein should I be consuming daily?

The answer is not obvious.  It is also not simple.  I started with one of the most trusted sources for runners around the world, Runner’s World magazine.  According to an article in that journal, runner’s should consume between .45 & .72 grams of protein for each pound of body weight.  By that standard, a 200 pound runner should consume between 90 & 144 grams of protein each day.  A 150 pound runner would consume between 67 & 108 grams of protein each day.

Is this the final answer?  No.  I read a review of research literature on the topic and found that there is not universal agreement.  Based on a meta-analysis of the research, the author recommended an intake of .63 to .81 grams of protein per day for long distance runners of any age less than 62 years old.  Beyond age 62 the recovery process slows, so less protein would be required.

If we combine these, then you, my distance runner friend, will need somewhere between .45 and .81 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day to maximize your health and get the most out of your training.  Below is a table to help you examine the possibilities.

 Weight 0.45 0.5 0.55 0.6 0.65 0.7 0.75 0.8
100 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80
110 49.5 55 60.5 66 71.5 77 82.5 88
120 54 60 66 72 78 84 90 96
130 58.5 65 71.5 78 84.5 91 97.5 104
140 63 70 77 84 91 98 105 112
150 67.5 75 82.5 90 97.5 105 112.5 120
160 72 80 88 96 104 112 120 128
170 76.5 85 93.5 102 110.5 119 127.5 136
180 81 90 99 108 117 126 135 144
190 85.5 95 104.5 114 123.5 133 142.5 152
200 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160
210 94.5 105 115.5 126 136.5 147 157.5 168
220 99 110 121 132 143 154 165 176
230 103.5 115 126.5 138 149.5 161 172.5 184
240 108 120 132 144 156 168 180 192
250 112.5 125 137.5 150 162.5 175 187.5 200

With this scientific evidence, it is still not easy to know how much protein to consume daily!  If you weight 170 pounds, your protein needs could be anywhere between 76.5 grams all the way up to 136 grams.  That is a huge range.

How then shall we make the decision of how much to eat on a daily basis?

First, make sure you are falling within the range of grams for your weight.  If you are consuming less than the amount in the .45 grams column, then you know that you are not getting enough protein.  Within that range, your gender matters.  Men break down a bit more during a workout than do women.  Hence, men will be in the higher half of that range, and  women will be towards the lower half.

For me personally, I have decided that I would rather have a bit too much than to not have enough when it comes to protein.  As a 160 pounds male, I am going to aim for about 110 grams of protein per day.  That represents a 10 gram increase over what I had been aiming for in my daily intake of protein.

What Are My Protein Sources?

Determining which sources of protein are best is another tough issue.  It depends on who you ask.  Rather than go through all of the choices, I will just tell you what I have been doing for my most consistent protein sources:  eggs, chicken, beans, quinoa, peanut butter, peanuts, plain nonfat yogurt, and my protein powder supplement (plant-based protein from peas, hemp, & rice).  You may differ in your opinion of what is best.  I have tested foods out one by one to see how my body responds and this is the list of the best for P. Mark Taylor & his running performance.  I recommend that you do a similar experiment and see what your body likes the best.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what you should eat and how much.  My hope in posting this information is that you would seriously consider changing your diet to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein as a part of a balanced healthy dietary lifestyle.


“Train smart, eat well, & enjoy the run!”  — P. Mark Taylor


Check out these books by P. Mark Taylor for more advice on running:


The Gift of Running: A Book for Runners & Future Runners  Wise Running Book COVER mockup


Wise Running: Thoughts on Running and Life

Whether to Eat Before or After Running (or other exercise)


Is it better to eat before or after exercising?
How soon after eating is it okay to run?

P. Mark’s Answer:

You can eat before or after.  It depends on what your eating and how long it takes to digest.  Typically, your body takes about 3 hours to fully digest a large meal.  A small meal can be digested in as little as 2 hours.

The consequence of this: if you eat a meal of any size, you should wait at least 2 hours before challenging your body.  If the exercise is extremely light and easy for your body, it might be just fine.  Anything beyond that requires serious resources from your body.

Problem 1:  Your body fluids can’t be in two places at once.  Extra blood gets routed to the area of your gastrointestinal system so that it can absorb and deliver the incoming nutrition.  Digestion also diverts some of the water in your system to that process.  These combine to yield a significantly lower flow of blood to your muscles.  If you go fast enough that your body prioritizes the exercise over digestion, then you have other problems.  You could feel some cramping in your GI system.

Problem 2:  Heavy jostling leads to poor digestion.   It is too difficult for the nutrition to be absorbed effectively when it is swishing around.  Hence, you are getting less from your food.  This also requires that diversion of fluids to remain in effect longer.

Possible Results:  Poor Performance, cramps, &/or indigestion.  At the very least, it slows you down a little and you may have wasted some valuable nutrition.

What you CAN eat before a run or other exercise:  A small amount of simple carbohydrates can be eaten (or drank) within one hour of exercise.  That is what energy gels are designed to do: provide a blend of simple sugars and slightly more complex sugars to be used immediately by the body.

Remember This!

If you have been eating relatively healthy and in sufficient quantity,
your body has a supply of energy waiting to be used!

Glycogen is a complex sugar that is stored in your muscles and liver.  This is the fuel that marathoners have in mind when “carb-loading” the week before the marathon.  They are topping off that supply to have as much energy as possible available on race day.  If you are eating well on a regular basis, you have a supply of energy.  How much?  A person weighing 150 lbs can carry anywhere from 800 to 2000 calories.  The more healthy carbs you eat, the more glycogen you are able to store.

Hydration is just as critical, if not more so.  A body without a full supply of water will not operate well.  The tougher your workout, the more water you will need.  Work on hydration on an ongoing basis throughout the day, starting with 16 ounces of water when you wake up!

My Personal Habit:

When I am training for a marathon, I will not eat 2-3 hours before one of my key workouts for the week.  I do, however, consume calories immediately before as well as throughout my run!  Specifically, I consume the fuel that I will consume during the marathon.  Since you absolutely must consume calories during a marathon, this method of consuming calories during my workout prepares my body to run fast while processing small amounts of easy-to-digest fuel.

When I am not in marathon training, I am more likely to just follow the 2 hour rule.  Since nearly all of my runs are shorter than 10 miles, I know my body stores enough glycogen to fuel any run – because I am eating right.  🙂

AFTER any challenging run, I fuel up with high quality carbs and some protein as soon as I can.  This is the ideal time to replenish the glycogen supply and start healing those muscles.

Eat well & enjoy the run!


The Gift of Running,by P. Mark Taylor, is now available in both paperback & e-book

Paperback Version – Amazon.com $9.00

Ebook Version – Kindle Store $2.99

Ebook Version for Nook $2.99


Table of Contents – Gift of Running

Here is the final version of the table of contents of my new book “The Gift of Running

The book is is now available in both paperback & ebook

Paperback Version – Amazon.com

Ebook Version – Kindle Store

Table of Contents

How to Read This Book 

Running Is a Gift for All

… A Precious Gift

…E Pluribus Run-em

……Where I Fall In the Spectrum of Runners

……Why am I writing a book on running?

…Receiving the Gift:  A Word to the Newbie Runner

Enhancing the Gift: Running Longer &/or Faster 

…Running Faster

…Running Longer

…Threshold Pace

……Threshold Pace and the Perfect Race

…Running a Marathon

…My Marathon Story:   From 5:35 to 3:27 in 18 months

Renewing the Gift: Motivation  

…Recapturing the Joy of Running

…Motivation: Getting Out of the Door

…Slaying the Specter of a Bad Run

…Potential, Risk, & Failure

…Racing as Motivation

…Aging Gracefully

……The Fountain of Youth

……Setting Age-Appropriate Goals

Renewing the Gift: Health

…Rest Days

…New Thoughts about Old Stretching

…Where to run: Surfaces, Sites, & Treadmills

…Philosophy of Pain

…RICE for Pain

…Weather Affects Running

…Staying Healthy in the Heat

…Running and Weight Loss

Giving Back: Community & Coaching 

…The Running Community

…Running Buddies

…You Will Never Run Alone

…Encouraging, Exhorting & Coaching

…Charity Fundraising

Training Schedules & Other Resources 

…What is a Training Plan?

…Following My Training Plans.

…From Walking to Running a 5K..

Training Programs:

– Walking to 5K
– Racing a 5K
– Racing a 10K
– Racing a Half Marathon
– Racing a Marathon

…The Right Stuff: Running Tools & Supplies

Wrapping Up the Gift 


The Gift of Running: a book for runners and future runners

Getting Healthy: My Current Diet

The rules of my diet are simple and based on “The Abs Diet”.

Eat as much of you want of the best foods, but spread it out over the day in 6 smaller “meals.” Never pig out at one session & never eat fast.  No counting calories.

This diet greatly reduces saturated fats & sugars, reducing cravings.  More importantly, this is high quality nutritious food, so your body will be easily satisfied with less.

Category 1: The Power 12 – Eat mostly these 12 items

  • Almonds and other nuts (raw)
  • Beans & Other Legumes
  • Spinach & other veggies
  • Dairy – low-fat
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Turkey & lean meat
  • Peanut Butter (natural)
  • Olive Oil
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread/cereal
  • Whey Protein Powder
  • Raspberries and other berries

Category 2: Eat Often…

  • Apples
  • Avacado
  • Banana
  • Brown rice
  • Canadian bacon
  • Canola oil
  • Citrus fruits & juices
  • Lean game
  • Garlic
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Melons
  • Peach
  • Peanut Oil
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Pizza (cheese-plain, thin crust, 2 pieces per meal)
  • Fat-free popcorn
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sweet Potatoes

Category 3: Eat Seldom…

  • Baked potato
  • Light beer
  • Light butter
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Lamb
  • Lasagna
  • Lunchmeat
  • Macaroni
  • Nuts (roasted in oil)
  • Pudding
  • French fries
  • Graham crackers
  • Granola low-fat
  • Ham honey
  • Ice cream – lowfat
  • Jam
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Rice
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sorbet
  • Sherbet
  • Veal
  • White wine
  • Frozen  yogurt

Category 4: Avoid – except for special ocassions

  • Bacon
  • bagels
  • baked goods
  • fat
  • beef
  • beer
  • white flour
  • jelly
  • margarine
  • non-dairy creamer
  • pasta
  • pastries
  • soft drinks
  • soup (creamy)
  • ribs
  • veggies (fried or creamed)

“Train hard, race easy, & enjoy the run!”  — P. Mark Taylor




Eating with Purpose

If you ask any health professional, they will tel you just about the same thing.  Eat whole, natural, healthy foods.  My chiropractor tells me to eat things the way they appear in nature – fresh off the tree or vine, straight out of the ground, or freshly cut and ready to cook.  “If it has been chopped, blended, or otherwise mutilated, then it is not longer good for you,” he always says.

Unfortunately, that is not the way I tend to eat.  I want convenience.  My “healthy” snacks and foods include protein bars, energy bars, gel packs, sugar-free pudding, and some granola.  All of these things are quite the opposite of what my chiropractor wants me to eat.  They are all prepackaged and highly processed.   I try to make up for it with multi-vitamins and other supplements, but I am sure that this is less than ideal.

Compared to many of my friends and family, my snacks really are healthy.  They tend to be lower sugar and lower calories than most.  Still… if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then I ought to be at the doctor’s office at least once a week.  Why is it so difficult to eat the right thing?

I justify my lack of fresh fruits and vegetables by pointing out that I live an unpredictable lifestyle.  I usually do not know what I want to eat until it is time to eat.  That means that fresh foods often go bad before I get around to wanting them.  This is not a productive outlook, of course.  It is important for everyone to eat with purpose.  Yes, you should enjoy what you eat.  Many fruits and vegetables are quite yummy after all.

So here is a note to myself and any other runners with poor eating habits and mindsets:

If you want to get the maximum enjoyment out of running, you must eat with purpose.  Choose delicious, satisfying foods that will get you ready to run with vigor and endurance.

While there are many different philosophies out there, I am going to propose that we stick to one that sounds the most balanced.  You should get about 50 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 25 percent from fat, and 15 percent from protein.  You should be a little flexible with this, however.  The longer your run, the more carbs you will require.

What does that look like on your plate?  Here are some great food choices for runners (or anyone else for that matter).  All of these foods are tasty, satisfying and take little or no preparation:

Black Beans
Dark Chocolate
Frozen Stir-fry Vegetables
Frozen Mixed Berries
Low-fat Yogurt
Mixed Salad Greens
Sweet Potato
Whole-Grain Bread
Whole-Grain Cereal with Protein
Whole-grain Pasta

My list comes from an article on Runner’s World, but the truth is that these are some of the same foods listed as healthy on web sites of all sorts.  They are just good foods, full of nutrients and energy for the active runner.  🙂

Good luck on changing your habits.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Please tell us what changes you are making.  What works for you?



“Train hard, race easy, & enjoy the run!”  — P. Mark Taylor



Welcome to Wise Running!

This is my first real blog on Wise Running.  You have to start somewhere, right?  I already did my “About Us” page.  Take a look and tell me what you think.  It is just a skeleton at this point, but here is a quick preview of what is to come.

The categories above show much of my intent:

Health & Nutrition is somewhat self-explanatory, but will focus on runner’s specific needs, habits, and injury prevention.

Racing will include some notes on my races, some notes on big races in the running world, links to upcoming races, and anything else race-related that you might ask for – just let me know.

Shoes & Gear will have news, links, and reviews related to running gear for your feet and everything above.

Humor & Inspiration will include insightful quotes and stories as well as the lighter side of running.

Training will include links to high quality training programs, tips, and suggestions.

Let me know what you would like to see!

Happy Running!

P. Mark “Park” Taylor





%d bloggers like this: