Eating Two Meals a Day and Endurance Training
Running and Eating Twice Daily to Stay Fit After 40
After years of practicing Time Restricted Eating and a 2-month experiment of Eating Twice Daily during the first COVID-19 lockdown, I slowly adopted the eating pattern of having two meals early in the day. I find it to be the most practical and beneficial form of Daily Fasting for me.
Running and Fasting to Stay Fit after 40?
I enjoy running on a daily basis to stay physically active in my 50s. I am looking at ways to improve my recovery and prevent injuries. A better the recovery allows a better training the following days. External factors, like sleep and eating pattern, can help to recover especially as a master runner.
What fasting pattern can match my physical activity and supports my recovery? Keeping it Simple: By Eating Twice Daily you can slightly reduce your calorie intake and the duration of your eating window without having to count calories or hours. It allows more time to rest for the digestive system and also helps to maintain a healthy weight without dieting.
How? Self-Defined Simple Rules
From previous experiences, I realised that the early Time Restricted Eating is what works best for me. So I experimented eating my two meals by scheduling the first one after my run and the second one after essential work. It’s important to schedule an eating pattern adapted to your daily activities and life circumstances.
First Meal: I drink water upon wakening. I like to run in a fasted state just after the sunrise. I then break my fast about 10 am (earlier in summer time) eating a bowl of overnight oats, chia and yogurt with fresh fruits.
Second Meal: I feel fully energised and focused in the morning after my run outside, it’s the perfect moment for creative and deep work. I delay my second meal until I am done working. About 2pm, I eat a colorful bowl of rice/quinoa with veggies. In the afternoon, I simply adjust my hydration by making sure that I drink enough to compensate the water that would have come from eating a third meal.
Flexibility is key for Consistency
What works over time is what is doable without too much frictions given your environment and life circumstances. I train 4 or 5 days a week, my fasting pattern matches my training plan. The two days off helps to keep a social life. I also don’t stick to eating twice a day when I am not training. Instead I simply maintain a 10 hours eating window. I am looking for long term consistency over short term rigidity.
To Run after 40, Train Smarter not Harder!
My focus isn’t performance but Recovery. I try to train well, recover well and repeat. I am curious to see if I can run at 50 years old at the same pace or faster than in my 35s. I used to run half marathons in 1h24 at a 15 km/h pace. Half marathons are good benchmarks of endurance and pace. They don’t require as much training as a marathon. The risks of over training or injuries is lower while training for and racing half marathons. I am looking to figure out the minimal ideal volume of training to stay fit and be prepared for any half marathon or 20–30K trail races. The daily fasting, a consistent sleep pattern and relaxing practices like Non-Sleep-Deep-Rest will hopefully contribute to a better recovery.
Training Plan for Half Marathon, Short Trails 20–30K
I live and train on the volcanic island of La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain). Flat routes don’t exist, most trails are really steep. So running on short vertical trails (about 10% of incline) is part of my daily routine. Not the ideal playground for half marathons training but a small paradise for trail running. I plan and log my weekly training in time not kilometers. I am looking to train from 4 to 6 hours each week in 4 or 5 sessions. My small vertical run takes about 40 minutes. Another vertical route close by takes about 1h20.
I have a diversity of trail options for a 2-hour weekly run. I take a bus and explore another side of the island. This run helps me to adjust the logistic, my equipment and simulate the conditions of a 20–30K trail race. My Fasting/Eating pattern matches my training schedule as presented below.
Keep Experimenting to keep Learning
I will take part in half marathons and 20–30k trail races this year to evaluate how this training and fasting practice are working for me. I keep my training playful and fun by exploring different, longer trails or multi-day runs. I also keep experimenting with Daily Fasting especially by Eating Once Daily every 5 weeks.
What I Appreciate About Eating Twice a Day
- It’s a simple, practical and economical eating pattern.
- It combines perfectly with my whole food plant-based diet.
- Minimal prep time with only two meals a day including the breakfast.
- Flexible and easy to plan around work and physical activity
- So far the most effective way to stabilise my Healthy Weight without dieting or calorie counting.
- Improved Sleep and overall Recovery
I wrote a series of articles on my Daily Fasting experiences:
- What did I learn from 2 years of practicing Time Restricted Eating?
- A 6-DAY Eating Twice a Day Experiment
- Why I run almost daily?
- Eating Once a Day Experiment
- The inconvenient truth about Time Restricted Eating
- Mindful Eating Plan Made Easy
- Forget DETOX, 5-DAYTOX Challenge