To Protein or Not to Protein…

So last time I said I suppose we should maybe chat about protein and supplements. I’ve read a lot of other blogs and it seems like most runners that are either marathon training or staying in marathon shape, use some type of protein supplement. The stigma always used to be, and still is, that body builders and people that workout strenuously should increase their protein intake to help build stronger, bulky muscles. I think we’d all agree that most marathoners and long distance runners are not bulky like this


So why do we as runners think we need extra protein? In my thoughts its because we do some damage to our muscles by running a crazy amount of miles at one time. We put our bodies through stress. Protein helps repair these muscles and build our strength. But my real question is, why do we think we need extra protein in addition to what we already get in our diet? My sis sent me a link to a good article related to fitness and protein supplements. You can find that here. In case that link doesn’t work (because sometimes my technical capabilities are no good and my links don’t work) the article is titled The Truth About Protein: Protein Nutritional Facts on So after reading that article, doing some other research, and reading about runners diets from a book I have, I have made up my own conclusion.

From my nursing education I think about what the extra protein does to a person’s kidneys. Our kidneys process, filter, and waste extra products that run through our system. If we eat a regular, healthy diet, we intake the appropriate amount of protein through diet. So if we increase our protein intake with supplements we put our kidneys through a bit more stress to waste extra protein. I’m not saying that people are going to put themselves into renal failure or anything, but my point is, if we get the adequate amount of protein from food, why would we put our bodies through some unnecessary stress?

So, what are my thoughts on protein supplements and would I use a supplement in shakes or smoothies? I tried it, I liked it. I would probably add protein to my smoothies every now and then. Here is why. After a long run we don’t always feel like eating a full meal. I used to be able too. But sometimes are stomachs are tricky little things and make us nauseated, feel full, or just unable to tolerated food right after a long run. However, experts say that we should take in a healthy protein and carb ratio the first 15-30 minutes after a run. And sometimes the only way to be able to tolerate that appropriate amount of protein, is a shake or smoothie used as a meal replacement, not a supplement.  This particular smoothie was my lunch after my last 14 miler 🙂

Protein anyone?
Protein anyone?

If anyone has any questions or anything to add, please do!!

So what’s going on on the running front?! Here’s how they’ve been going!

Lets start with last Monday (yes it’s been a long time since I’ve posted!): I wore my heart rate monitor (HRM) for the first time ever with my new Garmin! I ran 4 miles outside at 8:30/mile pace with my HR in the 150’s at a fairly easy pace.

Tuesday was 7.02 miles on the tread at work. 7 tempo miles about approximately 7:45/mile average. It was a different tread and it didn’t show the pace, and then I stopped it to pause it and I turned it off and cleared my info. But the run felt good!

Wednesday was a rest day 🙂 Hello massage and facial!!!

Thursday was long run day because I work the weekend. 14.05 miles in 2 hours flat. Outside. Windy. Cold. This run was mentally tough. But I pushed through and made it. Some left knee and quad soreness the last couple of miles.

Friday was a cross train day and did Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown level 2 and loved every second of it!

Saturday was an easy 4.03 miles in 32:53 with an average 8:10/mile. I did a 0.75mile warm up, 3 miles of fartleks and 0.25 cool down.

Sunday was a treadmill incline workout. 2 miles of incline work in 30 minutes.

Monday March 4th was a rest day!

Tuesday was 4 miles in 35 minutes on the tread. Left knee pain is still there…

Wednesday was 7.15 miles in 60 minutes. It was a tempo run day but I tried to take it easy on the knee. I still averaged 8min/miles. I love the tread because I can control the pace. It feels easier to me to have the tread set the pace rather than setting it outside. I think I’m getting too comfortable on that tread again and I’m ready to run harder outside. I also got another new pair of Saucony Hurricane 14’s that I ran in!! They are just like my other pair and I love them just as much. Something else that is new and I LOVE??!! Pro Compression low training socks…LOVE them and they deserve a post all on their own!

Hurricane 14's and Best. Socks. Ever.
Hurricane 14’s and Best. Socks. Ever.

Thursday I ran 4.25 miles. Easy miles. 36 minutes and 9min.miles. Left.Knee.Pain. Not.Cool.

Friday was a rest day and I went to visit my friends at physical therapy about the left.knee.pain. More on that later.

Today, this should’ve happened:

Can't wait to try this shit!
Can’t wait to try this shit!

Came in my mail box yesterday!!! But, today is going to be a rest day because of that pesky knee and I may have had a couple Blue Moon’s last night 😉 Cheers kids!!!!

This is worth all the workouts ever done.
This is worth all the workouts ever done.


What are your thoughts on protein supplements?? Do you, have you, or would you use them??!!


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