Running and eating are a perfect pairing — although not necessarily at the same time for most people.
Some people eat to run faster or longer. Others log the miles to eat whatever they want. Sometimes that’s the same person on different days. But then there are people who love to pound the pavement to restaurants. It’s a thing.
Adam Devine, 35, does all the above, depending on the day. He’s one of four team captains of the Prospect Park Track Club in Brooklyn, New York. (Full disclosure: This writer is a member also. Go PPTC!)
Right now, Devine is training to improve his speed, so he’s tailoring his diet to further that goal by limiting his sugar and processed carbohydrates, as well as eating whole foods, meat, and a lot of produce. As an ultra runner who can run up to 10 hours straight, Devine can eat while running as well. He has to. Otherwise, all bets are off.
“When I’m not training and just running to stay sane, I’m going to have all the fried chicken,” Devine says with a laugh. “Anything that holds still long enough is going to end up in my mouth.” A regular week can include 50 miles of running, so Devine can do that. You can’t scarf down a whole pizza as a reward for running three miles and expect no weight gain, he says.
Then there are those food runs.
In the last year or so, Devine joined in or organized a few food runs: a doughnut run to three local shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan; a March 14 “Pie Day” run to Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn; and a Women’s Day run to the women-owned bakery and bar, Butter & Scotch, in Brooklyn. “It’s not just about running and eating,” Devine says. “It’s about supporting local businesses and becoming a closer and more involved member of the community.”
Conversation changes when you sit at a restaurant facing each other compared to running along side one another, looking straight ahead. Sometimes Devine feels more comfortable getting to know people while running than when eating at restaurants together.
Lisa Maya Knauer, 60, of Brooklyn however, particularly loves the social dynamic of gathering at restaurants after a run. “I didn’t start running to be able to eat more. That wasn’t the motivation,” says Knauer, also a club member. Knauer gravitated toward other runners who love to explore the dynamic city’s many restaurants. “Eating is often more fun with people,” Knauer says. “With all the wonderful ethnic restaurants here — from Burmese to Uzbek — it’s an opportunity to taste more things and share it with other people.”
For her first food run with the club, Knauer hightailed it to Manhattan’s Chinatown to slurp soup-dumplings. She’s run for Uzbek food at Nargis Café, Kore-Saram (Korean and post-Soviet Russian, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine) food at Café Lily, Sicilian square pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens, and an Ethiopian meal at Bunna Café, all in Brooklyn — plus one run for dim sum at Golden Unicorn Restaurant in Chinatown.
Jimmy Leung, 50, organized that dim sum run. He’s known within the club for his almost daily food jaunts and love of any dish that’s iconic, crazy, or decadent. He wasn’t available to interview for this article because he was out running and eating pastries.
Leung has a weekly run in which he picks up his installment of Dominique Ansel’s Cronuts (croissant-doughnuts) in Manhattan’s Soho. He zips all over, such as his recent run to the Lower East Side to have a corned beef sandwich at the famous Katz’s Delicatessen. Another day, he ran to get hot dogs and cream puffs. Most jaunts include club buddies.
Running makes food taste better, and a great food destination makes the journey more enjoyable, these runners say.
“It’s a chance to interact with people in a different way than when you’re just running,” Knauer says.
— Want to make your own food after a run? Check out these post-workout meals and snacks.