By: Emily Baird, Community Marketing Manager

Last year was the first time I’d ever run 8 miles...then 10 miles...then 12. I've previously mentioned that I didn't like running until recently, so I never pushed the distance that far. When I started running farther, I realized something felt off. Every time I tried to run last fall, my legs felt heavy and my calves felt tight. It didn't matter how easy previous runs had been, how much I stretched before hand, or how much I foam-rolled afterwards.

A friend mentioned I might have an iron deficiency, so I decided to give Insidetracker a try, something I’d heard a lot about from athletes in the Nuuniverse. For those of you who haven't heard of Insidetracker, it's a company looking to help you meet your goals by analyzing blood samples and providing nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.

So what did I learn? My friend was right: my iron and ferritin levels were low.

The cool thing about Insidetracker is they tell you which nutrients are low, and which foods will help you reach the optimized zone. I had a few areas to work on, but I particularly focused on getting my iron and ferritin levels up. So I started adding spinach (for iron) and carrots (for Vitamin C to improve iron absorption) to my post-workout smoothie, started eating oatmeal for breakfast again, and added peanut butter and black beans to more meals.

2 months later, and while I still have work to do, my legs feel like new! Sure I still have days when my legs are heavy, but now I can track it back to a tough workout. 

So would I do it again? Absolutely. As someone that wanted to make changes to my diet but didn't know where to start, Insidetracker gave the guidance I needed. They helped me prioritize my goals so the recommendations were digestible (pun intended) rather than a giant list that might have left me feeling hopeless. It's not a magic pill. If you get tested, you're going to have to put in the work. But your health is worth it.

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