Happy first Thursday of 2014!
I hope you had a safe and fun New Year’s celebration! 🙂
I hit the road this morning for a short run. I actually forgot to charge my Garmin so I ran naked.
Um, not naked as in “not wearing any clothes” but naked as in “not wearing a watch.”
Do you know how cold it is out there?
Get your mind out of the gutter.
Anyway, do you ever do that? You should! It’s quite liberating!
I’m sure running in your birthday suit would also be quite liberating. Until you got arrested. Then, not so liberating any more. So, I don’t recommend THAT kind of running naked.
Running without a watch also gives you a chance to run by feel rather than being so focused on running a specific pace.
It’s good for you both physically and mentally. It pulls you out of your head and just puts you out there IN the run.
So, there’s 9 days until the Mississippi Blues marathon!!
I’ve only got one longish run before I really taper next week.
Because it was a short-ish run this morning – I just did 5 miles – I fueled up with some orange juice and a handful of raisins.
If you’re just getting in to running, or your trying to use running as a weight loss tool, you want to make sure you’re fueling your body properly both pre- and post-run.
You certainly don’t want all that hard (and FUN!) work to go to waste. Or, to your waist! 😉
So, the general rule of thumb is, if you’re running less than 30 minutes, you probably don’t need a snack before you head out the door.
If you’re running longer or harder (hills, tempo run, etc), you want to grab a 100-200 calorie snack about an hour before your run.
Now, if you’re like me and you run early in the morning, getting up to eat a snack an hour before a run just isn’t going to happen.
I mean, seriously.
If you’re heading out on your run at 4:30am, who wants to be up at 3:30 just to eat?!
Um, yeah, not me.
That’s why I choose orange juice. It gets the calories and carbs through my system quickly. The raisins hold me through the run.
Of course, if I wake up STARVING, I’ll usually eat a banana and/or a spoonful of peanut butter and skip the OJ and raisins.
For longer runs, I’ll usually have small bowl of cereal with some blueberries or strawberries or some instant oatmeal.
What? It’s early in the morning. You think I’m going to COOK up some oatmeal on the stove?
This is NOT the time to eat Fiber One.
Well, at least not for me. You could have an iron stomach and handle it well but, generally, too much fiber before a run can make a tummy feel really blech.
I don’t like blech.
In fact, I don’t like blech so much that I pack my own food when I travel for races. I’m sure the TSA folk think I’m strange for having packets of oatmeal, Justin’s peanut and almond butters, Larabars and Jelly Bellys in my bag. Don’t care.
Now that you’ve run and you’re back home, what should you eat?
If you’ve done a short, easy-ish run (and yes, easy/hard is different for everyone so you will need to learn to listen to your body), you’re probably fine with just drinking some water (rehydration is KEY! You don’t want to feel bad later. It’s not fun. Trust me.) and then grabbing a healthy breakfast after a shower, etc.
If you’ve done a hard/long run, you want to fuel within 30 minutes to an hour of your workout. Your muscles need it even if your stomach thinks it doesn’t. Again, trust me. If you don’t fuel then, you’ll eat the entire McDonald’s menu later. And then your belly will REALLY hurt.
You want to aim for a ratio of 4:1 carbs:protein. I don’t know why that is the magic number but it is. Science is awesome. And chocolate milk is the BOMB-diggity after a workout and gives you the right amount of fuel. This one is my favorite! It’s the perfect size!
If you’re not a fan of chocolate milk (seriously, there are people out there who actually don’t like it. like my uncle. he’s strange.), try to keep your snack around 200 calories. Then, a few hours later, eat a healthy snack/small meal and continue on with your day.
If you’re like me (okay, fine, I have a somewhat disagreeable tummy), you’re probably going to feel a little ick after an especially long run (for me, that’s a marathon) and you don’t want to eat anything AT ALL.
Don’t do that. It’s bad.
If you can’t do chocolate milk, make a fruit smoothie and add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Or, if you’ve traveled for a race and you can’t just whip up a fruit smoothie, maybe you should have remembered to pack your blender. Ha! I’m kidding. 🙂 You should check out the selections by Naked Juice, Odwalla, and Bolthouse Farms. Many of those have a great blend of fruit (and vitamin C!) and have a shot of protein to help refuel your tired muscles. Just make sure you watch the serving size or you may bounce off the walls because of all the sugar!
And then, don’t forget to stretch!
I get a lot of information from Runner’s World. They have a plethora of articles on nutrition for runners, how to fuel for various races and distances, suggestions for both pre- and post-workout meals, etc. I am not an expert on this subject nor am I an expert on nutrition although I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. No, not really. 🙂 I try to make as many healthy choices as I can and I have learned my own requirements through trial and error and listening to my body (most specifically – my tummy) but I have taken guidance/ideas from them and tried them out. You have to find what works for you as far as what fuels you properly before a workout and what your tummy can handle post-workout.
Question: What’s your favorite blend of fruit smoothie?