One year ago today I was just over a month away from my first full marathon, and only a couple week away from tapering. I think it is more than fair to say that the one word I will use to describe that time was – DONE. I was pretty tired and worn out and counting down the days till my taper. Now a year later I have to admit, I kind of miss training, and yes that involved the 30+km runs every Sunday – but only on the sunny days 😉 I decided instead of missing training and running I would take this time to share with everyone else training an gearing up for races information I have came across that I think will be helpful.
From Runners World, “Running Foods”,a few tips about running, snacking and nutrition:
-For runners, snacking is a valid nutrition strategy. It helps fuel you for workouts and runs, get in your necessary nutrients, sustain your blood-sugar levels (to reduce cravings) and keeps your metabolism going strong. According to the article the key is to keep portions small—around 200 to 300 calories—and choose healthy, nutrient-dense foods. For me snacking is very important. Most days I eat 2-3 snacks and my 3 main meals, so during my awake hours I am eating every 3-4 hours. If I do not do this, I find my energy levels drop, I get cranky (quick) and then start to crave more foods that aren’t necessarily great for me.
– Pre-run the article suggests that 30 to 60 minutes before running eat high carb, low-fiber foods that are easy to digest and provide fast energy. You can also eat some protein and fat to steady your blood sugar during a long run, but in moderation. This is because fats and protein break down slowly and, like fiber, can lead to an upset stomach midrun. I am sure we have all experienced this during a run, and it is no fun at all! For me, once I found a pre-run breakfast that worked I kept it the same so that every run my body knew what to expect. The three foods I consumed before runs (or workouts) – peanut butter, a banana and toast. Depending on the run/workout length and my plans after I might eat all three of these or just a banana.
– Post Run it is suggested to choose a more substantial snack combining a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. This mix speeds muscle recovery, especially if eaten right away since foods consumed within 30 minutes of your workout provide the maximum recovery benefit. Though sometimes after a run or workout you may not feel overly hungry it is still important you have something in this time window, a great thing to try is chocolate milk, it provides that 4:1 ratio and helps you rehydrate. I always had chocolate milk after any long run, mean while I would cook up a carb heavy brunch (since my long runs were done Sunday morning) – pancakes, french toast, oatmeal were all favorites of mine.
When I got to the gym this morning I was not feeling the treadmill but decided to attempt a run on it anyways and to keep it less boring I started at a speed of 6.6mph and every minute increased the speed by.1mph up to 7.7, then back down to 6.6 and back up until 30 minutes. It made the 30 minutes fly by! Then I spent 30 minutes in the weight room doing upper body exercises. I incorporated a couple new exercises from this month’s Oxygen magazine –v-curls (instead of regular bicep curls) and one arm tricep extensions (instead of tricep dips). Switching up moves is something I am bad for not doing but not only is it important for your muscles, also for your brain so I am going to keep working on this.
Since I still crave those carbs post workout, you can bet we cooked up some pancakes after this morning’s gym trip. For the first time I tried Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Peas and Thank You, topped with Greek yogurt (plain mixed with cinnamon), peanut butter and maple syrup. Delicious and so filling, we each had two and a half pancakes which left us stuffed.
After brunch I had some “work” in the kitchen to do. It is my treat day at work Tuesday so I had to make a couple treats for my co-workers. Since we are still working our way through all our carrots I made a Carrot Cake loaf from Angela at Oh She Glows – which turned out great until I messed around with it and broke it in half. Good thing it will be cut up for when I serve it.
Check out my awesome baking set-up:
I use my iPad for the recipes now instead of printing them all off. I also am using Pinterest more to “pin” recipes versus emailing them to myself or bookmarking them.
The other treat I decided to make were a form of energy balls. I have seen this all over the blog world for the past year but have never actually made them, no idea why since they’re similar to Larabars which I love. The version I made today was from Pickles & Honey, Vanilla Ginger.
All was going great until I did not read the “pulse” part in the food processor instructions and ended up over processing the mixture… Want to know what happens when you over process walnuts? They turn to oil!
I was able to squeeze the oil out, roll in more walnuts and make 8 “balls” out of this batch. I decided not to take these to work but keep them for me and Chad.
And after putting them in the fridge for an hour we did a taste test, they passed! But a good lesson learned.
Since I had used all the walnuts on batch one, batch two had to use a nut replacement. The only other nut we had was almonds, so with my fingers crossed I made batch number two with this substitution, making sure to only pulse the mixture. This time they turned out perfect!
Though the pancakes left me stuffed this morning but 2:30pm my tummy was ready for more food so I did more quality testing on the “balls” and made myself a strawberry- banana protein shake.
Now I am going to relax for a couple more hours before we head off for my brother’s birthday supper. I think I might convince Chad to go early for a drink, I could use a glass of wine tonight!
One photo before I go:
Someone already is in relax mode…
How do you feel about kitchen flops or errors?
I won’t lie I get angry at myself, but at the same time I like to learn from flops and it is part of the fun when you are trying new things, but at the time I am usually more frustrated than anything.
Do you have a go to pre-run breakfast?