Monday, March 28, 2011

High miles and nutrition

Nutrition is something I constantly have to adjust! When I first started running last year, I would get hungry about 20 minutes in to my work out. I am not sure if it were because I was increasing my activity level, so my metabolism was going crazy, or what? But I know for a fact that it's was hard for me to eat before hand. A few things that I have learned by trial and error are :

  • Carbs carbs carbs carbs. This is fuel for the body! So before a run, I will do a bagel, or english muffin with a little bit of almond butter, or peanut butter. I also like that hazelnut spread "Nutella" Sometimes I will only do half of a bagel/english muffin.
  • If the run is later in the day, I'm conscious of what I am eating through out the day. I like to keep my meals lighter, like sandwiches, salads, soups, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit.
  • Liquids- I had gotten horrible about drinking water. After I had my daughter, I just wasn't "thirsty" anymore. So I make myself hydrate on run days and the day before a long run. So this puts me drinking pretty much only water for Monday,Tuesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday. I mean I still drink water the other days, but just not as much. 
  • Protein. is. GOOD.  Eggs, chicken,fish,nuts,avacado,peanut butter... You know all the stuff that contains lots of protein! Eat it. Protein helps to rebuild the damaged muscle (soreness) and strengthen it. I'm sooooo no a nutritionist or anything, but I think our coaches say to eat protein with in the 2 hours post (hard) run. I love eggs after a run! Hard boiled, scrambled, poached.. ANYWAY! I also, have found that chocolate milk. Just straight up vitamin D, whole chocolate milk works wonders. Clif Shot Roks are a wonderful recovery snack. If I know that I'm going to be sore, I ususally will have a chocolate milk, and ibprofen immediately following my workout. And it WORKS. So recovering, and refueling your body is the most important. I also love and maybe I'm semi addicted to, fruit smoothies with whey protein added. YUM.
  • Nutritional supplements. So this one you have to try around and see what you like, and can tolerate. After about 1 hour of my work out, I NEED something to substain my energy. Carbs Carbs Carbs. Again. My first training season, I only experimented with GU. I tried the chomps *gummy bear type chews* and the GU gel shots. These are pretty much a ton of carbohydrates to keep you energized through your run. I never had problems with it. Some people say that it can be too harsh on the GI system. This training season, I have played around with a couple other chews,gels,beans... I have tried the Cliffbar, Accel Gel, and the Honey Stingers. Hands down, my favorite line of Gu and chews, are the honey stingers! They taste like a spoon full of honey, and they work AMAZING. I don't like the chews in any other brand. But I can handle the honey stinger chews. They are pretty raw. -- Meaning, organic. After falling in love with these, and then switching back to GU every once in a while, I definitely feel the difference!
  • One other thing that I forgot to mention that I like, which I never thought I would.... Gatorade Prime. This is a little packet of juice. It's really sweet, and is loaded with B12 and Carbohydrates to get you ready for your work out. I only use these on my INTENSE work out, and not my duration work outs. So, before a fast run, or speed work at the track. Something that I wouldn't take any of the above supplements for, b/c of the length of the work out. I always follow an intense work out with some sort of protein, to help rebuild my muscles, and minimize soreness.
Nutrition has been one of the hardest things for me to learn. What works for some people, will NOT work for everyone. It's all about practicing eating, drinking, and taking on and during your training runs! 

I hope that some of this has helped-- I know that when I first started running, and peeking an hour of running, I started looking and asking around like crazy to see what other people like, and use!

Happy Running!!!

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