Posts tagged with "nutrition"

My thoughts on tomorrow’s half-marathon + tips on long distance running

Posted May 3, 2014 in running, excercise, lincoln marathon and 2 more

The Lincoln Half-Marathon is tomorrow!

I can’t believe it’s already here. I’m excited and nervous just like I have been with every race I’ve done. This will be my seventh half-marathon! It still feels weird for me to write that. It feels like I’m talking about someone else.

I’m definitely not a natural athlete, and running is still hard for me. Most training runs are challenging, and I have to dig deep for some inner strength to get me through them. But that is what I love about running.

The first time I crossed the finish line of a half-marathon, I thought, ‘If I can do this, I can do anything.’ There’s something powerful about pushing your body past physical pain and having mental strength take over.

My training for this half-marathon has been less than stellar. For most of the training, I was teaching five fitness classes a week. Getting in my short weekday training runs was hard. I got in all of my long weekend training runs, but those short runs are just as important.

My goal for the year was to run a half-marathon in 2 hours. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. Without enough short runs and with a lot of slow weekend runs, I know it’s not possible. So I’m just going to listen to my body, run at a pace that feels good, and enjoy the race. Last year, I ran the race in 2:19:53 and the year before it was 2:09:47 (my PR). So I’m hoping I’ll finish in between those two times.

Although my training hasn’t been super awesome, I do feel like my nutrition has been on point. I really focused on eating healthy carbs to fuel my runs and recovering with healthy whole foods. I didn’t rely on bars or Gatorade like I have in year’s past. I drank coconut water to rehydrate, I made protein smoothies to recover after runs and I drank tart cherry juice to help prevent muscle soreness, just to name a few things I did differently.

As I’ve been training, I’ve been reading the book “Eat and Run” by Scott Jurek. He’s one of the most dominant ultrarunners in the world and has won some of the world’s most prestigious 100+ mile races. Although 13.1 miles is not even comparable to an ultra, I have taken away some helpful tips from his book.

  • Nutrition is key. Jurek is a vegan! Most runners rely on animal protein, protein bars, energy bars, protein drinks, etc. to fuel and recover from runs. But Jurek sticks to a vegan whole foods diet. During long runs he eats potatoes, bananas, bean burritos, etc. He also doesn’t take pain-relievers and uses anti-inflammatory foods to help cure his ailments. While I don’t plan to become vegan, I like his food philosophy.
  • Stay in the present. Thinking about how far you have to go can make the run seem daunting. “I try to do so by breaking races up into small digestible parts. Sometimes I focused on the next aid station, three miles ahead. Sometimes I pictured the next shady spot down the road, or the next step.”
  • Long distance running is mostly mental. “That’s one of the great pleasures of an ultramarathon. You can hurt more than you ever thought possible, then continue until you discover that hurting isn’t that big of deal.”
  • Let go of negative thoughts. Having negatives thoughts about how much your body hurts or how much the race sucks, can bring you down. The more you focus on those negative thoughts, the more likely you’ll be to talk yourself into quitting. “Don’t dwell on feelings that aren’t going to help.” I like to have a positive mantra when running. During lots of my training runs this year I keep saying, “This will make you stronger” to myself.

Good luck to you if you’re running the Lincoln Half-Marathon or Marathon or another race this weekend!

Q & A: What do you buy when you are starting to make healthy changes to your diet?

Posted August 6, 2014 in healthy living, weight loss, nutrition and 4 more

I got a great question from a reader recently. I thought I would share her question and my answer with you because I thought you might be interested in this one!

Q - How do you change how you shop for food?

I grew up (probably like you) on typical midwestern meat and potatoes with corn as the vegetable and sometimes a can of green beans or peas here and there and my husband's diet was worse growing up, if you can imagine.

What are some easy ways to overhaul the pantry/fridge and go about changing your tastebuds?

What are your top five ingredients that can begin to change a person's fridge and pantry? I also feel like there's a hurdle to be cleared for those of us who aren't used to investing moo-lah in groceries other than the occasional steak or hard cheese--a reminder as to why healthier, high-quality whole foods are worth the cost would also be welcome (even though the answer is pretty much in the question...)

Thanks for considering! Know that your blog is loved and inspires me on a daily basis!

-Meg

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