Timing when and what to eat is everything and especially with people that exercise on a regular basis, participate and compete in races like running. Nutrition is often a neglected aspect of practice. Many runners and I do not exclude myself focus more on, track, tempo, and long distance training. Other runners give more emphasis on strength training, lifting weights, or weightless training, or yoga for runners. Others try to make themselves stronger by focusing on hill training.
All of these are good, we should concentrate on the training and try to give our best in any training sessions, but all the effort we put into the training must be fuel by the food we eat. It is not just getting calories that we need, we must aim to take them at the right time before, during and after a training session we also need to make sure we replenish our minerals especially electrolytes and also vitamins.
Another crucial aspect of running is that we oxidise our body every time we run, free radicals are swimming inside us after every training sessions, so it is paramount to consume food that is rich in antioxidants. It takes approximately three days for our antioxidant storage to get filled and only a day of intense workout to deplete it, so nutrition is for me the alpha and omega as running is a concern. Lately, I catch myself shortening my training so I can read more about nutrition and how to make me a better runner.
So today I have three small tips for you as nutrition and running is a concern which I applied for a long time now and I did see results.
Before a training session if you feel like someone hit you on the head with a hammer, lethargic, tired and not feeling like running then you probably didn’t do two major things, not enough rest and sleep from previous workouts and second you did not eat enough calories during the past hours before your training. The secret is to fuel yourself during the day with whole foods, high-density calorie snacks and meals approximately every two hours so when the time comes for your training, you can get away with it just having a couple of bananas.
Depending on the level of intensity of your scheduled training session you will need to eat respectively snacks and meals that provide a certain percentage of the three macronutrients, carbs, protein and fat which will cover your energy requirements (calories) during the training.
When the training finished our body, this incredible machine gives us a window of opportunity to replenish our depleted stores, of glycogen. That window lasts for 45 minutes so make sure you provide your body with some easily digestible foods, like bananas and other fruits.
In future posts, I promise to provide more detail information.
Here is one of my drinks I take before and after I have a track or a tempo training session.
One glass of Hibiscus tea (about 250ml) and 1,5 grams of chlorella. I put them in my mixer shake well and then drink it, 30 minutes before my training and 30 minutes after I finish my training. The Hibiscus tea I prepare it from the previous night, I put water in a big bottle throw pieces of lemon and a few leaves of peppermint, then I add the hibiscus tea and water, put it in the fridge overnight and the next morning you can see a beautiful reddish colour. The chlorella will give me the much-needed amino acids (the building blocks of protein) so my muscles can repair and become stronger and the hibiscus tea is very high in antioxidants.
Until next time, be healthy and happy
~ Andreas Michaelides
Author of Thirsty for Health