Reader Request: Sports Nutrition

HEY friends!!
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Phew! After yesterday’s blog craziness I only managed 5.5 hours sleep trying to sort everything out, so right now, I’m running on PB + chocolate.

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Special Breakfast Monday: DOUBLE OIAJ!! Double because it's topped with DCD (and granola). Twas AWESOME 🙂

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So. Many. Squares...

 

Hey, what’s new! Winking smile

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So Monday’s Reader Request was by popular demand some of the stuff I learned from the Sports Nutrition talk I went to on Wednesday! So here is some of the most important things that I noted down:

  • Eat healthily. This is pretty obvious, but food is not just yummy but it’s our FUEL. The right nutrition maximises your training, by doing things like giving you more efficient muscles, enhanced bloodflow, stronger bones, etc. Healthy eating basics includes eating natural foods, eating a balanced and varied diet and balancing energy in with energy out.
  • Energy sources. The three nutrients that serve as energy sources (carbs, protein and fat) should be consumed in roughly the right percentages for optimum energy. Matt Lovell was hesitant to give figures, stressing that we are all different and these will vary depending on YOUR personal needs but he said ROUGHLY (as a percentage of total calories): Carbs=50-70%, Fat=25-35%, Protein=15-25%.
  • Supplementation. NOT necessary, but supplements can help. In summary, some useful ones:
    –  Creatine: The supplement with the strongest beneficial inpact on athletes. Helps with strength, sprinting and power but has now proven benefits upon distance running performance. However, it does help reduce muscle damage.
    – Glucosamine: Helps the joints in protecting and building joint cartilage, reducing joint pain and improving joint function.
    – Glutamine: A VERY useful substance for runners. It’s an essntial amino acid, but following exercise, the body demands more of it. It limits damage done to the immune system and muscles through exercise.
    – MSM: A natural mineral found in a variety of foods. More research is required, but some studies have show that it reduces joint pain and inflammation and promotes cartilage formation.
  • Carbo-loading. Only really necessary before a marathon or longer distance. For optimun results, start 72 hours before, spreading an extra 500g of carbs over those days (roughly equivalent to a pot of honey).
  • Good pre-race foods. The dinner before and breakfast are especially important. Low fibre+GI foods. He listed white rice, rice pudding, custard, Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, and oatmeal (especially recommended!) all as good choices.
  • Recovery nutrition. Should be done ASAP after exercise. The most important thing is 1) hydration, so salts and water, like in a sports drink, and 2) sugars/carbs+protein. He stressed the importance of replenishing salts (I need to do this more!!) and in recovery foods in helping to repair muscle damage caused. His best tip was chocolate milk. Sugars+protein, easy peasy!chocolate-milk

So that’s just a few of the important things I learned! If you would like to know anything else, feel free to email me and I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can! Smile

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I’ve been trying to take some of these tips on board, especially where recovery is concerned! So after today’s cross-training workout (30 mins elliptical + 30 mins Summit Climber + weights), I made my own recovery drink!

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Chocolate Protein Milkshake (adapted from an Allrecipes tofu mousse recipe)

  • 1/3 block firm-silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
  • 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder, or cocoa powder if you don’t have any
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used coconut)
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend away! And enjoy the proteiny  yummy chocolaty goodness! And if like me you leave your washing up to pile up and never have any clean glasses, then a wine glass works just as well. And makes it look classy! Winking smileDSC07207

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Does anyone else think I should rename myself The Chocolate Runner? Smile with tongue outSometimes I really think I should! I remember trying to give up chocolate for a month once… Guess what? I failed.

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So has any of that info been of any use to you? I hope it has, and that it wasn’t too dull to read!!

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Is anyone else looking forward to next Tuesday as much as I am? I guess you’re wondering why…it’s Shrove Tuesday, aka PANCAKE DAY!! Best day of the year (after Xmas and my birthday of course!!). I take it very VERY seriously, and eat nothing but pancakes all day. It’s brilliant.

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What is your favourite chocolate? My usual is Divine chocolate (specially the 85% and raspberry one) which is AMAZING stuff, but that Lindt Sea Salt is definitely a new fave!!

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Hope you’ve had a great start to the week friends!!

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P.S. I’d like to THANK YOU for your support and for the amazing responses to the Featured Athlete thing! Just to remind you following a few questions that you DON’T have to be a runner or something like that! As long as you’re active and you enjoy it I’d love to hear from you! If you haven’t yet, EMAIL me! You know you want to!! Open-mouthed smile

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Reader Request: Dealing with bad runs/workouts

Hey friends!! Serious and uber-cheesy/soppy post today- be warned! Smile with tongue out

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Usually, Mondays are my ‘Reader Request’ post days, but in all the Valentine’s excitement, it got side-lined until today! Today’s topic is: How to deal with a bad run or workout. Please note this is all just my own opinion/story! I’m not a professional!

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Today, I had a bad run. A very bad run. It made me look like this.

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Sweaty and sad 😦

 

I had a tempo run planned, but felt sluggish and bleugh the whole time, which happens so rarely! I had to keep dropping my pace down. Sad smile

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I really let this get to me. I knew exactly what the problem was, I just didn’t know how to tackle it. It wasn’t a lack of good fuelling

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Breakfast: Banana oatbran with homemade DCD and jam 🙂

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A box of hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds.

…and it wasn’t tiredness. I had gotten a good night’s sleep, and taken two days off from running; a cross-training day on Monday and a full chillax day yesterday. So it wasn’t that either.

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I tried to blame it on other things.

“The air-con isn’t working and I’m too hot”

My playlist is too boring, I need to change it up

My ankle/leg/butt/back etc is twinging”.

But it wasn’t any of that.

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It was a mental problem.

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“Running is 90% mental, the rest is physical.”

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When I woke up this morning, I realised I had less than two weeks till my trial. And I panicked. My first thought was “I’m not ready!”, followed by “I’ll never achieve my goal!”. Although I shrugged off these thoughts, the moment I stepped on the treadmill later, they all came flooding back. And it was tough.

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But in the last mile or so of my tempo run, I decided to switch off my iPod playlist, and just hit the ‘shuffle’ button and see what happened. And this song came on.

Yes, it’s SUPER cheesy, but amazing 🙂

This was the song that was playing when I ran my first ever mile. It was the song that was playing when I crossed the finish line of my first ever race. All the memories came flooding back.

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I remembered why I began running in the first place- to raise money for Cancer Research UK following my aunt’s breast cancer diagnosis. I remembered crying with emotion as I began the race, knowing that I had made a difference. I remember the look on my aunt’s face when she saw the sign I had pinned to my back saying that I was running for her.

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Just then, I turned around whilst running on the treadmill, and saw behind me a woman running wearing a Cancer Research t-shirt.

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(Excuse the blurriness- she wouldn't stop moving! :P)

I cried. I must have looked completely mad running through my tears but I felt like this was a sign for me. I was inspired.

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I then thought about my other inspirations.

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My family who love me unconditionally despite the fact that I eat all their food and run up huge grocery bills.165579_1822668409055_1310552062_2065454_2704609_n

My friends who put up with my insanity, always feign interest when I go on about running, and accept my complete inability to ever have a ‘normal’ face in a photo.

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My religion, that is always there for me and keeps me grounded.justified_by_faith-788049

My inspiration and heroine in life: Paula Radcliffe, holder of the world record for the fastest marathon run by a woman, in 2:15:25.DSC06752

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(source)

And most importantly, all of YOU, who inspire me each and every day with your comments, Tweets and amazing blogs to be the greatest person and runner I can be.

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I. Love. You.

So as the last mile or so rolled around, my inspirations pushed me on.

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6.35 min/mile pace 😀

And I got to the place I wanted to be. Smile

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Okay, cheesy soppy time over now, you can breathe! Smile with tongue out

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So tell me, what gets you through bad runs/workouts? For me, it’s inspiration all the way!

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What/who are your inspirations? I was also inspired after reading Katelyn’s post on a similar topic! I felt so amazed at the coincidence that she had written this after the run I’d had!! It’s an amazing post, so read it now!!

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I love you all so much! And don’t forget that if you ever need anything or just want a chat, you can email me any time, kay?

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Have a great rest of the week lovelies!!