Its running season!! And you know what this means… sweating, seratonin and of course eating deliciousness to ensure we can put that next foot in front of the other. Let me start out by saying good on you for setting the goal of running such a feet. The idea of running 5, 10, 21 or 42km (anyone want to help me with miles) for an enduring period of time is obviously physically taxing but also mentally draining. For one you have so much time to think about the pain and the continuous next step… but I guess thats what sets people apart. Some people can go into this kind of thing with an amazing attitude that doesn’t faze them. They can put their headphones in, listen to their favourite kanye west pump up song and be done in 2 and a half hours and then run back home again haha at least thats they I see some of our legends.
For me I personally have never done anything longer than 21 km…but I am definitely up for the challenge of a Marathon. I have always said one of my strongest performing attributes was the capability of my mind. My older brother and I as any sibling rivalry does, have a quality competitive determination between each other. I remember one day he came home from football training to say that he held the longest plank in the team at 8 minutes but didn’t think anyone could do 10… Naturally the next day I proved him wrong and did 20 minutes. The week after that i did it with a 5kg plate on my back. Don’t get me wrong yeah it kicked in after 2 minutes like it does for everyone else, but it is the ability to mask that pain or find a distraction… For me, oddly enough it was coming to terms with my next bunch of recipes. So lesson one my friends, whatever tool you can use to get you through a long term muscular enduring challenge… it definitely helps. So grab your earphones, or your favourite wild imagination and just put one foot in front of the other for a few hours 😉
Now obviously it isn that easy… however there is a point where what your eating can have direct positive and at that point negative effects in looking after your body on this journey… Having the right proteins, carbs and fats in our body to be distributed to key cells is essential, particularly when you are putting your body under a lot of stress for a prolonged period of time. But my legends have no fear… there are simplistic methods to get your body and your food into the right shape and state to perform. Here are my top tips for putting the ‘left in front of the right’ of awesomeness.
Just like you should be with your physical training you need to be gearing your eating habits in the lead up to the competition… and I dont mean putting a snack bar in your lunch box the day before saying to your co-worker in the cubicle next to you that you are all set for energy on #GameDay. The way your body adapts positively from training and the gym is very similar to the role of digestion with our food. We have train our bodies to digest foods efficiently and have them storing the right energy, readily available for use when the time comes. If you think consuming a great meal the night before is going to make you cross that line, despite the fact you have been eating pizza and chips all week you have another thing coming… It takes a few weeks for your body to accurately absorb a certain portion of nutrients that you have been asking it too. So Dan what does this mean??? Well its simple you have to go to the gym for your eating habits…What.. really? Yep but I am not talking about sitting on that bench press straight after a meal… I mean you have to simply know what meals to eat and when in the lead up to the event… In a Nutshell: Learn to be a little more disciplined with not only the types of foods but the timing of your foods in the lead put to the event
Have you ever heard of carbo loading?? No it is not just a phrase that us sporting bros use as an excuse when we are chowing down on an endless supply of pasta. It actually has meaning haha. The point of this technique is aimed at allowing the body to store plenty of readily available energy, so that when you are competing in an event… oh i don’t know say like a marathon, you have a higher amount of to play with if need be. Believe it or not there is an art to cargo loading. Remember when I was telling you to train your eating habits not the last night before the event? This will give you an true understanding of why Nutshell: Carbo load
In the past the type of carbs (carbohydrates) has caused a large debate where high GI foods such as pastas, and white rice were so dominant. I will tell you one thing they do contain plenty of carbohydrates, however they lack an overall abundance of nutritional density. They can also cause plenty of irritation within the digestive tract one consumed in high masses… So although back in the day this is what dominated the plate… Here are my carbohydrate alternatives for you to indulge on P.S. I am not saying never have pasta or rice etc. I mean that would just be really mean, and very hypocritical as I love pasta, just know that in the lead up to an event in may not be the best form of energy for your body. Nutshell: Train to Carb load
Proteins become such an amazing talking point with long distant events and often neglected. When we exercise or workout our body tears muscular fibres. We need to repair those fibres in order to adapt and benefit from that output and sweat we put ourselves through. Hence having the right amount of protein is necessary to be readily available to perform the repairing process. In scientific terms for every 1lb of bodyweight the individual has they should have between 1.0-1.5lb of protein per day. I like to make things a little easier to understand… so you should have a good fist size of protein 2-3 times per day. Nutshell: Protein is essential for repairing and adapting the body from training
Fats are something that used to scare people more than a cartoon mouse did to an elephant…Due to a poor study conducted and the use of elaborate marketing for 50 years people perceived fat to make us fat and be super bad for our health. People are slowly being educated on the understanding that fat is in fact great for us… It provides us with slow release energy and as our brain is predominantly made up of fat we need it in order for our body to function efficiently. So the ability for our brain to send messages to and from our muscles to contract as well as help regulate our breathing patterns becomes super important… But Dan which fats are the right ones??? Id thought you would never ask 😉 The best form of fats are mono saturated oils, nuts, avocados, seeds, lean meats and fish. My favourite is definitely coconut milk. I know people are still scared by the concept of fat, but as you will learn fat contains more energy per gram than any other macronutrient. One of the biggest downsides to training for marathons is our immune system gets suppressed, but don’t worry thats why quality fats become so vital… they provide the body with plenty of immune boosting nutrients… winning!! In a Nutshell (See what i did there 😉 ) fats should always be included for bran functioning, sustaining energy (super important when your running for 3 hours) and boosting your immune system.
So put on your running shoes, hit the tracks, beach or stairs but make sure you have plenty of tastiness looking after your insides. I look forward to hearing all about your results. Good luck, have fun and remember to work within yourself as at the end of the day thats who your performing for and against 😉
Lots of Healthy Running love