Tag Archives: pre workout eating

Run like the wind!!!!

26 Jul

I have been talking with people recently about running; more specifically about running races.  It seems that everywhere I go I find someone who is training for a race of some sort, from 5k all the way up to a full marathon.   This week I joined those in training and signed myself up for the  Smuttynose Half Marathonon October 2nd.  (This will be my last race in my 20’s, yikes!!!)  People have been asking me the same questions and I thought I’d respond via blog for everyone to view… I also would love other people’s input, and hear other training strategies/regimens.

The #1 question I have heard is “How can I make my pace faster and my mile time better?”  My answer to this is INTERVALS.  I have found interval training to be beneficial in many ways and has helped me shave time off my mile, improve my endurance, and made me a better runner in general.  Often times when training for races, people fail to incorporate speed and/or hill workouts.  This is, to use a buzzword, an epic fail.  Sure, standard training programs that gradually increase mileage are effective, but they do not best prepare you for race day.  Incorporating speed and hill intervals into your training will boost your overall performance and ability to perform at your BEST on race day.

Speed intervals can be done on a track or a treadmill.  There are several different ways to approach speed intervals, but start off basic.  Start out by doing a 5 minute warmup… Then jog at a steady state pace (5 out of 10) for a minute, and then crank it out to a full out sprint for 30 seconds.  After 30 seconds, bring it back down to the steady state pace for another minute, and then- yep you guessed it- sprint again for 30 seconds.   Do this 2:1 ratio for a total of 20 minutes. 

Once you’ve mastered the basic interval, you can change it up by doing 1:1 intervals, or speed workouts of varying lengths.  I found a GREAT article that gives several examples of speed workouts for runners of all levels.

Hill intervals can be done on a treadmill or on your neighborhood hill of choice (pick a tough one!)  Start out by doing a 5 minute warmup, and then attack the hill.  My favorite hill workout is the following “pyramid” which has 8 sprints of varying length.  Remember- always sprint 100% up the hill, and slowly jog back down for recovery:

1) sprint up 1/4 hill (3.0 incline on treadmill)

2) sprint up 1/2 hill (6.0 incline on treadmill)

3) sprint up 3/4 hill (9.0 incline on treadmill)

4) sprint to the top of the hill (12.o incline on treadmill)

5) sprint to the top of the hill (12.0 incline on treadmill)

6) sprint 3/4 hill (9.0 incline on treadmill)

7) sprint 1/2 hill (6.0 incline on treadmill)

8) sprint 1/4 hill (3.0 incline on treadmill)

Do a 5 min jog cooldown and call it a day!

Other questions I’ve been asked have to do with shoe type and pre/post run eating.  To answer the first question, I suggest that the first step in race training should be a trip to Marathon Sports, City Sports, or a similar store.  Find a sales associate who KNOWS footwear and who can help you analyze your foot pronation type (if you don’t know it already) and fit you with the appropriate shoe.  It is also helpful to inform the sales associate that you are training for a race so that they may take into account how many miles you’ll be logging/week. 

In regards to pre/post run eating, check out my blog that outlines just that!!

Training for an event of any type is a GREAT way to keep on track with exercising regularly, and sticking to a program in order to achieve a goal.  Get a friend to commit with you and sign up for a race/event and then use each other as motivation to train regularly.  Races of all types and distances can be found at Runners World

Lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement!!!

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pre/post workout eating

1 Jul

Recently a Lucky13Fitness fan posted on the Facebook page asking me to write about the specifics of pre/post workout eating.  I thought it was a GREAT idea for a blog post!  So, here goes- my take on pre/post workout eating.   [Now, I MUST say that this is just that- MY take- and should be read as such.  Additionally, this is a basic outline that can be altered to meet individuals’ specific dietary needs/requirements.  Remember, not everyone’s needs are exactly the same, so its important to take the information supplied and use it in a way that works for you!]   Alright, here goes:

Pre-Workout

As a general rule, pre-workout food should consist of carbohydrates, a little fat, and some protein.  The main source of energy for the body comes from carbohydrates so you should NOT be afraid to consume this important food group, especially before working out!  Depending on the way your daily schedule unfolds and the time at which you workout, the pre-workout food could be a significant meal (400-500 calories) or a smaller snack (100-200ish calories).  If you are having a meal, make sure it is consumed at least 1 hour before your workout, so that there’s plenty of time for digestion.  If its a smaller snack, you can move it up to 30 mins before your workout.  There is a bit of trial & error with how close to your workout time you can eat.  Ideally you want to eat as close to the time of your workout as possible WITHOUT feeling ill!

Some of my favorite pre-workout snacks are:  apple & natural nut butter;  1 slice Ezekiel sprout bread toasted w/nut butter and sliced banana; greek yoghurt w/granola; 1 slice Ezekiel sprout bread with 1 string cheese; homemade smoothie w/1 cup milk and 1 banana or other fruit.

Post-Workout
It is absolutely IMPERATIVE to eat after a workout.  I have talked with so many people who think “I just worked out SO hard and burned ALL These calories.  The last thing I want to do is go ingest them all again! I’m not eating!”  I promise you, that’s not the way our bodies work.  After a workout, our bodies are depleted of glycogen stores and we are in somewhat of a starvation mode.  The main purpose of the post-workout meal is to stop protein breakdown, start protein resynthesis, and replenish glycogen stores.  Basically we need to give the body food to replenish itself, and build lean muscle.  And the sooner it happens, the better.  Immediately after and up to two hours post-workout is the key time to eat.

The question becomes: how much do I eat after I workout?  What if its late, and its right before bed? Do I eat a snack or a full meal?  The answer is- it depends.  People who work out first  thing in the morning will have a small pre-workout snack, and then can eat a proper breakfast when they are done.  If your workout takes place in the middle of the day after lunch, a post-workout snack will do the trick.  Those who work out later in the evening may have a small mid-afternoon snack before the workout and then should have a proper dinner afterwards.  People are often wary to eat a meal close to bedtime, but it is my belief that to omit a meal entirely is more detrimental.  A meal consisting of lean protein, some carbs, and veggies is a perfect thing to have after a workout, even if it’s an hour before bedtime.

Some of my favorite post-workout meals/snacks :  milk or greek yoghurt with cereal; egg whites w/spinach, tomato, mushroom and part skim mozzarella; apple with natural nut butter; grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread.

The bottom line is this: there is no single “correct” way to eat pre/post workout.  Aim to follow key principles outlined here and tailoring them to meet your dietary needs, and schedule.  If you find it overwhelming or difficult, try meeting with a personal trainer or a registered nutritionist and talk detail about a specific plan for YOU!