Today folks is the NEW YORK MARATHON! It is also the end of daylight savings and we get an extra hour added to the day. My dad likes to change the clocks at the last minute so we have an extra hour added to our afternoon. I tried to maintain this habit through college but various group meetings got in the way.
So today I will be cheering on one of my coworkers in the race, maybe in multiple locations, and then helping her celebrate at the end. Maybe one day I’ll work up the stamina to participate…maybe…but for now I’ll stick to my half marathon regimen. Anyways, in honor of the big day, I decided to share some good ‘ol recovery eats that I’ve read about and started to use in my running routine.
Back when I started to run in high school, it was easy to follow a schedule. I had a coach to list out the daily workouts and teach us about different nutrition. I may have had a few too many cookies and plates of lasagna but thank goodness my younger metabolism helped out. Come senior year, I was a better about training, nutrition, and recovery methods. I ate the same breakfasts, monitored my lunches, and watched what I ate pre and post practice and races. I followed my coach’s instructions on how to train, how long to run, and when to ice (every day…duh). But somehow all of that got tossed out the window when I graduated and entered college. I probably completed 10-15 races during my time in college, including 5 half marathons. My method of training for these half-marathons was to “wing-it” and hope that my training and knowledge of 13 miles would carry me across the finish line. Totally a bad idea, right? I thought that I could just pound out 13+ miles while eating the worst food (and beverages), and not really training. Surprisingly I ran close to a PR, but I felt terrible.
This time around I’ve spent more time focusing on cross-training, speed workouts (where I try to keep up with my new running buddies), and better nutrition. The last part is always a struggle, especially with the temptations of living in the city and working in an office where snacks are endless. I try to watch how much sugar I’m eating but realistically that statistic gets forgotten on the daily.
Here are some of my tricks and tips that I’ve started to pick up via blogs, experience, and even Buzzfeed.
- Coconut Water – I can’t stand the plain flavored variety, but love the pineapple or tropical fruit flavor. I usually drink 1/2 a serving after each run to rehydrate and pack in the potassium. This will hopefully help my muscles recover and avoid any cramping that might occur in this cold weather.
- Eggs – I tend to bring my breakfast to work, but love to make eggs for dinner. They add variety to my sweet potato or kale salad and pack in the protein and even vitamin D. For awhile I was anti-yolk, but realized the whole egg brings
- Quinoa – If you haven’t seen the hilarious Bud Light ad that talks about quinoa, you should. It’s a hoot. But, really, quinoa also provides protein, fiber, magnesium (good for bones), zinc, and cell-protecting manganese.
- Salmon – Omega-3’s and anti-inflammatory powers at its finest.
Oh do I love salmon. I usually pick up a package at Trader Joes, cut the fillets into four parts and toss them in the freezer for later in the week. This way I don’t have to have the same exact dinner every night if I don’t feel like it and I don’t waste any food or money.
- Sweet Potatoes – Healthy dose of carbs, vitamins and nutrients, where can you go wrong? They are great as a savory side dish or even add some cinnamon and brown sugar and you have a sweet treat.
- Chia Seeds – I’m not completely sure how chia seeds benefit my life, but have been adding them into my overnight oats and enjoying the texture they provide. – Apparently rich in omega fats, protein, and fiber.
What I Probably Should Eat/Drink More Of:
- Vitamin C – from fruits to fresh orange juice, this is an area in which I am lacking. I try to supplement with Emergen-C packets, but obviously the whole stuff is much better.
- Kefir/Greek Yogurt – Lately I’ve been trying out a low-dairy diet to see how it impacts my health and acne. My body tends to need a lot of calcium to protect my bones, but I’ve been relying on dark, leafy greens to do that. It’s all an experiment at the moment.
- Water – I try my best to rehydrate with the recommended 8 glasses, but life is life.
- Protein – I’m torn between meat, no meat, chicken, tofu, and whatever vegetarians eat to keep their protein levels satisfied. What’s your take on soy?
Do you have any tips for training and recovery?
I will be back soon with a recap of the race and hopefully be inspired to run it next year! People say marathons are hell but I just want to do one and check it off my bucket list 🙂