Fueling the Jet; The Importance of Eating Right for Training

I had a number of posts drafted that I didn’t quite feel were complete. After far too much time away from here, I’m back. This is old but I think the message is worth stating, even with the stale-dated reference to marathon training and a household plague. Enjoy!

I had an off-week this week. And by off, I don’t mean it was a step-down week. I mean out of the 4 of us in this household, I was the only one who wasn’t sick. And by sick I mean, 3 saw a doctor and 1 landed in Emergency in the hospital. So yeah, you could say it was an off week. It was tough, training-wise.

I managed to get almost all of my marathon training mileage done. I was short by approx. 2k. That’s quite remarkable considering everything. I ended up with a lack of sleep and not eating as well as I would normally. The importance of sleep and eating well during training was driven home when I attempted a 10K run. I lasted 2K and pulled the plug. Too tired, too much wind to fight, too exhausted to fight anything.

I came home frustrated and realizing that along with missing sleep, I really needed to focus on eating properly if I was going to train at my maximum potential. What does that look like for me?
– lots of water every day
– 3 square meals plus one or two snacks per day, depending on my activity level for the day
– eating enough protein (0.80 g/kg of body weight/day)
– eating a wee bit before my long runs (Note to self: make oatmeal the night before)
– eat lots of fruits/vegetables daily

I was definitely short on water this week and didn’t eat with any regularity at all. It showed. My 21k long run was much more difficult than the 19.5k I ran last week. In addition to being a more difficult run, I’m paying for it today. Lots of stiffness and muscle soreness and that’s after moving around today, a hot bath, and lots of good food.

Are you currently training? Eat right every day. It counts for a lot and will make your workload a lot easier. Put down the ice cream and reach for an apple; you’ll thank yourself for it.

Recipe: Post-Run Smoothie (Robcoat)

I was cold this morning when I returned from my run.  I was also hungry and sweaty.  I felt an urgent need to eat/shower/get warm simultaneously.  My solution?  Make a smoothie and drink most of it on my way up to the shower.  This one hit the spot  so I thought I would share.

Robcoat smoothie

(get it? Rasberries, Orange juice, Banana, Cranberry, OATmeal.  Lame, I know.  But trust me, you’ll remember it!)

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 banana
1/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked!)

I tossed it all into the container that came with my Braun hand mixer, gave it a few pulses and voila: breakfast in a jiffy.

For all the nutrient-oriented readers out there, here’s the scoop on this:

Total Calories: 307

  • Fat = 3 g
  • Protein= 8 g
  • Carbohydrates = 63 g
  • Fibre = 9 g
  • Sugar = 3 g
  • Calcium = 55 mg
  • Iron = 3 mg
  • Sodium = 6 mg

Nutrient analysis performed using AccuChef Software

Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Drink? Food for Thought.

Chocolate milk has been getting a lot of hype for being a very effective recovery drink after exercise.

Here’s an article about it (from a study conducted at Indiana U): Click here!

I think it’s worth noting 2 things:
1) the study that Karp conducted consisted of a sample group of 9 (yes, 9, not 100, not 1000 but 9…) elite cyclists.
I think that’s a pretty small population upon which to base a conclusion but the dairy board is jumping on this bandwagon and marketing chocolate milk like it’s the best thing since sliced bread;

2) the research was funded by the Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Then, couple #2 with this:
…Industry funding of nutrition-related scientific articles may bias conclusions in favor of sponsors’ products, with potentially significant implications for public health.  That is backed up here.

My point? I have several:
– I’m not against drinking chocolate milk as a recovery drink BUT…make sure you’ve earned it. You better be busting your hump like those cyclists for at least an hour at 80% of your max heart rate before you even think about chugging some of this. 30 mins of activity at 60% of your max heart rate earns you water, not chocolate milk.
– Always (did I say always?) look at the source of a study (who’s funding it? It’s funny how the conclusions favour their product…)
– Always look at the size of the sample population that was tested.  A massive anti-vaccination movement against the MMR vaccine occurred because a study conducted by Dr. Andrew Wakefield tested 12 kids in England (some of which already had pre-existing health conditions) and “found” that autism was caused by the MMR vaccine. 12 kids. Some with pre-existing health conditions. That is not a clean sample group upon which to make these type of conclusions, in my opinion.

If you’re in doubt about food related matters, find a dietitian (www.dietitians.ca) and ask them, or check with a personal trainer to see what kind of information s/he may have on the subject.

References:
Karp study info here.
Wakefield info here.

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