Fuel for the mid-week long run
After an EZ form focused run with a few "fast feet" intervals on the treadmill on Tues evening, I made a delicious dinner for me and Karel of couscous, spiced with turmeric and salt, tossed with sauteed veggies (celery, edamame, yellow peppers, onion). Cooked tempeh was my protein of choice.
This dish didn't take too long to prepare as I was able to cook everything at once by using three of the burners on the stove. Karel was on the trainer, doing his bike workout as I was cooking, so by the time he was finished, it was time to enjoy this yummy creation, which left us with a happy tummy and well-fueled body.
After a great night of sleep (oh sleep, how I love you!), I woke up excited to run outside on Wednesday as this was the first morning in several days that it wasn't raining. Plus, I had a very specific build-run workout on tap and with a building confidence in my run fitness lately, I was excited to see what my body had in store for the morning run.
I started my morning with a cup of coffee with milk and then a chocolate chip waffle smeared with peanut butter, banana slices and syrup (yummy), and a glass of water.
After I digested my pre workout snack, I was got myself dressed in my run gear and was ready to go.
I started my run with about 10 minutes of active warming up inside the house to wake up my glutes and to loosen up my hips. I feel so much more springy on my feet when I take an extended amount of time to warm-up, before my run warm-up. After a few more minutes of dynamic stretching outside, I was ready to run.
(Karel left for his run a bit after me as we rarely run together)
With so many beautiful running routes from our doorstep, I let my legs lead the way. My run included no shortage of hills and climbing but that's my favorite type of running. After a 20 minute EZ warm-up, I stopped for a few minutes to stretch out again, took a swig of my vanilla Clif Bar gel and a few sips of water from my hydration belt (2 x 10 ounce flasks) and then I was ready for my main set:
3 x 20 minute efforts, build from steady to strong w/ 1 min walk in between.
In reality, my workout was really 60 minutes, with the last 30 minutes slightly stronger than the first 30 minutes, but no harder than a Z3 effort for the stronger effort. But for my mind, I broke it down into 3 x 20 minutes as this was my strategy to best execute this very specific main set. Also, I wanted to include some walking to make sure that I could keep great form throughout.
I continued to sip on water throughout the main set and took a swig of the gel (about 1/3rd of it) every 20 minutes.
By the last 20 minutes, I was running strong and fast, which told me that I not only paced it well but I also fueled smart. I not only felt stronger as the run continued but my pace dropped with every 20 minute segment. I never looked at my watch throughout the run, as I went all by feel but it was fun to look over the stats when the run is complete.
After the run I had a smoothie made with milk, frozen fruit and whey protein and then it was time for breakfast (my first real "meal" of the day).
In total, the run was 1 hour and 24 minutes, 10.35 miles.
It's a shame that we live in a society where so many athletes are afraid to take in calories during training, not to mention eat "enough" to support energy needs.
My body deserves calories, lots of them!
The way I look (body composition/weight) is never a focus when I eat or train. I don't train to look a certain way and I don't eat to look a certain way. The body I carry with me for every workout is the body that stays nourished and well-fueled, every day of the year.
I don't bash my body, I thank my body.
I don't workout or eat to try to look different.
And you better believe that I thanked my body a lot after the workout. I even told Karel after he came back from his run, that I was very impressed with my body that I could run so well this morning. I felt light on my feet, strong, resilient and fluent. I could not have asked for more out of my body!
This active lifestyle that I live is a fun one but it's geared toward performance. I expect my body to perform for every workout but never do I take a workout for granted. I feel incredibly lucky for what my body allows me to do and seeing that I push it, challenge it and destroy it through the many workouts that I accomplish each week, week after week, month after month, year after year, I owe it to my body to make sure that I eat and fuel smart.
I train to adapt to the stress that I intentionally place on my body. And since I want to be the best athlete that I can be (hey, genetics can only take you so far and in my situation, my body was not built for running so I have to work hard at it!), I never overlook the many nutritional strategies that I can take to help me get the most out of my body, while keeping my body in great health.
Do you eat and fuel smart?
If not, why aren't you using your diet to get the most out of your body to improve your performance and to keep your body in good health as an athlete?