Monday, September 1, 2014

Getting ready for fall race season

Fall race season is around the corner - which is very exciting and moderately terrifying. My training has been sub-par throughout summer thanks to the puppy, my man, yoga and, you know, life. But guess what? The Chicago Marathon is 6 weeks away and my running shoes are back in business. Hello blisters! 

In other news: I will be pacing the 2:00 group at the Rock n Roll LA Half Marathon in late October - a great race worth checking out. 

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few tips on how nutrition can help you become a better runner. It's not "just food"…it's your fuel!

Eat to train, don't train to eat.

A simple rule of functional nutrition, basically saying that food should help you reach your training goals.
Here are 5 simple tips to help:
  1. Rather than focusing on “race day fuel”, eat well throughout the training season. Lay the foundations for a healthy body so you can reap the benefits of your training.
  2. Don’t start a workout when you’re hungry. Have a light snack so you avoid overindulging on [insert favorite junk food] after.
  3. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. If it’s hot out or you tend to sweat a lot, add some nuun tablets to your water.
  4. Avoid food-based rewards for workouts and focus on smart fueling strategies before and after you train.
  5. Have a plan about what you’re going to eat after you work out. You need carbs and protein to speed up recovery, but unless you worked really hard, you will not need to stomach a full meal.

Re-defining the role of food as a way to support and help your body perform at its best at whatever you choose to do will set you up for success. Keep it real and enjoy good food. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

You CAN do yoga while running!

So the other day I went out for a pretty usual morning run. I did not run a PR, see a talking dog or a 90-year old lady breakdancing. Nevertheless, it was amazing. Like every other morning. 

There is so much craziness in this world so a simple sunrise hardly ever makes for interesting news. In other words, our threshold for "special" has been raised and the bar is super high for that "guess what I saw this morning…" conversation starter. 

It was actually a beautiful morning and it got me thinking more about incorporating yoga into running. Because I really like multitasking. I'm not talking about hopping up into handstand at every mile marker. Although that might be interesting. 

One of the basic guiding principles among the 8 limbs of yoga is something called santosha, or contentment. Being content with what is, rather than what should be or what we wish we had / were / could do. I think runners generally have a hard time with this one. We often take the act of running for granted and then strive to be faster, more efficient or have more endurance to run longer. We rarely stop to think, "Wow, I'm running! Thank you, legs!" Or "Look at the pretty tree! Hey, a squirrel! The grass smells so good! That's a weird-shaped car!" etc. Ok so maybe I just described a runner with an attention problem. Still, I hope you see my point. 

If we always look for what we wish we had, there is a very good chance we will miss the beauty of the present moment. Because I'm pretty sure you can find something special in every moment - you just have to look.

And on that note, every pace is a happy pace.