This is the first of six blogs written for the awesome folks at FitMKE. I’m very excited and honored — this is a big deal.
Let’s be honest. There’s a lot to consider when preparing for a race. From a 5K to an ultra, each of us have unique, yet similar needs during training, the race its self and even after the event. We all want to be successful, yes?
In honor and celebration of preparation, for the next two months I’ll be sharing with you quick and easy nutrition tips to properly (dare I say, smartly) prepare for a 5K. And whether you’re a newbie or have already spent your fair share of funds on running garb, I guarantee you’ll learn something new.
So hold on to those laces, goos, hats and water bottles, you’re in for a educational and entertaining two months. After my last blog, we’ll commemorate our triumphant knowledge with a free Brew City IMPACT (boot camp/cross training) workout on Saturday, May 26 and a grocery shopping tour the following week. Stay tuned for more details as the date approaches. I look forward to meeting you!
Blog #1: Well Before Race Day: Day -1000 to 2 Weeks Pre-Race.
What in the world is “Day -1000”, Amy? Well, it’s an acknowledgement of all the food you’ve eaten well before deciding to do a 5K. Yep, it matters, but have no fear. I’m here to lead you to green pastures, hydrated muscles and a happy digestive system.
If you really think about it, eating nutritiously is part of training (which we typically think of as primarily running and strength). The amount of calories you eat matter, however, the quality of those calories is so much more important.
Following are two breakfast meals and their nutritional values to consider (and remember, we’re talking -1000 days to two weeks before the race).
Two conventional pancakes, four strips of bacon and a cup of orange juice provide approximately:
Now let’s take a look at a tomato and spinach omelet made with two egg whites, one whole egg and an apple on the side.
Whether you’re training for a 5K or simply looking for a way to lose weight, the egg omelet is definitely your best opinion of the two. Why? When you compare the calories and carbohydrates of each meal, you’re getting more protein and less fat with the egg omelet. And while I love bacon, eating more vegetables provide the nutrients I need to have strong bones, clean blood, elastic lungs and resilient muscles.
Eating real, whole, naturally created foods is the way to go. I like to call it the “Roots/Mothers Way of Eating”. Meaning, did it grow from the ground (i.e veggies, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds) or have a mother (i.e meat, eggs, dairy)?
Not only do we eat too many calories in general, we eat an exorbitant amount of processed carbohydrates such as pancakes (flour = processed grain), chips, soda and even that delicious sweetened coffee drink. Our bodies simply aren’t developed to deal with that much sugar (carbohydrates are converted to sugars for easy, quick energy). And where we get into even more of a pickle is that those same foods are deficient in vitamins, minerals, fiber, fats, and proteins. We’re essentially starving ourselves in fat bodies.
So here are my recommendations to tightening the belt a few notches while supply your sexy, finely tuned body with all the nutriousment it needs for your upcoming 5K race. A few may surprise you, but I promise, they will help you run faster, and recover quicker.
#1 In your calendar, add the reminder “Drink Water Now” 4-5 times a day. To ensure you’ll have ample supplies, keep filled water bottles at your desk, on the living room end table, in your car and in your gym bag. Refill and clean regularly. Get ready to visit the restroom more often, too, but have no worries…. it’s suppose to work out that way.
#2 The next time you go grocery shopping, buy 4-5 vegetables of varying colors and textures. Some of my favorites are broccoli, red pepper, tomatoes, red cabbage and sweet potatoes. As soon as you get home, wash and prep them for easy consumption throughout the week, especially if your schedule tends to be busy.
#3 If you’re like me, and use your mobile phone as an alarm clock, grab it right now. Look at the time it’s set to wake you up tomorrow. Now, working backwards, calculate what time will you need to go to bed in order to get 7-8 hours of sleep. Make it your #1 priority to get to bed within 15 minutes of that time 4-5 times a week. Plan ahead and give yourself ample time to finish up at work, run errands, meet up with friends, eat dinner, finish housework, play with the kids, and brush your teeth before finally laying down to sleep.
My clients continually tell me this is one of the toughest things they’re working on because not only does it take planning, it take discipline. I’ll tell you what though… I believe you can do it. And when you do, I promise you’ll feel energized and focused even after that cup of coffee wears off.
Congratulations, you’ve just taken one step closer to feeling human (again) and kicking butt at your 5K! Stay tuned for my next blog, “Race Week: Counting Down to Race Day” where you’ll learn more about how to clean up those carbohydrates (and glycogen stores), eat the right proteins/fats, and get your brain in a sweet spot to achieve your specific goals. It’s easier than you’d think.
Signing off for now – with love from my desk to yours!