Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Practice of the Season

XC has finally begun! I am officially in season! Woo Hoo!

Well, I'm going to start off with some nice tips about running in honor of such a glorious day. Because the sun is shining, I've already done my workout, and I'm just feeling AWESOME. Do you ever get those days? Where everything is just, well... AWESOME. I'll say it again. That's how today is for me.

If you haven't figured it out by now...I'm a sarcasm machine. And I love little humorous pictures like this :)
TODAY'S TIP: Pre-Workout Fuel
Let's be honest: this has us all a little puzzled sometimes. You want to eat enough so that you're not passing out with exhaustion at mile 2, but you don't want to feel like there's a rock in your stomach. (Or that you're about to throw up...) So what do you eat? Especially if you're in a time crunch, as I was this morning, rolling out of bed at 7:30 for a practice beginning at 8:00.

My tips:

  • No matter what, you need some carbohydrates.  If you can not scarf down anything else, JUST GET THE CARBS. Try and get a mix of just a few simple sugars, but you want more of your carbs to be complex. This will help sustain you over the miles. You want a few simple sugars, however, to give you available energy for bursts of speed or just to get going initially. Too much sugar, however, can upset your stomach or will be burned off more rapidly than you would wish, and you will start to feel sluggish later on.
  • Get some easily-digestible protein. Foods with lactose are NOT going to be your go-to's at this time, despite their easy to chug down nature and good protein content. I steer clear of the milk and yogurt before a run. Aim for something with a small amount of fat, also, as this helps it 'stick to your ribs' and allows you to absorb more of the available nutrition.
  • Drink something! Before you run, especially if it's in the morning, you need to be hydrated. Even 1 8oz glass of water can be enough for a 3 or 4 mile run. I find that if I don't drink something, I get achy, sweaty, and develop a huge headache. This 1 glass should not lead to any cramps as it is more for hydration purposes. DO NOT overhydrate (ie, chugging down a 20oz water bottle): this will only make you feel nauseated and will lead to cramps.
A Couple of Good Pre-Workout Snacks
  • 3 Fig Newtons and a small handful almonds
  • Packet of Nature Valley Bars
  • Banana (extra good because of the potassium) with 1 T. Peanut Butter on top of a slice of toast
  • Scrambled Egg in Half a tortilla
  • Trail Mix!
  • Dry Cereal with Coconut Flakes, Chocolate Chips, Craisins, and Nuts
  • Raw Veggies with Ranch Dip and Ritz Crackers
  • Graham Crackers with Nutella and PB
  • Protein Bar- Check the labels!
None of this was super revolutionary, I realize that, but I think it's a helpful tip from someone who has tried the whole gambit of running foods to optimize my performance. Which is NOT to say that I am a wise or running wise. As you can see...

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