Dairy overload comes to mind in watching the Cal Fenton’s Creamery 5k video. Yesterday was Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s so I hope you all got your ice cream on…too bad it was only one scoop for free and not a bucket or we could have all gone out and seen how fast we could truck a 5k after devouring it all. Half Baked flavor for me!! Hehe.
Dairy is NOT my prime choice for pre-race fuel, and I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s not an advised choice for any runner, you want something that will sit easy in the stomach. Think bland, plain, and boring too perhaps, but for pre-race and pre-run you’re eating for energy and sometimes that isn’t tantalizing on the taste buds. I’ve got an article featured in Running Times HERE all about pre-run fueling and how to best time your eats, but today will be about the post-run refuel.
30 minutes. Grind that into your brain because that is the golden ticket to recovery…that’s your window of opportunity to replenish those depleted glycogen stores and repair your muscles. You wait just 31 minutes or longer and recovery rates drop by at least 60%. What will that lost recovery look like later:
* More sluggish on your next runs
* More soreness in the muscles
* Lost chance to repair the muscle fiber tears incurred from your run
* Missed chance of coming back stronger, faster, and fitter for your next runs and workouts
Over time that could mean potential PR’s and precious seconds gone out the window. Nobody wants that, you work your butt off running the miles, don’t let something as ‘easy’ as just raising food to mouth quickly after a run hold you back in training and racing.
While pre-run foods may have to be bland, the rules of the post-run noshes are loosened up a lot…you don’t have to worry about any GI problems or stomach aches to run with! Still, for those first 30 minutes you do want to be conscious of two important things:
* Carbs - preferably some that are digested quickly and absorbed into your system fast, like high GI foods for example
You want the protein because those amino acids are imperative for repairing those broken down muscle tissues and building them back up stronger. You want carbs to replace the lost glycogen used during your workout and for the immediate restock of energy. Here is a time when you can loosen the reins on opting for only the whole grain type of carbs, that white bread is your friend here because it is digested quicker and will get into your system within those precious 30 minutes.
Fruit is an excellent choice, and a banana is prime example post-run fuel if you combine it with some cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or peanut butter and you’re good to go. Convenience can be an issue, and here is where sports bars or even drinks can help in a pinch; if you’re out on a trail it may not be feasible to whip out a pan and make some pancakes and eggs!
The thing with the 30 minute window is that it doesn’t have to be a full meal or ice cream gluttony. At least enough to tide you over until you have a full meal…it can be half a turkey sandwich, fruit and protein source, or a bar. But if you go with a bar make it one that is at least around 200 calories and with upwards of 10 grams of protein…not one of those measly 100 calorie bars, that’s not enough.
From there feel free to take a shower (or maybe not, hey, if you stink that’s your issue not mine) and head on out to get your real meal grub on. If you’re in training, there is more than just putting in the workouts if you want to maximize your full potential, there are the ‘little’ things that while they may seem ‘little’ in theory, when added up over time they make a huge impact. Not just in performance but with reducing your chance of injury and allowing your training to be consistent. Among the ‘little things are stretching, self-massage, warming up, and nutrition.
30 minutes. Time those post-run eats right so you can come back and demolish that next workout…or that next ice cream glutton fueled 5k.
1) Do you pay attention to getting in those protein and carb sources within 30 minutes prior to your workout?
2) What is your favorite protein/carb post-workout combo?
3) Have you ever run a food/race kind of challenge? If so, what and how did you do?
I’ve done the soda mile a few times back in high school, I will say I’m a little proud to say I hold the record AND I never got DQ’ed for barfing…hehe.
4) What ‘little’ things do you do to prevent your risk of injury or improve your running and workouts?