This year can be the one you seize the day and take your running to the next level. Here’s the fourth article in our series on how to make it the year of the runner!
Welcome back, runner. We hope you are finding time, even if only short 10 minute runs, to make it happen. In the next two articles we’re going to look at a few things that will support your training.
The training life
When we think about training, we often separate the times we lace up our running shoes and hit the trails versus everything else. This is an unhelpful dichotomy. In reality, everything we do contributes to our experience of running, not only the times we head out for a run.
Instead of separating training from life, we’re going to begin looking at life as training. Why? Because this perspective includes everything. It’s not only about how often you’ve run each week, but also about how well you’re eating, the quality of your sleep, recovery time, and having down time with loved ones. These are just as important for maintaining your commitment to running as the running itself.
Fuelling the engine
Fuelling your engine properly and consistently is an essential part of the training life. You are fooling yourself if you think you’ll go far with running when you’re regularly skipping meals, binge eating or eating junk. Sure, you might keep running, but you won’t reach your potential.
Running coach and nutrition expert Dr Rick Kattouf III says there are three unchanging principles of good nutrition for athletes:
The right ratio: Every meal should consist of the following: about 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 15 to 25 percent protein and 15 to 25 percent fat. Eating in this way stabilises blood sugar, reducing sharp spikes and drops, and therefore food cravings, and also helps the body reload.
The right frequency: As soon as you get out of bed, not an hour later, have a small snack and drink 500 ml of water. And then have a balanced meal, in terms of the ratio above, every three hours. This keeps your engine fuelled and prevents blood sugar slumps and food cravings.
The right timing: This is about fuelling around your training runs. Have a snack just before your session, and immediately after, even if it’s a protein smoothie. Feed the machine!
Read more about the three principles of nutrition here.
Continue running three times a week, now making two of the runs 45 minutes to an hour long.
We’d love to hear what you’ve learned or discovered from reading this article, whether it’s challenged your assumptions, in the comments below. Stay tuned for the next article in this series scheduled for next week: Improving your running form.
Josh Gale – Kiwi journalist tracking adventures great and small
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