Running for a Reason – What’s yours?

If you are a running enthusiast, autumn and winter in Australia provides you with a veritable smorgasbord of events to try your legs at. I love the fact that anyone can run at any time, in any city of the world. It is a great way to see the sights (even if it is just your neighbourhood), get some fresh air in your lungs and work through your daily strategy. Over the next few months, in Australia and in fact anywhere in the world you can choose from a running menu of 4km, 12km, Half Marathon (21.1km) or the Marathon (42.2km). If you thinking about participating in any of these events, now would be a good time to start thinking about what petrol you are going to use. Yes, I know lots of people don’t bother with the training or preparation for ‘Fun Runs’ but doing so certainly puts the FUN back into them and enables you to walk and function after all that fun.

Your preparation does require some thought with regards to fuel consumption. Do you want to be a BMW or a clapped out rattletrap? Now is not the time to be indulging in takeaway for dinner or skipping meals and certainly not getting stuck into the vino the night before training. Let’s leave that till afterwards shall we?

Right now, many people in Perth, Western Australia are counting the sleeps down to the Perth HBF Run for a Reason this weekend.

A 4km or 12km run does not require carbohydrate loading but what you eat and drink in the 24 hours beforehand is important as it basically fills up your petrol tank for the next day.

Your day might look like this…….

Breakfast – high fibre cereal with fresh fruit and low fat milk or crumpets with peanut butter and banana
Lunch – wholegrain bread or bread roll with lean ham/chicken/beef or tuna and salad plus fresh fruit
Dinner – pasta or rice with a chicken or beef tomato based sauce plus a green salad
Snacks like yoghurt, fruit, crackers and cheese might get a guernsey too.

One thing that I find challenging is recovery. This means making sure that I eat or drink something containing carbohydrate and protein within 15-30 minutes after I finish training or competing. It is SO easy to waste that crucial recovery time doing something else like talking, getting yourself and others ready for work and school or just generally faffing about. Your blood is flowing quickly after exercise and there are enzymes ready and waiting to pick up some petrol to transport back to cells and assist your muscle recovery. You might just need a ‘transition’ snack before your next meal to get your recovery happening and its best to look for 50g of carbohydrate combined with 10-15g protein in this snack.

Some options include:

Up and Go Energize drink
Sustagen Sport drink
Goodness Superfoods muesli bar or Go Natural protein bar plus a glass of milk
1 cup low fat milk combined with 2 tablespoons skim milk powder
1 small tub low fat yoghurt with a banana
Handful of nuts with a banana

Paying attention to your recovery after running will dramatically improve your energy levels, improve the quality of your training sessions and get you prepped for the next ‘fun run’.

Now all you have to do is run like the wind!