If you joined us a couple of weeks ago for our 10 mile training run - Yay! I hope you have recovered and are ready for the 11 miles in the trails this weekend! It was a very challenging 10 miles. Many of us are feeling the effects of the fall ;), and the record heat & smoke in our valley are making it extra hard to get miles in. More attention toward stretching is making a difference for some, as well as more time on core exercises, rolling out, and even improving everyday posture to help with back issues.
Whatever discomfort you put yourself through now will mean less discomfort later. Even though it's hard to voluntarily put ourselves through pain, there are so many benefits... Have you noticed yet? According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vigorous physical activity reduces our overall risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and other lifestyle diseases. If you stick with it, you'll also experience more energy, strength, and mental toughness. Too often we don't know the blessings we're missing out on because we aren't willing to pay the price to find out... But well done team - you're paying the price! =)
Ben went over nutrition with us last Saturday; here are highlights:
- Practice, practice, practice.... not only in training our muscles & feet, but also our stomachs. Our bodies' normal programming turns off "unnecessary" things like digestion during exercise, but remember... we're not doing something normal or average ;). Our miles go better if we take in nutrition as we go, so NOW is the time to be training our stomachs to keep digestion going. Figure out what works for you and keep fueling on longer training days.
* Before: Experiment with breakfast options (smoothies, toast & peanut butter, cereal, etc.) and how much time you need to allow between eating and moving (also consider what you're eating for dinner the night before). A growling stomach can be almost as uncomfortable as a side ache, so keep adjusting toward your body's ideal.
* During: Try different fueling options - gels, chomps, sports beans, etc. (from running/sports stores). Even flavors can be a boost or a bummer during an event! Lightheadedness & difficulty concentrating are indicators that your brain needs fuel (glucose). It doesn't hurt to start refueling before you realize you need it, and around 30-45 minutes into a walk/run on a longer training can be a good time to start. Sometimes our aid stations will have fuel, including fruit, but experiment now as a part of your training.
* After: You have 45-60 minutes following training/events to give your body the ideal re-charge for recovery, and currently science is advising chocolate milk as the best recovery food =D! I add a chocolate powder with added vitamins to raw milk; corn syrup found in a lot of pre-made versions doesn't work great for me (stomach & budget), but find out what works best for you. Watermelon is also an awesome recovery food/hydrator.
- Hydration: Our brains and our muscles are about 75% water (fat is only 10%), so good hydration is a secret weapon to helping things work at their optimum.
The best indicator of whether or not you're getting enough hydration is the color of your urine. Dark yellow - get an IV (kidding! But you're dehydrated) vs. clear - you can back off the hydration a bit. It's ideal to be drinking not only before, but also during our miles, which means carrying fluids or using aid stations. Carrying your own fluid means you get to choose what you're drinking and have it exactly when you want it.
It was a difficult 10 miles, but helped by the truth "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," (Phil. 4:13). Even in this our action is required - tapping into Christ as our source of strength will not only get us through 52.4 miles of love, but through everyday challenges. My sense of being overwhelmed lately is challenged by this; I have to lean into Him to access that strength, by faith believing that my challenges do not go unseen by Him. In the process, He gives bold hope and a special strength to keep moving forward, despite how things look from my limited perspective. May Christ be our strength for our 52.4 training and life's everyday stuff.
I will not be at this Saturday's training, as I'm in Colorado this weekend, but I am praying for you all!
Cheering for you,
52.4 Team Leader