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Tips for Your Next DESTINATION Race

Destination Race Photo

By: Angela Ciroalo

Are you considering traveling to a race in another city, state or maybe even country? Try a destination race!
Destination races are great for solo runners, groups of friends, and even families.
They create the opportunity for the runner to visit a new place, take a vacation, meet new people, and participate in a new event.
In an effort to ensure the trip is worry-free, enjoyable and exciting, read my list of nine essential tips to prepare for your next destination race.
Earlier this year I traveled to California to run in a 10k race on the San Leandro Shoreline, a few miles from San Francisco.
The race was a lot fun, the course was beautiful, and the weather was spectacular.
As a result of my travels I shared with you several tips to help you have an awesome time and maybe even set a personal record during your next destination race.

Destination-Race-Packing-List

Pack Race Day Gear First
Before packing your favorite bathing suit, that beautiful dress that has been sitting in your closet, or the sunscreen – you may want to start by packing your essential running gear.
Imagine waking up race day morning to find out that your running shoes are sitting on your living room table?
Pack the essentials: shirt, shorts/pants, socks, shoes, gels, belts, headband, hat, or anything else that you run with on a daily basis.
When deciding on your outfit, be sure to check the weather forecast of the race destination.
For those who are concerned their gear might get lost or stolen, another option is to pack race gear in your carry on – or to even wear it during your flight, or while you are traveling.

Use Extra Travel Time to Relax
During your travels try to make time to stretch, drink plenty of fluids, rest if possible, and prevent any unnecessary stress.
Traveling can be difficult for everyone, although when you are preparing for a specific event travel can become exceedingly more difficult.
Use this time to visualize your race, remind yourself of all of the hard work you have done to prepare for this event, congratulate yourself for the success you have achieved thus far – and get excited!
Utilize this extra time during travel to prepare your body, physically and mentally. This way when you are arrive you are fully prepared for the big day.

Race at Beginning or End of Vacation? 
When planning your race destination, be cautious of where you place the race date during your trip.
Placing a race at the end of a vacation can leave you depleted and tired on race day. Additionally, you may not be in top shape and your results may suffer.
Scheduling the race in the middle of the trip can cause complications. The race may interfere with the itinerary or other vacation plans.
If possible, schedule your race at the beginning of your trip. This will allow you to race in your top shape, you will be in race mode (not vacation mode), you will be (hopefully) well rested, and you will have plenty of time to vacation and sightsee after the race is over. Most importantly you can celebrate your success throughout the remainder of the trip.
During my recent trip to California, I raced the morning after our flight arrived. Though this was slightly difficult because the flight had landed at 12 am the day prior, I was thrilled because I felt prepared, focused, and the time difference gave me an additional three hours of sleep.

What Do I Eat? 
What you will eat the night before, the morning of, during the race, and after the race are all very important factors to take into consideration.
The pre-race meal and the post-race meals are generally the more important meals, therefore you will want to be extra cautious when planning these out.
The last thing you want is to eat food your stomach is not familiar with the night before a race causing you to feel uncomfortable or ill. Stick to the age old tip; don’t try anything new race week.
When choosing a restaurant, pick food that you are familiar with eating the night before a run. In the event of an emergency or issue, be sure to pack snacks and foods that can be easily stored and consumed.
After the race be sure to not wait too long to properly refuel with adequate nutrients.
Some great tools to use when choosing your pre- and post-race meals include Zagat, LocalEats, Open Table or Yelp. These websites and smartphone applications with help you to locate restaurants and eateries that fit your needs.

Transportation to The Race
For those who utilized public transportation to arrive to their location be sure to pre-plan transportation for race morning.
The morning of a race can be stressful, tiring, upsetting and even nerve-wrecking.
In an effort to avoid confusion, or even arriving to the race late, plan your route and method of transportation in advance.
Ordering a taxi cab or using online transportation networks like Uber or Lyft can save you time, energy and money.
During my trip to California I used Lyft to arrive to my race destination race. The cost was inexpensive and the process was accommodating and safe.
Renting a car is another safe option. A can rental can also be beneficial if you plan to sightsee later that day.

Proper Hydration During Travels
Traveling often leaves the body dehydrated and tired. In an effort to avoid this common issue pack a reusable water bottle to use during your trip.
Most hotels offer filtered water to their guests and locations to refill water bottles.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids the days you are traveling to and from your destination, the day before your race, directly after your race, and during your sightseeing ventures.

Sleep and Rest
It is quite common for athletes to lose sleep the night before a big event.
In an effort to avoid race day fatigue, make an effort to receive adequate sleep the days leading up to the race.
The days leading up to a race are often spent tapering (running less to rest your legs), therefore your body will appreciate the extra sleep.
After tapering and sleeping 8-10 hours before the big day you will arrive to race day fully prepared to give your best effort.
After the race, you will also want to set aside some extra time to rest your legs, sleep, stretch, foam roll and walk.

Destination-Races-600x600

Proper Post-Race Recovery
After a race it is easy to get caught up in the post-race activities, food and festivities; however these actions can make recovery very difficult.
After your race make time for your regular post-race routine which should include; hydrating with electrolytes and water; re-fueling with adequate protein, carbohydrates and fats as well as vitamins and minerals; stretching and foam rolling; resting and recovering; and getting a good night of sleep.
This may be difficult if you have limited time in your location and you want to squeeze everything in, however keep in mind that chances are you will feel it later.
After my race in California, I showered and went directly out to sightsee and explore.
While this was beneficial for my legs to spend time walking after the race, I did not to take some time to stretch, rest and properly refuel.
As a result, I felt fatigued and sore by the end of the day.
Take it from me, the extra hour of rest, proper refueling, and stretching can make a world of difference while decreasing recovery time dramatically.

Have Fun!
Take photos, do funny poses, make new friends, try new foods, take in the sights, try your best – and have a good time.
The purpose of your trip is to enjoy yourself. Destination races often go down as one of our top 10 favorite races ever completed.
They are filled with a sense of freedom, opportunity, mystery and excitement.
Take this time to enjoy this experience.

SF

Caption: Me in San Francisco for a destination race in February 2017 – Took first in my age group!

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You Can Run Your First 5k!

Overcome your fears and achieve your goals: Here is how.

By: Angela Ciroalo

Have you ever dreamed of running in a 5k race but never thought you could actually do it.

Instead millions of doubts, questions and concerns flashed through your mind; How would you prepare for it? Are you actually capable of completing it? Where would you even start? Could you get injured? Is it even worth it?

So many questions run through your mind, causing you to doubt your abilities and pass the idea off as a brief moment of excitement.

Don’t let your dreams stop here. Give your dream a chance. Challenge yourself and let your body show you what it is capable of!

You can do anything if you put your mind to it and you CAN finish a 5k race!

Think back to how you felt when the idea first ran through your mind. You saw yourself running in the race, crossing the finish line, and feeling absolutely fantastic. This does not have to be a fantasy. Make your dream a reality. Follow the tricks, tips, advice and training plan provided in this article.

Women

Step 1: Change your mindset.

A 5k race is achievable for everyone and anyone.

You can, and you will, complete your first 5k race.

Now that you have read that sentence, repeat it, think it, and believe it. Tell your friends. Tell your family. The more you say, the more you will believe it.

At times when your beliefs run low, use visualization and envision yourself crossing the finish line.

When times are tough and you don’t feel like exercising in preparation for the race remind yourself of your goal and how are going to feel once you achieve it!

Michael Thorne Race

Step 2: Choose Your Race

Select the race that you plan to complete.

Use local race calendars to find a race that is close by, in a convenient location and is runner/walker friendly.

Choose a race that is within the next three months to prevent any relapse or a change in mindset.

Ensure that you, your family and your friends are not busy that day.

Once the race is selected – sign up! Don’t put it off and forget about it.

Angela_Firecracker 5Mile_2016

Step 3: Begin working toward your goal.

In order to prepare for the race start your training by walking.

Walk three to five days per week for a total of 20-30 minutes. Walking will create your baseline fitness level, which you will improve upon as you are training.

Once you feel comfortable walking several times per week for a few weeks, begin to implement jogging into your walk.

Jog for several seconds, followed by walking for a few minutes.

Increase the amount of time you jog during each workout until you are able to jog for a full 20 minutes or more.

Follow the 8-week long training plan provided below. The plan will guide a new runner to walk/jog their first 5k race!

You Can Run Your First 5k
8-Week Training Plan

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Wk. 1 Walk 15 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 15 min. Stretch Walk 15 min. Stretch  Walk/Jog  20 min.
Wk. 2 Walk 15 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  20 min. Stretch Walk 20 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 25 min.
Wk. 3 Walk 17 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  25 min. Stretch Walk 23 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 30 min.
Wk. 4 Walk 17 min. Stretch Walk/Jog  25 min. Stretch Walk 25 min. Stretch Walk/Jog 30 min.
Wk. 5 Walk 20  min. Stretch Walk/Jog  30 min. Stretch  Jog 5-10 Walk 5-10 Stretch Jog 10 Walk 20
Wk. 6 Walk/Jog 20 min. Stretch Walk 10, Jog 10, Walk 10 Stretch Jog 15
Walk 15
Stretch Jog 18  Walk 15
Wk. 7 Walk/Jog25 Stretch Walk 8, Jog 15, Walk 7 Stretch Jog 20  Walk 10 Stretch Jog 22  Walk 10
Wk. 8 Walk/Jog 20 Stretch Walk 5, Jog 15, Walk 5 Stretch Jog/Walk 20 min. Stretch 5k Race! 

Step 4: Look and Feel the Part

In an effort to feel fully prepared for the race it is important to feel as though you “fit in” with other runners.

Try stopping in to a running specialty store and check out the different styles of shorts, tops and shoes that were created for runners.

The clothing and specialty outfits are not essential. They were created for comfort, support and injury prevention.

Pick out an outfit that makes you feel comfortable running.

Practice your run in this outfit a few times, then save it to wear during your big day. A comfortable running outfit will ensure confidence, ease and prevention of injury on race day

Belmar 5Mile_July 2016_Angela

Step 5: Train Appropriately.

Warm Up: Before each workout complete a 10 to 15 minute warm up. The warm up is crucial for preventing injury and ensuring a great workout.

Run or walk at a speed that allows you to maintain a conversation. You should not feel out of breath or tired at this point.

The Workout: Follow you training plan and run and/or walk for 10 to 30 minutes three to four times per week leading up to the race.

Cool Down: Once your workout is completed the body should be adequately cooled down before fully stopping. Begin slowing your speed down, allowing the heart rate to return to resting levels.

Walk or run at a conversational pace for five to ten minutes.

Follow your cool down with stretching. Hold your stretches for 10 – 15 seconds to create flexibility and prevent injury.

ST Pl
Female runner exercising

Step 6: Follow these great tips to motivate you in preparation for your first 5k race!

–          Find a running partner buddy to train with, run the race with, or hold you accountable.

–          Set a goal finishing time.

–          Create a vision board to place on your wall reminding you of your goal.

–          Lay out your running clothes the night before a workout.

–          Share the good news. Tell friends and family that you will be participating. Invite them to cheer you on.

–          Keep a training journal to monitor the progress you are making.

–          Look up the race map to fully prepare you for the event.

–          Don’t beat yourself up if you miss or skip a workout.

–          Celebrate each accomplishment along the way.

–          Enjoy the journey and have fun!

Love running

 

 

Quick, Efficient, Fat-Burning Exercise!

By: Angela Ciroalo

Interval Training Benefits
Image taken from fix.com

Winter has arrived, and although the weather outside is cold your workouts do not necessarily need to be put on hold.

In fact, depending on the type of indoor workout you choose, you may even have the opportunity to save time, increase your speed and endurance, and even lose weight.

Trivial to what many believe indoor cardio workouts do not equate to easier workouts.

There are many different options available when selecting an indoor activity.

There are a variety of options including; cycling, swimming, water running, circuit training, indoor running, and even plyometric drills.

Each of these activities can be completed through traditional steady-state bouts of exercise, or for improved results they can be done through an interval style method.

Interval training is a common form of training among athletes and experienced exercisers.

However, gyms, fitness instructors and personal trainers are beginning to take notice and incorporate interval training into traditional workouts and classes.

Interval Training
Image taken from washington.edu

What is interval training?

The nationally recognized health and fitness certification organization the American Council on Exercise [ACE] defines interval training as a system of organized cardiorespiratory training consisting of bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals with periods of lower intensity active recovery.

According to a 2014 American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM] consumer information committee report the benefits of interval training include; improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness, decreased blood pressure levels, improved overall cardiovascular health, improved insulin sensitivity, improved cholesterol profiles, and decreased abdominal fat.

Interval training is also well-known for the increased caloric burn, decreased time spent exercising, ability to improve metabolic disorders, as wells as the increased athletic performance and speed that it creates.

There are many types of interval workouts that can be completed, each varying in distance, amount of interval sessions, and length of time.

The amount of time and /or amount of interval sessions should be selected based on the individual’s athletic ability and goals.

Interval training can be catered to people of all fitness levels and conditions – with great results seen in those seeking to prevent or reverse metabolic disease.

If done correctly and consistently, interval training has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity among those with high blood sugar through allowing the body to better utilize glucose in the body.

How does interval training work?

Once an interval training sessions is completed the body will continue to burn calories for a longer period of time. The excess post-exercise oxygen consumption [EPOC] is a two-hour period of time where the body works to restore itself back to pre-exercise levels, the ACSM report states.

Therefore EPOC creates between 6 to 15 percent greater calorie burn once an interval session is completed.

Intervals can be completed through a variety of outdoor and indoor activities including outdoor running and cycling or indoor treadmills, ellipticals, stair-climbers and stationary bikes.

Intervals
Image taken from colpts.com

How to create an interval training workout

There are several components to consider when selecting an interval training workout. These factors include type, time, intensity and frequency.

Better known as the American Council on Exercise FITT principle

TYPE: Begin by first selecting the type of interval workout that you would like to complete [cycling, running, water running, etc.].

TIME: Secondly, select the amount of time you would like to spend completing the workout. The ACSM report suggests completing an interval workout between 20 and 60 minutes in total – this includes recovery time and high intensity time.

INTENSITY: Next, choose the level of intensity, which can measured by one of two ways; the level of perceived exertion scale or by the maximum heart rate percentage.

You want to determine the level of intensity you want to work out at in advance, creating a goal to work towards without stopping or slowing down.

The scale measures the 1 to 10 level of perceived exertion that the exerciser experienced. Level one signifies the lowest level of exertion, such as a light walk. Level 10 signifies the highest level of exertion, such as an all-out sprint.

Exercisers should aim to exercise at specific levels and then quantify their exertion upon completion to ensure they are putting forth the appropriate effort.

The maximum heart rate percentage can be chosen once the resting heart rate and maximum heart rate levels have been determined.

Through a series of tests, often provided by a personal trainer, one can determine their maximum heart rate level.

The ACSM report suggests that when seeking to use maximum heart rate the exerciser aim to achieve be less than 80-percent of their maximum heart rate. The recovery heart rate should range between 40- and 50-percent of the maximum heart rate.

FREQUENCY: When creating an interval training plan the final step is to select the frequency of the interval workout.

The frequency can mean one of two things; the amount of intervals per session or the amount of interval workouts per week.

An exerciser can choose the amount of interval sessions they wish to complete or they can choose a set amount of time they will spend doing the intervals.

The amount of interval sessions and length of time of an interval should be determined based on an individual’s fitness level and goals.

If planning on completing more than one interval session per week sessions should be carefully planned.

The ACSM report suggests completing no more than two interval sessions per week, allowing at least 24 hours of rest between sessions.

Examples of indoor interval training

Cycling

Cycling indoors can be done on a stationary exercise bike or in a cycling class offered at a gym.

Both are effective and great forms of indoor cardiorespiratory training.

The January issue of Runner’s World Magazine suggests completing a fast interval for 10 seconds using a resistance that feels “…like you’re climbing a hill that if it were any steeper you would have to stand.”

The article, written by Runner’s World magazine writer Caitlin Carlson, suggests a rest between intervals for 30 to 80 seconds with six total interval sessions.

This is just one example of an interval. Intervals can be completed for anywhere between a few seconds to eight minutes, and should be broken up with set rest periods.

Swimming

Swimming is a very beneficial cross training workout for runners seeking to provide their body with a rest from the impact of running on land.

Swimming is a whole-body workout that serves as a wonderful form of cardiorespiratory activity.

An example of a swimming interval workout would be to swim as quickly as possible for one to two laps followed by four slow to medium paced laps.

Either repeat this set eight times or for a total of 20 to 30 minutes.

Water running

Water running provides runners the opportunity to actually run without creating any impact on their bodies.

Water running is often associated with geriatrics or injury. However, water running is quite common among elite athletes seeking to prevent injury and increase endurance.

An example of a workout would be to complete a sprint the full length of the pool and back while wearing a flotation belt to create resistance.

The sprints should be recovered with slow to medium jogging for two to four minutes.

Indoor track running

Running indoors can be tedious, however if the exercise does not run on a track this may be a great opportunity to incorporate speed into their training.

An example of an indoor track workout would be an increasing sprint workout. Begin by warming up with 2 to 4 laps around the track. Begin the workout by running at high speed for ¼ of the distance of the track. Recover by running around the track once at a slow to medium pace.

After the recovery continue by continually increasing the speed of the sprints until you run the entire length of the track.

For an added challenge complete the workout in reverse, continually decreasing the distance.

Cool down by running the track two to four times once the workout is completed.

These workouts are sure to fully prepare you for all of the wonderful local spring races coming up just around the corner!

Now it is your turn!

I would LOVE to hear from YOU. Pleas share your thoughts on this article. Was it helpful for you? Do you have any questions? Is there a topic you would like to learn more about?

I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessing,

Angela Joy xo

This is THE Year: You Will Accomplish Your Goal

You cann

It is a new year, which means a new you. A you who is not afraid of a challenge. This is the year. You are going to overcome your fears and accomplish your goals.

You ARE going to complete a half marathon!

The half marathon race has become one of the MOST popular events in the world – with hundreds of people completing the challenge every weekend.

According to Competitor.com, the half marathon has been the fastest growing race distance in the U.S. for the past 12 consecutive years.

“And it’s not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon,”Competitor.com writer Mario Fraioli stated. 

Fraiolo compares the half marathon to the third bowl of porridge referenced in Goldilocks, “It’s neither too short nor too long, it’s just right.”

The Half Marathon; What is it Exactly? 

  • The half marathon race is a total of 13.1 miles. It is half of the full marathon distance, which is 26.2.
  • Training for a half marathon should consist of about 3-4 runs per week, gradually increasing in mile distance throughout the training schedule.
  • Based on each individual’s needs and time commitments, a training schedule is made up of different run types, times and distances – with a long run on the weekend.
  • For those who want to improve their fitness and running abilities, cross training and resistance training can also be implemented.

Spring is the perfect time to run in a half marathon and there are a ton available!

If planning on running in a spring half marathon, February is the perfect month to start training.

If running is new to you, or you don’t know where to start I am offering a special
Half Marathon Training Package Deal this month
to help you kick-start the New Year
& accomplish your goals!

You cannn

Personalized Half Marathon Training Plan (Monthly)
-Customized training schedule-based on specific goals, athletic ability & schedule
-Running tips and advice
-All of your running questions answered via email
-Support and motivation along the way!
-Nutrition advice and assistance
-Race day tips
-Race day checklist
-And more!

All for $30 per month 

Personalized Half Marathon Training Plan (3-month) 
-3 month training schedule based on specific goals, athletic ability and schedule
-Training tips and advice
-Support and motivation
-List of race day tips

All for $30

To get started, or learn more, contact me at ajciroalo@gmail.com.
I would LOVE to help you get started and achieve this exceptional goal!

Believe in yourself, I believe in you. Let’s do this!

Contact me today!
angelajoyhealthfitness@gmail.com

Let’s Train together
Trick or Trot_Oct 25 2015

 

Runner’s Tips for Avoiding Heat Illness This Summer

By: Angela Ciroalo

Things are heating up at the Jersey Shore – quite literally actually.
Summer has finally set in and runners alike are enjoying every bit of it.

Despite the welcoming temperatures and sun’s refreshing beams, there are some factors that must be considered before jumping onto the pavement to run these next two months.

Jumping on the beach

Photo taken from http://www.philly.com

Heat Illness
Heat illness can occur to anyone participating in outdoor activity during a hot day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] reported that between 1999 and 2010 an average of 618 people died in the United States each year due to a health-related illness.

The CDC further stated that heat-related deaths are more common in the United States than deaths due to tornadoes, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes combined.

HOT running
Photo taken from philly.com

The cause of a heat illness is often attributed to the body being unable to regulate the internal temperature controls, medicinenet.com reported in a June 2015 article titled, Hypothermia.

During high temperatures, the body will attempt to cool itself down through the evaporation of sweat.

Issues occur, however, when conditions such as high temperatures and humidity levels prevent sweat from evaporating, leaving the body in an overheated state.

Sweat is unable to evaporate as quickly in high heat/humid conditions, preventing heat from being released.

Types of Heat Illnesses
There are several types of heat-related illnesses.

Heat-related illnesses include; heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and hypernatremia, according to the United States Health Service Commission Corporation [HSCC].

Heat Illness
Photo taken from kidshealth.org

Heat cramps are pains most commonly in the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, caused by dehydration, electrolyte loss or inadequate blood flow to muscles.

Heat syncope is the result of decreased blood flow to the brain.

Heat exhaustion is a shock-like condition caused due to the body’s inability to acclimate to the high temperature and level of exercise, combined.

Hyponatremia, or water intoxication, is the attributed to excess water intake without proper electrolyte consumption.

Common symptoms and signs of heat-related illness includes; profuse sweating, dizziness, faintness, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, headache, extreme thirst, chills,  and even loss of consciousness.

Heat Illnesses
P
hoto taken from uchicago.edu

The most severe of the heat-related illnesses is heat stroke.

Heat stroke occurs when the body temperature is too high and the thermal regulatory mechanism is overwhelmed, according to the HSCC.

Heat stroke can occur due to fluid depletion or inability to absorb fluid.

Key signs include hot skin, pale skin, high pulse, high respiratory rate, decreased urine output, a temperature over 104 or 105 decreased Fahrenheit and pupils that are dilated or unresponsive.

Treating Heat Illness
Most of the above stated heat illnesses can be treated by moving the ill person to a cool, shaded area, placing a wet towel on their skin, elevating the feet, and offering them water and/or an electrolyte-filled beverage.

In the event of a more severe heat illness, call emergency personnel immediately.

Heat ill
Photo taken from constantcontact.com

Tips to Avoid Heat Illness
There are a number of ways to avoid heat-related illness during exercise this summer.

The first and foremost action should be, however, to check the heat index.

The heat index is the air temperature and humidity levels – combined, to provide a description of how the temperature will feel, according to the United States Health Service Commission Corporation [HSCC].
The heat index will determine whether or not it is safe to participate in outdoor activity.

Heat Index
Photo taken from wsu.edu

When temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, runners should not partake in outdoor exercise.

To avoid the steaming temperatures of the hot summer days runners can exercise in the early morning or late night hours.

If temperatures are hot, but not hot enough to refrain from participating in exercise, runners should hydrate well throughout the day and during their run, wear lightweight clothing, and exercise for a shorter and slower distance than they regularly do.

Safety precautions should always be taken during hot temperatures in an effort to avoid injury and illness.

Avoid Heat Injury
Photo taken from twu.edu

Angela’s Summer Running Plan
This summer I will be training for the Atlantic City Marathon, which means I will be outside running – a lot.

ACMarathon
Photo taken from teamintraining.org

In an effort to avoid risk of injury I will be running after sunset and hydrating with additional electrolytes and water throughout each day.

During shorter distance runs I often do not take a water bottle or Camelback water pack with me, although due to the higher temperatures I will.

Taking precaution during exercise is important – not only to avoid injury – but also to improve performance.

The heat can have a severe impact on a runner’s performance, which creates a greater reason to take precaution during these beautiful, hot summer months.

A great quote to get you running this month is from marathon record breaker Bill Rodgers, “Anyone can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It is the easiest sport.”

This article was previously published in Night & Day Magazine

If you have been running outside, share with me some of your warm weather outdoor running tips/suggestions. I would love to hear from you!

Check back in soon to hear more about my training schedule and plans!

❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings.
Best,

Angela Joy

The healthy way to fuel for long distance running

By: Angela Joy

As a runner, or exercise enthusiast, the foods that you eat should be taken just as seriously as the shoes you wear and the time you finish in.

Unfortunately, proper diet is not always top priority.

According to Erin Strout of Running Times Magazine, runners continue to follow the age-old beliefs that eating large amounts of pasta the night before, chugging bottles of sports drinks or following fad diets, will improve performance.

However, what runners are beginning to recognize more commonly is that high quality protein, fats, carbohydrates, electrolytes and superfoods, each play an intrical role in fueling a succesful athlete.

Healthy Foods

Photo taken from wicklowpartnership.ie

Ms. Stout writes in the Running Times magazine, proper nutrition and hydration are critical components for improved running capabilities.

Upon first beginning my running career I was not aware of the importance of a healthy diet.

I maintained a seemingly healthy diet, although had not true idea of what health really was.

I followed the all of the age-old runner beliefs, leading me to suffer during my first half marathon race.

It wasn’t long after when I recognized the importance of nutrition and consuming healthy organic whole foods as a runner.

During my second half marathon I cut my time by 15 minutes, finished strong, and recovered almost immediately after.

A year or so later, I took on the next challenge – running a full marathon.

I began my training unaware of how often or what types of foods I would need while running a distance longer than 90 minutes.

I can still remember coming home from my first 15 mile run. I was ecstatic, but once I met my living room I was done for the day.

I went to bed that night with an incredible headache and woke up the next day feeling worse than ever.

It was at this point that I looked to ultramarathon champion, and author of the book, “Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness,” Scott Jurek.

SCott Jurek

Photo taken from Twitter.com

Jurek is known for his victories in nearly every elite ultra trail and road event. He is most commonly recognized for his seven straight victories at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, his record-breaking Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon win, and his historic 153-mile Spartathalon win.

Jurek explains the importance of eating carbohydrates prior to a run, eating carbohydrates during a run that is longer than 90 minutes, and eating protein 30 minutes after a run to restore your energy levels and avoid fatigue.

Jurek follows a whole foods plant-based diet, and suggests that runners eat a variety of organic whole foods such as grains, legumes, green vegetables and fruits.

Running

In reaction to reading Mr. Jurek’s book, and seeking guidance from other professional runners, I created this training guide to prepare for long runs:

Day before:
Avoid carbo-loading the night before.
Instead, focus on fueling your body on quality protein, unsaturated fats and carbohydrates throughout the day.
Your body will store the protein, fats and carbohyrates and utilize them the following day.
Also make sure to allow the body proper time to digest all of the food you eat, prior to race morning. In other words, try not to eat too late at night.

A sample pre-race day, or pre-long run, meal for me would include:
Organic brown rice
Black beans
Avocado
Tomato
The day before I also snack on different fruits and nuts between meals.

Morning before: Before embarking on a long run it is best to wake up at least 30 minutes to one hour before running to allow yourself to eat and digest the food.

Each runner’s stomach will handle foods and digestion differently, therefore trial and error is key – the same goes with foods eaten during the run.

Carbohydrates are key the day of a run.

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My pre-run meal often consists of a piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and a banana or orange. If I wake up early, I will eat a small bowl of oatmeal with organic blueberries.

During the run: A runner only needs to consume food if they are partaking in exercise longer than 90 minutes.

If running for longer than 90 minutes it is best to eat every 30 minutes, or so, to fully restore the body’s glycogen levels.

Most professional athletes suggest eating at least 30 grams of carbohydrates every 30 minutes.

Jurek created a conversion that meets each runner’s specific needs through relying on the runner’s weight.

The runner’s body weight, divided by 2.2, multiplied by .7, equates to the amount of carbohydrates consumed while running.

Jurek’s conversion: (Body weight/2.2) x .7 = grams of carbohydrates

I weigh 130 pounds, therefore my conversion would appear as; (130/2.2) x .7 = 41.4.

What to eat on the run:

Many runners reach for sports gels to meet their carbohydrate needs while exercising.

I opted for the natural whole foods remedies.

A few examples of foods I consume while running include;
Bananas
Figs
Organic fruit baby foods
Dates

While running I eat one item every 30 to 40 minutes and drink water after every mile.

sproutbabyfood

Photo take from: livingrichwithcoupons.com

Angela’s Tip:
Bananas are a common go-to food for me while running. I often peel the banana right before the run and place it in a plastic bag untouched. I will mush it up right before I eat it to allow easier digestion and carbohydrate absorption.

Post-Run: After completing a run it is time for the body to refuel, recover and prepare for the next run.

Physiologist Deborah Shulman concluded in an article on Active.com titled, “Get enough protein post-workout,” that it is important to consume carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of completing endurance exercise.

She explained that the nutrients consumed after exercise will fend off fatigue and promote recovery.

Ms. Schulman suggests that 20 grams of protein is optimal after completing an endurance exercise activity.

She said 20 grams can often be found in one scoop of protein powder.

What to eat after a run: Eating can be difficult after undergoing a sustained, difficult workout. My solution is to reach for a protein-packed smoothie.

I often consume one full cup of a protein smoothie after each run.

Angela 3

Photo courtesy of Angela Joy

My favorite post-run smoothie; Blueberry, banana and flax seed smoothie

  • Banana
  • Rice milk – you can use any kind of milk
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Hemp protein
  • One tablespoon of crushed flax seeds
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon

If you prefer a sweet smoothie, include one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to the mix.

Finding Inspiration

A quote that gets me through long, strenuous runs is one of Jurek’s common phrases, “Sometimes, you just do things.”

The quote resonates with me to the fact that I don’t have a specific explanation of why I run other than the fact that I simply enjoy it.

Truly, we don’t need an explanation for why we do things that make us happy – it is just important that we go out there and do them.

Don’t worry about what people think or say – just do it.

I challenge you to go out and do something that you love for the simple reason that, “Sometimes we just do things.”

Blog Post Takeaway:

Healthy Food

Photo taken from:socialdashboard.com

Have you ever heard of the expression, “You are what you eat,” well, my motto is, “Your performance is only as good as the food that you eat.”

Therefore, make sure that you are eating well!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it was helpful! Please share your feedback, comments, questions.

❤ Wishing you lots of love, joy and blessings

-Angela Joy

Information obtained from:

  1. http://running.competitor.com/2014/04/inside-the-magazine/the-long-run/the-long-run-eating-on-the-run_28754
  2. http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/fueling-facts
  3. http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/get-enough-protein-post-workout
  4. Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman
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