So you say you love to run and you love to get faster and more fit! To do this we often run more and train harder. We race more races and yes this works. As runners we also love our food.. yes we do! I'm as guilty as the next runner. I'll admit running that extra few miles just so I can indulge in a really good desert! Its a constant battle between getting more fit and eating what you love! Our Friday Blog is dedicated proving that you can get fit and faster yet still enjoy some amazing meals. We will have nutritional facts to aid runners as well as recipes so you can cook at home and even restaurant reviews that offer great runner meals that taste great!
Today the topic is proper recovery meals after your runs. Its critical both for your health and for improving your performance that after any run but especially a hard workout that you refuel your body quickly and correctly. As tempting as it is to got straight for that left over pizza in the fridge, don't! and here is some info to consider. When you run or do any hard exercise you body uses the fuel in your body such as carbohydrates/fats and your muscles actually get microscopic tears. Now here is the key information you actually don't get faster during a workout no matter what type. The process of recovery is what makes a runner faster! Immediately following a workout run its critical to recovery correctly to gain the full benefits of that particular workout. Skipping a meal then would be counterproductive. As part of your workout routine make sure you leave time to recovery correctly and not rush off to work, school etc. So now the now the question is how do we recovery correctly? There are 2 key windows of time that you need to keep in mind for proper recovery. The first is 0-30 min after the workout. In many cases you may still be at the park or gym within this window of time and not be in a place to make a full meal. So its a good idea to bring with you a small snack of the proper recovery meal. We are not talking about a 7 course meal but about 100-300 calories of 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein. A perfect example is is a banana and 2 scoopfuls of peanut butter. You can also have a medium sweet potato and one inch beef jerky. These are easy to carry around with you to where ever you are running and eat before you go home or to work. for those of you that have a really hard time eat right after a run try a recovery drink just make sure it has protein as well not just carbs. A very easy one is a cup of chocolate milk but there are many made by many sport drink companies. This will kick start your bodies ability to recover and make sure you are ready for the next run! The second window for recovery is 1-3 hours after the run. By this point in time you should be in a place you can cook or at least warm up a good meal. Again we are not talking about eating more than you NEED just a good meal to restore what your body needs. This can be another 300-500 calories of mostly carbs but some protein and healthy fats are needed as well. This will fully restore your glycogen stores and continue to help your muscles heal and beyond that get stronger. You see during the recovery process your brain instructs the body to get stronger so it can not only recovery from that hard workout but get stronger (faster) so it can handle that workout better the next time. Its the body's way of protecting itself. Some great examples of recovery meals are a grilled chicken salad with avocado and salsa or chili yes chili is a great balanced meal. And of course don't forget to properly re-hydrate during this recovery time. So eat right and allow the body to do its job and allow you to get faster. Working out hard and not recovering just leaves you tired and in fact slower. Keep chasing your running dreams!
Coach Rojas has 11 combined years of coaching experience at various levels including coaching a high school D1 State finalist team and 3 years in a row of a top 10 state ranking. He is passionate of the sport of running and loves to see new runners take up the sport! He wants to share a lifetime of running experience to all