Foodie Fridays: The monstrous 21km!

Honestly, I’m still stuck at 10km runs!  Mostly, I’m doing 5km runs in the week and 1 longer run over the weekends (check out my post about exercise and infertility here).  I’ve been thinking about going longer, but obviously my first question is what to eat before and what to eat after.  Heidi just did a half marathon and she’s sharing her tips for the day and even giving us some healthy snack ideas, pre- and post-run!  Enjoy!

Half a marathon – that’s 21.1 km or 13.1 miles.  That’s quite far…  When you haven’t done one, you cannot quite comprehend the distance.  When you’ve done one, you can’t actually believe that you’ve just run that distance… When you’ve done maybe 2 or 3, you think you’re a seasoned half-marathoner…

So, there I was, recently, all ready for my half marathon, feeling just a tad nervous, but thinking ‘Hey, I’ve done this before, no biggie, plus I’ve been training really hard, etc, etc’…

Welllllllll, it turns out that if you’re not putting in the mileage (and I don’t mean running 3x a week for 8-10 km a pop) you’re in for a bit of a surprise.  I was doing really well up until 8 km {the distance of my normal training runs} and then I got tired.  And the hills became more difficult.  And it was hot.  And I was running by myself.

Ding-ding-ding, game over!

I won’t bore you with all my thoughts during the next 13 km, but let me just tell you, it wasn’t all very positive.  It’s amazing how your mind and attitude influences your game {whether it’s running, cycling, gym, whatever…} and I’m afraid it’s very difficult to bring yourself back after that first defeating thought.

Heidi’s 8 Top Tips for bringing your A-Game

  1. Be Prepared
    It doesn’t matter how psyched-up you are, if you haven’t done the training, you’re most probably going to fail. {Fail to plan; plan to fail}
  2. Start the Day on a Positive
    Don’t rush – allow yourself enough time for a coffee, breakfast and the drive there. Don’t have PMS-induced arguments…
  3. Eat (My speciality)
    You cannot do an endurance sport on an empty stomach. Don’t overeat though and be cautious of eating the wrong thing…

    • Choose something that is nutrient-dense and won’t leave you feeling too full and heavy.
    • Choose something that will keep you going for a while, seeing as you’ll probably be out there for a good 2 hours, burning off heaps of calories.
    • A good time to eat is an hour or so before your event
    • Grab a ‘top-up’ energy snack 15-30 minutes before. I absolutely cannot state the importance of this enough! Even though your body is now running on ‘diesel’ {fat instead of carbs}, you still need to nourish before an event. And especially for us women, you don’t want to find yourself out there, hungry and then turning to all the wrong sugary snacks along the way.
  4. Think Happy Thoughts
    Be positive and uplift yourself, but be careful of going into a daydream-state {stay away from La-La-Land…} Do NOT let that first negative thought even rear its ugly head!!!
  5. Have a Buddy
    It’s a good idea to run with someone with the same {or slightly faster} pace as you. You encourage and motivate each other.  It creates accountability, neither one wants to give up and fail the other one.  Also, training with a buddy is very helpful and important, even if you’re just part of a running club, motivating and pushing each other – that is worth so much.  Pace each other and yourself – run consistently.
  6. Take in the Scenery.  Just enjoy your surroundings.  Witness and enjoy the peace that running in nature brings.
  7. Be Aware
    Be aware of your stride – focus on running correctly (strengthen core, like previously discussed on this blog) and run optimally. Take note of other runners, perhaps something about them will motivate and/or inspire you.  And obviously watch your step too – you wouldn’t want to trip and fall
  8. Push Yourself
    This is the most important – even with all the training in the world, you still need to push yourself mentally and physically. If you’ve done all the other steps properly, believe me, it’s much easier to push yourself, and vice versa…  It is also important to know when to push harder and when to keep back a bit – it’s all in the pace

Snack Ideas

  • A banana {yes, it’s a fruit high in sugar and best avoided on a regular basis, but before a long run, it provides a great energy jolt and keeps you full}
  • Homemade granola bar or bowl of granola – loaded with calorie-dense seeds and nuts, this will provide a good, solid base and also keep you full. Add in coconut oil to make it even more filling, remember, organic coconut oil is a great source of Medium-Chain Triglycerides {MCT} which is basically fat that is very easily digestible and doesn’t need to be broken down to be used for energy. It’s instant energy.  Try my energy-boosting granola, it can even be made into bars, just add more coconut oil and press into a plastic container. Set in the fridge, then cut into bars.
  • Nutrition after your run is just as important, as running long distances can really take it out of you. Make sure to include lots of protein and green leafy veg, as well as slow-release low carb vegetable options such as sweet potato.  Try this incredible recipe!

So, what are you waiting for… Get moving!

Heidi Visser



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