One of the most important factors in a successful running event or training run (or any endurance sport for that matter) is fueling your body for success. One of the most common ways to prepare for that race day success is a process known as carbo-loading. This is basically loading up on carbs before race day in order to fill your body with the glycogen that it needs for energy during your run. In my experience, this has always been one of the more misunderstood aspects of nutrition for novice and experienced runners alike.
With that in mind, I sat down with author and fitness coach Luke Sniewski to discuss the subject for the Ojio Sport Fitbusters video series.
For me, all the advanced warnings and encouragements I received were true, Once you get to day 3 of your juice fast, you are home free. I woke up on the morning of the third day and felt good. I wasn’t hungry, my headache from the minor caffeine withdrawals was hardly noticeable, and I didn’t really feel too tired. As predicted, I was doing well. Day 3 for me proceeded much the way the first two days had. I had four juices spaced out across the day starting first thing in the morning and ending around 5pm or so. I made broth for dinner again, only this time I added a tomato and some red cabbage for extra flavor.
I felt like I crossed the threshold from challenging side of the juice fast to the easier, more enjoyable side.
As successful as our first day on the juice fast had been, day two turned out to be quite the opposite. Most people will tell you that days 2 and 3 are the hardest of any juice fast, but once you get through them, it gets a whole lot easier. The challenge, however, is getting through them. Breakfast juice featured kale, cucumber, red cabbage, lemon, and apple, and was definitely a little more on the savory side. Lunch on day two featured more greens with apple and pineapple followed by a carrot and beet juice combination. Thats right, two “lunches.”
One of the things about me that is important to keep in mind is that I have never been a three square meals type of person. I usually eat about five meals during the day starting with a small breakfast followed by a late morning snack of fruit and nuts. Lunch is also usually small and is followed by a late afternoon snack that depends on what kind of activity I have planned for the evening. An hour of cross training requires a meal replacement bar where as a 30-60 minute, moderately paced run requires something smaller like granola. Finally, dinner is usually a smaller meal portion as well.
A few weeks ago my fiancé and I decided to try a juice fast for the first time. This little endeavor was intentionally scheduled right before a nice vacation week. We had a couple different reasons for trying this, from dropping a couple pounds, to cleansing, to rebooting our nutrition in advance of a little vaca-style food frolicking. Personally, I was also looking forward to kicking my morning coffee habit as well.
We started our juicing adventure shopping for a grocery cart full of fruits and vegetables, including apples, carrots, lemons, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, pears, pineapples, mangos, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, kale, parsley, tomatoes, onion, ginger, kiwis, and red cabbage. All told, we spent about $80, with the idea of juicing for two people for four days. That math worked out pretty good as we would have just enough fruits and vegetables to get us to the finish line, spending just $10 per person per day.
Just the other day I found myself called out for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by my friend Carly Schroeder from Adventure Happy Diaries. So I had to devise something valuable that I could bring to the table. I made my donation and then took the challenge anyway, so that I could nominate some people of my own.
I nominated the entire staff of Ultimate Superfoods to take the Ice Bucket Challenge and as an added bonus, the company will match any donation that the employees make at ALSA.org to help combat Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I encourage everyone to log on to ALSA.org and learn more about this terrible disease, the people affected, and what this organization is doing to help them.
Everything seemed so peaceful at the very beginning.
As a runner, and one who occasionally runs long distances, I am a big proponent of massage therapy. Now when I say massage I am not referring to the type of Swedish massage that has you fast asleep on the table in 15 minutes. I am talking about the kind of therapeutic sports massage that features a masseuse that has to remind you to breathe and apologizes for the pain 9 or 10 times in the matter of an hour. Last night, I let my inner masochist out and paid a little asian woman to make me cry.
Normally it doesn’t come to this, but I have been lax in my stretching and foam rolling and I noticed over the last week that my legs were getting very sore and very stiff. So I booked a massage with the full expectation of having it be a bit painful now, but beneficial in the long run. Because I called at the last minute my appointment was with a woman that I hadn’t seen before, named Bee.
“Do you have any problem areas?” she asked.
“My legs. I have been running longer distances lately, so my legs are getting sore.”
“And you want hard massage right?” she confirmed.
“Is it okay if I walk on you?” she asked mater-of-fact.
The App is on your phone, the phone is on your arm, and your tracking obsession is off to the races!
One very good way to keep track of your training progress as well as to develop a strong running support group is to join an on-line community dedicated to the same goals that you are. For runners there are several very good options, although I must warn you not to join them all. You will spend more time updating your profiles and logging your runs than actually doing the running! Because of this, you should check each of these options out, surf through the different features, see if there is anyone you know already signed up, and then pick the one that suits you best.