Archives for category: Fun Runs and Marathons

I’m kind of hoping this [post] is just like friendships I have with my high school girl friends… we pick up just where we left off despite the distance and in this case the time that has past. So it’s been little while… enough time that there is now three of us, which has absorbed time like never before.

Fast forward to April 2016, the Happy Runner is carb loading again! This time [finally] for the London Marathon. The 6th and final World Major Marathon.

Amongst the white bread, fruit juice and Powerade the nerves were obvious. Well to be honest they were my nerves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… support crew is a tough job, sometimes I think I’d rather be the one running!

As usual I had nothing to worry about… so very proud.

Another Marathon and this time another team member to help cheer on the Happy Runner.

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Thank you London…

  • 10 years of training
  • 4 countries
  • 6 marathons
  • New York, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, London
  • 253.2km
  • Way too many grams of carbs to count
  • 6 World Major Marathon medals
  • 1 awesome support crew!
  • 1 six Star WMM medal
  • 1 of the first 10 Australians to ever complete all 6 World Major Marathons

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www.lovethycarbs.comIt’s one of the most iconic races you can run when it comes to organised fun runs in Australia. So much so you can’t have a complete set of race medals until you have one from this one! But in saying that Sydney’s City 2 Surf is also a course you need to respect, 14km of rolling hills that all make it worth while once you hit beautiful Bondi Beach. Therefore while hopefully your training will physically get you to the finish line your race nutrition is the icing on the cake and may just be the difference between a run that sees you struggle through each km and feeling great and enjoying the journey!

www.lovethycarbs.comHere’s 5 key race nutrition tips to help ensure you make the most of the 14km to Bondi:

1. Carb it up the night before: I like to keep things pretty simple the night before a race. No spicy Indian or 5 course banquet… But something you’re used to, for me it’s an obligatory bowl of pasta with a basic tomato based sauce and a glass of juice. In short; high in carbs and low in fat and fibre to ensure you’ve stoked the fire ready to burn through 14km.

2. Hydrate well in the lead up: while the weather is still cool and you may not sweat too much starting the race well hydrated is key. Not only are you more likely to perform at your best but it will also help reduce fatigue setting in keeping you switched on and in the right mind to achieve your goal. Therefore ensure your keeping up the fluids the day before with  water, sports drinks, and or juices, the later two also contain carbs which can help too if you find you struggle with appetite prior to a race.

www.lovethycarbs.com3. Don’t forget your pre-race fuel: while it will probably be an early start for most try to top up your fuel stores about 1-2hours before you run. Toast with honey, jam on crumpets, banana and a sports drink, smoothie, or even a bowl of cereal and milk. What ever your preference again go high carbs and low fat and fibre and include beverages to ensure you line up in a hydrated state.

4. Stick to what you know: many have unfortunately learnt this lesson the hard way… Don’t eat or try anything new that you have already practiced in training. It’s definitely not a good idea to eat new foods or try different brands prior to a race or the day before for that matter. You want to eliminate any variables and control the things you can when it comes to races and the beauty about nutrition us that you can (well most of the time!). Definitely stick to what you know works for you.

www.lovethycarbs.com5. Follow your race nutrition plan: Hopefully you have already been practicing your race nutrition during training runs so you know what foods or beverages you’ll take in along the 14km course. And while many will finish within 90min and may not need a lot during that time other than drinks throughout its best to be prepared. If you use a pace band (a wrist band with your timing goals for key km marks) mark on it where the drink stations will be and when you will eat if you plan to have a carb gel or snack. What ever your race plan stick to it as best you can, and if you don’t have a plan set one!

Oh and don’t forget to rehydrate with water or a sports drink before you celebrate with other beverages!

Looking for a yum recovery brekkie, try this one… A runner’s recovery

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It’s the first of June and Im not sure I’m ready to say the ‘W’ word yet. But it does feel like it’s creeping in, well to me anyway, and I know most people think my thermostat is faulty.
Anyway yesterday was the first rainy run I’ve done in a while. I don’t mind running in the rain but I must admit it’s easier if it starts raining while you’re already out rather than starting in the wet. While it’s not always fun feeling like you’ve jumped in the pool fully clothed before heading out for a soggy 10km here are a few things I do to make running in the rain a little more comfortable.

A light weight waterproof jacket is key. I use a Nike jacket that is just so light you don’t even know you have it on. It’s great cause if the weather clears up during the middle of your run you can either take it off and tie it around your waist as it’s so light or even roll it up and hold it one hand. Otherwise leaving it on is fine too as it’s so light and breathable that it doesn’t make you too hot.

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Less is more. Opt for a quick-dry pair of shorts or even an old pair of compression tights if you’re not open to bearing your legs. The less heavy material the better as it only holds the water, making it heavy and can make you cold if you’re out on a long run.

Two pairs of runners are better than one. This is the only time I can convince the ‘Happy Runner’ that I need more shoes! There’s not much you can do about wet runners when training in the rain, but having a second pair means you’re less likely to miss scheduled sessions due to wet shoes. The best way to dry wet shoes is to loosen the laces, remove the inner soles and leave them outside to dry in fresh air. Don’t sit them in direct sunshine or put them next to the heater, this can damage the rubber or leather in the shoes. Sometimes you might also want to rinse them in cold water to remove any dirt or mud before you set them out to dry.

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Spare your hair. If I don’t tie my hair back properly when it’s wet by the time I’ve finished my run it is a mattered ball of knots resembling an old birds nest. A basic ponytail doesn’t cut it either. I find braiding my hair is best and stops it from knotting up. Even a normal platt doesn’t work. I also use a head band, I have a couple I bought form Lorna Jane that can be tightened or expanded. A hat can also help and it stops the rain hitting your face in heavier down pours.

Avoid blisters. Wet shoes and socks can mean you’re more prone to blisters. Try a little Vaseline or Body Glide on heals and between toes to help prevent blisters in the wet. This also helps prevent chafing if you use it on other areas like bra straps or underarms etc.

To be honest it’s all about being prepared and having the right gear when it comes to training through the wet and cold months. And don’t forget your post run brekkie or meal. After a rainy run I always want something that helps me recover but is also warm and comforting. Yesterday we stopped by a local cafe to get warm and refuel. I opted for the vanilla bean and apple porridge with milk. Carbs and protein… just what I needed.

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When I’m at home I go for a quick bowl of porridge topped with nuts, fruit or brown sugar (what ever I have on hand really) and a hot chocolate. Here’s my quick porridge, also great for cold mornings before work if you’re short on time. It’s also a great base that you can experiment with and add your favourite toppings.

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Ingredients (makes one serve):

  • 1/2 cup quick oats or whole oats
  • 3/4 -1 cup skim milk
  • Plus toppings of your choice, today I had brown sugar and chopped almonds

Method:

  • Put oats and half the milk in a microwave proof bowl and stir
  • Heat in microwave for 1 minute
  • Stir and add the rest of the milk
  • Heat in microwave again for another 30-60 secs
  • You can also use water to make the porridge but I like mine nice and creamy so I use milk and it adds protein. Add more or less milk depending on the consistency you like the best.

Nutritional Profile (one serve):

  • Energy – 1030kJ (247 cal)
  • Protein – 12.2g
  • Total Fat – 4.3g
  • Sat Fat – 0.9g
  • Carbs – 37.0g
  • Sugar – 9.4g
  • Fibre – 4.6g
  • Sodium – 93mg

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www.lovethycarbs.com

Are you nutrition ready?

I think I could count on one hand the number of night time runs I’ve completed! I’m definitely an early bird when it comes to training which also means I’ve mastered my morning pre-training snack. However with the Nike She Runs 10km on tonight I’ll need to put a little more thought into it.

Seeing as the run starts at 6pm I’m planning on a pretty balanced lunch around 12 to 1pm and then a high carb pre-race snack about 3:30-4pm. It’s about ensuring you’ve topped up fuel stores and at the same time given your system enough time to have emptied the stomach.

Here’s a check list to help plan your pre-race snack…

It should:
– be high in carbs
– be low in fat and fibre
– be a snack that you know doesn’t upset the stomach
– include fluids
– and be enjoyable

High carb snack ideas:
– crumpets and honey
– banana and yoghurt
– toast and juice
– a bowl of cereal and milk
– pikelets and fruit
– english muffin and a sports drink

Remember your pre-race snack or meal should be something that’s easily digested, that provides energy from carbs yet is light and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and lethargic. If you find you’re a little nervous before a race, and therefore not sure you can stomach food, try a liquid snack such as a sports drink, juice or cordial, or a home made smoothie.

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Try a high carb liquid snack if you can’t stomach food pre-race

And don’t forget hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

While it’s probably going to be a cool night and you’re less likely to sweat as much as you would running in the heat you’ll still need to ensure that you start the race well hydrated to allow you to perform at your best. Even being just slightly dehydrated can effect your race.

And lastly after you cross the finish line aim to recover with water or a sports drink before heading for a more celebratory bevvy.

I’m excited about the run tonight, see you there!

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My partners in crime at last years Nike She Runs #OUTFITrunners

 

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While maybe not everyones perfect start to a long weekend, we kicked ours off with an 18km run through the city. To be honest witnessing this city awaken as you run through the streets which are usually hustling and bustling puts that extra kick in your step, or stride I should say. This was a special morning in Sydney however, as the city prepared to honour those of the ANZAC. A brilliant morning to be out, despite the rain.

While getting the Ks in your legs is fairly key to running and training for a half or full marathon, the strategy isn’t complete without a nutrition plan, and that includes your post training meal. While protein and carbs are the focus I like to also think about quality and nutrient density. Here’s one of my favourite post run specialties.

Runners Recovery Brekkie (1 serve):

  • 1/3 cup raw oats (whole or quick oats, I like a mixture of both)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2-1 cup natural low fat yoghurt (flavoured yoghurt is fine also, which ever you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped fruit (this time I chose pear, plum, banana and raspberries)
  • 15 almonds (raw or dry roasted)

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Nutritional Profile (per serve):

  • Energy – 1835kJ
  • Protein – 21.6g
  • Fat – 13.5g
  • Saturated Fat – 1.6g
  • Carbs – 52.3g
  • Sugars – 32.3
  • Fibre – 10.3g
  • Sodium – 173mg

www.lovethycarbs.com

www.lovethycarbs.com

www.lovethycarbs.com

To be honest I didn’t get the best sleep last night and it wasn’t because I was in a far away land (like Japan) or because my pillow had as much cushioning as the pile of magazines next to my bed resembling more a pancake than a pillow. Rather it was because my husband (aka the #HappyRunner) is running his fifth world major marathon today. I know… so inconsiderate! It’s not enough that he drags me around the world to the most amazing cities, as he follows his simple yet physically challenging passion for endurance running, he also disrupts my sleep thanks to the nerves and anxiety I carry in hope for his success.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not worried he won’t succeed, I know he’s put the work in and I know he has the mind to push through the 34km mark, where you’re so close yet still so very far. I know he has the VO2 Max to get to the the finish line before the time clock clicks past the three hour mark and I know he’s consumed the carbs needed for such physical exertion.

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34km Tokyo Marathon marker – Ginza

On a side note let me just say you’ve never seen anyone consume carbs the way he can during the 2-3 days before a marathon. Honestly it’s like he breathes them in. Fellow sports dietitians often tell me their clients struggle to eat enough… not this little black duck (as my mum would say), he has it down pat.

Despite all the reasons that my ‘pre-race’ nerves are a waste of time they’re inbuilt. The marathon can be a beast, you need to respect those 42.2km as once the starters gun has fired what lies between you and the finish line doesn’t always go to plan.

Good luck #HappyRunner.

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The Happy Runner – Tokyo Marathon

Update post Tokyo Marathon…

All the nerves, while I agree were seemingly useless, have subsided… the #happyrunner has clocked yet another sub three hour marathon. Couldn’t be prouder. That’s five of the six world majors down and one to go. Bring on London 2015.

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Seiko window display – Ginza, Tokyo

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