Have you ever run a marathon in your life? There are usually two answers to this question, depending on the person. One answer might be, “Yes, I have run one or multiple marathons and I can’t wait to run another!” The second answer might be, “Are you crazy? Why would I willingly put my body through the stress and pain of running 26.2 miles?!” The running community tends to be a strong, goal oriented group of people with Type-A personalities who love to challenge themselves in a physical sense, learning to push their body to its limits. Although running (or endurance training) is not suited for everyone, it is my preferred “vice.” Running helps me to clear my mind of worry or anxiety that I may feel towards the future or unknown. It allows me to release my stress and float on my “runners high,” knowing and trusting that everything will work out the way it is supposed to and everything happens for a reason. Many people have never experienced this runners high, however once you do, I promise you will never want to go back. I strongly encourage a long run or two and then you can let me know how you feel afterwards. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I regret going on that run.” It’s even better if you live in a climate where you can run outdoors. I love being outdoors and running along the mountain trails or alongside the ocean at the beach. The photo above is of me 1 day before the LA Marathon 2015 – excited and ready to take on the challenge.
I ran varsity Cross Country and Track in high school, but never committed to any races longer than a 10K after that. In November 2014, I was selected among hundreds of applicants to be a part of Team Nutribullet to run and train for the LA Marathon 2015 stadium to sea. I was so excited and committed myself to putting my energy and focus into training and running my first marathon.
Over the next 5 months, we trained as a team with weekly speed training drills and long distance runs over the weekend (starting at 5 miles and increasing all the way to 24 miles towards the end of training). Speed training was at night during the week and endurance training was every weekend early in the morning, along with additional 5-10 mile runs we were required to do on our own time during the week. Strength training was also encouraged at least 2 times per week, as well as a yoga or pilates 1 time per week (flexibility and stretching class). This training schedule required discipline, strength, perseverance and so much more. Eating properly and adequate sleep are two key factors in maintaining a healthy, injury free body. This photo describes what marathon training consists of, in a nutrition facts style format. I love this!
As a Registered Dietitian, I know how to nourish and fuel my body properly. However, when you are training for a marathon, it is difficult to keep up with the high calorie requirements because your body is burning so much more fuel throughout the day. I highly recommend small, frequent meals because you will be hungry every 2-3 hours anyways, and overconsumption of high density foods can lead to weight gain (even with marathon training). Sometimes people overestimate the calories that are burned during a workout, and therefore consume more calories (i.e. pizza, double cheeseburger, etc.). You can treat yourself here and there (in moderation), but let’s not overdo it. Staying fueled properly throughout the day is important to maintain your lean muscle mass. Do not make the mistake of “packing too many calories in” only around your workout (in the afternoon for example) because this will lead to increased body fat composition (the opposite of what you want as an athlete or marathon runner). Here is an example of my nutrient consumption during marathon training:
Breakfast: Greens protein shake (i.e. 1 cup spinach or kale, 1 cup mixed organic berries, ½ banana, 1 tangerine, 1 scoop plant based protein powder, 1 tbsp. hemp seeds, 1 tbsp. raw unsalted almond butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 6-8 ounces of unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
Mid morning snack: Steel cut oatmeal (1/2 cup dry or 1 cup cooked) with ½ cup organic strawberries, ¼ cup raw unsalted walnuts or almonds, 1 tsp. cinnamon (cooked in water or unsweetened almond or coconut milk).
Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich: 3 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast on 100% whole wheat bread or Eziekel 4:9 bread (or gluten free bread if needed), with ½ of an avocado, spinach leaves, chopped veggies (i.e. onion, cucumber, tomato), and 1 tbsp. hummus or mustard spread.Read More...