eRACING Fear –
WEEKLY TOPIC – What Do We Mean When We Say Rest Day?
This topic came up on a blog this week and I’m sure it has come up for each of us at some time. The Galloway Training plan has us doing two workouts during the week and the group workout on Saturdays. The schedule also gives us the option to rest or cross train during the week. What is rest or cross training?
Liza’s Response – Rest or Cross Training is rest from using your running or Fitness Walking muscles. For some, this means no spin class or other quad-dominant exercises. For others, this means no cross-training at all. You may be able to swim but sometimes the full body needs a day off so you can recover and not ask your body to divert energy away from recovery, by using it for a strenuous activity. Long runs or walks usually dictate whether we have the legs for cross training.
For runners, walking is great cross training. While you’re using your legs and quads, they level of engagement is much less than spinning, biking, the elliptical or a lower body strength training session. Walking is a great way to help flush the lactic acid out of your legs because it encourages blood flow and it’s low impact. You don’t need to do a long walk, 15 – 30 minutes a couple times a day after a long run is great!
For walkers, you have more latitude in your cross training because your workouts are lower intensity and impact. However, your distance does require you to rest. Eight or more miles mean your muscles need TLC too. Look at low impact activities, including slow, recovery walks, swimming or easy biking.
Don’t feel bad if you want to actually take a day during the week to do nothing. There are times when the body should be allowed to focus on recovery and not to try to find energy to get you through any type of workout. All the body to recruit everything it needs to repair your muscles and get you ready for your next workout. You can tell if you need to rest, if you start a cross training session and find that you feel sluggish. This is a sign that your body isn’t recovered from your long walk or run, and needs time and proper food and fuel to completely recover and get ready for your next run or walk.
As endurance athletes, we all have to address hydration at one time or another. We have to decide when to hydrate, how much to use and find products that don’t upset our stomachs and we often look for products that won’t negatively impact our waistlines. Enter Generation UCAN. UCAN is a carbohydrate that finally allows the body to burn fat by putting you in the metabolic state to release (instead of store) body fat. UCAN controls blood sugar and insulin and is a powerful tool to help optimize workouts and achieve weight loss results.
UCAN for Breakfast
Having UCAN for breakfast will help you control blood sugar in the morning and start your day off in
a fat-burning mode.
UCAN shake as a side with a healthy breakfast
• 1 scoop Chocolate UCAN, 8 oz. almond/soy milk or cold water, shake well
UCAN as the carbohydrate portion of a breakfast shake:
• 1 packet Chocolate UCAN, 1 tbsp. peanut/almond butter, 8 oz. water, blend with ice
UCAN at Night
Nighttime snackers can try UCAN as part of a healthy dessert shake to control blood sugar,
cravings, and nighttime overeating. Instead of 50 grams of sugar in an average bowl of ice cream, try
making your own UCAN ice cream.
UCAN Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
• 1 packet Chocolate UCAN, 1 tbsp. all-natural peanut butter, 4-6 oz almond milk, blend with
10 ice cubes (use extra ice for added thickness)
Generation UCAN’s revolutionary nutrition can benefit us in a variety of
ways. Here are some common situations where UCAN is helpful:
1) You need help fueling for a long run!
• UCAN is a slow-burning carbohydrate that releases steadily over time, delivering long lasting
energy without needing to re-fuel frequently!
• 1 packet of UCAN taken before a workout lasts for 90 minutes to 2 hours; For runs longer
than 2 hours, use an additional packet of UCAN every 75-90 minutes!
2) People who struggle to eat before a run or who get GI distress from gels!
• UCAN is very gentle on the stomach; you don’t feel it in your stomach 10-15 minutes after
you drink it; use less water to prevent “sloshing”!
• The simple sugars and maltodextrin found in most gels/chews are small molecules that sit
in the stomach and exert pressure on your GI tract, which can cause discomfort!
• UCAN’s carbohydrate is a large molecule that exits your stomach rapidly! !
3) People looking to maintain/lose weight!
• Simple carbs like bagels, cereal, gels/chews enter the system rapidly and cause a spike in
blood sugar levels (too much sugar in your blood); the body responds to by saying “burn
the sugar first, don’t burn fat”; this is why people can gain weight during marathon training!
• UCAN’s carbohydrate releases steadily into your body and gives you calories at the rate
you need them, allowing you to burn more fat for fuel and improve body composition!
• Drinking the protein UCAN after a workout can help control your appetite by keeping your
blood sugar stable; low blood sugar after a workout is what often causes us to overeat
For those of you like Liza, who run first thing in the morning and are hungry, you could try one of two
things to help with the hunger. Try one of our protein flavors (I know you try to stay away from whey) or add a
scoop of your own vegan protein powder to one of the other flavors. Vanilla protein powder mixes well with the berry flavors or you can use any flavor protein powder with the plain UCAN. The protein will help curb hunger and you’ll get the steady energy release from our carb.
The other option would be to eat a small breakfast along with UCAN. I would recommend half a banana with some peanut butter or almond butter rather than just an entire banana, as mixing in some protein and fat with the carbs from the banana will help slow the blood sugar spike and allow UCAN to work better. You could also try eating a couple scrambled eggs and/or some avocado as well.
In general, foods that work best with UCAN are sources of protein/fat that do not spike blood sugar. The purpose of UCAN is to provide a slow release carb that maintains blood sugar and energy for a long time, so as much as possible you want to try not to mix it with too many fast-acting carbs that will spike blood sugar and cause highs and lows in energy.
There’s a lot to learn about running and walking. You read books and magazines; you talk with members of the program about what to eat, what to wear and what shoes to buy. As your distance and fitness increases, and your head swells with all of this knowledge, you don’t want to forget one key tool – your gut instinct!
In addition to all of that learning, you are developing an instinct about what works for you, what doesn’t, what you want to wear or carry on a given workout and what to have after a workout. You may also find that just as you head out the door, you think of something that would be good to have, but you shake it off thinking it’s not necessary or you’ll be alright without it. As an example, it’s been raining and drizzling all night, but as you head out the door, it’s not raining and you decide not to grab your baseball cap. You get to the run and after about 20 minutes, it starts raining, and you wish you’d followed your gut and grabbed that cap. You can swap cap for sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, dry socks or a ClifBar to eat in the car on the way to the workout. Whatever it is, that nagging thought is a byproduct of your training – it, like any of our other gear, shouldn’t be ignored.
Your gut may also try to tell you about a workout. You may have planned to run or walk a certain distance, or participate in a race. You get out there and get moving but you have a nagging feeling that going the distance is the wrong choice. Most of the time, we will ignore that nagging feeling until we get deep into that run or walk and the wheels fall off our proverbial cart. The problem here is that you will have put yourself in a position where you may need outside assistance. Had you listened to your gut, you would have done a more thorough assessment of your readiness to do that run, walk or race and made the necessary adjustments in your distance or pace, or decided against participating in that race. Your gut will help you set realistic goals and expectations based on how you feel, or how prepared you really are. Trust your gut and know that there’s no shame in backing off. It’s easier to handle missing one workout, than it is to miss weeks of working out because you pushed forward on a day when you thought about scaling back.
The key is to keep portions small—around 200 to 300 calories—and choose healthy, nutrient-dense foods, says Kelli Montgomery, a coach and nutrition consultant in Connecticut. By going for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, runners can get nutrients they may have missed at meals. But it’s important to know what to choose—and when, since some foods offer runners the most benefit at particular times. Here’s how to snack smart to get the fuel your body needs.
Prerun Snack Attack
If you’re like many runners, your workout often takes place hours after your last meal. Morning runners haven’t eaten since last night’s dinner, and late-afternoon runs take place long after lunch. To curb prerun hunger, 30 to 60 minutes before running eat high-carb, Continuedlow-fiber foods that are easy to digest and provide fast energy. You can eat some protein and fat to steady your blood sugar during a long run, but include them sparingly, says Montgomery: Fats and protein break down slowly and, like fiber, can lead to an upset stomach midrun.
Pick This Have a piece of fruit and pair it with cottage cheese. Other options: fig cookies; half a bagel with nut butter and jam; an energy bar; sports drink.
Postrun Snack Attack
Even if you eat a meal before running, you may be hungry afterward—especially if you ran long and hard and your muscles need fuel. Choose a more substantial snack combining a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. The mix speeds muscle recovery, especially if eaten right away since foods consumed within 30 minutes of your workout provide the maximum recovery benefit. Not hungry? “It’s okay to skip a snack after shorter, easier runs,” says Montgomery. If a tough workout leaves you feeling queasy, try chocolate milk—it provides that 4:1 ratio and helps you rehydrate but won’t strain your stomach.
Pick This Save half of your turkey sandwich at lunch for later as a snack with juice. Try a fruit-and-yogurt smoothie.
Predinner Snack Attack
Lunch at 1 p. m. and dinner at 7 p. m. means six hours without food. “That’s longer than people should go,” says Farrell, who suggests eating every four hours. To stave off hunger without tons of calories, go for fiber and protein—both are slowly digested and feel satisfying. Work in an extra serving of veggies, which are less appealing before or after a run because of their fiber content. Crave pretzels or carb-rich snacks? Measure out a portion: A 2008 study found that people who eat 100-calorie snack packages consume about 120 fewer calories a day than those who snack from a regular-size bag.
Pick This A cup of vegetable soup; salad with egg whites; hummus with carrots and celery; yogurt with berries and almonds
Bedtime Snack Attack
Sometimes the urge to snack after dinner isn’t hunger but a craving for comfort food. “Evening is a big time for emotional eating, especially after a stressful day,” says Farrell. Try to avoid overdoing sugary foods, which can cause a spike in blood sugar and interfere with sleep. But if you have a long run in the morning, you may need more calories before bed. Go for protein and high-fiber carbs (which top off energy stores while you sleep), or snack on high-fiber cereal: one study found that people who eat a serving of cereal 90 minutes after dinner consume fewer calories daily than those who don’t have cereal.
Pick This Need a sweet? Try a portion-controlled dessert like a frozen yogurt pop. Have cereal and milk, instant oatmeal with walnuts, or low-fat cheese and crackers.
They might seem like junk, but these five snacks are downright good for you.
With seven grams of protein per serving, jerky is a healthy postrun snack—just make sure it has 480 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.
Four cups air-popped have only 125 calories and five grams of fiber. If you choose microwave varieties, go with 94 percent fat-free versions.
It’s a good source of calcium. Make your own with powdered mix, or buy premade low-fat snack cups (look for one that’s vitamin D-fortified).
High in antioxidants, dark chocolate is good for you—in moderation. Have an ounce, which is equal to six Special Dark Hershey’s Kisses.
Chips and Salsa
High in vitamins and antioxidants, salsa contains just 70 calories per cup. Enjoy it with a single serving of baked, multigrain tortilla chips.
Almost everyone has at least one “bad” long run/walk.
You may never be able to discover why, but if you know, learn! The tough ones teach you that you have hidden inner strengths, which you can draw upon in future challenges, both in training and in life itself. This will particularly help your confidence and your ability to withstand adversity in the race itself.
Where is the Wall?
Your wall is normally the length of your longest endurance session within the last two to three weeks, provided you are going at the pace you could on that day. Even a little too fast in the beginning will introduce you to the wall sooner. On a hot, humid day, you’ll bump into that wall before you should-if you don’t slow your pace down even more than normal from the beginning.
Even those who have missed a long one in the marathon schedule have been able to do the next long one by slowing down to at least three minutes per mile slower than they could run and by taking walk breaks much more frequently.
The more conservative you are, in pace, from the beginning, the more you can push your wall back farther and farther with little risk of fatigue or injury.
Read this article when you get a a chance. It provides a great perspective on racing.