Running season is in full swing, and I have two major runs I’m currently training for- The Nike Women’s 15K (gasp, in less than 2 weeks!) and The Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon in July.
While long distance running is somewhat new to me (I caved to the pressure last summer running my first half marathon in Toronto), one thing I know for sure- proper nutrition is of the utmost importance. What you fuel your body with will directly correlate with your performance, so eating the right foods (at the right times) is one of the best ways to improve your race times. Last year my race was in early May, so training was rather easy, the temperatures were moderate, perfect running conditions. This season, however, the days have been long and hot already, and after a few training runs were derailed and shortened, I hit the panic button and needed to rethink how to keep my body happy so I could conquer the km’s to get where I need to be. One thing that was a game changer was something I never thought I would do- I bought a fanny pack. Now before you judge my personal fashion choices, one look at this bad-ass belt and you know that it’s no joke. It’s comfortable, light weight and comes with four bottles- my own personal hydration station! I was always concerned that the shaking would distract me, but the bottles are stuck in there, and you really don’t notice the added weight. I tossed two in the freezer and had ice cold h20 to keep me cool the past few runs, and no surprise here- I was able to run faster and further than ever before!!
After the training runs, I’m usually ravenous- a bit of protein and a tiny bit of carbs + veggies and good fats are just the thing to bring me back. Aroma Espresso Bar has been killing it for me- their variety of salads, juices and smoothies have been my go-to for post run nourishment. My first picks are always the Warm Chickpea Salad ($7.45), with tahini, lemon olive oil dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons, chopped egg, and of course, chickpeas. The combination is both filling and satisfying, and pairs well with the Iced Berry Lemonade ($3.45).
If my body is craving something a bit richer, then the fresh Mozzarella Salad ($7.95, here with chicken added for $3.85) is my close second. Arugula, red onion and tomatoes pair so well with the fresh mozzarella cheese, and adding chicken ups the protein factor keeping me full for the long haul. The Ice Lemon Mint ($4.05) is like a grown up version of a slurpee, but instead of the awful food colouring and processed sugar, you have the slushy goodness paired up with mint and a kick of citrus. Summer perfection!
Stay tuned for more food + fitness tips and tricks as I gallop my way through running seasons! What are some of your fave ways to recover?