>> Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Hearing about the incline at roughly 17 km, got me hitting the gym faster than you can say dim sum (I don’t know why I wrote dim sum, because it’s a short food related word? And because I’m possibly craving it right now?). There’s really nothing like running up a constant slope when you’re already at the point of collapse. So a good training regime was what I needed. A little search around the internet and I found several pretty good half marathon training guides. More than a few things remain quite similar throughout all the running guides including: rest days, training length and speed buildup. After that, what it really comes down to is preference on which days you want to do your long runs or cross training. Most often people tend to train their longest on Sundays because it’s usually the easiest, I find, to get enough time to fit in an hour to two hour run. Then again this is all preference, so if you prefer to change your longest running days to Monday or even Friday, it’s really up to you! Just make sure you’ve made those adjustments on your training plan as well.
Here is the current training plan that I’m using and have been enjoying quite a bit. I’ve made slight changes to it by upping my cross training days (instead of taking two rest days, I only take one a week) and including a bit more weightlifting as well to increase my core and muscle strength. When you cross train, it allows your legs to recover while still building up your lung capacity and endurance. Strength training also builds your muscle’s conditioning allowing you to run harder and longer without pain and soreness. Building up muscle strength in turn cushions your joints against the hard impacts of having your foot hit the pavement and if you think of how many times that happens during 13.1 miles or 21.1 kms, you can see why that would be important.
Another aspect of training for long distance runs, whether it be a 5 km, half or full marathon is the diet. It’s important to ensure you maintain good nutrition throughout your training. I find that eating at least 2 hours before your run (since anything shorter than that and you could potentially start cramping around the midway point) and definitely grabbing a snack or recovery drink after is essential. Before your run make sure to eat something light and higher in carbohydrates since you’ll be relying on your glycogen stores to be full. Since cardiovascular workouts tend to utilize your pre stored glycogen, which are normally created through synthesis of carbohydrates in food, fruits make good options for a preworkout snack. Then afterwards, you can enjoy something with a bit more sustenance, with some protein, like a homemade fruit smoothie, a sandwich or even this twist on two classic recipes:
Herbed French Toast Benny
This is a recipe that I’ve recently put together because my husband has started to grow tired of his breakfasts, so as I looked in to our fridge Saturday morning, it came to me. Why not try a savory French Toast recipe with a twist on an Eggs Benny (more so in thought than an actual Eggs Benedict). Plus, this would make for a nice post workout snack or even a nice early brunch meal. Since this was a savory French toast recipe the poached egg replaces the usual (and unhealthy) syrup. The yolk gives the dish the same visual appeal when you cut in to the poached egg and mouth feel you’d get when eating French toast. Hope you like it!
Ingridients:3 whole eggs
1 egg white
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
4 slices of whole grain bread
1 tbsp vinegar
Preparation:Scramble one egg and one egg white together in a bowl; add in the skim milk, oregano, thyme, pepper and salt.
Warm up a non stick skillet (which allows for less use of oil) on medium heat.
At the same time also heat up 2 cups of water in a pot with the vinegar.
Place a slice of the bread in to the mixture and allow it to soak on both sides then slide it in to the skillet.
Allow the bread to cook for roughly 2-3 mins on each side. Remove and set aside until all the bread has been cooked.
Meanwhile as the bread is cooking, slowly crack an egg in to the vinegar and water mixture boiling on the stove. (This will make the poach egg which will be placed on top of our French toast.) Repeat with the last egg. Turn off the heat and allow the eggs to cook slowly until all the bread is prepared.
Once all the bread has been thoroughly cooked, scoop out the poached eggs with a slotted spoon and place them over top the French toast.
Top with some arugula or other greens and serve.
Makes 2 servings