There are 37 days until the Portland Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon, which means that our weekends revolve around a long run…and the quality of our weekend depends on the choices we make surrounding that run. There is a part of me that admires those among us who can party all night, crawl out of bed the next morning, eat a convenience store honeybun, and hit the road – but those mortals and boring, responsible adults that make up the majority have to physically and mentally prepare for the ‘joy’ of running. There must be a part of me that loves running as I continue to sign up for events, but the only time I feel a runners high is when they are serving twizzlers at a checkpoint or when I manage to pass someone that is not running in a division that in itself is considered inspiring.
Most learning of how to fuel appropriately for long runs happens by remaining in-tune with your body’s equilibrium while on the road and afterwards. For example, when I began to feel signs of sleepiness or a little dizzy, I know I need at least 10 oz. of water and 50-100 calories. Then there are symptoms that unfortunately can only be fixed for the next run, like having to make an emergency pit-stop to the CVS bathroom or developing a cramp-induced pimp walk. I also learned the hard way after my first half-marathon that good cold-weather gear is essential to maintaining a normal core-body temperature, signs of failure include blue lips and extreme dizziness (as seen here after the race):
There is a lot of advice on race fueling, but I have found the most success following the 5 essential steps that Matt Fraizer of No Meat Athlete has spelled out in his blog, reading any advice from our vegan athlete idols like Brandon Brazier and Rich Roll, watching documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc, and reading such inspiring books as The China Study, Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Eating Animals. Through trial, error, and education, Evan and I have both fallen into a pre-race tradition that has been road tested and (so far) has been successful in providing sustainable energy during the race with no GI or other after effects. Cheers to healthy and happy training!
NIGHT BEFORE RACE/WORKOUT
- If you are prone to GI problems, pre-loading the day before a race then having a light AM meal will help alleviate issues. Minimize eating high fat, high fiber, or foods with fructose. Eat most of your carbs at lunch the day before, then eat a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein for a light dinner.
- Our favorite go-to, balanced dinner is Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce (see below)
- Pinole waffles (see below) from No Meat Athlete. To learn more about the power of pinole and be inflated with running inspiration, you must read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Eat 2-3 hours prior to running.
- Don’t overdo on water. Not only could this disrupt your run with a needed bathroom break, but you risk hypondratemia (water intoxication)
- Other good pre-race foods are toast with peanut butter, almonds/nuts, grapes, or some cereals (watch the fiber intake)
- Tums: take 2-3 about 20 minutes before a race. According to 3/GO magazine, “the calcium works with neuromuscular contraction and muscle metabolism, the carbonate helps to “coat” the intestinal cells, reducing endotoxin release and the ensuing (GI) symptoms.”
*Stay tuned for additional posts on whole foods for during and post-race recovery
PINOLE WAFFLES *thanks to No Meat Athlete
- 3/4 cup medium to finely ground cornmeal or pinole
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup oats, ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 cup hemp milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
If starting with cornmeal instead of pinole, toast it lightly in a pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it is lightly browned and fragrant. If you are using real pinole, grind in a coffee grinder to make a fine flour.
Preheat waffle iron.
Stir together the cornmeal, chia, ground oats, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, hemp milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. (The coconut oil needs to be at warm temperature or warmer to mix, so you may need to microwave it to get it to a liquid state.)
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry to combine into a smooth batter. Spray the waffle iron with baking spray even if it is nonstick, and pour batter into hot iron. Follow the directions of your waffle iron, or wait until the iron stops steaming.
Carefully remove waffles from iron, respray with cooking spray, and repeat. This was enough batter to fill my waffle iron 2 and a half times, making 4 waffles.
To enjoy immediately, top with maple syrup and the fruits of your choice. Alternatively, slice into bars, freeze and take on your next run.
PINOLE WAFFLE NUTRITION: 233 calories – 7 g total fat – 0 cholesterol – 425 mg sodium– 32 g carbs – 5 g fiber – 3 g sugar – 4 g protein- 4 WW points
SOBA NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE (v/gf)
The protein, fiber, and fat in peanuts give runners a slow, sustained energy source.
- 6 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 ounces soba noodles
- 3 oz. baked tofu
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
In a large, shallow bowl, whisk the tamari, peanut butter, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, ginger, and garlic.
In a pot, boil 3 quarts of water. Add noodles and stir. cook until tender (5 minutes). Drain in a colander; run hot water over the noodles until the water runs clear. (If the noodles aren’t washed, they’ll be starchy and sticky.) Drain thoroughly again. Add noodles to the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Add tofu and scallions; toss again.
Garnish with siracha and cilantro. Serves 2.
SOBA NOODLES W/ PEANUT SAUCE NUTRITION: 397 calories –11 g total fat – 0 cholesterol – 800 mg sodium– 59 g carbs – 1 g fiber – 4 g sugar – 24 g protein- 8 WW points