Thursday, July 4, 2013

This week in half marathon training

Another week of training is under my belt, and I'm starting to feel like I'm training. This past weekend had me doing 800 metre repeats, something I've never done before. And I liked it!

As far as fuelling my training, nothing special was really required. All my workouts were under an hour, and none of them were less than 8 hours apart, so glycogen restoring wasn't really a concern. Some of my workouts were also timed with meals, so the meal can serve as recovery.

It has me thinking, so much of what we read on nutrition for training and exercise is really geared towards elite athletes. In an average person, working out for an hour a day does not require any special nutrition strategies. It is very individualized, which is why it's great to talk to a dietitian. When I see somebody complete a 45 minute workout and hour before lunch and their next workout is 2 days away, they don't need a 400 calorie protein shake right after the workout. If you've had a full breakfast, and your workout follows closely, but is only an hour long and you take a day off between workouts, you don't need a special snack for that workout. If lunch is 4 hours away, you may want something regardless, because getting too hungry may lead to less healthy choices, but in terms of glycogen restoration, you don't need to do anything special. Yes, glycogen restoration is accelerated in the first hour. But 24 hours later, it's a wash. This info on glycogen restoration is great for tournaments, people doing multiple sessions in a day, or those with a high training volume and daily workouts. For the rest of us, there's a chance it's interfering with our weight loss goals.

For me, today I ran 40 minutes after breakfast. I knew I was spending the rest of the day at the beach and that lunch was several hours away, so I had a smoothie on the way to the beach. It helped me play with my kids for a bit before I needed my lunch. And I know my body, I'm hungrier in the morning. The other day, I had a 40 minute run in the morning, but nothing scheduled the next day, so I had nothing until lunch and I was fine. Get to know your body and what helps you feel best, talk to a dietitian about your training schedule and goals. There is no single answer to a training diet.

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