A sound nutritional plan is crucial for runners, and Lauren Jimison has some tips to put this into action.
Most runners know that a sound nutrition plan is a key component to effective training and racing. Optimal recovery nutrition happens in a small window right after your run or workout. There are many things that you can do, such as planning ahead, meal prepping, or bringing a snack with you. Below are a few more nutrition tips from professional runners along with Ryan and Sara Hall’s favorite pancake recipe.
1. Listen To Your Body
Sometimes it’s as simple as packing a protein and carb snack for right after your workout. And what your craving can often be is just what your body needs. Something is better than nothing.
Esther Erb of The New York Athletic Club has had a steady marathon career thus far and recently ran 2:33.15 at the Boston Marathon. “I just listen to my body and give it what it wants,” she says of her key nutrition advice. “Post-workout, I do always try to get in some kind of calories within 20-30 minutes of finishing.”
Erb added that she sometimes craves cookie dough. Sometimes a post-run reward is OK. Just make sure your first meal is going to replenish those muscles that just worked really hard. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
2. Snack On Snacks
Nastasha LaBeaud Anzures, a Brooks professional runner, provides some key advice for those who have Celiac’s Disease, which she has.
“I always make sure that I have snacks with me, because it is much easier to have the exact fuel I want, rather than having to search for it,” LaBeaud Anzures said. “Some of my go-to snacks include dried unsweetened fruits, cut up veggies with homemade hummus and trail-mix made with seeds and fruit.”
LaBeaud Anzures also brings a suitcase full of Trader Joe’s snacks for trips. Her favorite homemade sweet potato enchiladas are from “Gluten Free Goddess.” Photo: www.shutterstock.com
3. Eat What You Love
I am a foodie and I also love to prepare food ahead of time. Granola bars are pretty tasty, but making your own can save money and you can add whatever you want! Plus, you can stray away from added sugars and preservatives.
While many of my friends and teammates know that I rarely use recipes anymore, I can always rely on Smitten Kitchen’s blog and cookbook for some of my favorite recipes. Their “Thick and Chewy Granola Bars” are one of my favorites to make. They are thick and dense, and of course delicious. I also enjoy making their “Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts.” This kale salad is excellent for dinner, as well as breakfast the next morning topped with an egg. You can find these recipes at www.smittenkitchen.com. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Whether it’s a quick peanut butter sandwich after your workout, or even an on-the-go homemade granola bar, make sure you pack your body with nutrition after a hard effort. This will ensure that you stay healthy and prepared for your next race. If you can nail down your nutrition, it can really improve and help your running!
Sara and Ryan Hall are known for fueling well after their workouts with Muscle Milk pancakes or “Cytocakes.” Sara graciously offered her Red Velvet Muscle Milk Pancake Recipe, which can also be found on the Hall’s blog at ryanandsarahall.com. This recipe makes one large, single-serving pancake. And it’s quick to make.
— 1/3 cup of your favorite light-colored flour (gluten-free flours can also be used)
— 1/4 cup egg whites
— 1/2 tsp baking powder
— 1 scoop Muscle Milk Light Cake Batter (or Muscle Milk Cake Batter. If using this, use 1/2 cup flour and 2 T extra beet juice)
— About a 1/2 cup beet juice (available bottled. If you can’t find beet juice, use water and beet powder or red food coloring)—each flour/mix absorbs fluid different, so add until pancake batter is the correct consistency—thick, but mixable
1. Heat greased skillet on medium heat
2. Combine all ingredients until batter is smooth
3. Pour into heated skillet
4. Once bubbles form and the pancake is golden brown underneath, flip it over
5. Cook on other side until golden brown
6. Serve with butter or cream cheese whipped with agave nectar (these pancakes are too sweet to put syrup on!)