In the last couple of months, I have been very pro-active on taking the right amount of macro/micro nutrients; making sure that my body has the right fuel for my training.
As the next marathon fast approaches, and having VEGANUARY at the beginning of the month, I have to make sure that I am eating enough calories to keep me going for the longer miles in my training plan.
I have my ‘Vital Top 5’ pointers for those in training (or for those of you who are newly vegan or taking a more plant-based diet whilst) and aiming for the likes of a marathon. These can be applied to anyone’s lifestyle, but having gone through some lifestyle changes, it has been made more apparent of what I need to focus on in taking during those long training sessions.
- Drink lots of water.
H2O is the way of life. This of course is number one on my list, and I know some neglect to see how important it is over other things. It is the cure for all, and I have many people take the pee out of me because I go on so much about it. It helps rejuvenate when you’re feeling lethargic, it keeps your body regular when it comes to toilet habits (#sorrynotsorry) and of course water hydrates your body and its organs for your next bout of training!
2. Intake extra protein.
I always have protein powder supplements to hand after hard training sessions or longer runs, so please, always incorporate it in to your diet, but intake extra if you have had a hectic regime to follow. This will help repair the ‘broken’ body, so please do not forget that this is also vital for fixing you up, so you’re ready for your next sesh! I have used plenty of protein shakes in the past, but at the moment I am taking this vegan-friendly pea protein supplement from My Vitamins UK. Check out their online website for other items.
3. Take Vitamins/Supplements.
This is not for all, but this is important for those that have a much more ‘restricted’ diet or even for those that are busy on-the-go types and forget to see how many micro nutrients they are in taking. I take this ‘Vegan Multivitamin’ from Holland And Barrett as I’ve heard that those who have a vegan diet may lack in vitamin B12 and other important rebuilding blocks for the body.
I also take a vegan-friendly glucosamine tablet which is great for maintaining healthy joints and cartilage. This one is from a local pharmacy but I am sure you can also find this at many other stores.
If you eat everything, then I also recommend taking cod liver oil for the extra omega 3 intake. I personally have never really eaten (or liked) fish, so this was something I would take on a daily basis, however My Vitamins have also introduced me to a vegan-friendly brand made out of algae oil.
4. Rest and recovery.
This is VERY important. To prevent any sort of injury, you need your body ‘back to square one’. When you are asleep, the body is manually repairing itself; so the more you sleep in training, the better. When I’m in the heights of training, I will make sure I get at least 7/8 hours a night to keep myself ticking over smoothly. Especially when injury strikes… Which again, is another time to rest. If something happens where you need to take a break, then TAKE THAT BREAK! Trust me.
I can be my own worst enemy for this, but recently I have taken much more time out to rest (which has actually set me behind on my program) but knowing that I will only recover and jump back on to plan faster, rather than pushing through injury and missing out on one of the biggest races I’ll ever have to do, makes me feel safer.
Listen to your body, let it have rest days or ‘active recovery’ days and enjoy the down time to regain that energy!
5. Keep a balanced lifestyle.
Everything in moderation right? It is great to have a healthy lifestyle and follow a regime that will keep you on track, however, if you get stuck in the rut of constantly avoiding things that you may want (like chocolate/chips for example) you’re only going to want it more. If it makes you miserable to cut out the ‘treats’ in every day life, then you will begin to resent your training or even pick up bad eating habits. It is best to let yourself have a little bit of this and that every now and again. Plus, there are healthier alternatives available nowadays!
What are your Vital Top 5 Training Pointers? Has this helped you review your own diet/lifestyle?