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How to Fuel Your Training During the Holidays

How to Fuel Your Training During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and along with that comes holiday treats, cookie swaps, family dinners, late-night snacks at parties, and more.

If you’re worried about how to include seasonal treats and fuel your training, never fear! Enjoying holiday treats will not automatically lead to poor results in training and performance, and there is a way to approach those holiday traditions that will enable you to maintain a healthy mindset and establish sustainable habits this holiday season. Use the following guidelines to support your training and promote recovery while enjoying traditional holiday favorites.

  • Continue to eat consistent, balanced meals and snacks with carbohydrates, protein, fat, and colorful fruit and vegetables throughout the day. “Saving up” for a holiday feast and skipping meals can set you up for unintentional overeating without satisfying your hunger. Additionally, skipping meals can lead to you missing out on the key nutrient timing opportunities around workouts that are needed for optimal performance and recovery.

  • Include your favorite holiday treats in your fueling plan. It’s much healthier for your mind and body if you include the foods that you enjoy in your fueling plan instead of trying to avoid them altogether or stressing over them.

  • At holiday gatherings, build a performance plate for runners. Fill half of your plate with colorful fruit or vegetables, one fourth of your plate with your favorite source of protein, and use the remainder of your plate for your favorite side dishes, snack type foods, or desserts.

  • If you are asked to bring an entree or side dish to a party, volunteer to bring one that is fruit or vegetable-based so you will have that as an option.

  • Savor your favorite treats. Don’t settle for a “healthy” version if it’s not what you really want to eat. If you look forward to Aunt Susie’s pumpkin pie every year, have a slice topped with whipped cream and enjoy it!

  • Drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking alcohol in excess can cause dehydration, interfere with sleep, and impair protein synthesis and muscle recovery. Additionally, having an alcoholic drink or two immediately after a workout could possibly prevent you from eating or drinking the nutrients your body will need for optimal muscle recovery. Have a recovery snack or meal prior to imbibing in alcohol, and know your personal limits.

  • If you do overindulge at a holiday gathering, don’t stress over it, and don’t feel as though you need to restrict food or exercise harder the following day to overcompensate. Give yourself some grace, proceed with your workouts as planned, and continue to have consistent, balanced meals with plenty of fluid.

Above all, remember that allowing yourself to enjoy good food with friends and family is an important part of a sustainable fueling plan. Food is more than fuel; it’s also memories, emotions, traditions, and social connections. A few days of holiday eating won’t derail your training, but stressing over every bite may have an effect on your mental and emotional health and may prevent you from fueling adequately in the future. Train hard, recover harder, eat foods that support your training and emotional/mental health, and don’t forget to have fun!

Written by: Maria Rowe, RDN, LDN, CPT

maria@mariarowenutrition.com

Instagram: @mariarowenutrition

mariarowenutrition.com

Maria is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and competitive masters runner. She helps athletes of all ages and abilities develop sustainable nutrition habits for athletic performance and life. She will be competing in the elite field of the 2023 3M Half Marathon and Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.

Places to Train in Austin

Austin will spoil you with a slew of running options offering excellent opportunities for fitness enthusiasts, runners, and marathoners to explore their skills. This article will walk you through some of those fascinating terrains.

Four excellent running places in Austin

There are plenty of them. But we have zeroed in on a handful that are known to provide a vivid running experience.

1. Lady Bird Lake Trail

Austin has something to offer to every runner from pro down to a rookie. So if you are a newbie, you have the 3.2-mile loop between the South First Bridge and the Mopac Bridge to explore. Marked by two water stops, this loop is short and easy to navigate. However, this area also boasts of longer trails that are seven miles and 10 miles respectively which are meant for the more experienced runners.

2. McKinney Falls State Park

Located well within the city limits, this is one of the best places to train in Austin. This park has breathtaking scenery and waterfalls, and is home to two prominent running trails. These winding trails not only stretch for miles, but they also have elevations that rise to more than several hundred feet. This area is perfect for those of you who are contemplating participating in the Austin Marathon. But also, if running is your passion or a stress buster, this place is a must-visit.

3. Barton Creek Greenbelt

Located in the heart of the city, this place is inundated by miles of trees, along with various waterfalls, and limestone cliffs. Starting from Zilker Park, this trail provides a good opportunity for runners to test their skills. From navigating around uneven terrain to conquering the Hill of Life at the end of the trail.  The trail is known as the seventh-best running trail in Austin.

4. Travis Heights

Some neighborhoods are also great places for training in Austin, like Travis Heights. It is easier to run in neighborhoods as you can continue doing it regularly without any limit. Travis Heights is a quiet residential neighborhood dotted with hills that offer peace, and the freedom to explore your running prowess to the fullest.

Conclusion

With a wide variety of running trails, Austin is truly a runner’s paradise. A place where you can realize your marathon dreams, amp up your fitness regimen, or simply feel the magic of tearing through the force of the wind for the fun of it. 

How Runners Can Make Every Day Earth Day

Every morning, when you wake up and get into your running shoes, what is that one thing that motivates you to go out and do the hustle? Besides the obvious desire to remain fit, the beauty of the Earth itself is a tremendous motivator that makes us want to head out and experience the wonders of nature on foot.

Whether you like to run across a sandy beach or in a park with tall trees, running is so much more fun when done in the lap of nature. The fresh breeze blowing through your hair, the vast expanse of greenery, the pleasant chirping of birds, and the soothing sound of water trickling offer the ideal setting for a run.

If you enjoy running in natural settings and admiring the beauty of the Earth, then you may find that you enjoy doing your part to ensure that it remains the same for a longer time. It is no secret that the Earth is suffering a slew of problems, such as global warming and climate change. With a few small changes, we can help make every day Earth Day!

Check out the following suggestions for some fantastic ideas on how you can make a difference.

Soles4Souls donates old sneakers to people in need

Recycle or Donate your old gear and running shoes:

Every time you purchase new running gear and shoes, think about recycling or donating your previous attire instead of dumping it in the garbage. There are numerous methods for recycling shoes. Take them to your local Goodwill or homeless shelter. Many companies now have recycling and reuse programs for athletic equipment and shoes. You can look up relevant locations and offer your equipment for recycling.

 

 

Girlfriend Collective Moss Compression Run Short

Make purchases from eco-friendly brands: 

Today, no matter what you wish to buy, you will have an infinite number of vendors to choose from. If you are committed to making the planet a healthier, cleaner, and better place, make the right option when deciding on your running gear. At present, there are many brands like Brooks, Girlfriend Collective and Allbirds that create a wide variety of products from recycled materials and sustainable methods.

 

 

 

Under Armour Playmaker Jug Water Bottle

Take a refillable water bottle from home:

Plastic pollution is a big threat that the Earth is dealing with. If you carry around disposable plastic bottles to relieve your thirst while burning calories, a reusable and refillable water bottle would be a better solution. You may lessen your carbon impact on the earth in this manner.

Ensure that you run on a clean track: 

The simplest way you can contribute to the conservation of planet Earth is by keeping it clean. So, if you are running down a route and come across a few wrappers or cans, you know what to do. Simply pick them up and toss them in a nearby trash can.

These were a few tips to help you take care of the environment while taking care of your body. Follow them and inspire others to join you in making the Earth a greener and more pleasant place to live in.

Tight Shoulders? Try These Stretches

Tight shoulders can be very painful.

They are often seen in athletes because they use their shoulder muscles and ligaments too much. Tight shoulders can also affect the neck region and sometimes the whole upper body. If you don’t warm-up and stretch properly before muscle training, the chance of having tight shoulder blades increases. A tense shoulder blade restricts your movements and makes you feel anxious because it causes a lot of discomfort. It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep and make it hard to do everyday activities.

Let’s check out some stretches that can give you relief from tight or stiff shoulders:

 

Neck Stretch– Bend your head towards your left shoulder so that your left ear touches the shoulder. Placing your left hand over the right side of your temple, gently pull your head to the left. Maintain this position for nearly thirty seconds. Then repeat the same for the right side. 

Crossbody Arm Stretch– Keep one of your arms straight and hold it across your chest with the other hand. Pull the upper part of the crossed arm towards your body gently for ten seconds. Relax and repeat by switching the arms. 

Shoulder Rolls– Stand or sit in a proper posture. Keeping your arms straight, roll the shoulders up, forward, and down in sync. Swiftly continue this movement to the count of ten. Then repeat the same rolling movement backward. 

Chin Retraction– You can do this exercise while sitting or standing. Maintain a proper posture of the body and move your chin to the front (as far as possible without causing strain). Then tuck it back into your neck.

Arm Circles– Position your upper body properly while standing straight near a wall. Move one arm slowly in a circular motion. Keep making big circles with the arm till the count of 10 in each direction. Then turn the around to repeat the same exercise with the other hand. 

Back Hand Clasp– Keep your hands over your lower back, both the palms touching each other. Slowly angle your upper back so that the shoulder blades are tucked together.

Neck Rolls– Rotate your head by using forward and sideways movements of the neck. You can do it by making a semicircular shape with the movement of your neck by moving it from one side to the other. Stop and repeat in reverse after 5 rotations.

These shoulder exercises can help you by relaxing your shoulders so that you can quickly resume your training.