I've recently begun my marathon training for the St. George, Utah Marathon in October of this year. My training usually starts in June, but since I've been a little bit of a slacker lately, I'm starting my training a little early.
Marathon training requires a lot of planning, preparation, and time. I develop a training program that consists of running a certain amount of miles each day, strength training, stretching, and nutrition. In future posts, I may share some of my training techniques and plans, but in today's post, I'd like to focus on the nutrition side of things.
I know most people will not be starting their marathon training this time of year, but this is the time of year when most people start training for hunts they will be going on in the fall. Running, strength training, stretching, and nutrition are also important as you begin your training for your fall hunts.
As we look at nutrition, we need to focus on our intake meeting the needs of the workouts we're performing. From November to June, I usually don't take any supplements. Similar to the comments that Russell Peacock made in the article, Building Mountain Muscle. During that time of my life, these extra supplements aren't needed. However, as I begin my marathon/hunting training, I find that I do need these supplements to help me prepare for, and recover from, a run or workout.
I've tried many different types of "supplements" on the market today, and I have narrowed my focus to mainly two or three that I take either before or after my long runs. I've also gravitated towards the company Redy Nutrients to provide me with these products, as I feel they work the best for me.
I view a run similar to how most people look at a gym workout, and I prepare for it in the same way. I stretch, hydrate, and fuel my body to prepare for that workout. My stretching before a run consists mainly of dynamic stretching; I do not do any static stretches. I hydrate with water, but I try not to overdo it because I don't want to be water-logged while I'm running, and my fuel comes from two sources. First, I eat a peanut butter and jelly bagel. The second thing I do is take Redy Nutrients' pre-workout called Ballistic. Redy provides Ballistic in both a tub and the sticks that you can pour straight into a water bottle. I personally like the tub so that I can control how much I drink. I don't drink a lot of it before my run because it works extremely well, and I don't need a huge kick to get me running. I just take enough to give me the boost I need to get my muscles going.
Post-Workout and Recovery
Following a good long run, I've tried to develop habits to help me recover from the run and prepare me for my next run. These habits start with stretching. This is where I do the majority of my static stretches, which lead to increased range of motion and helps me avoid stiffness that can set in following a run. The next thing I do is take Redy Nutrients' post-workout drink called Magma. Magma is a recovery drink with branch chain amino acids to help with muscle recovery and protein synthesis. I will actually throw a little Magma in one of my water grenades while I'm running to also help me push through the end of a 20+ mile run. For your body to repair its muscles after a long workout or a long run, you must be providing it the right amount of BCAAs to do so, and I believe Magma gives me just that.
This supplement is by far the most widely used supplement on the market today. Almost everyone is taking in a protein powder of some kind these days, and for good reason. As discussed in other posts, we do need to focus on obtaining the proper amount of nutrients from the food we eat; however, if you're working out a lot, you're not getting the right amount of protein from your food, and you do need a supplement. I use Redy's Tuff protein as a supplement in two ways. I use it, in addition to the Magma, as a recovery drink after a run or a workout. I also use it as a meal replacement in the mornings. The latter is where I use it the most because I feel that the Magma gives me what I need after a run, but the Tuff protein makes for an awesome shake in the mornings. It comes in two flavors, Cinnamon Bun and Vanilla. I'm not going to lie, the Cinnamon Bun is really tasty! So is the vanilla. My favorite thing about this protein, and all of Redy's products for that matter, is that all of their ingredients are derived from products that can be traced back to a healthy source. For example, Tuff is made from New Zealand whey, where the cows are not exposed to any growth hormones. I believe it is one, if not the most, healthy choice out there for whey protein.
My goals this year for the St. George Marathon are quite lofty. I'm planning to run the marathon in 2 hours and 55 minutes, which will qualify me for the Boston Marathon in 2021. To put that time into perspective, that is the equivalent of running a 6:40 min/mile pace. I'll be flying! That being said, I have a great training plan, and I have the right nutrition to prepare my body for that kind of an endeavor. It will be hard, but I'm positive that with Redy's help, I'll be able to not only reach my goal this year, I'll exceed it.