Tricks to Add Fun to your Fitness, Plus Nutrition Tips for Runners

After regaining our composure from can't-breathe laughing at a feces-looking snack bar, we get into the topics of episode 95. As lovers of all things fun, we share a few ideas to add more fun to your fitness routine. Try a circuit of hula-hooping, jump rope and a few rounds of Skip-it if you can get your hands on one! Or try classic sport activities like basketball, tetherball or going to the batting cages. We love the fun prints on Moveo Fit Co's resistance bands, cooling towels and yoga mats. They make workouts instantly more fun!

On top of these fun fitness options, the weather is warming up and more people are going for outdoor runs. If you are running more than 5 miles regularly or training for a 10K, half or full marathon, consider these nutrition guidelines.

Macronutrient distribution for endurance runners:

  • 50-60% carbohydrates to maintain glucose levels and maximize muscle and liver glycogen stores

  • 20-25% protein, or 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram (kg) bodyweight, for muscle building and repair, plus it helps keep your immune system strong

  • 20-30% fats for temperature regulation and nutrient absorption.

That said, a ketogenic diet is possible for endurance runners too, the body using fat for fuel as a primary source instead of glucose and glycogen. Read more about that on Runner's World.

Optimum performance depends on many factors like getting adequate calories to fuel running and recovery needs, but calorie restriction is a common challenge among endurance runners because some are very weight conscious and think of food as fattening or “weighing down” and not as fuel. The most important tip is to remember that food is fuel and you won’t get very far on a run without enough fuel.

To keep up energy levels during runs that are longer than one hour, aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate each hour through gels, sports drinks, raisins or honey. It's best to chase your food with some water to help aid absorption.

To refuel after an endurance event, like a 10k or half marathon, aim for:

  • 1 to 1.5 g/kg of body weight of carbohydrate within 30 minutes of completing the run

  • 1 to 1.5 g/kg of body weight of carbohydrate every two hours for four to six hours after the run.

  • Include about 25 grams of protein in the immediate post-event meal to minimize muscle breakdown and maximize muscle protein synthesis.

We always talk about the importance of drinking enough water and it’s especially important for running. To make it simple, drink enough water before and during your run until your urine is a very light yellow color. If it's hot outside, you will need even more. Test this in your workouts if you are training for a run. And while we also talk about the importance of fiber, filling up on the rough stuff a few hours before a run is NOT a good idea. This is the time for simple carbs like white rice. Practice your fueling plan five to six times before a race so you can figure out what options work best for you and your GI tract.

Cross training can help prevent injuries like back strains and improve your running speed and technique. Try adding in one or more non-running workouts to your weekly routine, including exercises like these:

  • Deadlifts, box step-ups, calf raises and squats to strengthen your lower body

  • Lunges to target your core, quads and hip flexors.

  • Yoga for flexibility, especially to open up your hip flexors

  • Cycling to strengthen your glutes, plus it's a joint-friendly low-impact form of cardio

To listen to the full episode, click here.

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