Friday Five: Fueling Food Favorites

A topic that is near and dear to me…FOOD!  For this Friday’s Five, I’ll share my favorite food fueling options.  These are the must haves for me while training for races.  Some of them are pretty typical, others not so much!

Mexican Food

Seriously.  It is by far my favorite meal to eat before a long run.  Some people shy away from it, for fear that it will cause tummy issues, but I have found that it is exactly the right balance of what I need for my long runs.  I usually opt for a steak burrito of some sort with a ton of rice and beans.  The mix of the protein and carbs is just right and it keeps me fueled for my long runs.  I haven’t honestly found anything else that works as well for me.  Add in the chips and salsa too!  It’s the perfect pre long run meal for me. chipsandsalsa

Avocados

I just recently found out that I have a really low level of potassium and I need to make sure that I put it back into my body after my long runs.  Most people would just grab a banana, but unfortunately, I get the absolute worst heartburn from bananas.  I can’t even tell you the last time I had one.  I asked the doctor for other potassium rich foods so that I could make sure that I consciously include them.  When he said avocado, I about cheered!  They are my favorite after school snack.  I add a teeny bit of salt and will just eat it right out of the halfed shell.  It’s so good!avocado

Noosa Yoghurt

I’m addicted!  I love all types of yogurt, but this one reminds me so much of the yummy, velvety yogurt I had when we visited Sweden years ago.  I woke up every morning and headed to the breakfast in our hotel and would enjoy the creamiest, smoothest yogurt ever!  I’ve tried all kinds of yogurt for years looking for something similar but had no luck until I tried Noosa on a whim.  After that first bite, I knew I had found something similar!  I love that it’s an 8oz serving which is perfect for breakfast or a pre-run snack.  I’m fortunate that I can eat dairy before a run without having any tummy issues.  They came out with a pumpkin flavored one for Fall which I cannot wait to try!Chocolate Milk

I counted chocolate milk as one of my necessary “gear” items yesterday so it definitely makes my list for fueling options.  Chocolate milk is an absolute must have for me after a long run.  I like the kicked up chocolate milk from Shamrock Farms.  Their Rockin’ Refuel milks are awesome.  They add extra protein to chocolate milk to make it 20g and it’s the perfect 2 to 1 carb-to-protein ratio.  Post Long Run Breakfast

Whether it’s pancakes, a veggie omelet, a Mexican egg bowl and cat head biscuits from Smith Street Diner, or a bagel and cream cheese, a post long run breakfast is a must!  We often plan our runs around where we will eat breakfast after finish and will change locations depending on what we have a taste for!  It is sometimes my motivation to get in my miles.  With our recent 18 and 20 miler runs, breakfast became lunch and we headed to two of our favorite places for a brew and sandwich.  Eating something right after a long run is essential to recovery!

Happy Week!

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Running Gadgets, Gear and Gizmos! Oh my!

The amount of gear, gadgets and technology available to us now as runners is amazing!  There is pretty much something for everyone that will do whatever you need it to do!  So how do you sort through all of them and find what not only works best for you, but also meets all your needs?!  It’s tough!   Here are my necessary items that I just have to have while I’m on the run!

A GPS Watch

Pick the brand that works for you, but just pick a GPS watch!  I ran for several years with a white, Target $9.99 sports watch because I was not going to become “one of those” runners who had a GPS.  I was totally doing myself a disservice.  Although running on feel is a great thing, my pacing was awful until I got a GPS watch and I really never knew what pace I was actually ever running.  I also had to map runs before or after running them, only to find out they were too short or way too long.  The only advantage of not having a GPS watch was I “tricked” a lot of my friends into extra miles, not truly knowing where the actual mile turn arounds were on any route.   We still laugh about that!   Once we all got GPS watches, that fun went out the window!  This is my big blue watch!  I prefer the old school Garmin.  It’s super reliable and I just replaced the battery for $45!  Good as new!garmin

MUSIC

I rarely run with music.  For me, most of my runs are social or a time to decompress and hearing music buzzing in my ear doesn’t help.  However, there are times when I’m doing either a solo speed workout where I need the push from music to help drown out the “voice” in my head that’s telling me to stop.  I also carry my music with me in races to help me get through tough spots.  Some people like to run with their phones, which has their music on it.  I use an ipod shuffle!  It’s tiny enough to clip on to my sports bra and if I end up wearing it, but not using it, I’m not lugging something heavy along with me.

Heart Rate Monitor

I have started wearing my heart rate monitor lately.  I noticed I was running my easy runs too fast,  my steady states were becoming tempo runs and my tempo runs were out of control.  While it’s great to bust out some fast paces, it was wearing me out and I was never fully recovering in between runs.  Now with my HR monitor, I can easily see where I’m at and how much I’m working!  It also helped me get my long runs back on track too.  The one disadvantage of wearing it for me is that it bruises my sternum.  After my 20 miler last weekend, I had a bruise and it was so tender to the touch.   Not sure if I had it too tight, but it didn’t feel so great for a few days!

Friction Fighter

Nothing worse than stepping into a hot shower post run to scream at the top of your lungs because you have a chafing spot?!  Why does that hurt so bad?!  I am one friction fighting diva!  I never, ever run without it now and although some days apparently miss “spots”, it is a necessity in my running bag!  I have tried many brands, but actually prefer the Gold Bond brand.  It’s a little more creamier than other types of these products and I find it goes on a lot smoother.  You can also get it at most drug stores and Wal-Mart which is nice and convenient.

Compression sleeves and socks

I am a skeptic!  I didn’t think that putting on anything compression after or during a run really made a difference.  With a $50 price tag for most quality compression gear, I just wasn’t willing to throw in that kind of money.  A few weeks ago, Groupon had some compression calf sleeves for $15 and I thought “why not?!”  So I grabbed a pair and I’m still not sold on them, but I wear them after a long run.  I do like the way they hug my legs and that feels great, but I can’t really speak to whether or not they help with recovery.  I don’t think I’d ever want to run in them since I prefer to stay a bit cold, but would consider wearing them with a skirt in the winter.  Just not sure about them yet…

Chocolate Milk

Post run, every time, hits the spot.  I could go into the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after a run, but I won’t.  I am at the point now of craving it about half way through a long run.  I can’t wait until I can have a sip.  If chocolate milk isn’t your thing, you may want to try Organic Valley’s new protein recovery shake, Organic Fuel.  I received a free sample for being an Earth Fare Athlete and holy smokes!  This stuff is good!  Gone is the chalky feeling left in your mouth from protein powdered shakes!  There are two flavor options: vanilla or chocolate.  I also love that because these are ultra pasteurized, they do not have to stay refrigerated.  So leaving one in my car for after my long run is perfect!  (P.S. there are coupons to try it on their site)Check out other posts by other runners on their favorite gear and gadgets! Link up with Powered By BLINGPretty Lil Mudder, Half Marathon Mama, Girl on the Move and The Runner Within for Let’s Talk Training Thursday! on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of each month.

Happy Week!

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