Running for the Long Haul
“ Healthy Habits that are Imperative to doing Just that”
Im no stranger to the endurance realm. Having raced in long distance ultra events and completed in a long list of personal and challenging multi day epics is what I thrive on. But that said, how to keep this one body that I have happy and healthy? I have rode the roller coaster of ups and downs similar to many other endurance athletes who have been pushing their body to their limits. A younger me once said to my mom once “I won’t stop until my body quits.” Well, 15+ years later I think I’ve succeeded in reaching that breaking point more than just a few times, with each account forcing me to learn and grow from my mistakes. Now, as I approach my 40’s, have a family to care for and a strong drive to continue leading a life of outdoor adventure, I have taken a completely different approach to self care and repair. And, not only for me. As a coach to endurance athletes around the world, I’m passionate about bringing out the best in themselves and this starts with simple yet effective holistic habits that can make a huge difference.
Sleep: Rest & De-stress
I can’t actually believe that the day has arrived when I can’t wait to hit the lights and fall asleep. I have been focused on this for nearly a year now and it has made a significant difference in how I feel upon waking, energy levels throughout the day and an even keel-ness to deal with stress. I strive for 8hrs minimum a night with the preference of go to bed early and get up with the sun. Once I have finished my mom tasks for the night, I am typically too brain fried to even look at work so very rarely do I even attempt it. Instead I take the opportunity to be in bed between 9pm and 9:30pm so that getting up at 6am (or even 5am if I am teaching cycling) is not terrible. Sleep is one of the easiest and most important things that we can all do. With a little deviance in our night habits, this does not have to be a super hard change to make.
Iron and the B Vitamins
I’ve experienced the super low energy phases through the years and seen it in one too many athletes as well, mostly female. Firstly, get your levels checked so you have a base-line to measure against. I incorporate Flora’s Floradix (liquid Iron) into my daily regime, taking it twice daily. While I am 100% all for a whole foods diet including eating loads of plants and as much high iron foods as possible, it remains a challenge to maintain optimal levels. Floradix is loaded with the B vitamins as well, great for keeping the immune system strong and fighting anemia. I’m much more of the mindset of keeping on top of things now rather than digging myself back out of a hole later.
High Quality Omega 3’s
Good fats, we need them! Omega 3 is critical when it comes to recovery and reducing inflammation so ensuring that I am really getting enough of this particular Omega in my diet has been a focal point. Because our body cannot produce these “essential fatty acids” called omega 3’s, we need to eat them. Foods high in Omega 3 in my diet include wild caught salmon, organic eggs along with chia, hemp and flax seeds. I also add Omega Sport + to my smoothies and salads. I think it is very hard to get enough Omega 3 in the diet so I’m never concerned about over consumption of this BUT, I sure notice it when Im deficient.
Elimination of Synthetic Sugars
Plain and simple, processed synthetic sugars have no place in our diet. I do my very best to avoid these, aiming to buy products that are composed of real sugars not broken down and altered in a factory. Blueberries are probably my go-to sugar source, satisfying my sweet tooth and tasting great, fresh or frozen.
Here is my ice cream substitution recipe for a tasty treat after dinner that I feel GOOD about eating.
1 cup of frozen, organic blueberries
½ cup of 10% plain yogurt
1 TBSP Omega Sport + oil
¼ cup almond milk (or other)
*Throw in the vitamix and blend together until desired textured is achieved!