I'm adding a new post label today. It's "food". For those of you wondering what the heck a post label is... At the bottom of each of my blog entries, there's a list of labels associated with that entry, assigned by me. They're basically keywords, so people can find posts about specific keywords. So, if you wanted to look up all the posts about FAST, for example, you could just click on the FAST label and see all my entries about FAST.
Today, I felt it necessary to add "food" as a label. Because I love food. But also because for a runner (or any serious athlete or fitness guru), food is nearly as important (if not just as important) as the workout. Food is fuel. If you fill up with low-octane junk, you will get sub-par performance out of your body. If you give yourself high-octane, high-quality, pure food, good performance will follow.
With that said, there's nothing wrong with enjoying food and eating the indulgent things you love in moderation. I have a weakness for chocolate chip cookies. Especially soft homemade ones. I don't eat cookies very often because they go straight to my hips, but what was I to do last night when one of my FAST friends brought me an entire platter of homemade chocolate chip cookies? (Thanks again, Becky!!!) Well, run hard, of course! Run hard first, eat cookies later. I'm sure that's the mantra of all great marathoners.
So this was our FAST workout last night... warmup, 3 x (2 laps hard, 1 lap recovery, 4 laps hard, 1 lap recovery, 1 minute rest), cooldown. Did ya get that all? It's a mouthful. It may make more sense when you look at the graph. The 2 laps hard was to be at 5k race pace, and the 4 laps hard was to be at 5k race pace plus 20 seconds. The recovery laps were to be half-marathon pace (so not really EASY, but easier than the hard laps). Here's the run graph:
This was a fun workout. There was plenty of variety in pace and distance to keep it interesting. And it was quite challenging as well. My last hard lap was run at a 7:15 pace - not bad! Can anyone spot where I messed up? I skipped a recovery lap in the 2nd round. Whoops.
And after the tough run, we did some tough core work. I held a plank for 1:30 - I didn't know I had it in me!
The reward for all that hard work was sweet indeed. Cookies!!! Okay, I had a cookie. And it was delicious. While it would have been tempting to eat half a dozen (or more) cookies post-workout, what I needed was REAL food. A good post-run meal has both carbs and protein to replenish your glycogen stores and to rebuild broken-down muscle fibers. Whenever possible, it's preferable to eat real, fresh food, rather than a sugary energy bar (most of which are nothing but glorified candy bars).
I can think of few foods as ideal for post-run recovery than sushi. It's fresh, it's packed with protein and carbs, low in fat (unless you get something fried) and it tastes REALLY good! (You could probably argue that white rice is, well, devoid of any nutrition, and there is much truth to that. But it's also very easy to digest, which makes it good after a tough workout when your tummy might not be so happy.) So a few of us from FAST headed off to Sushigawa in Peoria for some fresh, tasty food. I ordered some steamed edamame and the Tokyo Maki, and as always, it was outstanding. The presentation is as wonderful as the flavor. For my followers in the Peoria area, if you've never been to Sushigawa, you must put it on your to-do list. I wish I had taken a picture of my dinner, but I was so hungry, I ate it all before I thought of taking a picture. *burp*
Peace. Love. Train.