What fuels Shalane Flanagan: eat to run fast

What fuels you to run fast? Everyday we are faced with the age-old question: what do you want to eat? Many couples and families alike struggle to find the answer to this question but most people tend to try to eat healthy. But what is healthy? Everyone is different, but today I’m going to focus…

What fuels Shalane Flanagan: eat to run fast was originally published on Self Evolve

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What fuels you to run fast?

Everyday we are faced with the age-old question: what do you want to eat? Many couples and families alike struggle to find the answer to this question but most people tend to try to eat healthy. But what is healthy? Everyone is different, but today I’m going to focus on the super fast marathon runners and what they eat to fly. With the Chicago Marathon 2018 coming up, I feel it’s fitting to share a few recipes from a new cookbook coming out August 4th from NYC Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan. Read on in order to run fast.

Thai Quinoa Salad

This is a great healthy version of the beloved Thai salad. It’s hearty with quinoa, and you can add in fresh grilled steak. It had the complex carbohydrates needed to full you prior to race day. Full recipe can be found here.

Turkey Trot Meatballs

run fastEasy to make and packed full of protein, these turkey meatballs are the way to go. You can make a lot of them and have them around for awhile. You can dress them up or down. Add them to your salad or in rice bowls. Full recipe can be found here.

Red raspberry beet smoothie bowl

This is a great option for pre and post-run. Beets are good for your cardiovascular system since they lower blood pressure. Oats are a great option for easy-to-digest carbohydrates that provide energy for running. Full recipe can be found here.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Reese’s are delicious but unfortunately full of sugar and hydrogenated oils, which are really bad for you. These are just as rich but you can feel good about eating them. They use coconut oil, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and maple syrup for the main ingredients. All whole foods, good fats, and natural sweeteners. Store these in the freezer for a yummy cold treat. Full recipe can be found here.

Pre-order the cookbook today!

 

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What fuels Shalane Flanagan: eat to run fast was originally published on Self Evolve

Running therapy: lace up to boost mental health

Running affects your mood Do you lace up to feel better? Studies show that aerobic exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Not to mention, with side effects such as improved health and weight management rather than the bloating and sexual dysfunction associated with pharmaceuticals. Running therapy is the…

Running therapy: lace up to boost mental health was originally published on Self Evolve

Running affects your mood

running therapyDo you lace up to feel better? Studies show that aerobic exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Not to mention, with side effects such as improved health and weight management rather than the bloating and sexual dysfunction associated with pharmaceuticals. Running therapy is the first-line treatment for depression in Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands. The US is a little slower on updating their guidelines. How does moving the body change the mind? It’s actually more than just endorphins. The emerging view of running’s ability to improve mental health also takes into account long-term structural changes in the brain as well as subjective states like mood and cognition. Science continues working to explain the theory behind what we runners already know from practice.

Running changes how you think

In any one year, about 10 percent of the US population would meet the diagnostic criteria for depression, and about 20 percent for anxiety. The incidence of these conditions in runners is likely similar. A 2017 review of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found no difference in depressive symptoms between what researchers called “high-performance athletes” and non-athletes. All levels of runners are affected. But running helps you think and process things differently. It helps you think objectively. For me, it helps me realize that things I think are a huge deal aren’t in the scheme of things. When you focus on accomplishing a task like a 4 mile run, it kicks off a positive feedback loop that continues throughout the run and takes our thinking and emotions out of the trench of negativity.

Running therapy for everyone

You don’t have to be an ultra-marathoner to get the benefits of running. But research does show an added benefit to those who regularly run and/or exercise. The mood improvement and energy boost is higher for those who normally workout. This is because runners can hold a good pace for a long time without going anaerobic, allowing for the physiological processes that lead to improved mood, according to Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Ph. D., a professor at Iowa State University who is a leading figure in the field of exercise physiology. “If you’re a regular runner, you have the cardiorespiratory fitness to sustain an exercise intensity that’s associated with a feel-better effect.” Anyone can become a regular runner by simply adding in running or cardio workouts three times a week.

Do you run? Does it help you feel better?

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Running therapy: lace up to boost mental health was originally published on Self Evolve

Shamrock Shuffle 8K 2018: The good and the bad

Not my first rodeo.. I ran the Shamrock Shuffle back in 2014 under a co-worker’s bib. Technically, since it was under her name, this year was my first real Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Going into it this year, I was so excited since I remembered all the fun I had at the expo beforehand and the…

Shamrock Shuffle 8K 2018: The good and the bad was originally published on Self Evolve

Not my first rodeo..

I ran the Shamrock Shuffle back in 2014 under a co-worker’s bib. Technically, since it was under her name, this year was my first real Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Going into it this year, I was so excited since I remembered all the fun I had at the expo beforehand and the post-race after-party. And of course the race itself. But unfortunately, it feels like a few things changed over the past few years.

First of all, this shirt is awesome!

I must say the shirt greatly improved from the white shirt I got 4 years ago. The shirt from 4 years ago wasn’t green or anywhere close to being shamrock themed. This year, it’s black with a very cute shamrock design on it. The only complaint is the women’s shirts run short. Kind of small, but a short running shirt is never fun to wear. In addition to the awesome shirt, we also received awesome medals! I don’t remember receiving a medal last time I ran this, so must say this is also an improvement.

Chicago the beautiful

shamrock shuffleI love the course of this race as well. The start and finish are the same as the Chicago Marathon, so I did have a few flashbacks. But an easy 8K was much better than those 26.2 miles I ran last October. We still got to see some great areas of the city, and end with that Roosevelt St bridge that everyone hates. 🙂

Let’s talk about this expo..

In years past, the expo was bigger and had way more vendors. To the point where it was almost hard to navigate around the place. This year there were not enough vendors, and way too much visible carpet. Of the vendors there, it seemed like there wasn’t really that much to even buy. One of my friends said this was the first expo she ever went to and didn’t buy a single thing. Bank of America may want to rethink their expo strategy if they want to make money.

Brrr Shamrock Shuffle Icicles

sharock shuffleThe only other thing was the weather! But running a race in March in Chicago, you have to be prepared for the worst. And it could’ve been worse! It didn’t rain or snow, and the sun was definitely out. While running, I felt very comfortable. Beforehand and afterwards, I was freezing. Needless to say, I didn’t stick around long after the race. I got home quickly to take a nice warm shower after the race.

Overall, I had a great time running the Shamrock Shuffle 8K. I didn’t PR because I ran it with some of my awesome running friends. But I did feel great running, to the point where at the end I felt like I could’ve kept going. Makes me want to start running outside again, if only it gets a little bit warmer.

Did you run the Shamrock Shuffle?

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Shamrock Shuffle 8K 2018: The good and the bad was originally published on Self Evolve

Pizza and Beer: You can’t out-train a bad diet

I’m guilty as charged There are days where I just say “F it” and eat whatever I want. While these days are few and far between, I used to have these days all the time. There was at least a solid year when I was working out 3-5 times a week all while going home…

Pizza and Beer: You can’t out-train a bad diet was originally published on Self Evolve

I’m guilty as charged

bad dietThere are days where I just say “F it” and eat whatever I want. While these days are few and far between, I used to have these days all the time. There was at least a solid year when I was working out 3-5 times a week all while going home and pigging out on pizza 3-5 times a week. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it wasn’t good. My diet was crap, and you know what else was crap? How I felt. After suffering through the side effects of a year of this bad diet, I decided to completely change what and how I ate. And while now-a-days my diet isn’t as strict, I’ve found a happy middle ground between extreme dieting and eating whatever I want.

Even the world’s best trainer can’t out-train a bad diet

You could train 5 to 6 days a week with the best trainer in the world (i.e. me) but even then you couldn’t go home and pig out on pizza and beer everyday. I’m not saying you can never have these things, but to eat and drink them everyday is just too hard to combat via exercise. Also, a high carb diet will only help you so much. Without proper protein and the right fats, it will be very hard for your muscles to repair and grow stronger after a strength training session or a hard run

Many runners have an attitude that they will burn off whatever they eat. This may seem to be the case because you run and don’t gain weight despite eating whatever you want. But just because the number on the scale seems healthy, doesn’t mean your diet isn’t doing damage on the inside. Overindulgence in simple sugars is the single most common dietary transgression among any endurance athletes, especially runners. I.e. white bread, white pasta, white rice and refined sugars. Large portions of these will turn into bad molecules, bad types of fat, and bad oxidative sugar species- things that do damage to the heart vessels. 

Still, runners often hear mixed messages about how exercise can erase the ills of a junk food habit. Especially high-intensity sessions. While this may be the case over a few weeks, if you continue to have a bad diet for years there will be long-term effects. No matter how much you run or workout, you can’t outrun a bad diet.

Always hungry

But I’m always hungry! That’s because all you eat is carbs! Up the proteins and fats and you’ll feel full for longer. Carbs are important, but if they are the main source of your calories you’ll likely be eating an entire bag of chips rather than just a few. 

Do you try to out-run a bad diet?

 

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Pizza and Beer: You can’t out-train a bad diet was originally published on Self Evolve

Enjoy the great indoors: Bring your run inside

Standard treadmills are so yesterday.. Gone are the days of boring treadmill workouts. With the latest and greatest, indoor workouts for runners are actually enjoyable. Not only that, they are also helpful for runners to train smarter, recover faster, and prevent injury. Even though the weather is getting warmer, you still may want to bring…

Enjoy the great indoors: Bring your run inside was originally published on Self Evolve

Standard treadmills are so yesterday..

run insideGone are the days of boring treadmill workouts. With the latest and greatest, indoor workouts for runners are actually enjoyable. Not only that, they are also helpful for runners to train smarter, recover faster, and prevent injury. Even though the weather is getting warmer, you still may want to bring your run inside.

Sproing Fitness

Science shows that cross-training is a necessary component of any running routine. Sproing Fitness (Chicago) takes this to another level. They incorporate running, plyometrics, stability and strength work all into one 45-minute HIIT-style routine on an unique device. The Sproing is a treadmill-like machine that has an air bladder rather than a moving belt in order to customize the surface. You’ll cinch a waist-level harness which allows you to fall forward while running which lets you maintain proper form, land on your forefoot and avoid heel-striking. The class setup is intervals of 20 or 30 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The workout transitions through a mix of forward and backward running, strength moves, and explosive exercises.

This adds up to a sweat-filled session that targets and builds the important muscles that runners rely on for faster splits and more power. The low-impact component yields rewards such as protecting the joints and back.

Precision Running Lab

Equinox (Boston) has a new Precision Running Lab where despite running on a treadmill, it feels like you’re running outside. David Siik, senior manager of running at Equinox, wanted to bring the outdoors in with this experience. Even the music is scientifically-backed in providing motivation but not distraction. The music is nonlyrical, with driving beats. A Precision class has 90 to 117 four-second light changes that cue runners as they go. And the treadmill saves your speed once you maintain a pace for 20 seconds rather than have you push buttons while running.

Another important factor? The oxygen. The studio has a filtration system that purges nitrogen and raises O2, helping to keep your lungs full and your head clear. The result is an immersive experience, focused on the workout.

Have you tried these fitness studios? Do you run inside?

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Enjoy the great indoors: Bring your run inside was originally published on Self Evolve

Nike – House of Go pop up

Just do it When my awesome friend Katie D. messaged me about this House of Go Pop-up in Chicago where we could go try on new running shoes and take amazing pictures, I jumped all over it. This was the first Nike pop-up that I’ve gone to and I had so much fun! House of…

Nike – House of Go pop up was originally published on Self Evolve

Just do it

When my awesome friend Katie D. messaged me about this House of Go Pop-up in Chicago where we could go try on new running shoes and take amazing pictures, I jumped all over it. This was the first Nike pop-up that I’ve gone to and I had so much fun!

House of Go

We got to try on the latest and greatest Epic React running shoe. These running shoes were super light-weight and cushion-y. I love how they look and feel, but I don’t know for sure since I only ran for about a minute in them at a moderate pace. I wouldn’t mind trying them on again and running a few miles instead of just a minute.

Epic React shoes

These Epic React shoes stole the show. Their claim-to-fame is they are springy, bouncy and foamy. All while being light-weight. If you like cushion, you will love these shoes. They’re also durable, supposedly lasting well over 500 miles of running. 

The real reason we went

Instagram is going to be lit up! We went to take some great photos and even got a video of us running in these shoes. Check out some of the photos and click on my Instagram to see the video. We had such a great time and I’m looking forward to the next Nike pop-up!

  house of gohouse of gohouse of gohouse of go

Have you tried the Epic React shoes?

 

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2018 races: running season is here

Are you a runner? If so, then you’ve likely already started registering for your races this running season. Last year, I ran a few fun runs (i.e. Star Wars Half Marathon and the Hemingway 8K), but I mostly just trained for that marathon thing. This year I’m scaling back and hoping to use my experience…

2018 races: running season is here was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you a runner?

If so, then you’ve likely already started registering for your races this running season. Last year, I ran a few fun runs (i.e. Star Wars Half Marathon and the Hemingway 8K), but I mostly just trained for that marathon thing. This year I’m scaling back and hoping to use my experience and knowledge to help others with their marathon training. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running a few races this year (Shamrock Shuffle, local Oak Park races, and maybe a half marathon). And today I’m going to review a few of my all-time favorite races in and around Chicagoland.

Shamrock Shuffle 8K

I may be biased, but Saint Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. And anything having to do with this magical day makes me happy. The Shamrock Shuffle is a great 8K that takes you through downtown Chicago. You start in Millennium Park and end in Grant Park, the same start and finish for the Chicago Marathon. But 5 miles is a lot more do-able than 26.2.

running season

Hemingway 8K

I just moved to Oak Park last year and I participated in this local race last summer. The locals call it Running with the Bulls, and many people dress up to fit the theme. It was so fun that I plan to run this race again along with the other local Oak Park races this year.

Forest Preserve Trail Half Marathon

running seasonThis one is a smaller half marathon that usually falls around the same time as the Chicago Marathon. It’s a great half on the trail up north in Lake County. I ran this one in 2015 and I’m thinking about running it again this year.

Hot Chocolate 5/15K

When I ran this race, it was so cold I was miserable. The route was great, my only complaint was the cold. But they’ve moved this race from end of November to end of October in order to avoid those frigid temperatures. The only reason I didn’t run it last year was due to that marathon thing. The hot chocolate at the end makes the 15K worth it! There is also a 5K option. 

Now that running season is here, which races are you registered for?

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2018 races: running season is here was originally published on Self Evolve