Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh, hello protein. Nice to meet you.

Soooooo maybe protein is old news, but I'm just now listening.

Recently, I've come across a lot of articles that mention the benefits of protein after a workout.

I've read that after a run you should have protein and carbs about 30 minutes after you finish. I've also read that after you do strength training, the ideal post-workout meal is a smoothie with Whey Protein.

I usually don't eat before I run at 5:30am and then post-fuel up around 7am with a bowl of oatmeal. Plus, I bring a snack of almonds to curb my hunger around 10am. Since I tend to turn into a ravenous tiger around 10am, I think it's time to take fueling my body a little more seriously. Especially since I want it to have enough energy to complete my training and stay injury free.

I found a great article from Active that describes what you really need after a 30 minute run to a 60 minute plus workout.

It suggests that after running 3 miles, you should eat a meal filled with fiber to keep you fuller longer. "Try a whole-wheat bagel or a handful of dried figs....Stomach still growling? Eat a little bit of fat, like a few nuts or an egg, to satisfy your appetite..."

After a 45 minute run, don't aim to have a perfect carb-to-protein ratio, but do try to include both. "Just aim for healthy choices. If you run in the morning, freeze a fruit and yogurt smoothie the night before and take it out to defrost before your run. If you're a noontime runner, pack a hummus and veggie pita sandwich to eat after you get back to your desk."

I think the freezing a smoothie the night before is a great idea. I always think about how I don't have time to make a smoothie if I workout at the gym before work, so this will be perfect!

Running longer than 60 minutes? "When you run longer than an hour, you need to focus on refueling — and fast. 'There's a 30-minute window where the body is very receptive to getting carbs back into the muscles,' says Shulman. To know your carb needs, divide your weight in half. If you weigh 140 pounds, you need 70 grams (280 calories) of simple carbs within 30 minutes. Try energy bars or sports drinks because they're quickly absorbed. Getting some protein, too, will kick-start muscle repair. Within an hour of that snack, eat a full meal, ideally in a 4:1 carbs-to-protein ratio. According to a 2006 study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, eating carbs and protein together increases glycogen levels more than eating just carbs. Try a bean burrito or pasta with meat sauce to give your body the nutrients it needs, says Shulman."

So maybe the above article doesn't mention much about why protein, but I have read a few others that mention its main benefits are that it minimizes soreness after a workout, repairs the tiny tears in your muscles, and builds lean muscle, faster. Sounds like the golden ticket to me.

Now, I need your help! Do you use whey protein?? If so, what flavors? Any particular brands? I've noticed they run around $40 to $60 dollars. Is this most bang for my buck? HELP!!

And now, on to my summary of my first week of training this fall!!!

Monday: REST
Tuesday: 3 miles elliptical
Wednesday: HEAT (60 minutes strength training + sprints)
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: 2 mile interval sprints
Saturday: 3 mile run + HEAT (60 minutes strength + sprints)
Sunday: 5 miles

Total: 21.43 miles + 2 days strength training

ALSO, I must mention how happy I was with Sunday's run! Well first of all, it was brutal. I set out at 9:30am, and will NEVER do that again. WAY, WAY, WAY too hot and humid. I thought about walking numerous times and reminded myself that I need to go sllllloooooowwwwww and run at a conversational pace. I truly felt like I was shuffling along the sidewalk. I didn't look at my Garmin once because I didn't even want to know the pace.

I was treated with a nice little surprise when I came home:

Ummmmmmm...hello...that's my half-marathon goal pace. This was supposed to be a slow run, and trust me, it felt like it. I don't know how this happened. To some maybe this is slow, but to me, I was ecstatic! I'm already running my goal half-marathon pace during my first long run. YAYYY!! Looks like I might have to set new expectations for myself :) Or maybe...just run slower next time. I'm definitely one to underestimate my ability, so maybe this is a sign that I'm doing just that. Either way, no pressure during the next long run, I'm going to continue to run it easy, and we'll see where we go from there.

PLEASE, please, please let me know what you think about whey protein!! I need all the help I can get!

1 comment:

  1. Nice running!

    I think whey protein is a good option if you're trying to get a little more protein into your diet after your runs. however, most (if not all) of the benefits it has post-run go for most kinds of high quality proteins. If you like milk, have chocolate milk after a longer run (whey protein is milk protein). It's cheaper!