By Rhonda Markman
Well, our 5k walk/run is a couple weeks away so if you haven’t pulled out those sneakers from your closet, it’s time.
The best way to train for an event is to have a plan.* In personal trainer language, this plan is called periodization. Periodization not only focuses on the running, but also builds in crucial, planned rest so you don’t over do it. It’s a plan that starts out easier and gradually builds to prevent injuries. Many times, we get way too enthusiastic initially and over train. By the time the race is upon us, we are injured and/or exhausted.
I found a great link to help you tackle your running plan: http://running.about.com/od/5kracetrainingschedules/a/Train-For-A-5k-In-One-Month.htm
Your training should mimic what you will be doing on the day of the race. Therefore, walking or running on a treadmill is clearly not as good as walking or running outdoors. And, if the race is in the morning, your training should be at the same time. Obviously, life might get in the way with work, children, family commitments, etc, so do the very best you can!
Finally, you must consider fueling your body for your training. While carbohydrates seem to have a bad reputation, carbs are the best fuel for your body when it comes to exercise! The ideal time to eat is 1 ½ hours before your workout. Your food selection should always include carbs along with fat and protein. The fat and the protein will slow down the absorption of the carbs, which will be beneficial if you are exercising for longer periods of time. Here is a list of examples.
Each of these suggestions have protein, fat and carbohydrates:
- A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries sprinkled with nuts.
- French toast made with 100% whole wheat bread with ½ sliced banana (can also use berries) and drizzled with honey.
- Greek yogurt sprinkled with nuts.
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on 100% whole wheat bread. (
- A vegetable omelet with a slice of toast.
If you are training and don’t have time to eat 1 ½ hours prior, you can always turn to simpler sugars. Have a small glass of juice, a nut bar that’s drizzled with honey or ½ banana drizzled with honey or agave. The point is, you must fuel your body prior to exercising. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see all the time—people focus on the training and completely ignore the food.
So plan your runs and plans your food. And you will be ready to go on May 3rd!
*As with any exercise regimen, please check with your doctor before starting any new program.
About Rhonda Markman
Rhonda is a Westchester, NY based personal trainer and nutritionist, who is passionate about empowering people to make lifestyle changes to stay healthy. For more information, visit http://www.fitnessfoodandyou.com