Instead, since the last time I posted, I've been RUNNING. Or, probably better stated I've been tapering. Including last weekend's 20 miler, I've ran a total of 49 miles since my funny foto Friday. Not too shabby. The plan that I am following has a rather normal 3 week taper with 75%, 60%, and 40% miles. The one difference is that the miles are FAST. No rest for the weary - I'll have no fewer than 3 speed days this week and 3 speed days next week. It will be VERY interesting to see how it all plays out.
We've all heard it before.
It is probably worth mentioning that I am NOT a nutritionist, I am not a doctor. I am just a normal lazy runner who makes due with whatever he has laying around the house to refuel as best as possible. I've linked to smarty-pants sources where I could find them. Where I couldn't.... just trust me.
So, after every long run that is longer than 15 miles or so, I'll whip up the following shake that rehydrates, provides protein for muscle regeneration, simple carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores, and caffeine to speed the process along.
WARNING: Depending on how you make the below, it can range anywhere between 1,000 and 1,300 calories. Or, something like one of those Starbucks smoothies that they claim are "healthy". Not a huge deal because you likely just burned 2,000 calories, but still something to keep in mind.
Step 1: Find a larger cup that has a slogan on it that reminds you that all of the pain that you are experiencing is supposed to be fun. "It's all about the FUN!!!" Yeah, screw you cup, I can't sit on the toilet without my legs giving out and slamming my ass checks against it from 2 feet above.
Step 2: Protein. Protein is essential to repair damaged muscles post-run. You can get this from many different forms. I prefer to go the body building route and get me some
There are ratios that provide optimal recovery between protien and carbs. That is too much work for me, so I just put in a scoop or two and say "ratio, met!".
Options: You could replace this with Peanut butter if you have that laying around or if you are no-meat. But, to do that you'll have to have a blender.
Step 3: Liquid. Milk is the miracle drink here. In fact, for runs between 13 and 15 miles, a glass full of milk has enough protein and carbs to probably do just fine. But when I make one of these drinks, I didn't run far, I ran much much further. Far enough to justify eating a pizza in a glass.
Options: You can use water if your wife is yelling at you to not use all of the milk on your stupid running milkshake.
Step 4: Carbs Carbs are the go-juice of the body. If you just spent 3+ hours going, you need to replace your juice. (TWSS) Grab hold of the closest liquid calorie dispenser (chocolate syrup) and give it a healthy squeeze (TWSS). Close counts here. I normally give my bottle a squeeze to the count of 5, but if you wanted you could go more or less
Options: You can skip the choco syrup to avoid 50 cals per tablespoon. If you use milk, you're going to get 12g of carbs per cup anyway
Step 5: Caffeine. Plain and simple - I've read multiple places that caffeine speeds glycogen absorption - up to 66% more retained. So, I grab yesterday's coffee and throw a splash in there. Can't hurt, right?
Options: I don't know? Don't do it? No-doze tabs in there?
Step 6: Salt. If you've ran far while it is very hot and dry or very cold (and also dry), the grit / disgusting milk mustache on your face is electrolytes that have left your body. While I'm sure that I get wayyy enough of this in my normal diet, I add a few dashes of salt anyway. Not a lot, but probably the amount that I would put on French Fries. Salt (sodium) helps to regulate hydration levels in the body and is essential in cell's ability to absorb water.
Options: If you have high blood pressure, or many other ailments, best to skip this one.
Step 7: Drink! Ideally, while still red in the face from your run, drink it down. Shirts are optional.
So, that is what I use to completely refuel from a long run. It hits everything that I seem to find important, but I’m always open to more suggestions. Does anyone else have a go-to recipe for their post run “meal”?