Hi and welcome to the Peak Endurance podcast and blog. My name is Isobel Ross and I am the coach at Peak Endurance Coaching. On today’s podcast I am going to discuss how runners can keep in control of their food and alcohol consumption over the Christmas and New Year Season.
Now I know we like to think that as runners we can have free reign on all the food. However, sadly that is not really the case. I wish it were!!! But it’s even worse when you’re injured like me!! Of course, I’m not saying for you to restrict yourself but just be sensible.
1. Don’t skip meals just so you can pig out later: Be careful not to restrict your eating during the day in order to pre-emptively compensate for a night of indulging. This approach can actually backfire because it can lead to overeating later. Rather than skipping meals, stick to your regular routine to maintain satiety (that is, don’t let yourself go hungry)! Just make sure that the food you are eating is healthy! No need to indulge all day!
2. Have a last-minute healthy snack before you head out: Make sure you’re not starving when you head out for the evening. Eat a small, quick serving of fruit, vegetables or a small handful of nuts before you leave the house to stave off the hunger. Healthy snacking before a cocktail party can prevent overeating party food that, more often than not, is calorically dense. And not only calorie dense but nutritionally deficit. Also, drink lots of water during the day before you go out as this will help you to feel fuller.
3. Use a small plate to trick yourself. Whether it’s a buffet-style dinner party or a cocktail party (although that normally entails a napkin!) with small nibbles, a small plate can make you think you are eating more than you’re actually eating.
4. Drink in moderation or not at all. Okay, I put that last bit in knowing not many people would follow it, including myself! However, it is true that alcohol, simply put, is empty calories. Cocktails have a lot of added sugar (and fat, if you’re drinking egg nog!) on top of the alcohol itself. If wine is your drink of choice, ask for a wine spritzer. And one more tip: pace yourself! Drink slowly, and remember to alternate a glass of water for each alcoholic drink. Your body will thank you the next day!
5. Choose your calories thoughtfully. Christmas and New Year parties present an opportunity to indulge in a large variety of decadent snacks and delicious desserts that you would not normally ever consider. Don’t necessarily eat everything that is on offer! Indulge in what actually appeals to you and savour and enjoy what you are eating. Be mindful of the experience. Don’t just scarf.
6. Keep up your training, even if only at a maintenance level. Even though the weather may be hot and all we really feel like doing is relaxing in the air conditioning, don’t let your exercise routine fall by the wayside. Head out early in the morning for a run, or hit the gym. Knowing you have to train early will also stop you drinking too much the night before too! There is not many things worse than running with a hangover.
7. Enjoy Christmas. Do not forget to enjoy this wonderful time of the year. Don’t feel guilty about celebrating with friends and family. You don’t want to be the kill joy at the party or family gathering. Slowly savour each bite or each sip of drink, and listen to your body when it tells you you’re full!
I hope these tips help you a bit, but remember to not be too hard on yourself if you over-indulge. As long as it’s not a regular thing, it’s ok.
I have had so much fun starting this podcast and blog. It is something I have been wanting to do for years, and I finally decided to bite the bullet and do it. I have to thank Daniel Farrugia for giving me the confidence to go for it. I really appreciate everyone who listens and supports my podcast. Subscribing is a great way to support the podcast. Also, as I keep saying rating and reviewing it really helps too. I have had a couple more five-star reviews, one from Peekshimmer and Screechola . Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it! These reviews help the podcast to grow and be heard by more people. Also, positive reviews gives me greater leverage to get top athletes and experts on the podcast!
Once again, thank you so much everyone for all your support. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas!
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Follow my blog with Bloglovin In spite of living in a flat area, many runners feel the allure of running in the mountains. They enter the race of their dreams, then reality sets in and they wonder; how the heck am I going to train for this??
There are many ways to train for hilly races, but of course, nothing compares to actually running hills. So, by all means, use alternate methods of training, but try to get to the mountains as often as you can. Even one weekend a month is better than nothing!
One of the best ways to train for hills if you don’t have any around is to utilise stairs. Steep stairs are the best. There are three ways you can utilise stairs in your hill strength building:
1. General strength by running and up and down at a moderate pace. A Stair master can be used for this workout (not a stepper, it needs to be the machine where the stairs rotate)
2. Sprinting: Sprint up the stairs (one at a time) as fast as you can for about 30 seconds. Take it easy back down the stairs as recovery.
3. Stair bounding: Bound up the stairs (skipping a step each time). Aim to really get some lift and air with each bound. Back down the stairs is recovery.
Weights in the gym is another way of developing the leg strength for hilly races.
1. Stepping up onto a step (and progressively making this higher). Start without weights and progress to adding weights.
2. Split squats: stationary or forward/reverse lunges, either onto or off a step or on the flat ground. All add good variation! Add weight when your form is 100% correct.
3. One legged squats with dumbbells
4. Kettlebell squats on a bosu ball
5. Box jumps
The variety is endless!
Find a hill!!
It doesn’t matter how short the hill is. Find the steepest hill you can (even if it is in a carpark leading up the next level) and sprint up it!! Hard!! Repeat, with the down as recovery. You can also do high knee skipping and bounding up these as well.
Equally, you can use this as a downhill workout. Walk up the hill, then sprint down. You need to strengthen the legs for downhill running as much, of not more than, for uphill.
If you are lucky, the treadmills at your gym will be able to be put up to a decent incline. When I was living in Canada and couldn’t do my normal workouts, I would practice hiking on the treadmill. Unfortunately you can’t really train for the downhills this way, but you can learn to get a good hike on.
Hopefully this has given you some good ideas on how to train for hills in a flat area. As I said in the beginning, however, nothing beats training on actual hills. So really try to get some proper hills in as part of your plan that is progressing you towards your A-race. And remember to keep it fun! Ultimately if you can only train on the flat, then that is all you can do. Do the best training you can and let it go. Many years ago, I won the 6 Foot track marathon whilst I was training for a sub-3 hour marathon on the flat. It is possible!
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