Preparing your body through proper hydration and nutrition is just as important post-workout as it is pre-workout. I've only recently, for about a year, been increasing my intake of protein during my post-run recovery period. But, there are only so many protein shakes a person can stand!
My personal trainer met my daughter and me at our local trail for an outdoor workout. Were it at my usual 5:30-6:00 a.m. start time, it wouldn't be so hard. However, we met at 4:30 in the afternoon, in 91F heat and high humidity under mostly sunny skies. Did I say it was hot?
The trail follows along the banks of a little lake at the edge of a large field and makes a nice loop through a wooded area passing the picnic tables, sand volleyball pits and a popular waterscape being enjoyed by at least a dozen squealing children gleefully splashing through various showers and fountains. At least THEY were cool!
We three stalwart runners took to the trail to follow a figure-8 path. The goal was to complete 3 complete figure-8 loops, approximately 3.5 miles in all, at a fairly steady pace. Because I've suffered heat exhaustion since last summer's training for a 60-miler, I still have trouble running in heat. Nonetheless, I pushed on, stopping at a shower pole to cool off whenever we came back to our starting point.
Following the run, our trainer had us do some strength training, very important to distance runners. Then, she advised us that we had a 45-minute window of recovery during which the intake of carbs plus protein would be most beneficial. The longer we waited, the less our muscles would benefit.
I had packed some high-carb gel blocks in my gear bag, as usual, but nothing with protein (nuts, for example). I gave my daughter a gel block and, since we both live within a few minutes of the trail, we headed to our respective abodes.
Protein, eh? While I do have a protein shake mix designed for recovery after a workout, I didn't feel like making some. Looking in the fridge, I found some cheese, a cold chicken breast, organic peanut butter, but none of those choices were appealing, either. In the deli drawer, though, was a new jar of caviar. But of course - doesn't everyone have caviar after a workout?
My hubby thought I was nuts enjoying my spoonful of luscious little black beads instead of something more substantial. But, it IS protein, I said, only 30 calories, and seafood is on my training regimen. He grilled me a steak, LOL!
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