Whether in record time or your first time on the Sun Run course, congratulations! Don’t let the past three months of training and conquering the healthy eating steps to victory crumble. There are a handful of behaviours that when applied consistently, do wonders for health. Work on cementing these habits. Make them as permanent as brushing your teeth or getting a good night’s sleep.
- Understand that food is fuel - Without enough total calories, it doesn’t matter much what percent of carbs, protein or fat make up those calories. Make a commitment to simply eating enough of the right food. This typically requires eating three meals and at least two snacks daily and keeping a good supply of quality food on hand at all times and in all places.
- Believe that high level health and performance are possible - Healthy people stay focused on their goals and passionately pursue them while steering clear of negative messages and lousy food that can take them off course. Unfortunately, those evils are everywhere.
- Take a no excuses approach - “But all they have is size large,” “every restaurant near my office is lousy” or other excuses don’t enter in. There is always a way around it. As long as grocery stores, ice packs and insulated bags exist, you can bring healthy food to pretty much every situation.
- Keep it real - High performing athletes and healthy people emphasize foods and drinks that originate as a plant or animal and rarely eat foods made entirely in a lab. This also applies to many so-called sport nutrition products. There is a role for sports drinks and energy bars, but label reading is critical to steer clear of those that the band Trooper would call “3’s dressed up as 9’s” and only wasting your time.
- Choose to plan - Whether a natural born planner or not, always having access to the right food takes some forethought. A decision is made to make it happen, even when it’s the last thing you really want to do.
- Commit to recovery - Strenuous exercise beats up the body. Serious athletes take time to adequately rest and recover. Post Sun Run, a solid recovery plan includes very light exercise for a day or so after and a week of super eating emphasizing fluids and high quality foods before hitting the trail hard again.
- Be aware, not obsessed - The line between the two can sometimes be a fine one. Know the truth about wholesome eating and put it into practice without micro-managing every calorie you eat. If you’re stuck, find a dietitian who can help you out. I’m rooting for you!