Week 6 RunWalk Newsletter

Nutrition

This subject has easily become one of my favourite weeks over the last two years. As someone who has definitely put themselves through the paces nutritionally while training, this subject fascinates me. Now I’m not a nutritionist or a dietician, just someone who loves to learn and have open conversations about the things I learn.

This week we are going to review the foundations of nutrition, and then during week 8, we will discuss nutrition in regard to “race day” and focus more on foods/hydration to consume during those long runs if you need to at all.

One really important thing to remember is that we each have our own individual needs and so take nutrition one step at a time. Get curious, ask questions and familiarize yourself with your needs and reflect on moments in your life when you felt strong and healthy. What’s different between then and now? Or maybe that moment is now, what are you doing differently now then you did before?

Putting a focus on nutrition now will help get you in a position later for a stronger 10K, whether that’s a walk, jog or run.

Janette Shearer
Online Communications Manager


Nutrition 101: Fluids, Carbs and Proteins

Nutrition plays a vital role in training, performance, and recovery for athletes from all sports.  Of course, what to eat and drink before, during, or after exercise can vary widely from athlete to athlete but it all boils down to fluids, carbohydrates, protein, fats, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). In this article, we are going to focus on fluid, carbohydrates, and protein. Continue Reading….


9 Important Functions of Protein in Your Body

Protein helps repair and build your body’s tissues. It drives metabolic reactions, maintains pH and fluid balance, and keeps the immune system strong. It also transports and stores nutrients and can act as an energy source. Continue Reading

Summary: “Protein is required for the growth and maintenance of tissues. Your body’s protein needs are dependent upon your health and activity level.”

TIP: Remember Protein isn’t just meat, there are plenty of protein options that aren’t meat based such as tofu, okra, nuts, dried fruit and of course legumes (chickpeas, lentils and cowpea etc)


What Are the Key Functions of Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are molecules found in food that store and supply your body and brain with energy. Fiber is an example. If you’re following a low-carb diet, your body will find other ways to produce energy.

Biologically speaking, carbohydrates are molecules that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms in specific ratios.

But in the nutrition world, they’re one of the most controversial topics.

Some believe eating fewer carbohydrates is the way to optimal health, while others prefer higher-carb diets. Still, others insist moderation is the way to go. Continue Reading

Summary: Your body can transform extra carbohydrates into stored energy in the form of glycogen. Several hundred grams can be stored in your liver and muscles.

TIP: Remember Carbs aren’t just pasta and potatoes. Whole grains are also a fantastic carb which include foods like whole wheat, brown rice, oats, quinoa, barley, and rye. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits: Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, berries, and grapes are excellent sources of carbohydrates.


PS….Final two weeks to register for the SportMedBC Team for the Vancouver Sun Run. March 8th is the final cut off to sign up for the team.

TEAM MEMBER REGISTRATION

Link to team registration: team member registration

Team Name: SportMedBC

Team Access Code: EDXTPE


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Muscles In Motion Guest Speaker (Tilman von der Linde) p.1 – runner-specific stretches and self-massage techniques designed for the FOOT & LOWER LEG – Feb. 26th 7PM via Zoom. RSVP Link

2024 Spring RunWalk 5K FUN RUN at Deer Lake Burnaby – Open to all – March 3rd – RSVP Link

Muscles In Motion Guest Speaker (Tilman von der Linde) p.2 – stretches and self-massage techniques specifically designed for the KNEE & UPPER LEG. March 4th 7PM via Zoom. RSVP Link

The Big 80’s Run by Big Fun Run Series on March 9th –  www.Big80sRun.com – Save $5 with code SMBC5

Muscles In Motion Guest Speaker (Tilman von der Linde) p.3 – stretches and self-massage tricks tailor-made for the HIP & LOWER BACK. March 11th 7PM via Zoom. RSVP Link

The Big Easter Run by Big Fun Run Series on March 30th at Jericho Beach – www.BigEasterRun.com – Save 15% with code LEARNTORUN15



Story Time

In 2022, I decided to commit to a goal of completing one half marathon every month for the entire year. The goal started out pretty good but by the 6th month, I was completely done; over it if you will, but as a lady of my word, I said I was going to do 12 Half Marathons and so that is exactly what I’d do, no less.

Vancouver Half June 2022 #6/12

Nutritionally nothing had changed, I was still eating the same way I would any normal day of the week. My muscles became fatigued, injury was pending after every run and mentally, I struggled. I completed my goal and started training in January of 2023 for my 3rd marathon.

By April, I had a hamstring/glute injury, and I went from Full Marathon to Half Marathon to only be able to do the BMO 8K. So naturally, I’d sign up for a half marathon to redeem myself, right? I’d complete the Vancouver Half seconds before race cut off. I felt awful, my head was pounding, my muscles were cramping, and it finally dawned on me that nutritionally I’d been failing myself.

I booked a 30-minute free nutrition consultation at UBC and learned that I’d been under eating for many years, not only that, but I’d learn that my nutritional choices were questionable. I was eating like a 12-year child, not an athlete training for Full Marathons or even Half Marathons; I wasn’t even fueling properly to do 10K if I’m really being honest.

So, what did I do? I learned exactly what protein and carbohydrates do for my body specifically and what I’d need to do to fuel my body for optimal performance based on my specific goals. 35% Protein, 33% Carbs and 32% Fat.

Now if you know me, I’m not one to count calories or restrict myself. There is still very much a young child in me that will do exactly what you’ve told me not to because you told me not to do it. Hand portioning was a very casual tool that helped me and is used as a gentle guideline to ensure that I’m consuming correct amounts as I’d learned by observation that I was either very over or very under the correct amounts, again for my individual goals specifically.

My own personal plan of attack is to ensure that on the day before and the day of when I know I’m going to run, I will try to consume meals that are a bit higher in Carbs so that my body can store that energy to use during my long runs. Of course, there is protein and fats mixed in there but carbs is the foundation of my meal plan for those days. On days when I’m recovering, I tend to shift my focus to protein and try to consume a heavier amount of protein so that it can help repair the damage I’ve done while running.

When I say damage, I mean the microtears we get in our muscles when we run. Microtears are what happens when our muscles get physically worked. It’s with good nutrition and good blood that they then heal and the microtears you sustain from exercise will eventually accumulate to form muscle mass. You have to break muscle down to build it back up stronger.

Once I shifted my thoughts to be about filling up the energy stores and then healing the microtears to build muscles, things became easier to prioritize.

Please feel free to email me anytime if you have any questions about my journey, especially with nutrition.


Fueling: Before, After and During

For runners, diet and nutrition are crucial not only for maintaining good health but also to promote peak performance. Proper nutrition and hydration can make or break a workout or race and affect how you feel, work, and think.

One of the most common questions new runners have is what they should eat before, during, and after running. While everyone is different (so it’s important to pay attention to how you feel and make adjustments), there are some basic guidelines for a runner’s diet that can help you get started.

Continue Reading…


Hydration… are you drinking enough water?

Learn More…



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