Articles

Running in Thailand: Part 2, Nutrition

Olivia McGeever, 128 TCCS

One of the great gifts my Peace Corps service has given me is an endless lesson on nutrition and my body. Eating well is essential to running well. I don’t think it’s any surprise that some of us are running races here for the first time, getting stronger, losing weight, and becoming our fittest selves. We’re nourishing our bodies with locally grown food, biking everywhere, and typically avoiding processed snacks (sometimes only cause they’re not accessible).

Living, cooking, and eating by myself has been such a learning experience of what foods work for me. Eating seasonally without access to my favorite staples back home has been an adjustment that leaves me missing almond butter daily. But biking to my market to spend 300 baht on produce grown in my village surpasses eating nut butter with a spoon (only slightly).

There are articles supporting every type of diet, and it took me long time to figure out what works best for me probably doesn’t work for everyone. Getting to know how to listen to your body is such a worthwhile task. Food should be medicine, and only help you achieve all your fitness goals!

Here are our nutrition tips from our beloved running PCVs:

Pre-Run

  1. Carbs- are not only bread and rice, but also fruits and veggies, and they’re essential to feeling energized and nourished for running. Bethany reminds us that although low-carb diets are popular, majority of athletes agree that carbs are key. Bananas, oatmeal, green smoothies are my go to carb meals.
  2. Don’t Overeat– we unanimously agree that eating a lot before running is never smart. Eat a banana, toast, nuts, or yogurt, and still give yourself a little time to digest before heading out.

During

  1. Gels- I cannot rave about gels enough, packed with caffeine, B12, Zinc, and all other sorts of goods, I wouldn’t survive my long runs without them. Jena suggest taking one every 4 or 5 miles.
  2. Take it!– During races, always take the water or whatever is offered at the stops. This was some of the best advice I got especially for a marathon. Taking care of your nutrition while running is just as important as before and after.

Post-Run

  1. Chocolate milk– I had never heard this before, but chocolate milk is apparently an amazing post run drink! It’s a running rule to indulge in this magical drink after a hard workout.
  2. Protein– My beloved nut butter on toast with banana or a smoothie packed with veggies and fruits. Lentils and rice, sweet potato. You just ran, so eat what ya want!

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Listen to your body! There are so many rules and tips out there, so experiment with different things to get to know yourself. After big runs, it’s advised to wait to eat a lot until a few hours afterwards. I took that with a grain of salt and shoved two plates of food and two ice creams down my throat about 4 minutes after I finished my marathon, so just do you and run your heart out!

Pumpkin Oats Recipe

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup water

¼ cup coconut milk

¼ steamed or boiled pumpkin

  • Add oats, water and coconut milk to pot and put on low heat. Adjust amounts of ingredients to personal preference.
  • Stir occasionally
  • Add pumpkin
  • Stir until all mixed
  • Add cinnamon and sliced banana!

 

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