5 kick-ass foods I switched to for my marathons

Training for a marathon isn’t just about putting on your running shoes and logging up the miles, there’s more to it than that and one of those factors is your diet. Team up your training with a healthy diet and you’ll be an unstoppable beast, get it wrong and you might fade away mid-way.

So in case you’re wondering which foods are ideal, here are 5 that you need to put into the shopping cart right away.

Quinoa

Time dump out the brown rice and bring in more quinoa. Though it seems like a grain it’s actually a seed and comes with all the important 9 amino acids and proteins. 1 bowl of quinoa contains 8-10 g of proteins and 5-6 g of fiber which helps regulate cholesterol levels in the body.

It’s also an excellent source of minerals such as manganese and copper that help lower cancer risk and maintain bone health. Season it with some salt, pepper along with some veggies for the perfect dinner.

quinoa

 

Watermelon

Though mostly a summer fruit, watermelons are a must and for a good reason. This ideal evening snack is rich in vitamin C and is the perfect food to stay in shape especially when training hard. Apart from that it keeps you hydrated.

Grab a bowl of watermelon either pre or post your run to get a boost of carbs and water. Make sure the watermelon is ripe Look for a yellow or cream spot on the ground and a thud when knocked.

Greek Yogurt

When it comes to yogurts consider Greek Yogurt the king especially if you’re looking for a high protein food. Every ounce contains around 18-20 g of proteins. Apart from that it’s rich in calcium, potassium, zinc and vitamin B6 and B12 that maintain bone strength and improve immunity

As compared to other yogurts this one contains lower amounts of lactose. Using Greek yogurt as a topping on cereals, fruits etc. provides the perfect blend of protein and fiber needed 2-3 hours before your training.

greek yogurt

Wild Salmon

As for fish the salmon remains the most sought after variety not just due to its awesome flavor but its high protein and healthy fat content too. Every ounce of salmon comes with 7-10 g of protein, saturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids as well.

Apart from that the EPA and DHA in the fish fight off inflammation, provide proper fueling through fat which in turns helps run faster and longer and also lowers recovery period. Some varieties of salmon’s like wild salmon are also rich in omega 6.

 

Oat Bran

For a high dose of fiber oat bran is the perfect breakfast meal. It will fuel you up; provide important nutrients and also eliminate toxins. As compared to other oats it contains 45-50% more soluble fiber thus making it a better cholesterol regulating agent.

It also has a higher content of proteins and vitamins and keeps you full for longer periods. You can also use it for pancakes, muffins etc.

Want to ride faster? Here are 5 things triathletes should do

The most difficult part of any triathlon is cycling as it can set the tone for either a sluggish or a quick finish and thus it is essential you are quick but focusing on all aspects can often be tough.

So when it comes to cycling it’s time to step into the boots of a cyclists and train like one and here are 5 tips to help you with it.

Ride with groups

For beginners this might be a quite challenge. Riding with groups can often be intimidating especially when you’re low on confidence but being in a group is often the best way to improve your skills, gain confidence and get faster in a short period. Also, make sure you get a good road bike designed specially for triathlons.

Ease into your group rides. Aim for one group ride per week and build on. These rides are more effective because you are constantly challenged, get fitter and also ride at different speeds.group cycling

Let not the winters stop you

The snowy winters are no reason to sit back at home and not ride. While I agree the conditions are tough being consistent remains important to maintain strength and improve further. Cycling indoors is an equally acceptable training method.

For those training outdoors I would recommend you look for 1-2 rides every week of about 2-3 hours and rest of the days train indoors for about 20-25 minutes.

Ride uphill

Irrespective of whether your race includes hills or not making hill training a part of your training regime can benefit greatly. Not only do you get faster but you also tend to generate more power as going uphill requires you to pedal at low cadence.

Apart from that handling also improves since you’ll have to decent at fast speeds and lastly it also has a positive impact on your cardio health making you fitter and stronger. Here are some tips to climb like a pro.

 

Improve your technique

Though cycling is not as technical as swimming to get your handling, braking, pedal stroke etc. right you still need to train hard. To get your pedal stroke right here’s what you need to watch out for.

To produce extra power while at the top of the stroke you need to bring in your hamstrings and glutes rather than depending on just the quads and for that you need to drop the heel and while at the bottom simply keep your toe pointed downwards.

Get a power meter

Cycling is all about knowing to pace oneself and one tool I found quite useful for it is the power meter. These have become hugely popular among cyclists and have become affordable over the years.

Earlier experts relied on heart rate to measure the work rate which was highly inaccurate as your heart rate can rise due to various reasons. These power meters provide accurate results thus helping you train better.

power meter

5 ridiculous trail running shoe myths debunked

trail shoes

Looking to get the best possible deal on your new trail running shoes? Well then avoid falling for bad advice and to ensure that today I am going to talk to you about the 5 common myths surrounding trail running shoes and why they aren’t true.

Get the best shoe

We get loads of questions every day asking us about the best trail running shoes to get this year but guess what, there isn’t one. Getting the right shoe isn’t that easy.

These shoes are designed uniquely to suite different types of feet, arches, running styles etc. thus providing ratings are a complicated and highly inefficient affair.

The best trail running shoe is a matter of personal choice. Get a shoe that you feel comfortable running in rather than the one recommended highly by a friend.

Stick to a brand

How many of your trail buddies tell you they prefer only Nike, Adidas or New Balance for their trail runs? Well truth be told the brand name hardly gives any info about the shoe and companies come up with new specs, lasts, designs etc. every year.

So what fit you this year might not be perfect the next. Hence sticking to one brand can prove counterproductive. You need to get shoes based on their individual attributes and your comfort rather than the brand name.

Always get a specific shoe type

Do you overpronate? Have you been told to stick to a specific shoe design? Firstly it’s a shoe and not a medical prescription so stop carrying it around. There are factors such as your weight, muscle strength, balance, speed etc. that change with time hence the original prescription might prove inaccurate.

According to research the only prescription detail you need is comfort. If they feel right on the run then that’s the best shoe. It’s a personal choice and you need to keep experimenting as your attributes develop.

You need just one pair

Yes you should have one girlfriend but one trail running shoe? Not a good idea. Trail running requires you to run over rough, rocky terrain and the brunt of it is faced by your shoes thus having only one pair might be inviting trouble.

You can have the same models but I would suggest you change as it lowers injury risk. That’s because a different model changes the way your feet interact with the ground and your stride thus diefferent muscles get stronger.

To make your job easier, BodyGearGuide reviewed the top trail running shoes for 2016.

Shoes make you quicker

One of the oldest and most common myths about any type of running shoe is that they make you faster. Well that’s true if you’re buying shoes with jets fit in but my guess is you’re not.

Truth is, running shoes keep you safe and comfortable and reduce stress. Speed on the other hand comes from your muscles, heart and lungs which improve depending on your training and consistency.

 Here’s a guide to help you choose the right shoes

5 Golden rules of marathon training for beginners

Marathon2

While a marathon seems long and hard the journey to it is longer and even harder and requires loads of time, sweat and motivation but once you are committed to it I see no reason to back down.

Yes it is a challenge both mentally and physically like never before but being guided right can be a huge boost. So today we have put together a list of 5 golden rules of marathon training every beginner must follow to achieve their goals.

Plan right

Every athlete whether a beginner or pro knows the importance of having a plan or strategy in place and that’s the first thing any good trainer is going to talk to you about too. Keep your training goal oriented and focus on your weaknesses, speed, strength etc.

Without a proper strategy you’ll end either running too intensely too early or run too much resulting in fatigue or a serious injury leading to inconsistency.

Take it easy

Another important part of your planning will be the recovery days and on these days make sure you focus on just recovery. Avoid using up these days to train harder, improve fitness etc. Your muscles need time to heal from the stress and daily wear and tear.

Lack of recovery time can cause aching and fatigued legs in turn resulting in an average performance and training session. Use such days to mentally prepare yourself for the upcoming days and more importantly relax.

Train hard on other days

Like your recovery days your workout and training days should solely focus on those objectives. For example if your objective for today is a  4 mile run make sure you pace yourself to last the entire 4 miles rather than 2 or 3 or even 5 -6 miles.

An ideal run is where you have nothing left in the tank by the end of it and for that it’s important to not carry over any fatigue or injuries from the previous training days.

Get your daily dose of sleep

sleep

Yes life is tough to manage at times. There’s work, family friends and then even training but staying up late to manage it only undermines your efforts.  Beginners usually take sleep for granted but ask any expert and they’ll tell it’s as crucial as your training itself.

Intense running breaks muscles down which only a good diet and sleep can repair. Make sure you sleep for 7-8 hours even if it means comprising with training. Though it lowers volume you will train more efficiently.

Get your diet right

Like I mentioned above your diet plays an important role for both performance and recovery. Yes you run, workout etc. but avoiding refined and processed foods still holds key. The ideal time to have them is an hour before or after your exercise.

This will help avoid surge in sugar levels and lower fat storage and also leave you enough room for a nutrient and protein rich diet.