Cardio and Nutrition

Friday morning workouts are a little less intense. Cardio only goes for about 30 minutes, followed by 20 minutes with a nutrition expert at LifeTme who analyzes our meal plans for the last week and then offers advice on substitutions and healthier eating habits. I usually learn something every Friday from Ilysia which is cool.

Today was the first time I worked under the new 'plan' from Meghan where I get to run more. She put us through the paces! We did a lot with the hand weights and resistance bands while walking at 3.3mph at a 6% incline. We even got in about 20 push-ups. But whenever the inclines increased to 8% or more, I did my running instead (at a 2% incline though). I picked 4.4 for my speed on these 2 minute runs and that felt pretty good to me. I only ran a total of 1.6 miles today but it was a good beginning given the abbreviated workout time.

Nutrition's Role in Exercise

The topic for today was Meals for Pre and Post Workouts -- the Dos and Donts. This was a good session. Taking in about 20g of carbs and 5g of protein no more than 10 minutes before working out will spike your blood sugar (which raises the insulin level in the blood and keeps the blood sugar levels from crashing). Low blood sugar levels during workouts cause the body to find other fuel sources -- in protein and muscle -- rather than from fat.

I also learned that after a workout, it is best to replenish the body within 30-45 minutes (the sooner the better). Otherwise, the body's stress response has a negative effect on recovery. It is best NOT to have a meal with fat and whole foods right away because they actually reduce the absorption time of protein and carbs. So if you have a protein shake, for example, don't also have a breakfast wrap or something like that.

Drink the protein shake (which should have 30g fruit and/or maltodextrin and 21g of whey protein in it) and then wait about 45 minutes before eating anything else more substantial to ensure the body absorbs the shake's nutrients as thoroughly as possible. I used to have a shake with protein, milk, bananas, and peanut butter. But Ilysia said for post-workout recovery, no peanut butter because of its fat content. Instead just add another fruit to it for maximum benefit. Hmmm.. good to know!

I picked me up some Da Vinci Whey Protein so that I can make protein shakes at home when I run during the weekends. Milk/Water, bananas, strawberries, and a scoop of the protein (31g), and I am good-to-go!

On a side note: my trainer Meghan is going to be doing the IronMan in the next few months. Wow! I am so impressed! I know she and her hubby are going to do well. (That is one event which is NOT one of my goals. Lol). I am, however, considering a 10K Run in Naperville this August...


is running a 5K each month too much?

So I thought I was pretty much done with scheduled runs this year. I mean really, I am a new runner so I need to take care not to overdo it, avoid overtraining, and pace myself as I slowly build up my stamina, endurance, and allow my body to adjust to this whole running thing.

So how many runs should I take on this year? Is there a general guideline as to how much time there should be between run events? Anyone who is reading this is encouraged to enlighten this newbie! :)

Before this morning, I was scheduled to do the following 5K runs:

  • Weight Watchers 5K Walkit in May
  • LifeTme Challenge 5K in July
  • AIDS Chicago 5K in October

    I was cool with that. But then this morning I saw two other runs that peaked my curiosity. One was the Rock-n-Roll TuneUp 5K in Chicago at Montrose Harbor on June 19th. This is a Chip Timed Event -- my first one of those. There will be entertainment and the route should be scenic and fun. And since I am probably running their Half Marathon event next summer with my friend Beth, I figured why not run their 5K! So I am signed up for it. Anyone else want to join me? Let me know! More info can be found here.

    The other was a "running cruise". I had never heard of such a thing. But John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield are organizing two -- one to Alaska and one to the Caribbean -- and they look like a lot of fun. Not to mention the idea of running in a totally different location where there would be so much to see! Four runs totaling 26.2K plus all the other cool stuff that comes along with being on a cruise. More info can be found at Like No Marathon on Earth. I have not signed up for this yet but I am so tempted....