Would you skip the last mile of every training run in your marathon or half marathon build-up?
You know that completing your training sessions (at least on the majority of your runs) is an essential component of your finish line dreams. If you want to improve your performance, you must improve your recovery; and that starts with nutrition.
In training, athletes put a lot of miles on their bodies. At least a few times a week, you may have less than 24 hours between the end of one training session and the beginning of another. To maximize this time and set yourself up for successful successive sessions, you need to capitalize on the “window of opportunity”.
In the early 2000s, “Bro Science” suggested if you weren’t drinking a protein shake while you were working out, you might as well have skipped the workout altogether. In reality, the anabolic (i.e. growth) window is open for a few hours after your workout; but, athletes are literally leaving training adaptations and fitness gains on the table if they don’t promptly refuel with even a small meal. This is especially true for female athletes.
Post-exercise refueling with carbohydrates and protein reduces cortisol which interrupts the catabolic nature of endurance sports (i.e. muscle tissue damage incurred during training). Once refueled, the body starts the repair process which enhances recovery and supports training adaptations.
Adopt the philosophy that the workout doesn’t end until you’ve started your recovery nutrition and you will find your body replenishes, rehydrates, and repairs better. This practice will lead to a higher quality training block which means increases in fitness and improvements in performance. Please see the graphic below for how you can incorporate best refueling practices into your training.
If you’d like more specific recommendations for your goals and needs, I am happy to help you develop a plan you can easily execute to maximize your training. Book today at ksc.health.