Monday 18 December 2017

Four great meal plans for runners

Food for thought.

When training for an event like the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, you have to make sure you are eating right to get the most out of your training. If you don’t get enough of the right kind of food after a heavy session, you will feel tired and your muscles won’t recover in time for your next run.

We have all heard about the importance of protein after exercise and eating enough carbs to give you energy for your next run but how exactly can you translate all this advice into healthy and tasty meals?

With the help of some recipes created especially for participants of the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon by David Gillick, here are four meal plans for different sessions and even one for race day:

Rest day

When you are taking a rest day to recover after a heavy training session, it is tempting to cheat on your healthy eating and order in a takeaway to eat in front of the TV. Rest days are very important for physical recovery so you need to continue to choose healthy protein rich options while eating less carbohydrates.

For breakfast, whip up some scrambled eggs with feta and spinach. Your rest day is the perfect day for a simple salad. Make it before work and bring it in with you in a lunchbox. Stuck for salad ideas? Make a nicoise bean salad – you will be the envy of all your colleagues. At dinner time, opt for beef and butternut squash. If you have a hectic schedule, you could even adapt this recipe for a slow-cooker then your dinner would be ready when you come in the door!

Light training day

Training for a 10k is all about getting the balance right. Alternating long training sessions like a 10k run with lighter sessions like a brisk walk in the evening will have you race ready for June 5th. Even for a light training session, you will need to have plenty of energy so you will need both carbohydrates and protein. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

In the morning, blitz up all your favourite fruit and vegetables into a quick and easy smoothie. David Gillick has come up with great smoothie recipes here. For lunch, a salad with some pasta or pulses is a great option. Get fancy with a beetroot, avocado and quinoa salad which is full of protein and is surprisingly filling. The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon marks the start of the summer and with all the good weather we’ve been having, it is time to fire up the barbecue. As well as traditional BBQ fare like burgers, make up some salmon and prawn skewers for a tasty and light evening meal.

Heavy training day

To reach the 10k goal of the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, you need to be doing heavy training sessions at least twice a week if you want to run the race on June 5th. Even if this is your first time doing exercise consistently, you might find some of the longer walks and jogging routes tough. To be ready for a long walk or run, you need to have filled up on the right fuel.

An old favourite like porridge is a great breakfast for a training day. Throw in some fruit and seeds to make your breakfast more substantial. Starting off your day with porridge will leave you full until lunchtime. When you have a long run planned in the evening, meal prep is key. Make up a lunch the night before and bring it into work the next day. We recommend pesto chicken pasta which is a great source of protein and carbohydrates. Then make sure to have something ready for when you come in from your run that is high in protein to aid recovery like turkey meatballs.

Race day ready

Vhi Fitness Support, Louise Heraghty always advises participants to stick to their routine on race day, especially when it comes to food. If you are travelling up to Dublin for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, you might forget about bringing your breakfast along and just eat what they have in the hotel. This could leave you feeling tired and too full before the event. Pack your normal breakfast and eat it before you head over to Fitzwilliam Square for the start of the race.

If you are feeling a bit peckish, a banana is a great pre-run snack and is full of potassium or make up some protein balls to bring along with you for before the race starts. Make sure to fill up on water the day before the event so you are properly hydrated come race day.

Chat with Vee, Vhi’s running chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Whether you’re looking to start running, or for motivation to keep running, Vee is full of tips, recipes and information to help you on your running journey!

For further information on the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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