New Year’s Resolutions Light: Start 2019 with Joy

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Year after year… The year 2018 is about to end, 2019 is awaiting and everyone is shooting for the moon. People have their resolutions – fair enough. However, lots of them are unrealistic and almost impossible to achieve, which, eventually, only leads to frustration and despair. We therefore plead for less resolutions and more fun! We would here like to provide you with a couple of tips, which should spice up and facilitate your running routines without major effort. This should help you to switch focus to what you have achieved and to preserving it, instead of pursuing unrealistic goals. It is only as soon as you have managed this that you can go on to setting up new resolutions.

Run for fun

Due to all the planning, all our goals and stressful everyday lives, it is easy to forget why we run: for pleasure (at least, that’s what we hope)! Before training, try to consciously reflect on your personal motivation for running.

  • Is it moving out in nature and in the fresh air? Then enjoy it! Consciously breathe the air in and out, take in the surroundings in which you move and let the good feeling spread in your body.
  • Is it the tuning out of the stress in everyday life? When this everyday stress is especially present, we sometimes have trouble to switch it off. BUT: This is exactly when we need it the most! The time spent on running will be gone anyways, so, what’s the use in being concerned about time running away? Instead, try to consciously draw a line when tying your shoes and to tell yourself “this is a treat for myself”. We are convinced that, after this personal timeout, all the other stuff will be a bit easier, too.
  • Is it, after all, mostly knowing that it gets you closer to your goals? Then try to formulate that in a positive way: instead of always thinking where you want to go, you should also pat yourself on the back from time to time and look at how far you’ve come already.
  • Is it for other reasons? No matter what they are: keep reminding yourself of your personal motivation and formulate it positively, so that, even in 2018, you can say with conviction: I’ll keep on running!

Recovery

Even longer, even faster, even further… Runners have numerous goals. However, we often forget that progress only comes with recovery. We therefore encourage you to invest enough time in it. The following tips should help you with this:

Stretching

Yes, it is sometimes annoying if you have to take your time for stretching after training. I mean, really, you should do this and that, too. However, try to take your time for stretching 1-2x a week. It helps you to relax your muscles, to stay flexible and to recover more quickly. In our online running.COACH training plan, ideas for stretching exercises are displayed automatically. Here are two ideas, which may make it a bit easier for you:

  • Multitasking: You are desperate to check your Facebook and your Intagram, too? There is a journal article you have been wanting to read for a long time? One thing does not necessary exclude the other! There are a lot of stretching exercises which can be executed while reading or writing. Here you can find an example of such efficient stretching.
  • Music: You think it’s boring to just do stretching? Well then, spice it up with music! Compile your own playlist or listen to radio. Watching TV works, too, of course. For the jokers amongst you, we here have a refreshing example of a musical backdrop. (ATTENTION: For stretching after training, we normally recommend to keep the position for 20-30 seconds. More serious stretching tips can be found directly in our training plan.)

Blackroll

Another evergreen is the blackroll (or foam roller). It is used in order to massage and to unblock your muscular fascia. This can cause quite some pain at the beginning. However, you get used to the pain from time to time. In this video you can see how to use it the best way. Here, too, it might all become a lot more endurable with accompanying music or some other kind of entertainment. You don’t need to use it everyday! But aside from the 1-2x stretching, there would theoretically be around 1-2x a week left for the foam roller, wouldn’t there…? And if you fail to get used to the pain anyhow, then treat yourself with a massage from time to time. Pain gets more endurable if you don’t have to inflict it onto your body yourself.

Bath

Your muscles will thank you for it! Especially in winter, it can be nice to treat yourself with a warm bath after training, in order to get warm again. Okay, if you already have to cover stretching AND foam rolling, there is really no time for a bath. We understand that, of course. BUT: Just see it as a reward, which you give to yourself from time to time. For example, after an especially tough or an especially long session. You decide for yourself, how often this should be!

Running food

Running makes you hungry. Therefore, it is important that we always keep our energy storage well filled. What does well mean? For us, this means with wholesome, healthy and delicious food. However, in our everyday lives, it can be a challenge to find the time for coming up with new recipes all the time. We therefore recommend you the following:

  • Make a plan for the week! On the weekend, think about what you would like to eat the upcoming week. You don’t have to plan for each day, since this might possibly stress you too much. Pick the days on which you have the most time and plan certain running menus for those specific days. If you already know what you will be cooking later in the week, you can consider that in your shopping at the start of the week. These specific days for running food do not provide you with running food menus for a whole week, however, it should make it easier for you to get your own ideas. You could, for example, simply swap certain ingredients in a recipe with different ones and thereby create something new in no time.

You can find some ideas for recipes here:

Runner’s breakfast

Runner’s lunch

Runner’s dinner

Last but not least…

… stop comparing yourself to others! Your best friend runs at a lower average pace than you do? Your younger brother has started running later than you have, and still, he can already keep up with you? SO WHAT? There are always people who are faster than yourself. Except, maybe, if your name is Usain Bolt or Mo Farah. We can get inspired by those people, but we should not let ourselves get too wound up by it. Do you belong to the people who tend to start cursing themselves if someone runs past them? Then let us tell you: DON’T! Be proud of what you have achieved and focus on your own progress!

And now, we wish you the best possible start to 2019 and a Happy New Year! And don’t forget: Keep on running!

 

Starting the day with power – the runner’s breakfast

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In our series #RUNNINGFOOD we give you practical tips for runners’ meals; we’d like to start with a few breakfast inputs. Proteins, carbohydrates and good fatty acids: a good breakfast includes all three main nutrients. Depending on the goal, point of time and taste, you can choose your favourite version. 

Two categories, two priorities

Breakfast is the most important meal oft the day. Thus, you should not skip it. It has even been shown in studies that people who skip breakfast eat more during the day than people who had had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Breakfast haters could for example prepare a shake instead.

High-protein breakfast

A high-protein start of the day keeps you full in the long run and covers a good share of the daily protein requirements. Those versions are appropriate on rest days or after a run. Combine them with whole grain bread or cooked potatoes.

Breakfast shake

Ingredients:

150 g lowfat quark

100 ml milk/ soy milk/ natural joghurt

1 banana

100 g fresh or frozen berries, ex. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

1 teaspoon of cocoa

3 tablespoons of oatmeal

1 tablespoon of flaxseed

2 teaspoons of chia seeds

Optionally: agave syrup to sweeten the shake and/or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preparation:

Put the chia seeds and flaxseed into a glass, add triple the amount hot water, let it rest for 10min. Then, put all ingredients into a mixer, mix – done!

 

Mediterranean scrambled eggs

Ingredients:

2 eggs

a little bit of milk

½ onion

½ zucchini

50 g feta cheese

a handful of fresh herbs, like rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, basil

sea salt, pepper

a bit of butter

Preparation:

Whisk the eggs with some of the milk. Chop up the onion and the zucchini. Heat up some butter in a pan. Brown the onion and the zucchini and then pour the egg/milk blend over it. Add the feta cheese. Season with the herbs, salt and pepper. Let it thicken at a low temperature. Turn over with a spatula and let it brown a little on both sides. Serve with a bit of whole grain bread, if required.

 

Breakfast quark base mixture

(can be prepared for several portions and then stored in the fridge)

Ingredients:

500 g lowfat quark

500 g natural joghurt, 1.5%

200 g grainy cream cheese

½ TL teaspoon of fresh vanilla powder

agave syrup to sweeten, if required

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients, sweeten if required and store in a bowl or jar in the fridge.

For a delicious breakfast, jazz up this blend with fresh fruit and grains/seeds, ex.

* flexseed

* pumpkin seeds

* hempseed

* buckwheat

* chia seeds

* almonds

* oatmeal

Carbo breakfast

Before a competition or an exhausting day: With carbohydrates you can start the day fully loaded. Before a competition or an intense training session, you should reduce the proteins or skip them completely, as they can cause an upset stomach. Porridge or bread with butter and honey are ideal in those cases. Either is a good choice, everyone has to decide for themselves which one they prefer. In all other cases, however, a combination out of carbohydrates and proteins is recommended, as it keeps you full longer. Furthermore, proteins provide you with an important dosis of amino acids needed for recovery and muscle building.

Porridge

Ingredients for 1 portion:

200 ml milk (or half milk/ half water)

ca. 50 g oatmeal

one pinch of salt

1 piece of fruit

Optionally: cinnamon, honey

Preparation:

Pour the milk into a pot, add the oatmeal, make it cook. Add a pinch of salt. Let it simmer for a little while, jazz it up with a piece of fruit of your choice, and a little cinnemon or honey, if required.

 

Spelt semolina with glazed apples and natural joghurt

Ingredients for 4 portions:

500 ml Spelt drink or milk

125 g Spelt/whole grain semolina or wholemeal spelt flour

2 tablespoons of cocoa

30-50 g agave syrup

2 pinches of vanille powder

2 apples chopped up in thin slices

2 tablespoons of raisins

2 tablespoons of chipped almonds

2 tablespoons of honey

Optionally: 2 tablespoons of cinnamon

500 g joghurt or soy joghurt (unsweetened)

Preparation:

Make the spelt drink boil in a pot. Add the semolina and the cocoa, stir with a whisk. Add the vanilla powder and sweeten with the agave syrup, if required.

Heat up some water in a pan. Sauté the apple slices in the pan for a little while. As soon as the water has evaporated a bit, add the raisins, almonds and honey and brown the mixture. Put it on top of the prepared semolina, add the natural joghurt to finish off with.

 

Whole grain bread with grainy cream cheese

Ingredients:

2 slices of whole grain bread (spelt or rye)

200 g grainy cream cheese

6 basil leaves

fresh chives

2 tomatoes

4 slices of cucumber

salt and pepper

Preparation:

Spice up the grainy cream cheese with salt, pepper and finely chopped herbs. Spread it on the bread, add cucumber and tomato on top.

This blog entry was written by Ingalena Schömburg-Heuck, running.COACH Gold prescription coach, sports scientist and German champion (2010) in half marathon.