Good Morning Fellow New Runners!
I have always been told I am someone who needs to drink a lot of water. I get headaches easily, feel extreme fatigue during the afternoon and yes, sweat a lot when I work out. The more I got into running, the harder it became to recover after a run. Especially from a long run. I would inevitably have to take a nap on Saturday and would almost always have a pounding headache at least once (usually more) during the week. I actually thought I would have to stop running as no matter what I did I could not stop the headaches and fatigue from coming.
Recently, I had an eight mile run, in the summer…in Florida, in which I did NOT get a headache after and I did NOT need a nap. In fact I felt fantastic the entire day! With summer upon us I am passing along what I did before, during and after that run in the hopes that some of you might find it helpful:
Hydrate the day before. Don’t know about you but on days I don’t run I’m not the best at making sure I drink lots of water. This time, I was. I drank plenty of water the day before (for me 12-14 8oz glasses is a sweet spot) and even downed a glass before my run.
Hydrate along the way: While in the winter I don’t usually take my hydration belt with me, the summer is a different animal. I made sure I had plenty of water and, much like a race, took a “water break” every mile.
Protein right after your run: No less than 10 minutes after completing my run, I had a cup of chocolate milk. There is a great article about using protein as a recovery tool here. If you are like me and never hungry after a run, but always thirsty, chocolate milk is a great choice. I have no doubt the protein really helped aid my recovery from the heat and intensity of the run. A spoonful of peanut butter, protein bar or protein shake are also great substitutes for chocolate milk if you aren’t a fan of milk (I’m assuming we are all fans of chocolate..am I right?)
Hydrate the entire day: Oh you better believe I had not one but two bottles of water with me the entire rest of the day. Actually one was full of water, the other with Advocare’s Rehydrate. I like Rehydrate better than Gatorade because it has more “good for you” amino acids without that sickly sweet taste (interested in purchasing your own package of rehydrate to give it a try? You can do so here). I would also recommend having Rehydrate the day before your long run or race.
Don’t forget the importance of sleep: As someone who struggles with frequent insomnia, this one is a toughie for me. It is hit or miss if I get a good nights sleep. I usually have a cup of Sleepytime or Sweet Dreams tea before bed and that usually helps. Try to go to bed the same time every night and do what you need to do to get some shut eye. An eye mask, soothing sounds, a fan. Whatever it takes.
I hope these tips help you have a fantastic long run and an even better rest of the day. Please let me know if they work for you (oh I would love to hear that!) and if you have any additional suggestions, please clue me in!!
Enjoy the Run!