A great bit about getting back into sport is that you can eat and relax without the guilt because you’ve earned it. Eating and relaxation is a necessity that you need to plan just as much as your sessions. Ingalena Heuck gives us an insight into fuelling yourself correctly and recovering properly to ensure you stay #OneStepAhead.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
When you’re getting back into sport, drastically changing your diet can end up doing you more harm than good. Sticking with simple and familiar foods will give you an energy boost and replenish nutrients without upsetting your stomach. ‘Cooked oats, sweetened with some cinnamon, banana and honey is light and doesn’t cause stomach pain for me’ claims Ingalena Heuck ‘and it is full of good energy for a fabulous workout.’ Taking on high-protein, low fat, low-fibre foods prior to your run need not be anything too exotic and can be done simply, with minor adjustments to your existing diet.
TIME IT RIGHT
Getting that big boost of energy before your workout and keeping your stomach settled all comes down to what you eat and when; you’ll want to leave 30 minutes between your last snack and the start of your workout to digest the food. After exercise, there is a 20 minute window which is when your muscles are at their most absorbent, providing you with the perfect span to replenish and recharge your muscles. Post-run nutrition is dependent on the length and intensity of your training; ‘after a light session I’m fine with a protein drink. After a hard session I need carbs and protein, so I take a recovery drink or make myself a Banana milkshake or eat a Pretzel or milk rice’ says Ingalena. Timing your meals right gives you the best opportunity to fulfil your potential during exercise and induce the most effective recovery after.
We don’t mean hitting the wine here; despite your argument that a glass is a great way to unwind after a tough week of training. Instead, being properly hydrated will be much more effective for your comeback; it helps to control cravings and ensures you stay on track. Fluids help regulate body temperature, move waste from your body and generally keep you fit and healthy. Staying hydrated doesn’t mean guzzling a bottle of water just before heading out, it’s something to stay on top of throughout your day. Have a bottle of water with you at your desk or on your travels to keep sipping on and eat plenty of fruit and veg to keep hydrated. Ingalena uses protein drinks and milkshakes to assist with recovery as well as rehydration, the carbohydrate to protein ratio in milkshakes is particularly effective in replenishing your muscles.
RELAX & RECHARGE
Balancing your rest with the intensity of your workouts is a great way to ensure you stay injury-free and motivated. After tough workouts, balance your rest with either a strength session or a walk to take the strain off your legs. It’s important to keep moving and not to completely stop after exercising, ‘relaxing means to me also to do some light workout or even a walk in the nature’ explains Ingalena. If your workout wasn’t as intense, relaxing with a slow recovery run can be great for your legs to keep them moving. When you’re coming back to sport; by keeping moving will reduce any stiffness and fatigue, even if it is a walk or a slow run; Ingalena says how ‘too much chill out makes her tired when it comes to racing’.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
Caring for your body after a long break from sport is exceptionally important, doing too much and neglecting your rest will be detrimental to your performance and fitness. Get a massage or ‘use a foam roller to relax your muscles to prepare yourself for the next session’. Also making ‘small changes to your diet will keep your body in better conditions with more fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts’; the changes don’t need to be too drastic. Sleep is the final thing which Ingalena suggests to recharge properly, her favourite way to relax is ‘going to bed early and reading’ in order to properly switch off. You’ll come back fresher with the optimum amount of relaxation under your belt to smash your next workout.
For your recovery runs, the extremely lightweight Odlo LTTL Jacket for women is the perfect companion with an iPhone pocket and earphone loop, you can relax to music as you take some of the strain off of your body. Under the jacket, wear the SHAILA running t-shirt; designed to keep you cool and dry, you can relax in style. Finally, look after your legs with the SLIQ running tights. Their seamless construction makes them perfectly comfortable for when you put your feet up.
For men, get the TARANIS running shirt. With its windproof front panel and seamless construction, you can recover in comfort. The KANON shorts, with their built in tights, look after your legs, during and after your run, they have everything you need from an adjustable waist to zip pockets. The extra long RUNNING MUSCLE FORCE socks offer the best help for recovery for after your run. Their compression technology enhances blood flow to improve your recovery to get you back on top form.
Nutrition and relaxation needs to be a vital component of your training for your comeback to sport. Eating the right foods at the correct times, relaxing in appropriate ways and looking after your body will keep you motivated to keep you on the rise in your comeback to sport.