Welcome back everybody. Make sure you read Part I before you read Part II, that way you know what is being discussed. So here we go...it has been a long day and you are beat! What do you do and what is your body telling you? I believe that many who decide to work out/train after a long day at work will face several obstacles. They will more likely cut their workout short because of the demands they have in the home (chores, children, children's activities, etc) or the tempting happy hour invite from coworkers and friends. Another obstacle is intensity and what comes with intensity are results. Studies show that people are more likely to be intense with their workouts in the morning before work or on weekends to those who workout after a long day at work. And the last obstacle and the one I will be giving you advice on is mental fatigue.
The problem with mental fatigue is that it lowers dopamine, a brain chemical that makes you feel energized. Plus, did you know that blood sugar dips again between 5 and 7 p.m. Now be careful...don't confuse mental fatigue with physical fatigue. Researchers from Bangor University in Wales report that short-term mental fatigue doesn't impact the physical function. So it's your mind-not your body-that craves downtime after a long day. Your perfect antidote to this roadblock is running. "Running elevates your nervous system, which increases your sense of alertness," Moffitt says. Resist the urge to skip your run by doing the little things...pack your gear and put it in the car the night before, change at work, and go directly to the gym or trail. And don't forget a little snack before you run, that will help keep your energy up.
Here are some pre-run meals that fuel you up but don't weigh you down:
*Chocolate Oatmeal- cook 1/4 cup one-minute oatmeal, mix with 1/4 cup strawberries (contain compounds that help reduce inflammation).Top with one tablespoon of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate chips.
*"Baked Apple"-Core an apple. Drizzle with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Microwave for four minutes. Fill with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Bear Naked Peak Protein granola, which has more protein that most.
*Cinnamon Jam Toast- Toast a slice of whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread. Top with one tablespoon of mascarpone cheese (which will hold off hunger) and blackberry jam (which provides quick-digesting carbs).
Hope you find these tips useful and try one of these pre-run meals to see how much energy you have. And with energy comes a successful run. Keep up the good work and keep pushing. REMEMBER, YOU DO HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED....FIRESTAR!
Runner's World. March 2010. Pgs. 37, 43.