🌿”If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see.” Unknown🌿

 

If someone had asked me about running five years ago I would have laughed in their face.  “ Why the heck would you want to run when you have a car,” would have been my response.

Fast forward five years and I would reply, “I run  for two reasons; I like to eat and I love endorphins (okay and abs too)!”  There is this feeling after an hour long run where you just feel invincible.  No matter what happened in your life, it all goes away and there is a calmness that takes over.

 

Have you ever noticed that when you begin to run you feel super heavy?  Almost as if there are weights in your shoes, and you just can’t seem to kick your breathing into gear.  Here are few tricks to get you past this:

 

1. Remember that running is a mental game.  I played tennis at my university years ago.  When we trained, we did a lot of sprints and interval training as tennis is a game of quick movements and short burst of energy.  One day, I decided I wanted to see if I could push myself into a different level of training.  Being the uneducated genius that I was, I got on a treadmill and ran for two hours straight! Imagine how amazing I felt!  The next day I stepped out of bed and collapsed to the floor. To this day, I thank my lucky stars I didn’t cause any permanent damage.  The point of this story is that because I collapsed (not a normal side effect of running) my body was 100% untrained to run long distances, let alone for 2 hours straight (basically a half-marathon).  The only thing that allowed me to run on an untrained body was my ability to mentally push my way through it.

 

2. No matter what, keep running until you get your second wind.  This probably sounds easy if you’re a runner or foreign if you don’t know what a second wind or runners high is.  Keeping things simple, when you run, there is a point maybe 15 minutes to 45 minutes into a run where you think you may actually die!  Usually it hits me at around 30 minutes into my run, and I feel like I have no willpower whatsoever and the only thing I want to do is go back to bed and have a big bowl of chocolate ice cream (I am a huge chocolate fan if you didn’t already know 🙂 .  If you are able to push past this, most likely you will experience a runners high or endorphins.  When your able to achieve this, you get a second wind.  Essentially, it feels as if you’re not running at all.  Your breathing is steady, you could run for hours, and your body goes into an extremely calm and effortless state. It’s quite amazing!

 

3.  Eat before a run.  Okay I know there is a lot controversy here, so I will begin by saying this is my personal opinion that has been backed up by a lot of research.  In order for your body to exert energy in a high intensity workout, it needs some kind of fuel.  When you work out in the morning like I do, you wake up with your blood sugar level very low.  In order to raise this and not experience dizziness or  sluggishness, you MUST eat.  A banana, with its natural sugar and carbs, is a perfect short workout snack.  For a longer run, you will need a good source of carbs.  Carbs in the body store as glycogen.  This glycogen is a runners source of energy.  That’s why before a big race, you will hear runners saying that they are carb-loading or simply put, storing extra energy.  As you run, the glycogen (energy) is released.

Another favorite snack of mine are these Banana muffins! Sometimes I add chocolate chips, sometimes just nuts, but I feel like they are perfectly balanced to fuel my runs. Also, what’s not to love about them. Look at those ingredients!

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (NOTE: Paleo/Dairy-Free: Use Njoy Life or any other paleo (dairy-free) friendly brand. For gluten-free lovers only, other brands are acceptable.)

Recipe

Mix the DRY into the WET ingredients until just combined. For mini muffins, scoop into tins and bake at 375F/190C for 12-14 minutes. For large muffins, adjust baking time accordingly. (As this is a wet batter, a loaf pan is not recommended.)

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