BY: Theodore Strange
ON THE RUN
Welcome back to the second week of training for the Staten Island Advance’s Memorial Day Run. Congratulations to all those who made it through week one.
Today, we’re going to talk about nutrition for beginning runners — specifically what foods to eat and what to avoid prior to your run. Depending on the type of foods you consume, you may set yourself up for gastrointestinal distress or diarrhea.
High-carb, low-fat and low-fiber foods are easy to digest, and give you a boost of energy prior to your run. Try a piece of fruit — such as a cup of cantaloupe, peach, plum or apricot — with cottage cheese/low-fat yogurt or half a plain bagel with peanut butter. This should be consumed about an hour before running and washed down with a 6-ounce glass of water.
Go easy on fats and protein prior to lacing up; these foods break down slowly in your digestive system and can lead to an upset stomach. Additionally, stay away from cheeses, milk products and fatty meats like bacon.
At this early point in training, you’re not burning a ton of calories and don’t need to eat a lot before a run. But if your body feels like it’s running on empty, it may be a sign that your carbohydrate levels are too low. If that’s the case, you may need to adjust your portion size.
Now, let’s fuel up for this week’s workout.
Monday: Walk five minutes (warm-up), run two minutes followed by walking one minute. Repeat this run/walk sequence nine more times; finish with a five minute walk (cool down).
Tuesday: Walk for 35 minutes at a comfortable yet brisk pace.
Wednesday: Walk five minutes (warm-up), run three minutes followed by walking one minute. Repeat this run/walk sequence seven more times; finish with a five minute walk (cool down).
Thursday: Repeat Tuesday’s workout.
Friday: Repeat Wednesday’s workout.
Saturday: Walk five minutes (warm-up), run four minutes followed by walking one minute. Repeat this run/walk sequence six more times; finish with a five minute walk (cool down).
Sunday: Rest or walk 35 minutes (your choice).
Next week, I’ll talk about the importance of staying hydrated while running. I’ll also roll out week three’s training program.
Dr. Theodore Strange is the associate chair of medicine and vice president of medical operations at Staten Island University Hospital South. The hospital is a corporate sponsor and partner with the Advance for the Memorial Day Run. Both organizations encourage Islanders to get in shape and run the race on May 28.