Help! Tips On Fitting in Fitness/Running

There are so many reasons why “life can get in the way” of our own fitness/running goals.  Have you heard these comments, or perhaps even said them yourself?

    • I’m too busy, I just do not have time
    • My kids are to young, it’s difficult with them around
    • I can’t afford a gym membership
    • my spouse/partner is not supportive of my goals
    • I’m a single parent and do not have any support

 

As mentioned in my previous post, we all have 24hrs in a day.  However, we all live very different lives mostly.  So how can we balance our lives in order to achieve our goals.  First up, know what your goal is.  Do you want to workout 3x/week?  Do you want to learn to run? Run a goal race?  Know your goal and then write it down.

For myself, I tend to look at seasons and I’m about to enter a slightly more relaxed season but I do not want to lose my consistency with running, my base.  However, I will be adding in home workouts for variety and strength training.  I highlight any races coming up with purple, my running days get highlighted in orange and the rest just get marked on the calendar.  This is my “plan”, but if I have to adjust I just change it on the calendar 🙂  We cannot always control our lives, but making “appointments” for ourselves helps us to intend to get them done!

FullSizeRenderAs you can see, I have 3 races in October and two marathons!  So I’m actually slowing down with my running to get ready for those bigger races.  However, I still want to be working out, more yoga/piyo and some running.

There are a number of challenges we are faced with as mentioned above.  I’ve chatted with a number of people about this topic.  Some ride/run to work, others get it done over their lunch hour, or hit the gym on the way home from work.  Some single parents put their heavy workout schedule on the week their ex has the children.  The challenges are real, here are few more tips:

Ray shares: (Adventure Runner; both parents running long distances)

It’s about recognizing that you both have goals.  Respecting each other and stepping in where you need to, in order to make it happen.  Getting the runs in where ever they fit in for that day.  Sometimes that means an exceptionally early run, running when the girls are at school or one parent prepping dinner, hanging with the girls while the other gets a run in.  Whatever works!  Working together as a team!

Find our more about Ray and follow his blog.

Noel writes: (new dad) 

What I find tough is finding time to run and trying to adjust to à new way of life.

So far I have switched to running at lunch and after work (run home) so when I arrive at home I am ready for daddy duties. On the weekends I now run when I can, not always when I want to lol. Now that Morgane  is 4-months old I have just started running with her in the stroller and this allows me to run with my daughter but also give mom à break at the same time.

As an uber new dad, I have been able to train and got quite fit but dad duties, family stress with new baby and adapting to everything made races almost impossible. I ran one 5k and had to bail on planned fall marathon. BUT happy, have great family and still running.

I think there is always a way to find time to run, but its about being flexible, adapting to à new lifestyle and defining your priorities and determining your goals and what is important to you.

Find out more about Noel and follow his blog

Brent writes: (Brent and his wife are new runners)

Having two boys 5 and 7 it’s a bit more of a challenge for us but a good jogging stroller and two tablets keep them happy for an hour or so. Most of the time my wife goes for a run at 6pm when I get home from work and I go at 9pm when the kids are asleep. We have had the luxury of my mother in law being available to watch the kids for us to do  full day events. 

Laurie Ann writes:  (Author, Mom and Outdoor Adventurer)

Parenting and fitness is a tag-team, juggling event in our household. During the weekdays I am often like a single Mom with Bryan’s travel schedule. I have Fridays off so during the school year I am able to hit the gym with a friend and now that my son is old enough he can watch my daughter from time to time. Bryan and I also take turns plus we do fit things that include the kids. After all, they need to keep moving too. When my daughter was little we used the running stroller and a bike trailer. When our son was 11 or 12 he’d cycle back and forth on the trail while I ran or he’d run with one of us. When he wasn’t old enough to babysit on his own he’d watch a movie with my daughter in the same room as my treadmill and I’d run with them in view. When Bryan and I would run at the track I’d start my run and then he’d show up later with the kids. They’d run with us for a bit and then we’d walk while Bry finished his run.

Oh and with the stroller… a MEC Newt Suit is indispensable. Kaia would sit in her stroller and even in the worst weather that one piece rain suit would keep her toasty dry.

Find out more about Laurie and follow her blog

Liette writes: (both parents running)

Challenges? Getting homework done is my number one (why so much, whyyyy??!!). My number 2 would be getting the laundry, groceries and any other household task done that I can’t accomplish during the week. Especially when the Sunday distances are long. Sometimes, it’s 2 o’clock by the time I’m cleaned up and fed. That reduces my weekends to just under 1.5 days.

So how do we manage? Barely. LOL! I do the bulk of my running during the lunch hour. He runs after work while I get dinner on the table. He cleans up my mess while I do homework with the little one and make sure the teenager is on top of his workload. We tag team the chores on the weekend. And meal planning is key! If I’m lucky, I can get a pot of soup, sauce or chill on the go Sunday afternoon so weeknight dinners are easier.

Jennifer writes: (mom and business owner)

It is super hard to make time for fitness as a mom of little ones. I only started when my youngest was 2yrs old, prior to that I just couldn’t get it together! But once my little one was in daycare it gave me much more time freedom. As soon as I started I became happier and much more productive in all areas of life. I realized that fitness/running/being outdoors gave me time to be alone, focus on my dreams and goals and in turn be a better mom and wife. It really changed my life.

In terms of time management, I only work out Monday to Friday so that my weekends are free to spend time with the kids. School/daycare are my saviors! 

Find out more about Jennifer and follower her blog.

Cathy writes: (mom of fur babies)

My hubby and I don’t have kids, but we are joint owners of a small business and our needy 3 dogs (one very senior, 2 rescues with separation anxiety).  For me, I have a very understanding husband who knows how important running is to me.  He is willing to ‘hold down the fort’ for my long run on Saturday.  I do the same on Sunday but for him it is so he can work.  During the week, I combine my run, walk or cycle with my commute to work.  So I do arrive to work later than he does (he drives and brings the doggies) but again, he is very understanding and the amount of time for this varies depending on the season/closeness to a race.

Find out more about Cathy and follow her blog.

So as you can see, regardless of who you are, what challenges you have, what you do for a living or the goals you set for yourself, if you want something bad enough you’ll figure out a way to make it work.  It’s often not easy, sacrifices often need to be made but you can figure out what can work for you.  The key is to know what you want to accomplish, set a goal and then work towards achieving that goal.

my daughter keeping me company on the bike path

my daughter keeping me company on the bike path

Getting fit can also be done with your family.  Planned hikes, workouts at the park, kids riding alongside you as you run.  Be creative, have fun and find what you love to do!

Lastly, for those that find that they cannot afford a gym membership or that they struggle with getting to the gym at the times available for group classes, here are a few of my favourite home workouts.

PiYo (great for body strength exercises and a fantastic workout compliment workout for runners).

21 Day Fix (focuses on portion control with your diet and has a great mix of workouts to jump start anyone looking for a great workout).

I have a ton of dvd’s I rotate through but I seem to come back to these two often.

Do you have a tip on how you fit in your workouts/running with a busy life?  I’d love to hear about it!

Head, Heart and Foot Training for Your Next Race

racedayIf you have ever trained for a race then you know it’s so much more than just putting miles in.  Depending on the distance you are training for, it can also require you to be mentally ready.  There is a quote that I love. “Run the first two-thirds of the race with your head and the last third with your heart.” – Unknown

When I was training for my first marathon I was told to expect to run 2 races. The first 32 km’s and the final 10 km’s.  Sometime during the race it becomes about what you want. You draw from the countless hours of training, you reach down deep within you to draw the strength that you need to complete it.  It is no longer just physical, you need your mind (right thinking) and heart (the will) to get through.

Every race distance requires preparation, and I believe to prepare you need to set some goals.  Is it a specific time you want to come in under?  Are you running it with friends and just for fun?  Are you doing a new distance and just want to complete it upright and smiling?  The first step is to decide what you want to achieve from the race you just signed up for.

Then, get a schedule.  Whether you join a run clinic, pick up a good book or find a schedule online, you need to plan for it.  My favourite race distance is the marathon.  It’s a 16 week schedule, running 4-5 times a week.  I’m pretty consistent and usually run 5 days a week with Mondays and Fridays off.  My long run is on the weekend and I add to the distance every week.

It’s not enough to have a schedule, though. You need to make a commitment to stick to the schedule.  Sometimes you have to plan life around your runs, or plan your run around your life but if you do not put a priority on your training runs, life does get in the way.  You have to decide it is important.  I am blessed to have my family’s full support.  Once you start training for a half-marathon or marathon the time commitment can be taxing for some.  For some people, getting up in the morning before their families are awake is the best time to get a run in.  Others do it on their lunch hours.  The long run can be the most challenging as you can be out running for hours!  The key is figuring out what works best for you (and your family).  In addition to my schedule, I plan when I’m going for my run.  I look a week ahead and plan it accordingly.  So if someone has an appointment or there is a family commitment coming up, I’m not surprised by this and my run gets done.

It’s not just about the running.  If you want to do well, it should also be about nutrition.  Some people figure that running allows them to eat anything they want. But for myself, the more I run, the more focused I become on fuelling my body with food that serves a purpose.  It doesn’t happen overnight but you can learn how food can support you and aid you by providing energy and also helping you with recovery.

The mind also plays a vital role in running a race.  During training runs, using visualization can help prepare your mind for the race.  How do you want race day to go?  What are your ideal running conditions? spectators Can you visualize your friends and family members cheering for you?  Self-talk is also very useful.  When you are on a long run and everything about it is awful, remind yourself why you are doing this.  Remember the feeling you will have after getting it done, or knowing the sense of accomplishment that you will have for sticking to it and not giving up.  It’s helpful to write down some favourite quotes, your reason why you want to accomplish this running goal/race.  When you are out on a run if everything about it is perfect, write down what was so perfect about it.  Draw on that memory when things get hard.

I think for everyone, the race is about completing it.  As you evolve as a runner you begin to set different goals.  At least for myself, I set a few goals for each race.  Regardless, I think you need to be proud of every race, no matter the outcome.  If you trained, committed to the training process and gave it your best on race day, then you need to celebrate that.  We cannot control a lot of things on race day, but we can give it our best.

I am nowhere near the runner that I was when I first started out.  I started out walking by participating in a 60Km walk for breast cancer.  Eventually, walking turned into running.  From there my girlfriend invited me to run a 5K.  I enjoyed running and loved to challenge myself.  I started out just completing the events and I would raise $ for a cause and take in the experience.  Then 5K’s turned into 10K’s, and eventually I was running half-marathons.  Most of the time I trained on my own.  I seriously loved the challenge physically and mentally.  I felt accomplished when I set a goal to run a race, trained for it and completed it.

It was during my first marathon training that I decided to go out of my comfort zone and join a run club.  As my runs were getting longer and longer, I was wanting company in part to help distract from the long run but also for safety reasons.   I wanted to run along the river and other more isolated areas.  Joining the Running Room for their free running clinics allowed me to make new friends and learn from the experiences of others.  It also connected me to a running community to share my love for running.

I’ve learned that when you commit to your training, you need to trust in that training.  My very first marathon was out of town and I forgot my marathon bag!  I ended up running the marathon with all new gear (yes, every runners nightmare).  You can read more about that here:  Forgotten Marathon Bag

You can do everything right, you can eat properly, train properly and still race day can be unpredictable.  I’ve learned that it’s good to set goals and push yourself for a personal best or a bigger distance.  In the end though, you need to be proud of all the moments, of the journey to get to the start line.  During the race, take in the moments, learn from what the day offers you.

I’ve learned to be thankful that I get to run.  I’m constantly challenging myself with new goals and race distances.  I’m about to run my first Ultra (50K) on June 20th.  I’ve also learned to accept that every race offers a new experience.  Even if I do not get a pb, I can be proud of the day because of the choices I made either leading up to the race OR during the race itself.

In my last race I had the opportunity to finish with a pb (although it was a tough race).  Instead I chose to run in with a friend who was struggling, because in the end that seemed to be more important.  I walked away proud of my decision.  If you’d like to read about my last race experience you can read it here:  Ottawa Race Weekend

How about you?  Are you training for your first race?  Have you set specific goals for yourself?  If you’ve been running for a while, how have you evolved as a runner?

Race Day Preparations

Countdown is ON

Crazy excited is an understatement!  I am so looking forward to running the marathon in my home town.  Although I will likely need to keep it slow and steady, not getting any personal bests in terms of my time, I’m still excited to run.  I’ve been dealing with lower leg issues for over 6 weeks now and do not have any power.  I’ve pulled back in hopes of giving them some rest.  I still have 2 goal races to get done in June so I want to prevent a serious injury.

Preparing for Race Day

So what can be done leading up to race weekend?  Here are a few of the things I’m spending my time doing.  I hope it helps you as well.

1. Hydrate/Fuel

Do not wait for the night before the race to eat well.  You should be drinking more water and eating well most days, but at the very least, the week(s) leading up to your race.   Make sure you are loading up on healthy carbohydrates (avoid sugary zero nutrient junk), lean protein and fresh fruits/veggies.  Some of the things I like to eat are: bean patties, oatmeal, chicken breast, salmon, rice, quinoa, fresh fruit (snack mid-morning), salads and sweet potatoes.  Also, get some good fats in your diet.  Avocado and hummus are great for sides or dipping.  I will often add hummus as a side to my bean patties and use it as a dip for fresh cut veggies.

Recipe for bean patties:
can of black beans
1/4 cup oats (I use steel cut ground up)
diced onion (optional)
cumin (to taste)
Bragg’s Liquid (few sprays or 1.5 tsp)
salt/pepper (to taste)

beanpatties

I throw it all in a food processor and then make 4 patties.  I’ve also used a potato masher and mashed the beans then added the rest of the ingredients.  Add some coconut oil to the fry pan and cook the patties at a medium-high heat, both sides.  It makes 4 patties.

2.  Rest/Stretch

Make sure you are getting enough sleep.  Aim for 7-8hrs a night if you can.  Your diet and sleep are important aspects of recovery.  I also take extra time to stretch/do yoga once or twice in the week.  You want to be relaxed and ready for race day.

3. Playlist

Some people prefer listening to the music they trained with.  I personally like to mix it up with a few new songs sprinkled throughout my playlist.  Do not leave this to the night before.  Trust me.  I have had unnecessary stress trying to get my playlist organized the night before a race.  Usually, I scrap the idea and run with what I have.  Not this time.  Got it all done a week ahead of time. 😉

4. Race Day Fuel, Gear and Clothes

I like to plan what I am wearing ahead of time.  You should have already practiced with some long runs, but knowing what you are wearing ensures that it will be clean for race day.  The same goes for your fuel. Now is the time to do a quick inventory of what you have and go buy anything you will need.  Or, write a list and pick it up at the expo (but I like having everything prepared before hand).  This way there are no last minute panics.

5.  Laying It Out

There is a reason a lot of us do Flat Race Runfies – having everything laid out and ready to throw on first thing in the morning gives peace of mind in knowing that you have everything you need for the race.  I use my dining room table to lay out my clothes, gear, fuel, electrolytes, etc.  I do not want to miss anything.   Once I have everything ready, I lay out my race day clothes and take my “flat runner”. 🙂  runme

When I head out in the morning for a race, I’m wearing or carrying everything I will need. Besides, you’ll sleep better knowing it is all together.

6.  Organize Meet Ups

If you are planning on meeting friends and/or family prior to the race or afterwards, choose that spot ahead of time.  Figure out where the road closures will be.  How are you arriving on race day?  Plan these details out in advance to make it easier and less stressful on race day.

7.  Trust Your Training

My last piece of advice would be to trust your training.  Regardless of the distance you are running, if you followed a plan, know that the training will get you to the finish line.  There can be a lot of variables on race day that you cannot control, so don’t try to.  When you get up, deal with the weather and dress accordingly, but do not let that sideline you from doing your best.  Get to the start line, believe in yourself and have fun!  No matter what your time is, whether it turns out to be your best run ever or perhaps your worst,  I guarantee you’ll learn something from it.  Celebrate the hard work you’ve put in and be proud of your well earned medal.

These are the things I like to do ahead of time, as it seems to work for me.  Are there things you do that work better for you?  Is there a tip you’d share with someone running their first race?

 

Are You Training Your Mind?

There are a number of different “kinds” of runners.  The “I do it because I have to” runner who hops on a treadmill or gets out for a quick 2-3mile run to get their cardio in.  The “recreational” runner who enjoys getting out for a decent run to start or finish their day.  The “fair-weather” runner, who is content on running when the weather is good, but has no problem choosing another activity when the weather turns fowl.   The “goal-oriented” runner who likes to set some goals, train hard, accomplish the goal and then set a new one.  I’m sure there are a lot of other runners that could be mentioned, like “sprinter”, “distance runner”, etc.  What kind of runner are you?

I’m a “goal-oriented” runner, I use distances to accomplish my goals.  When I first started out running, I just ran.  I would sign up for a 5K or 10K race, train for it and really enjoy the experience of that race.  I didn’t really focus on time the first few races as I had little experience or knowledge of running.  I was new and happy with the outcomes of my races.  I still am, but often for different reasons.

As the distances grew further and the training required more of my time and money, I realized that running had become so much more than just lacing up.   I went from following a simple training plan to hiring a running coach.  My focus on nutrition is more about fuelling my body and less about cutting calories or eliminating fats.  Learning about food and the science of what and when to eat has become necessary for me.

Now when I register for a race I sign up with three time goals in mind.  My “I will cry crossing the finish line” time, my “within reach, if everything goes well” time and my “if I can finish strong and upright” time.  If you’ve been running for a while, you understand that every race is different, and there are factors that you cannot control.  Some races are beyond perfect and others can be a challenge from the start line.  By having three time goals in mind, it helps me to gage where I am on the course and if necessary I push a little harder when my 2nd or 1st goal is possible.

Learning to train the mind is equally as important as training the body.  Our minds are extremely powerful and can impact our performances greatly.  Training runs can be very effective in training our minds.  Self-talk can be positive or negative, so learning to speak positively to ourselves needs to be a priority for us.  Pushing past “hard” on a run shows us that we can get past it.

If we stress about the weather on race day, we are allowing negative thoughts to impact us.  Perhaps adjusting your time goals is necessary if you are dealing with extreme heat or winds.  Or maybe you are recovering from an illness and have to run just to complete the race and forget about any specific time.  It’s difficult to not get disappointed when months of training was required to get to the start line, but we cannot change what happens prior to getting to the start line. All we can do is work hard on our mindset to run our best race that day.

When I forgot my marathon bag for my first marathon I could have handled it in a number of ways.  I chose in the end to run my best race for that day, under the circumstances.  You can read more about that experience here:  Forgotten Marathon Bag

As I continue to set goals and run a variety of out of town races, there are so many factors that come in to play when preparing for those races.  Injuries, for one.  Even when doing the best we can, with proper technique, footwear, increasing mileage appropriately, and so on, stuff happens.  It’s a journey and our bodies continue to adapt under stress.  Putting aside time every week to stretch, do yoga and cross-train is now necessary.  Nutrition is another.  Understanding what foods I need to be adding to or eliminating from my diet is now very important to me as I see how it can hinder or enhance my performance and overall health.

For myself, running is a long term commitment and continuing to adapt and learn is part of the process.  Learning how to stay healthy and what I can do to improve are now included in my goals.

Have you seen yourself evolve as a runner?  What type of runner are you?

 

 

I Can and I Will

Training Week In Review

Monday – OFF
Tuesday – 5K (accelerations)
Wednesday – 15K easy
Thursday – 10K tempo
Friday – OFF
Saturday – 20K LSD
Sunday – 15K LSD

I think this has been my best training week so far in 2015.  Every run was good and I’m feeling healthy and strong.  Perhaps finally having some decent weather to run in has also put an extra spring in my step.  Saturday and Sunday brought snow and cold weather again, but knowing it won’t last makes it a little more tolerable.

Fundraising for the Children’s Aid Foundation is going very well.  There is a little extra bonus if you purchase a moisture wicking headband from me between March 13 and March 31, your name will automatically be entered to win this awesome mask.  mask

The mask was generously donated to me by Wasteland Artisan who created a special mask for me for an upcoming race and wanted to help me with my fundraising efforts.

Here are a few of my current favourite headbands:

rungirljustrun

Some days just get it done!

unbroken

Just keep going

Ican

Yup, do not let others bring you down

buddy

Makes me think of my coach

madhere

Thankful for all the crazies in my life!

To find out more about my fundraising efforts and to see more headband suggestions please visit: Fundraising.

Spring Freshness

Spring has finally arrived, although it’s hard to believe as the colder temperatures have returned. Knowing it cannot last helps me hang on to the spring fever I felt last week.  I’m actually feeling very good and quite happy to have survived the winter training.

Last year due to my injury my training stopped around the middle of February.   I did not get to experience the benefits of making it through winter and how it would affect my spring training efforts.  I cannot explain the sense of accomplishment that I feel.  I persevered through a minor injury that greatly impacted my confidence.   I wrestled with the fear of being injured and not knowing how to discern the severity of my aches and pains.  My injuries to date have seemingly showed up out of the blue, so how do you avoid it if you cannot see it coming?  This honestly created a very fearful mindset.

My coach had to push me past the point of where my discomfort started, both physically and mentally.  I didn’t like how I was feeling.  Looking back it felt like a slow process but it was certainly building a solid base.

I feel strong as I head into my race season.  I know I’m going to have to tap into the lessons that I learned through the winter as my mileage continues to go up.  I’m aiming to cross a number of goal races/events off my list this year and I believe my mental health is going to help me achieve these goals.

Winter training helped me learn more about myself.  It was a time to face some fears that I hadn’t realized had snuck into my life.  I realized just how tough I am mentally.  On some runs I had to deal with physical aches, mental fears and crazy winter conditions, but I laced up and did it anyways.

I’m so very thankful for what running does for me.  Each training run offers a chance to push harder, have fun, get lost in thought, run with friends or just keep putting one foot in front of the other until it’s over.  Even then, the feeling you get for getting it done is worth it.

This week is a taper week for me as I prepare for Around The Bay.  Having a coach means he makes the plan and I just follow. 🙂  I’m sure I will go a little crazy but I’ll use the time to think about what I want the upcoming season to look like.  Either that or I’ll get some serious spring cleaning done around the house!  Ha!

How about you?  Do you find that running has helped you overcome anything?  What do you love about running the most?

 

Running Towards Something

Training Week in Review

March 9 – March 15

Monday – OFF
Tuesday – 5K easy
Took a good 3K to warm up.  Crazy tight calves.
Wednesday – 5K easy
Calves still very tight.
Thursday – 6.5K treadmill
500m 6x with 2min. recovery between sets
Friday – OFF
Saturday – 15K
Nice and steady. Felt good.
Sunday – 30K
Ran with running group, it was a good run.   Finished the last 3K on my own.

Do you have dreams?

Maybe they are not so much dreams but perhaps personal goals to one day achieve.  How do you check something off your list?  Does it just work out for you or do you need to plan it?

For myself I think it is both, often.  I like to plan for things but often things seem to fall into place.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work for something, but while working towards one goal, sometimes another goal just falls into place.  Or I’ve decided to jump in and go for it even when it wasn’t part of the bigger plan when I started out.

2015 seems to be like that for me.  I had some goals I was working towards, then other, bigger, goals seemed to present themselves in such a way that I didn’t want to say no to them.  Sometimes I think we are just mad. 🙂 photo (31)

So for me that means a busy race calendar.  We are all different and our personalities play a role in how we tackle our goals.  I like to plan, even when a race wasn’t part of the original plan.  I think it is important to be as prepared as possible to avoid injuries.  For myself, it might mean using a race as a training run for the bigger goal races.  Listening to my body more to understand when to pull back or perhaps to shut the mind off as I’m over thinking things.  I’m also being more proactive with acupuncture and massage.
photo (32)

Fine tuning my nutrition is becoming more important to me to ensure that my body is getting the right fuel to handle the amount of training that is required this year.  Limiting some of my favourite things, or perhaps giving them up all together.  I’m also looking at ways to improve my training.  I’m researching more about heart rate training and running in my specific training zones.  I’m not there yet, but I’m always looking for ways to improve.

My first race of the year is coming up at the end of March and it will be the first time I go with a group of strangers on a bus trip.  I’m excited about this, as this is my first time doing this race and the whole experience will be new for me.  I’m excited about how running has challenged me not only physically, but emotionally and socially.  I keep being encouraged to get out of my comfort zone and do new things.

Spring is around the corner and with its arrival is a real sense of new adventure awaiting for me.  My bucket list continues to grow with the things I want to do.  Some of my dream goals only require additional training. Some, however, require a budget and the hope of getting into the race itself.

How about you?  What is on your bucket list?  Do you focus and work hard to achieve those things or are they a someday goal that seem to fall into place at the right time?

Never stop dreaming!

Fueling the long run

Training Week in Review

Monday: Yoga/Extended Stretching
Tuesday: Steady 10K – lots of footing issues again
Wednesday:  5K EASY
Thursday:  7.25K Steady Run
Friday:  OFF
Saturday:  17.5K LSD (long slow distance)
Sunday:  15K LSD

While training for a marathon, or in my case an ultra marathon, fuelling starts to become more and more important, everyday.  I’m coming to the point in my training where I start to feel tired a little more during the week.  I go through periods of feeling starved, especially Mondays, which makes sense after running double long runs on the weekend.  This means I still have work to do in my own fuelling strategy.

I have almost eliminated milk products and wheat from my diet (still working on completely removing it), mainly because of food sensitivities.  As you can imagine, this can make fuelling a little bit more of a challenge.  I am always looking for additional ways to add protein to my diet.

Training for a race is often more about the months leading up to race day.  I continue to make changes to my diet as I discover healthier options that will either fuel my body or help in the recovery process.

HempHeartsI came across Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts at a local health food store and immediately saw the simplicity of adding this super food to my daily diet.

You can sprinkle the hemp hearts on your morning oatmeal, yogurt or any cereal of your choice.  It can easily be added to a lunchtime salad.

There are so many recipes on their site that makes it very easy to add extra protein to your diet.  Delicious recipes!

I was given the opportunity to review the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, so of course I said I’d love to.  This is a must staple super food that should be in your pantry.

Hemp Hearts can help reduce inflammation, improve your cholesterol ratio, and help reduce PMS symptoms.  In addition hemp can support healthy hair, nails and skin and is also a rich source of magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron.   There are many other benefits of this powerful superfood.

Adding extra protein to your diet is  very easy and Manitoba Harvest helps you select the right one for you with their Hemp Protein Comparison Chart.

Having quick healthy snack options available help when I’m in a rush or on the go.  I recently made these energy bites (I added some flaxseed).  What I loved about this recipe is that if you are already trying to eat healthy, then all the ingredients should now be found in your home.  hempbitesI doubled the recipe knowing that in my house these type of energy balls do not last long!  I was correct, and they turned out to be a hit with my whole family.

Hempmixed HempEnergyBitesThere are many energy bite recipes online, so adding the step of rolling your favourite recipe ball in the hemp hearts can be a simple way to get the added benefits of hemp seeds into your diet.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts has graciously offered a free bag of hemp hearts to one of my readers.  All you need to do is comment below telling me how you currently use hemp hearts in your diet or how you will add it to your diet.  Is it a favourite breakfast smoothie?  Will you add it to your oatmeal or salad?

Also, follow Manitoba Harvest on Twitter and Instagram for inspirational ways to add hemp hearts to your diet.  Would love for you to tweet about the giveaway.

Good luck, I will choose the winner on Wednesday, March 11th.