Once you’ve got the running bug it’s tempting to get up and out every single day – especially as you become more capable and can run faster and further. Don’t. Factor in rest days, they are as important as the days you fly through your personal best. Here’s a truth for you: if you want to get faster, fitter and stronger then you NEED rest.
Running is a great exercise, but it puts a lot of stress on the body and when you’re running for a decent amount of time it means your body is under stress for prolonged periods. Be mindful to counter these sessions with rest, whether that’s a yoga session, stretching or getting a massage.
Rest is also when you can refuel your body with the nutrients you need to take your running to the next level.
It’s important to eat good amounts of protein whether that’s from a meat or vegetarian source, or you can also try combining various foods to make up a complete amino acid profile. Protein is essential as it helps build and repair your muscles after running.
Make sure you’re eating plenty of vegetables, including cruciferous greens, as these help alkaline your system. The standard may be five-a-day, but personally I try to include 10-15. Make sure you have a variety of colours in your vegetables as this will ensure a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
It’s easy to shy away from fats, but good fats can help you feel full, can reduce inflammation and can also help keep your fibre levels up. Carbohydrates get a bad rap, but they too need to be a part of your diet – after all, you need enough fuel in the tank to run and carbs are a great source of energy. The type of carbohydrates you include in your diet will depend on your training goals and how much you’re training, but with clients I suggest sweet or white potatoes, quinoa, noodles, brown rice, and my personal favourite, white rice.