Work and Running

“I am a working girl, a busy working girl” as the stanza in a song goes.  So what’s the connection to my current topic?  Nothing much really, I just want to sing it.  Seriously though, most of us have boring lives outside of running and most of the time they are “sagabal” to our running “career”.  Nonetheless we have to balance both aspects or be left with nothing!

I am a morning person and I would prefer doing my running and other exercise routines in the morning before I go to work.  No matter how intense and up to the task I feel any particular work out day, I need to reserve enough energy to get me through 8 hours of work making up faces and doing hair styling at the Salon.  All of these are done on my feet!

I observed that if I go for more than an hour of continuous running before I get to work, I always feel sluggish, unsharp and non-coordinated caused by muscular tremors and weakness. Make up artistry requires muscular coordination to the utmost degree!  Think crooked eyeliner and unsymmetrical eyebrows!  Que horror!  It will spell the end of me!  Moreover, five hours after logging in at around 2 p.m. it’s as sure as I am gay that I will fall asleep.  This dilemma led me to research on what best to remedy this condition.

Pre Run Hydration, Energy and Electrolyte Supplementation

Proper hydration would mean I need to drink a glass of water 15 minutes before going out for the road.  Not only that though, potassium is needed by the muscles to function properly and this I can get by eating a banana an hour prior to exercise.  The ideal time to consume solids is two hours prior but that is just impracticable in a weekday workday set up when I need all the sleeping hours I can get.

The energy I get from the banana’s fructose content is sufficient if it is just a 1 hour run.  LSDs would call for heavier meals 2 hours prior which usually include Nissin cup noodles in seafood flavor not only for the carbs but for the salt content also.  Half marathons to marathons would entail no less than an added hamburger treat.  But that is an entirely different story.

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During the Run Hydration and Electrolyte Supplementation

An adjustment I did to the manner by which I hydrated myself while running made a huge impact to my wellbeing after the exertion.  Instead of water which is more economical, I now consume Gatorade sports drink with its essential nutrients, electrolytes and sugar aside from the water content.  This not only replenishes the lost body water through perspiration, but salt, sugar and electrolytes as well.  Muscular tremors and weakness I learned is caused partially by electrolyte imbalance or lack thereof.

For lsds which I do in preparation for marathon distances where I pound the road for more than 2 hours or for 32K mileage, or during races themselves, I try to bring salt sachets with me like those given in fast food chains and chocolate bars like Hansel Chocnut for glucose perk me ups.  I usually take them (salt and chocnut) in 10K increments initially and maybe every 30 minutes (for the chocnut) in later parts like some closing 10 kilometers.

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Post Run Recovery Supplementation

30-45 Minutes After

As I have come to realize, things that you take not only before or during but most importantly after the run, contributes immensely to the recovery cycle.  There is that so called glycogen replenishment window of 30-45 minutes after an intense work out of say more than an hour where the body craves for sugar and protein in order to restore muscular wear and tear as well as food for the overworked organs aside from the muscles.  The ideal carbohydrate-protein ratio for an ideal nutrient supplementation is 3:1.  I have actually found the best drink which has this ideal ratio in one of the race lootbag!  It is Enervon HP.  Very affordable and contains all the necessary carbohydrate and protein content in one easy to prepare, readily available and tastes great drink!

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Continuous Recovery Supplementation

Vitamins come very affordable and in all forms these days.  There are even the generic ones which come in much attractive prices.  I am cheapangga but as a diva I would prefer affordable but coming from reliable brands and/or drug companies. The contents one should look for in combating stress and fatigue are:

  1. Anti-Oxidants Vitamins A,C,E and Zinc – prevents cellular damage resulting to cancer, aging and various degenerative diseases;
  2. Iron – helps in keeping the blood oxygenated thereby helping in combating fatigue;
  3. Vitamin B-Complex and Folic Acid – helps in keeping the nerves healthy and properly functioning thus avoiding weakness and limb numbness, general weakness and/or shortness of breath;
  4. Calcium and Vitamin D –  aid in proper bone development and help in avoiding bone fractures and breakage;
  5. Ginseng – is widely used to lower cholesterol, increase energy and endurance, reduce fatigue and the effects of stress, and prevent infections. Ginseng is one of the most effective anti-aging supplements, with the capability of alleviating some major effects of aging such as degeneration of the blood system, and increasing mental and physical capacity;
  6. Royal Jelly – boosts energy and supports the immune system.

I came across this vitamin supplement product by Unilab, one of the trusted drug manufacturers that has been servicing the Filipino consumers for years and years, aimed at addressing sports fatigue and recovery by offering the above mentioned substances.  A good thing also that I got to try them for free from some  races’ lootbags that have them as samples.  Magnificent!

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How Stress and Fatigue Affects the Body

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This is my personal choice of hydration and supplementation before, during and after my weekday and weekend runs in order to maximize my performance as well as hasten recovery time.  I found them effective in making me productive even during semi lsd days when I still have to go to work after.  As a cheapangga, they should likewise be very, very affordable as well.  The Enervon HP and Activ have been added just recently as I have discovered them inside the lootbag and the activity areas of recent races.  Over the span of several years of constant running, the rest have been effective and cost efficient as well.  Hope to hear how do you manage your running stress with your own brand of nutrition and supplementation.