It’s the Final Countdown to Tough Mudder!
As we recover from our Gut Check Saturday routine, we should all have a good idea of where our conditioning lies. At this stage you are either ready or you are ready to suffer. I believe most of us are ready. The final step is how do we spend the next two weeks? Do we rest? Do we carbo load? How do we maintain the hard work we put in and maximize our race day performance? Well, I am going to attempt to answer each of those questions to the best of my limited knowledge. This will be the longest hardest race I have ever done. Saturdays 13.5 miles, 200 pullups, and 500 pushups is the hardest workout I have done since my swimming days in high school.
My training schedule will look something like this:
- Sunday 5/6: Rest and Stretch -[easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]…if anyone has a yoga video to share let me know.
- Monday 5/7: Strength day & Murph: Run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, Run 1 mile (Partition the pullups, pushups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run.)
- Tuesday 5/8: Rest and Stretch [easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
- Wednesday 5/9: 7 mile run for time.
- Thursday 5/10: The Prison Workout : burpees: 20,19,18… 3,2,1. walk 25m after each set.
- Friday 5/11: Rest and Stretch[easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
- Saturday 5/12: 7 mile run for time
- Sunday 5/13: Buy your mother something nice and Call her!!!!
- Monday5/14: Strength day & Murph: Run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, Run 1 mile (Partition the pullups, pushups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run.)[easyazon-image-link asin=”B000TG8D6I” alt=”P90X: Tony Horton’s 90-Day Extreme Home Fitness Workout DVD Program” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/614mZw4iDmL._SL160_.jpg” align=”right” width=”160″ height=”160″]
- Tuesday 5/15: 4 mile run for time.
- Wednesday 5/16: 2 mile easy run.
- Thursday 5/17: Rest and Stretch – [easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
- Friday 5/18: Rest and Stretch – [easyazon-link asin=”B000TG8D6I”]P90x Yoga or X Stretch[/easyazon-link]
- Saturday 5/19: Tough Mudder Go Time!
You do not need to eat hundreds more calories the week pre-race. You only need to exercise less. This way, the 600 to 1,000 calories you generally expend during training can be used to fuel your muscles. All during this week, you should maintain your tried-and-true clean eating training diet. Drastic changes can easily lead to upset stomachs, diarrhea, or constipation. For example, carbo-loading on an unusually high amount of fruits and juices might cause diarrhea. Too many white flour, low fiber bagels, breads, and pasta might clog your system.
Your body needs protein on a daily basis. So, you can and should eat a small serving of low-fat protein-such as poached eggs, yogurt, turkey, or chicken-as the accompaniment to most meals (not the main focus), or plant proteins such as beans and lentils (as tolerated).
Drink enough alcohol-free beverages to produce a significant volume of urine every two to four hours. The urine should be pale yellow, like lemonade to even clear. Read Aarons 5 tips post on water consumption. He strives for a gallon a day. I find that is hard to accomplish but I make it my goal. No soda, sugary fruit juices, or sports drinks. The key here is water and more water. I would recommend a good recovery drink for after your workouts.
HOW MUCH CARBS?
You can’t completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, which is why you should start carbo-loading two or three days before your race.. Since you’re running very few miles, the glycogen will accumulate in your muscles. About 50 to 70 percent of an athlete’s total daily calorie intake should be from low-glycemic carbohydrates (three to five grams per pound of lean body weight). The week before the race aim for 70%.
There are many high-carbohydrate foods beneficial to both your health and athletic performance. The key is choosing the right carbs. Following is a breakdown of ten of the best energy-sustaining foods, all loaded with powerful nutrients to keep your body running on premium fuel.
- Rolled Oats: Fiber not only helps reduce risk for heart disease, it slows glucose absorption into the bloodstream, helping maintain peak energy levels and curb appetite. Rolled oats are also an excellent source of B vitamins (great for stress management and energy production) and contain a significant amount of zinc for immune function.
- Lentil Soup: Lentils produce a low-glycemic response, meaning you won’t experience a spike in blood sugar followed by an energy-sapping crash. Also loaded with dietary fiber (eight grams per half-cup serving), lentils provide the feeling of satiety, helping mute those intense cravings for sweets. Lentils also are packed full of folic acid, a nutrient essential for keeping cardiovascular risk low and guarding against birth defects.
- Fresh Figs: Just three figs provide a whopping 30 grams of good carbohydrates along with a multitude of B vitamins, calcium and potassium to help ensure peak muscle function and optimal bone health. Figs also are an excellent source of soluble pectin fiber, shown to lower cholesterol and ultimately reduce cardiovascular risk. For a tasty snack, try serving quartered fresh figs with a dollop of reduced-fat ricotta cheese or flavored yogurt.
- Roasted Chestnuts: In comparison to other calorie- and fat-dense nuts, chestnuts contain less than one gram of fat per ounce while providing a hefty dose of fiber, vitamin C and folic acid, nutrients important for immune function, formation of collagen and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Chestnuts are tasty in stuffing, pilaf, vegetable side dishes and soups. Or try them as a snack by themselves.
- Blueberries: A one-cup serving and a mere 80 calories later, you get 20 grams of energy-enhancing carbohydrates, four grams of appetite-curbing fiber as well as a significant amount of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that keeps the immune system revved.
- Low-fat Plain Yogurt: Yogurt has always been touted as a nutritional powerhouse, partly because it’s loaded with calcium. Rich in vitamin B-12, yogurt also helps prevent fatigue. And plain yogurt just may be the perfect recovery food for athletes, as it promotes glycogen replenishment and muscle recovery. Give yourself an energy boost after your next workout by slicing a ripe banana into a cup of plain yogurt. Make sure your yogurt contains active cultures called probiotics, hugely beneficial to immune function.
- Rice Bran: The USDA reports more people are eating refined white bread, which lacks quality nutrients due to processed flours. Rice bran boasts superior nutritional credentials, with five grams of carbohydrates and more than two grams of fiber in a mere two tablespoons. Furthermore, it provides 23 percent of the RDA for magnesium, a nutrient directly responsible (along with calcium) for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), for energy during metabolism, as well as conversion of glycogen to glucose for use as the body’s fuel during exercise.
- Whole Wheat Pasta: Despite some concerns about the glycemic response of large portions of pasta, this common carbo-loading meal can be a healthful addition to your diet. Whole wheat pasta provides nearly 40 grams of energy-rich carbohydrates per one cup (cooked) serving. In addition, whole wheat pasta provides five grams of dietary fiber, most of it insoluble fiber, shown to reduce risk for breast cancer. To ensure you are buying the healthiest whole wheat pasta, look for at least four grams of dietary fiber and five grams of protein per two ounces dry (or one cup cooked) serving. Be sure to watch portions and try to add a protein (chicken, ground sirloin, EGGS!) to your plate to avoid craving that second pasta portion. And, of course, add some veggies for color, fiber and an array of health-enhancing nutrients.
- Sweet Potatoes: A four-ounce sweet potato contains a mere 143 calories with a whopping 28 grams of carbohydrates and more than 100 percent of your daily requirement for beta-carotene. A sweet potato also packs in more than a quarter of your daily needs for vitamins C and E, nutrients shown to prevent cell damage in athletes competing in extreme environments (altitude, heat, cold, pollution), as well as enhance muscle recovery after intense training. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of iron.
- Oranges: Considered by many to be winter’s most delicious fruit, oranges are rich in natural sugars for a quick energy boost, yet provide three grams of fiber for sustained energy. In addition, just one navel orange meets an entire day’s requirement for vitamin C, while providing immune-enhancing flavonoids, helping to keep colds and flus at bay.
UNDERSTANDING THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
The rate at which carbohydrates raise blood sugar and consequent insulin is measured by glycemic index. Carbohydrate-rich foods with a high-glycemic value enter the bloodstream rapidly, leading to a quick rise in blood glucose and the release of insulin.
A survey conducted at Harvard University’s School of Public Health determined that 16 of the top 20 carbohydrates eaten by Americans are high glycemic. In fact, high-glycemic snack foods comprise 25 percent of the total caloric intake in the United States. Among the most popular are french fries, white bread, cereals with added sugar, soda, pizza and muffins.
In contrast, low-glycemic foods, which tend to be higher in fiber or contain protein, are converted into glucose slower than high-glycemic foods and, therefore, less insulin is needed to regulate blood sugar.
Good Choices: Enjoy sweet potatoes, old fashioned oatmeal, energy bars (Clif, PowerBar), beans, low-fat dairy foods, most fruits, 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain bread, oatmeal, nuts, whole wheat pasta, green peas, hummus and rice bran.
Foods to Avoid: Steer clear of sugared soft drinks, processed grains (white bread), french fries, pastries, scones, sugared cereals, syrup, whipped cream, chips and movie popcorn.