Tips for Good Running, Eating, Cooking and Training.

The CCRC Banquet may be the biggest and best (eating) event of the year, so you want to be at your best and peak at the right time. This is the big event you want to give your all at: you want to really “bring it”!

Have a good nutrition plan, don't expect to always find food along the trail. Tom enjoys a vegetarian snack of Elk cud.
Have a good nutrition plan, don’t expect to always
find food along the trail. Tom enjoys a vegetarian snack of Elk cud.

1) Lay down a good base. Hopefully you have been eating and running on a regular basis. Try to build up to a level that you can maintain, but only increase about 10% each week. You do not want to consistently overeat.

Most people find that 3 meals a day works best long term but some of the elite’s do 4 to 6 each day.

2) Make a meal/training plan and try to stick to it. Tailor your preparation to your plan and desired results. Make sure you stock up on the basic ingredients early in your preparation, and practice. Be specific in your preparation so that there are no surprises on the day of the big event. Try to simulate the conditions you will encounter in your preparations as often as possible. With that said, it is ok to just eat/run totally for the sheer joy of it sometimes.

3) Get the right equipment and ingredients. Buy what you need early, and test it out frequently so you know how to use it. Don’t scrimp and cut corners for your big event gear. Get the best you can afford. Cheap equipment can result in injuries.

4) It is a good idea to do a simulator 2-3 weeks out from the big event. Treat this like the real deal, only keep the serving dose at ½ to ¾ of the total amount. Simulate event/meal conditions as much as possible for this. Build confidence and adjust and tweak your preparations as needed so you can do it better on the big day.

5) Taper down before the big day. Cut your totals down a bit in the last week. You want to be fresh and “chomping at the bit” and a little hungry on the big day.

6) Assemble, gather and lay out everything the night before. Make sure you have all the essentials all together ahead of time.

7) Presentation and appearance does count. People will treat you and ‘your goods’ more seriously if they look the part. If it looks good it probably is good.

8) Pace yourself. You want to enjoy the whole experience. Think positively. Leave a little something for the end and a big finish.

9) Consistency and dedication are key. You are not going to change your ways with just one meal or run. It takes numerous little meals and runs accumulated over time to be healthy, faster or better. Similarly, one bad meal or run will not change the whole. Immediate gratification is ok, but you have to look at the big picture.

10) You want to vary your meals and runs for good health. Variety is key. Eat and Run fast, slow, long, short, big, small and it is ok to overeat, over run, under eat and under run sometimes.

Mix things up to keep motivation and interest.

11) Leave the workout and the table feeling like you could have done or had a little more. Train don’t strain and eat don’t gorge. Walk away a little hungry for more.

12) Back off if you feel like things are not going right. If you miss a meal or run that is ok. Don’t try to compensate by trying to make it all up later.

If you feel really ill, it is best to not run or eat at all. Let the body focus on healing itself.

13) Everyone is an individual and what is good for one person may not be good for you. Some people thrive on short runs, others on rice. Experiment a bit to find out what works best for you.

14) If you have bigger goals in mind, like getting faster, better or thinner, keeping a daily diary helps. Filling in the blanks is good motivation and helps you plan and focus on the goal. You can review the diary to look for trends and patterns. And you can pass it on to future generations as an interesting heirloom. If you are more precise with what you record, the better it can be repeated by someone else in the future. There are many true classic workouts and recipes (like 10 X 440 with a minute’s rest and Pound cake…) that we would not know about today had it not been recorded for posterity.

15) Supplements can help. They act as good insurance in case you are missing some vital element, and can correct imbalances before they lead to bigger problems.