Race Tips from Team Chocolate Milk
Race season is here, are you ready? We all know training is one portion for preparing for your upcoming race. Additionally, how you fuel your body is another big component that can impact your performance. Runners should focus on staying hydrated, as well as incorporating an all-around balanced diet that includes all five food groups. Choosing the right foods is also important when it comes to recovery.
Why REFUEL with Chocolate Milk?
Studies have shown the carbohydrate to protein ratio in low-fat chocolate milk make it an ideal drink after intense exercise, including marathon and triathlon training and competition.
Nutrient-rich chocolate milk can help you refuel and rehydrate within the critical 30-minute recovery window after exercise, often referred to as the window of opportunity. It contains a combination of carbohydrates and protein to refuel and repair muscles, fluids to rehydrate, and electrolytes to replenish what is lost in sweat. It has the added bonus of bone-building nutrients, like the electrolyte calcium, to help maintain strong bones and prevent stress fractures.
Runners from Team Chocolate Milk spill the “In’s and Out’s” on preparing for a race. These athletes are passionate about nutrition and fitness and recover with chocolate milk after hard training sessions. Get their race tips and secrets below!
Former collegiate athlete, CrossFitter, Powerlifter and first-time triathlete
I’ve had numerous fitness endeavors. For every one of them, chocolate milk has been a huge part of my nutrition. I played collegiate rugby in addition to dabbling with powerlifting. Not to mention, I was regularly being put through exercise science studies and tests during my undergraduate years. One day I discussed with one of the exercise physiologists about how I drank a lot of chocolate milk to keep up with all of the activity. The professor recommended that I keep it up, explaining that drinking chocolate milk is great for performance and recovery, so I haven’t stopped! I’ve made an extra point to keep it in my nutrition regime ever since. Now that I am in my post-collegiate rugby days, I regularly train for different events including Crossfit competitions, weightlifting and powerlifting competitions, trail running events, and now I’m training for my first sprint triathlon, which is a bit scary! While my focus is on the sprint triathlon training, I’m still doing Crossfit and lifting as well. Needless to say, I have a high caloric need, and chocolate milk keeps me fueled for my workouts as well as helping with my recovery when I’m not training. Nutrition is a huge part of any training program and should never be overlooked but rather well thought out and planned to get the results that you are looking for.
When it comes to racing, I typically choose races in mid to late summer, which makes it so much easier when it comes to training in Michigan weather. This year, I thought I would try a spring race and recently began my training for the Ironman 70.3 Wisconsin in early June. A key to my training success is accountability. I have two accountability methods–my local triathlon club and my fiancé. The tri club hosts weekly group activities helping to keep myself and other members engaged. My fiancé and I have a fair but fun competition at home, which helps to get us both into the pool or to cycling classes, despite the frigid temperatures outside. I am currently on the mend from minor knee surgery at the end of 2017 and must work hard to train smarter as I ramp up my miles this spring.
Nutrition is the 4th discipline to triathlon and an area where I have to be held accountable. I love sweets and nachos way too much (who doesn’t?!). We use the MyFitnessPal app and have a heated competition, which helps to keep us in check and eat smarter. It’s also important to practice nutrition during training–it can really make or break race day! My most valuable advice for anyone getting ready to train this summer is to make your goals realistic and have fun while achieving them!
Runner and Dairy Farmer
After I ran my first marathon, I figured I’d checked that box and never run another one. A few years later I entered the lottery for the Chicago marathon and won (My dad told me he’d never heard of a worse lottery prize)! I also enjoyed that race and thought, that’s it for marathons. But then I thought, “What about an ultramarathon? That’s totally different!” I found a 50k within driving distance, the Green Jewel in Ohio, and started training for it in June.
Nutrition, of course, is a huge part of training. Though there are gels and powders and all the products you could possibly want, I really just like regular food. For instance, before, during, and after long runs, I always eat the same thing. I start with a cup of coffee, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, and a cup of Cheerios with milk. The protein keeps me fueled until the middle of my run when I eat some raisins. Afterward, I always trust chocolate milk. As soon as I get in the door, drinking chocolate milk is the first thing I do. Not only do I love the taste of it, but studies show that it’s the perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein to help your body recover. When I ran the Chicago marathon, my husband, Kris, and three sons cheered me on along the way. At mile 20, they were all eating ice cream and gave me some. It was so creamy, cold, and delicious. It made the end of the race so much easier! I appreciate the people offering water all along the route, but if it’s a choice between that and ice cream at my 50k, you know what I’m going to pick.
Meet the rest of the Team Chocolate Milk for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan by clicking here. The Milk Means More Team will be attending races all summer long, and even handing out chocolate milk at some races to help athletes refuel after crossing the finish line! Check out our upcoming races here.
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