HALF MARATHON RACE NUTRITION

Thank you to Rachel Eagleton - Our Boobs on the Run Nutritionist and Run Leader

Yay you’ve done it!  Signed up for your first half marathon!  Well done!  You’ve got your training plan and some cute new gear but what about all those gels that “runners” talk about?  Do you really need them?  Developing a strategic nutrition plan is essential for running your best race. While sub-optimal fuelling might prove adequate for shorter, slower training runs, it can often be the factor which turns a great race into a disaster from the 10km point of the race. 

The biggest mistake people make is failing to practice their exact pre-race and in-race fuelling strategy before their event. Like any performance, you should have a complete dress rehearsal before the event. For runners this means trialling clothing, accessories, and fuelling strategies on your training runs.

BEFORE YOUR RUN

It is important to start the race with adequate fluid levels. Hopefully this has been a focus in the few days before the race, making sure that you are not starting the race dehydrated,  Agood sign is pale, straw coloured pee.

Don’t go overboard consuming fluids, too much can be as dangerous as not enough. 

On race day and also on your long run training daysthe food you eat and drink before exercising will help you to:
• Fuel and hydrate your body for the session
• Allowing you to train harder for longer
• Avoid getting hungry during the session
 
Ideally you should aim to have a meal 3-4 hours before your workout or a small snack 1-2 hours beforehand.  Everyone is different with what they like to eat and what agrees with their stomach but in general, your pre-exercise meal or snack should be:
• Rich in carbohydrates to top-up your fuel stores
• Low in fibre, especially if you have a sensitive tummy
• Easy to digest– avoid foods overly high in fat as these are slow to digest
 
Some of my favourite options are:

  • a small bowl of wholegrain cereal or oats with yoghurt and fruit

  • sourdough toast with sliced banana and nut butter

  • Raisin toast with honey

  • Fruit smoothie

DURING YOUR RUN

Your body has enough glycogen stored to fuel you for exercise sessions of up to 75 minutes or so without sports drinks or gels so for shorter sessions you can just concentrate on hydration.  Water is usually sufficient, however if you end up with a post exercise headache you could try nuun tablets to replace lost electrolytes.

For runs or races over 75 minutes runners should aim to consume at least 30g, and as much as 90g, of carbohydrate per hour, and fuelling should commence within the first hour of the race (usually at around the 7km mark) whether the runner feels like it is required or not.   Carbohydrate intake can be maximised through: 

1   Using multiple carbohydrate sources including fluids, gels, bars, chews and even non-sports specific foods. 

2   “Training your gut” to accept more carbohydrate by practicing fuelling on all training runs longer than 14km. 

3   Scheduling your carbohydrate intake so that it is adequate and not forgotten. 

FUELLING OPTIONS

Gels, chews and hydration / sports drinks are the main sports specific fuelling options available to use during your run, and each has their advantages and disadvantages. There is no best option, or best gel, to use, and the best product for you to use is largely dependent on what you like, and what you can stomach.

GELS

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Popular gel brands include Endura, Gu, Hammer, Clif and SIS but there many other brands out there too. Gels vary in texture and taste, with some being thicker than others. Gels are a good fuelling option as they contain a lot of carbohydrate in a small volume of food and don't require chewing, however, some people struggle with their texture and they may cause stomach upset. Trial and error is the only way to determine which gel is going to work for you.

CHEWS

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Chews are what their name implies, small lolly sized chew with a gum or jelly baby type texture. The advantages of chews is that they provide a more palatable source of fuel. However, some people don't like to chew while running, and you would have to eat at least a half a pack of chews to ingest the same amount of carbohydrate found in a gel. Make sure you carefully read the nutrition panel to check you are taking the correct amount of chews.  These can be a great option for long slow runs or hikes where you intend on walking some of your distance.

SPORTS DRINKS

Liquid fuelling options range from the stock standard sports drinks such as Gatorade, to more running specific products such as Endura, Tailwind, Pure, or Torq. Sports drinks are important to include as part of your fuelling strategy as they serve a double purpose or hydrating and fuelling at the same time. As with other fuelling products, it is a matter of trial and error to find the brand and flavour that will work for you.  You need to ensure you are consuming enough of them to cover your 30g carbohydrate per hour.

OTHER OPTIONS

Some people prefer to fuel on energy bars that are almost like a muesli bar (such a Winners or Clif brand) while others prefer to use more natural food options such as dates, or baby food pouches. These may have the advantage of being gentler on the stomach, but they often do not contain the same level of carbohydrate as sports specific products.

PRACTICING YOUR RACE FUELLING

Trialling all your fuelling products during your training is essential. Both sports specific fuelling products and every day foods may cause digestive discomfort, nausea or the need to run to the bathroom. You want to discover which products disagree with you on your training runs, not during your race.

If possible, find out what products are available at the aid stations during your race, and use those in your training to see if they agree with you. If you are planning to get your nutrition from the drinks at the aid stations bear in mind how much you are actually going to drink.  One cup contains 80ml which will only have about 6 grams of carbs depending on the sports drink provided. 

  • Fluid should be consumed at a rate as close as possible to your sweat rate but not over. If this amount is not possible consume as much as is tolerable to your digestive system while running. Most runners will be fine with between 600-800ml per hour.  Make adjustments if race day is unusually cold or hot.  Start consuming your fluids early and on a regular basis to limit dehydration and to prevent gastric distress. Over consuming fluids (weight gain during an event) can lead to hyponatraemia (low blood sodium) which is a dangerous medical condition.

  • Sports gels should be taken with water not with a sports drink - otherwise the concentrated sugar mix may cause GI issues.

  • Consider if you want to consume caffeine during your race, and trial it to make sure the source from which you obtain it (gel, chews, fluids, or a caffeinated strip like revvies) agrees with you. Caffeine is a proven performance enhancing supplement due to its’ benefit on perceived time to exertion and physiological effects.  However, for some people caffeine can cause an increased heart rate, anxiety, sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal upset.  

About 4-6 weeks out from your target event have a trial nutrition run.  Eat your pre- long run dinner, your pre-long run breakfast and take your gels/chomps just as you plan to in your target event.  It's also a good time to trial your outfit and shoes.  Now is the time to come up with a plan that works for you.

AFTER YOUR RUN

The goals of the recovery nutrition are to:

  • Refuel and rehydrate the body

  • Promote muscle repair and growth

  • Boost adaptation from the training session

  • Support the immune function

Rehydrating should begin soon after finishing your run.  The body is most effective at replacing carbohydrate and promoting muscle repair and growth in the first hour after exercise, however repair will continue over the next 12-24 hours. You could use your next regular meal after your run as your recovery nutrition or have a small snack soon after exercise to kick-start the recovery process followed by your next main meal to complete your recovery.
 
Post workout foods should be:

  • Rich in quality carbohydrate to replenish muscle fuel stores

  • Contain some lean protein to promote muscle repair

  • Include a source of fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate effectivel

There’s no “best” option for what to eat after exercise. Dairy foods such as flavoured milk, smoothies or fruit yoghurt can be a great option as they can provide carbohydrate, protein, fluid and electrolytes ticking all of your recovery goals in one handy option. Some other options that you may like to choose include:

  • Lean chicken and salad roll

  • Bowl of muesli with yoghurt and berries

  • My favourite – an egg with wholemeal toast soldiers

  • Fruit smoothie- make this up the night before and have it on your way to work.

CARB LOADING

The body only has a limited supply of carbohydrate in the muscles and liver. Since carbohydrate is main source of fuel for the body during high intensity exercise, muscle fuel stores should be topped over in the 24-36 hours before competition to enhance performance. 

In the few days before your race carbohydrate loading will make a big impact. Carb loading isn’t about a big bowl of pasta the night before your event – instead it focuses on replacing protein, fibre and fat with carbohydrate sources. You should be targeting between 8-12 grams of carbohydrate per kilo of body weight over the carb load period. So a 60 kg runner would need to consume between 480 and 720 grams of carbs over the day. As a guide 2 slices of white toast contain about 50 grams of carbs. If it’s your first time carb loading I’d suggest sticking to the lower end of the range. 

The carbs you choose should be low in fibre to reduce the chances of getting an upset stomach during the race. This is the time to choose white bread, rice or pasta over wholemeal. You can go back to your quinoa after the event. You can also enjoy some of the foods you might not normally eat such as a crumpet with honey. 

Here’s some detailed guidance including a meal plan covering carbohydrate loading: 

http://racheleagleton.com.au/blog/carbohydrate-loading-for-endurance-events 

Are you training for an endurance event?  Did you know that using a scientific approach to nutrition in a marathon takes, on average, nearly 11 minutes OFF an amateur runner's finish time?  My 8 week Endurance Nutrition programfocuses on supporting your marathon training with making nutritious food choices a priority so that you can get to the start line feeling great.  On race day you will be armed with well trialed strategies that work for you and will help you run your best fuelled marathon, half marathon or triathlon.

ABOUT ME

Need help sticking to your healthy eating goals or to fuel your athletic performance?  Let me help you – I’m a university qualified nutritionist based in Sydney and I’m also the in-house nutritionist for Boobs on the Run. I am also a busy working mum of two teenagers, so am practical and realistic with my advice. Find out more about me here: 
w: racheleagleton.com.au

f:  facebook.com/nourshd

 Sources: Sports Dietitians Australia, Australian Institute of Sport

A PHYSIO’S THOUGHTS ON RUNNING INJURIES

A massive thank you to Aaron Babb from Aevum Physiotherapy for this blog post

About 90% of running injuries are overuse related and for runners their biggest enemy is often their own energy and enthusiasm. A common mistake that even myself as a running Physio has made is leaving training too late. I know there will be a lot of runners out there that will resonate with this. You booked an event 10 months ago, its now 8 months since and you haven’t been training enough, so what do you do? Quickly ramp up your training and boom, something starts hurting. I have been a running Physio for over 10 years and over that time I have held soooo many runners together with the wonders of sports tape, to the point where they could be misconstrued to be doing the event in a mummy’s costume.

There are a couple of basic rules that have been proven over time to largely prevent those injuries leading upto your first or hundredth running event and we’ll discuss them in this article.

We see a lot of muscle injuries in runners, but by far the most common presentation are tendon injuries and for this reason its important to further explain the tendon. The tendon is the connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone. It’s the junction point the muscle tissue uses to exert load through your skeletal system. See the image below indicating the achilles tendon which is the attachment of the calf muscle group to the heel bone.

image1.png

There has been some excellent research indicating that tendons are less likely to get injured, the stronger the actual muscle is. But when we look closer it’s not exactly the strength adaptation in the muscle that is a deterrent to injury, it’s the adaptation that occurs to the tendon. Just as a muscle becomes bigger and stronger with exercise so does the tendon. The tendon needs to become thicker and be able to sustain the increased load that the newly stronger muscle can now generate, and this structural thickening is what can help to protect the tendon.

STRENGTH TRAINING AS A RUNNER

A quote I often reproduce is that running is a single legged sport. At any time during the gait cycle one leg is driving you forward and because it is a repetitive movement the same tissue is constantly loaded. So with that in mind we need to ensure that the specific structures coming under load are well prepared to firstly tolerate and secondly produce the forces required. For this reason there are some excellent running specific strengthening exercises out there. At Aevum Physiotherapy we are often updating our social media with great suggestions. These exercises will not only help to create muscle and tendon adaptations to help ward off injury but also improve performance. Many runners are surprised when we show them how weak they are in specific areas to running. Even experienced runners that are doing 100km + per week but frequently getting injured. This is because their cardiovascular fitness is excellent, that is they can run a certain distance without feeling exhausted from a heart a lung perspective, but fail to realise that their muscles started to really struggle 10km back and their form went out the window, which biomechanically is a leading cause for injury - and the thing that makes us Physio’s pull worried faces.

GRADED PROGRESSION IN RUNNING LOAD

There is a rough rule that running Physio’s and coaches frequently apply called the 10% rule. Although this hasn’t been strongly validated with research it has been well tested through time to be an excellent starting point. The rule stipulates that a runner should avoid increasing their weekly load by more than 10% above the following week i.e. If your total running load was 2km last week then try upto 2.2km this week. The beauty of this simple rule is it gives the muscles and most importantly the tendons, time to adapt to the increased load gradually, significantly reducing the chance of injury. The key here is to program well leading unto your event and make sure your not rushing to get your training in last minute before the event.

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STOP GRUMPY NIGGLES TURNING INTO ANGRY INJURIES

Lastly niggles. Every runner gets them and they can’t be avoided. But what can be avoided is the potential for that grumpy little niggle to become a daily abusive reminder that something isn’t happy on your body. A lot of my runners have learnt this one over the time they have been seeing me. Due to the repetitive nature of running a small injury can quickly become a big one, particularly when preparing for a long event or doing significant total km’s in the week. 

Most Physiotherapist’s experienced with treating runners will not think you are waisting their time or think you are a hypochondriac. More often than not a niggle is a sign that the tissue is beginning to break down under the current load it is under. Small changes in footwear, running surface or minor technique alterations can often be employed to reduce the load on a particular tissue enabling you to keep up with your training and prevent that niggle getting angry. The trick however is to get into see a running specialist Physio sooner rather than later so it can be a simple fix without requiring time off training.

Stay injury free so you can continue to love your running :)

Aaron Babb M.A.P.A

MAppSc (Physiotherapy)

BAppSc (Exercise Physiology)

Running Specialist Physiotherapist



Green Means Go Go Go

Starting your day with a nourishing smoothie can be a quick and easy no excuse to skip breakfast on-the-go!

We all know that planning our meals for the day helps us stay focused, preventing us from reaching out for sweets late afternoon. But the reality of it is sometimes eating 5 and 6 meals a day can be rather difficult to achieve.

I find you can pack a lot of nutrition in a smoothie, making it easier to balance your macros for the day, keeping that metabolism fired up and moving. If you are not a big fan of greens, simply add your favourite tasting protein shake to the mix and chances are you won’t even taste them. Right now I am testing the Sunwarrior range.

Why do people love Sunwarrior? Well, this particular product is a plant based protein, with a smooth texture that blends easily without the usual grainy effect found in other veggie based protein powders. Free of gluten, solvents, GMOs, radiation, artificial flavours and many other nasties, what’s not to like really? You can purchase Sunwarrior products here http://www.sunwarrior.com.au/

Experimentation is fun, and if you want a smoothie that is guaranteed to be delicious, it’s probably best to start with something that has been tried and true.

Add this healthy smoothie recipe to your weekly nutrition plan and you’ll be bursting with energy not to mention glowing, from the inside out in no time!

Cucumber, Lime and Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients

½ a cucumber

1½ cup spinach, washed with stems removed

One lime juiced

1 serving Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein

1 cup water or coconut water (note coconut water contains carbs)

Ice cubes optional

Preparation

Place all ingredients into a high powered blender with heavier greens on top

Blend for 40-45 seconds or until smooth consistency is reached

Pour into glass and enjoy!

If you would like to see more healthy treats and style tips from our blog loving click here (insert link) http://styleculture.com.au/ or sign up for stylspiration here  http://styleculture.com.au/contact-2/

xox Kerry @ Style Culture www.styleculture.com.au

Who is Kerry K

Style Culture Styling founder Kerry Athanassiou is a Sydney, Inner West based Fashion Stylist and Personal Trainer, who truly understands the impact body changes can have on how we dress daily andon our overall wellbeing. Having lived in the inner west for over 18 years, Kerry is a proud believer in “keeping it local”. With the running of her own business, a mum of two children and also a marathon runner, she lives by the words eat well- feel well and in return you will want to dress well.

“Helping Real Everyday People Feel Good at Any Age”

Boobs on the Run and The Mother's Day Classic

Boobs on the Run are proud to be involved with the Mother's Day Classic this year. Not just having a team, but we are providing the pacers for both the City and Parramatta races. This has been a yearly race for us since Boobs on the Run started 3 years ago and year on year we have increased our numbers in the team. This year we hope for 70 or more!! 

The Mother's Day Classic aim this year is to raise $4m to aid the NBCF to fund additional research. 

In the past 3 years, Boobs on the Run has helped over 600 women to learn to run, many of whom had never run before. We have also raised over $40k for local charities, including the National Breast Cancer Foundation as part of the Mother's Day Classic.

Having lost my Mum and Aunt to breast cancer 10 years ago...this resonates with me....1 in 8 is not just a statistic....it's a life....

Want to join the Boobs on the Run team on Mother's Day?? Sign up and drop us a line at info@boobsontherun.com.au and we will provide you with the team password.

Balmain Fun Run 2016

BOOBS ON THE RUN - RUNNING EVENT

 

Put Sunday 20 November in your diary as Boobs on the Run will be sponsoring the 2016 Belle Property Balmain Fun Run.

What: 2016 Belle Property Balmain Fun Run

When: Sunday 20th November 2016

Where: the scenic courses weave through Rozelle’s historic Callan Park and include a segment of the Bay Run

Why now? early bird rates are available for a limited time – up to 40% off on-the-day entry prices

Early bird prices:

10km – $35

5km – $30

2km – $15

Family (2 adults in 5km or 10km; 2 kids in 2km) – $85

Register Here: http://balmainfunrun.com.au/registration/

Bring the family for the 2km run (as a warm-down, of course), which is free for adults running with kids. Perfect family-bonding opportunity.

There are rides! And cake stalls! And face-painting! And sausage sizzles! And gozleme! All by the water at King George Park.

Yes, it’s three months away but it’s time to shrug off the winter blues and start pounding the pavement in preparation for the greatest race on the Inner West Social Calendar.

Kids under 16 who run across the finish line become a Belle Property Balmain Fun Run medalist – yes, this year all under-16 runners receive a shiny medal. Straight to the pool room.

CITY2SURF 2016

This race seems to come around so quickly every year and has now become a training race for those completing the half or marathon in the Blackmores Running Festival in September.

I am continually blown away by the achievements of those who have just finished out Stay Running courses and those that have joined our Keep Running Group.

Emma is lined up to complete her first marathon in September and ran from her home to the start line in the city to make up her long run this week. So she ran 15km first, then added the 14km on with ease! 

Clare also completed the in 1:15:24. Awesome result.

A massive well done to all those runners and walkers that completed the City2Surf 2016.

#WeAreBOTR #GetRunningStayRunningKeepRunning #RunLikeAGirl #WomensRunningCommunity #Cancersucks #runningtime #runninglife #runhappy #runforfun #runnerscommunity #runningwoman #cancerawareness #cancersurvivor #cancerfree #cancerfighter #cancerresearch #cancercouncil #breastcancer #getfit #getfitstayfit #healthyliving #mumswithhustle #supportsmallbusiness #innerwestrunners #Balmain #Glebe #Bayrun #CentennialPark #Sydneyrunninggroup #Concord

Our Amazing BOTR ladies smash the 14km City2Surf race!

Our Amazing BOTR ladies smash the 14km City2Surf race!

Meet Helen - A BOTR Run Leader

This is Helen - she joined the BOTR team as a Run Leader this January....her journey through running has been a long and incredibly emotional one. I think her Dad is a legend! If you are on a weight loss goal, this is an incredibly inspiring story, and just look at the results...

I was never sporty.  I was always last to be picked at team sports at school.  I was more academic than anything. 

My family were active though.  My brother played for Wales at rugby.  My dad was a runner and had ran a number of marathons when I was younger and was still running at 60.

However, my problems probably began at school I went through some bullying and never really had any interests apart from films, TV and computer games.  With the bullying I started comfort eating and lost quite a bit of self-respect for myself.

My family moved when I was a teenager and I struggled to make friends at the new school.  The new friends I did make weren’t really a great bunch of girls and were more interested in boys and not being great students.

I did however go to university but that’s when my eating got out of control.  I put on a lot of weight, comfort ate, drank. Continued to sit at a computer and work.  I did however graduate but I also got into a relationship that didn’t do anything to motivate me in life.  I thought I was happy but I wasn’t.

At my biggest I was 146 kilograms

However, when I was 25 and 133kg my brother set his wedding date.  I knew I had a problem and knew I was morbidly obese.  I hated pictures of myself, hated shopping for clothes, hated social events.  However I knew that I would be in the pictures and wouldn’t avoid them. 

I was close to two of my cousins who encouraged me to go to a healthy eating group to monitor what I ate and monitor my weight.  I had absolutely no expectations but went anyway.  Who knew that healthy eating worked.  The weight started to come off.

Week after week I attended the group and saw that the scales were actually going down.  I decided I wanted to boost that by introducing some exercise in my life.

Of course that worked too.  I started small with exercise DVD’s.  I also attended some dance classes like zumba and aerobics as they were fun and I could do them with friends who were also getting active, who knew me and encouraged me and made me not feel embarrassed doing it.  But, despite living in the UK, the summer was coming and it was getting warmer.  I saw people running outside and I decided I wanted to join them.

Given my dad was a runner, I asked him for advice.  He was so proud of the weight I had lost that far and the active lifestyle I was taking on.  He asked me to go out with him the very next day.  He told me you can’t just run, you learn to run.  You build it up and you see how you go. 

The next day we went out.  I ran probably 300 metres before I had to walk again.  I walked for a bit and then ran a bit. I continued for about 2k.  I was proud of myself.  I’d actually been out on my first run and I enjoyed it.

I continued running with my dad who taught me all about posture and breathing and what to think about when I struggled.  I also started running on my own.  Within a few months I was running the whole course and my route became a regular 3k run.  I went out about 3 – 4 times a week. My eating was also under control and the weight was still coming off. The more the weight came off the better I was getting at running. 

There was a 10k event that took place every year and some friends were doing it.  I decided this was it. That was my challenge and I would enter it.

6 months later I did my first 10k run in a time of 1 hour and 3 minutes.  For me this was, and possibly will be, one of the happiest days of my life.  I remember that feeling of crossing the finish line and being so proud of myself. I knew I had changed and I knew that I never see that old, depressed, unhealthy me ever again.  I also found the confidence in getting out of the relationship I wasn’t happy in and became happier within myself.

Half Marathon - 2013

Half Marathon - 2013

The following year I did a half marathon in 1 hour and 56 minutes.

I laughed at the thought of a marathon.  That was too big for me.  I would only do one if it was a big one like London.... of course I got into the London Marathon and did it in 4 hours and 54 minutes.  When crossing that line I can’t even describe the feeling.  I was screaming at people around me to do it, to push it.  I will never forget that and get emotional even now thinking about it. That was the proudest day and I knew that my biggest goal had been achieved.  I had ran a marathon.  At that stage I had also lost 82 kilos.  Major life achievements had been accomplished in the space of just 3 years.

Running also restored my confidence in my life.  From the UK I moved to Australia where I met people who were even more  passionate about running. I joined running groups, went to Park Runs, competed in various other 10k’s, half marathons and, recently signed up to my next marathon; the Queenstown Marathon in November 2016.

I also understand how my story can inspire others.  I want to encourage others to do what I did.  In 2016 I became an accredited athletics coach and work with a great bunch of people at a running club called Boobs on the Run which inspires women to be active and healthy.  They teach people to run properly like I was taught by my dad.  It’s great to see people fall in love with running and watch it change their lives.

Running has literally saved my life. Without running I don’t know where I’d be.  I don’t think you can really put into words what running means to me.

Why I Run

Hi! I'm Mel Warman and I am the founder and owner of Boobs on the Run. I wanted to share my running story and why Boobs on the Run means so much to me and the community of women we have supported in the past 2 years.

As a kid at Secondary School (High School) I used to love running. On sports days I would always be the one to run the 1500 metres and I was also a county runner at Cross Country.  After school finished and college took over, running became less and less part of my routine. 

I remember getting the call from my Dad asking me to come over to my parents place as they needed to talk to me. He sounded tense and not himself. My brother was overseas with the army at the time, so all sorts of negative thoughts were spinning through my head about what was happening. I had no idea it would be to tell me that Mum had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was only 49. It was so unfair.

A month later we received news that my Aunt (my Mum's oldest sister) had also been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I started to run again. I just needed some "head time" and running allowed me to get that. 

I joined a local running group and quickly became part of the community and eventually became a running coach through England Athletics. It became my sanity check.

During this time my Mum battled breast cancer, raise over $70k for cancer charities in the UK, which included having her hair shaved off in a middle of a pub. She did everything she could to beat the big C.

Unfortunately a year later we received news that the cancer had moved to her lungs. It was terminal. Mum still battled and continued to raise money during that last year, even though she was so tired. She lost her battle at the age of 52 and shortly after I lost my Aunt too who had developed secondary brain cancer.

I'm not one to wallow, and wanted to look on all the good things that my Mum had made happen. I decided on a "Year of Yes". Every time an opportunity to learn something came up, I said yes. I learned to windsurf, volunteered for various charities, trekked across the Sahara (for a cancer charity), learned to kite surf, became a power kite instructor and mountain biked and ran as much as I could.

When I moved to Australia I was looking for a running club that was not just after "quick" times, but more of a community feel.

Myself and another Mum reached out to the community via Facebook groups and soon there was a following. The first run night, 6 women showed up...the following week 20. 

Boobs on the Run has very much grown as a community in the past 2 years, from the very first course to the last one just completed. We have helped to many women regain their self confidence, energy, endurance, they sleep better, eat better and most of all feel better.

That's why I run

IMMUNITY BOOSTING

IMMUNITY BOOSTING

Virginnia Thomas from Nourishing pantry (www.nourishingpantry.com.au) shares her advice on moving into winter and some great immunity boosting recipes.

Lets start thinking about ways to boost immunity before Winter hits. We are all busy, living in the real world with high stress levels, less than 8 hours sleep, taking public transport and eating quick fix diets.  It seems that getting at least one cold/ flu every winter is inevitable, especially if you have children because they love to bring a home a vicious lurgy home and share it around. 

 

My top 10 tips

1.     Wash your hands to avoid spreading germs, we all need reminding every now and then.

2.     Get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep every night, it’s true that an hour before midnight is worth two after.  Aim to have at least 3 nights a week in bed before 10:30, go on give it a go.

3.     Reduce your sugar consumption!  Sugar is an immune suppressant with the effects lasting up to five hours after consumption.

4.     Drink water or plain herbal teas, aim for around 2 litres a day

5.     Eat vegetables of all colours, the brighter the better as these colourful guys are full of anti-oxidants and vitamins.

6.     Consume good quality proteins such as fish, organic chicken. Grass fed meat, eggs and nuts. Protein provides the building blocks for every cell in your body including those that fight infection.

7.     Increase consumption of infection fighting foods such as onions, garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric and cinnamon.

8.     At the first sign of a sniffle make a big batch of flu bomb tea (recipe below) and have an early night– trust me this really works

9.     Exercise, outdoors if possible,  this not only helps you stay fit this winter but will improve mood and give you a great dose of immune boosting vitamin D from the sun.

10.  Include probiotic foods such as yoghurt, kefir, kim chi, sauerkraut and Kombucha in your diet. 70% of the body’s immune system is found in the gut so healthy gut bacteria is vital.  If these all sound foreign don’t worry I will fill you in on the wonders of probiotics really soon. 

 

My two favourite immune boosting recipes

 

Flu Bomb Tea – make this in a big batch and store in the fridge

Ingredients

5cm piece ginger

1 lemon - sliced

1 stick of cinnamon

½ tsp chilli flakes or small chilli chopped

1 clove garlic crushed – this releases the allium which is what does all the good.

500mls boiling water

Honey to taste (but not too much due to sugar content)

Bring the water to the boil and add all ingredients, except honey and allow to steep for 10 minutes- strain out the pieces add honey to taste and enjoy.

Can also be made in a plunger.

 

Chicken Soup

Our grandmothers were right, nearly everything seems better after a steaming bowl of soup.  This recipe is a favourite in my house.  I make a huge pot of chicken stock every couple of weeks, then reduce it, till it becomesthickand gelatinous - causeI only have a tiny freezer, then I add it to everything.   More information on why I love real chicken stock so much and ways to sneak it in coming soon.  If you don’t have homemade stock look for a brand with no nasties, cooked for as long as possible to extract maximum goodness.

Speedy Immune boosting chicken soup

1 tbsp oil of choice, I like olive oil, butter or coconut oil

1 leek – sliced

1 onion diced

1 carrot diced

2 stalks of celery diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2cm piece ginger, grated

1 ltr chicken stock

1 chicken breast thinly sliced

½ cup corn kernals

1 tomato diced

1 egg

Spring onions – sliced

Heat your oil in a heavy based pan, sweat leek, onion, carrot and celery for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chicken stock, bring to boil then add thinly sliced chicken breast and corn. Put lid pot on and turn heat off. Leave for 15 minutes, add tomato, a beaten egg and spring onions and serve. At table add dash of soy and fresh chilli if extra spice.

The Beautiful Bay - Where We Run

 
Picture by Furo Allison: Iron Cove Bay in Sydney's Inner West

Picture by Furo Allison: Iron Cove Bay in Sydney's Inner West

They say a picture says a 1000 words and in this case, we agree! Thanks to the talented Allison Furo for allowing us to post this picture on our blog.

How about you? We'd love your pictures of beautiful places to run!

MAGNESIUM – The Wonder Mineral

 

Natasha Breen, from Sydney Natural Health & Lifestyle Clinic and also one of our runners talks about the benefits of magnesium. 

Have you ever been asked the question, “If you could take 3 things on a desert island, what would they be?”. For me, along with my skinny girl cosmo and bar of Cadbury’s id also have to say some magnesium, it’s that important!!

Without the presence of magnesium in the body, energy could not be produced or used in the cells, muscles could not contract and relax, and key hormones could not be synthesized to help control vital bodily functions.

Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure.

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral in the body, involved in over 350 enzyme reactions in the body. In healthy adults only around 30 % of magnesium is actually absorbed, you can imagine therefore that those of us who aren’t as healthy or are immunocompromised, this percentage is much less. Even with the wide availability of magnesium in foods, at least 60% and possibly as much as 80% of adults do not consume the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for magnesium (310-420mg/day).

So what specifically does Mg actually do? If I were to thoroughly answer this question, I would be here for hours so I will focus on Magnesium’s major functions and its role in running and exercise.

• It is required for protein synthesis – making it important for strength and power when running, also aids in recovery

• Conversion of glycogen to glucose (the bodies’ main fuel during exercise). With suboptimal levels, the body switches to anaerobic metabolism, resulting in a build-up of lactic acid which is often associated with muscle soreness, spasms and fatigue

• Magnesium deficiency is common, with runners and people who exercise regularly at a greater risk of because of its role in energy production and metabolism. It is also lost through sweat during exercise, and in urine. Several studies, including one published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, have revealed many athletes, particularly women, are failing to consume sufficient magnesium in their diet.

• When you are deficient in magnesium, it can exacerbate feelings of exhaustion and heighten the intensity of pain and inflammation. If you have ever suffered from symptoms of pain, muscular cramps, headaches, fatigue or even fibromyalgia, you may have increased requirements for therapeutic doses of a highly bioavailable magnesium.

What Foods Contain Magnesium?

• Top food sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin), unrefined whole grains, peas, beans and lentils. Some fish, such as halibut and mackerel, are also good sources. Drinking water can be an important source of magnesiumalso. It is depleted by stress, sugar, alcohol and soft drinks. Sadly, a lot of the food we are eating is genetically modified and the herbicides used on the crops bind to Mg and reduce its availability to the body. 

What is the best supplemental form of Magnesium? 

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of supplements out there and knowing what is right for you can be very confusing. What you want is a formation that will give you the best absorption and therefore the highest quantity of available magnesium for your body to utilise. The more your body absorbs, the greater the symptom improvement. Forms of magnesium that dissolve well in liquid are more completely absorbed in the gut. Studies have shown that magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate and chloride forms are more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and sulphate1.

Colloidal Magnesium is also a very effective supplemental form due to its high absorption rate.Colloids are the smallest biological form of any matter. They are small enough to pass through membranes and thus they skip past the digestive process and are easily absorbed by the body.

Other fun uses for Magnesium 

I’m sure most people have heard of Epsom salts which are a form of Magnesium. Aside from using in a bath for sore muscles there are some other uses listed below,

Smooth Skin: Mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil and scrub skin in the shower for healthy and smooth skin.

Hair Mask: Combine equal parts of conditioner and epsom salt and leave on hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well and let air dry for thicker hair.

It is always encouraged to obtain our nutrients from a healthy and varied diet, however it is sometimes necessary to take supplemental forms where indicated!

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Natasha

1 Dietary carbohydrate, muscle glycogen content, and endurance performance in well-trained women J. Appl. Physiol. 2000 88: 2151-2158