With 39 days to go until the Marine Corps Marathon, I’m starting to take my preparations seriously.
For the past couple weeks, that’s meant preparing for my long runs like they’re rocket launches, and adding some speedwork to my schedule of tempo runs, long runs and whatever-I-feel-like runs.
This week, that also means focusing on my pre-race nutrition, which I was a little too lax about before my 17-miler last week. I know not to eat burritos the night before; now, I know Mexican is also a poor choice two nights out. So I started the week by shopping for ingredients for roasted vegetable lasagna and homemade pizza, plus Mountain Berry Blast PowerAde, which is apparently going to be served on the MCM course.
I also bought ingredients for what’s become my standard post-long-run protein shake. I’ve been tweaking the formula since April, when I posted a call for new protein-shake ideas on this blog (check out a long list of great ideas here). It moved over to the “tried and true” category when I ran it by a few sports dietitians I talked to for a Running Times story earlier this summer. One proclaimed it “pretty much the perfect post-run snack.” Done!
Here’s my favorite recipe, which attempts to reach the magic 4:1 carb-protein ratio, with roughly as many grams of good, complex carbohydrates as my weight divided by two (try this easy formula to figure out your post-long-run carb needs, too!). For me, that’s about 62.5 grams of carbohydrates. If we stick with the 4:1 ratio, that’s 15 grams of protein.
1/2 c nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 c milk
1-2 frozen bananas
Splash of vanilla
1/4 c Hershey’s cocoa powder
Sweetener of choice (I use a dash of Splenda)
1 TBSP peanut butter
Hershey’s syrup to taste
Blend in food processor or blender. Slurp frantically as you sink into an ice bath.