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After the race…now what?

Congratulations, you’ve completed Bridge to Brisbane Day! Whether you raced your hardest through the 10km or took a leisurely walk over the Story Bridge with a group of friends, you’ve done a great thing for yourself and the community.

Achieving a goal is a great feeling. But what do you do after you tick that box?

Reflect – how do you feel?

Take some time to give yourself a pat on the back and think about how you feel after achieving your goal. Reflect on what’s changed since you decided to do the race – are you feeling healthier or happier? Is exercise a bigger part of your routine? Have you kicked any bad habits? Are there any other changes you want to make?

Decide what new habits you want to stick with and how you want to feel, then set about making your next health or fitness goal.

Setting new goals

Keeping the reasons you embarked on your Bridge to Brisbane Day journey in mind, think about what your next goals might be now that race day is over.

You might aim to continue running a few times a week, set a goal to continue cooking healthy dinners, or register for another fun run. Think about what long-term changes you want to make: do you want to improve your speed or distance, lose weight, or feel more energetic?

Use the S.M.A.R.T formula to set goals that are achievable and realistic, and write your goals down on a calendar or list. Think about the steps you’ll take to realise your goals, breaking them down into achievable chunks. Each week, think about what you’ll do to move a little closer to ticking your goal off your list, using a tool like the Healthier. Happier. Meal & Exercise Planner to write your weekly plan.

A suggested long-term goal is to write down your time from this year’s event and aim to shave time off this in 2018!

Keeping healthy habits

Sticking to healthy habits in the long term can be challenging, but there are a lot of tools to make it easier for you.

Stay motivated by tracking your progress, getting friends involved, and making sure you reward yourself when you stick with your new routine.

Use the Health & Fitness Age Calculator to get some insight into your overall health and wellbeing, either to motivate yourself to keep on working hard or to track the progress you’ve already made.

Mix things up in the kitchen by trying some new, healthy recipes, including healthy snacks, comfort food and fast family dinners. You can explore the Healthier. Happier. Library for more articles on healthy eating, exercise and goal setting.

What will you be doing to stay motivated now that Bridge to Brisbane Day 2017 is complete? Let us know in the comments below.

We want to see your race day snaps! Keep your photos coming by tagging us and using the hashtags #BestTimeBNE and #Bridge2Brisbane. 

What To Eat While Training

Building a healthy exercise habit is not just about learning good technique and buying a pair of well-fitting sneakers. What you eat and drink will have a big impact on the efficiency of your training sessions, your recovery and your ability to perform to your potential in any races or fun runs you enter. As we draw closer and closer to Bridge to Brisbane Day, find out what to eat while training, and how to prep for and recover from race day.

The building blocks

When deciding what to eat while training, the best place to start is with your everyday eating and drinking habits. Grabbing a healthy snack pre-run won’t make a huge difference if the rest of your diet is made up of junk, or you’re skipping food altogether.

Try to get into a pattern with your eating that includes three meals a day and may be supplemented by some healthy snacks. The five building blocks of food will give you an idea of the different food groups and how much of everything you should be eating each day. The Healthier. Happier. recipe collections are a great place to look for healthy meal and snack ideas.

Carbohydrates are a very important part of a runner’s diet. Think about carbohydrates like the petrol needed to fuel a car. Without fuel, a car won’t run, and without carbs, you won’t run well, either.

Carbohydrates provide the fuel your body requires to support your day-to-day activities. If you don’t eat enough carbs, you might feel fatigued and unable to train effectively.

Good quality carbohydrates can be found in foods like:

  • Wholegrain, light rye or sourdough bread
  • Fruit
  • Untoasted muesli
  • Oats
  • Wholegrain pasta
  • Basmati rice
  • Legumes.

Eating carbohydrates before you train will help fuel your exercise. Then, eating more after you run will help your body refuel, replacing the energy you’ve used while exercising.

Before you train

Everyone feels differently about eating before a workout: some don’t mind it, while others don’t like to have much in their belly before hitting the track. Even if you don’t like to eat before you run, having something small will give you energy to move to the best of your ability.

A pre-run snack could be:

  • One or two slices of wholegrain toast or raisin toast
  • A couple of fresh or dried dates
  • A small bowl of cereal with chopped fruit and yoghurt
  • Or a piece of fresh fruit.

If you’re exercising later in the day, try having something larger to eat an hour or two before your training session. Try 150 grams of plain yoghurt and untoasted muesli or a wholegrain muesli bar with nuts or fruit.

After training

After a workout, there are three important things your body needs:

Protein

Protein will assist with muscle repair and growth. Aim to have 20-30grams of protein in the hour post-exercise, which you could get from 100-150 grams of lean meat or fish, three eggs, 150-180 grams of plain yoghurt, or a fruit-based smoothie.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates help with both refuelling your body and supporting the muscle repair process. A fruit smoothie, muesli and yoghurt, oats with milk, lean meat and rice or pasta and veggies are all great options to help replenish your energy reserves.

If you feel tired, lethargic or hungry within an hour after you’ve finished training, it’s a sign that you haven’t eaten enough carbs – so eat a little more!

Fluids

We might be talking about what to eat while training, but it’s important to remember that it’s not just about food – rehydrating before and after you run is a really important part of keeping you healthy and helping you perform your best when you run. Not rehydrating properly can actually decrease your performance by up to 60 per cent, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water both before and after you run.

For a particularly long training session over a couple of hours, or on race day, you can check how much you need to drink by weighing yourself before and after the event. Whatever weight you’ve lost during the run, you need to drink that much fluid plus 50 per cent more to effectively rehydrate. For example, if you are one kilogram lighter after your run, you need to drink one and a half litres of water.

On race day

Your diet shouldn’t change too much between training and racing. With practice, you’ll learn what feels best in your body before and after you run, and can mimic this on the day of the race.

Pre-race

The night before Bridge to Brisbane Day, eat a dinner that’s a little higher in carbohydrates to make sure your energy stores are full. Potato, rice or pasta are great options for a pre-race dinner, or have a lighter meal of yoghurt and fruit with oats.

Remember that good quality carbs will keep your energy levels stable, rather than the low quality carbs such as highly processed, sugary foods like lollies, chocolate or ice cream.

On the day of the race, eat as you have been during training. If you’re not a big pre-run eater, or your race is very early in the morning, plan to have something small that will give you an energy boost. Don’t forget to have plenty of fluids before you run!

Post-race

Even though it might be tempting to fill up on junk food as a reward after your run, sticking to non-food rewards (like getting a massage, or going to the movies) is a much better way to celebrate your achievement.

Try to eat a meal with plenty of protein and carbohydrates, like you have during training, within an hour of crossing the finish line. Make sure you consume plenty of fluids as well, to ensure you are properly rehydrated.

If you have to wait longer than an hour between finishing the race and getting a meal, have a simple snack like a wholegrain muesli bar or piece of fruit to tide you over until you can eat something more substantial.

Once the races are over, why not reward yourself by spending a beautiful day in South Bank? Relax in the Finish Village with family and friends, or give your body the fuel it needs with a meal from one of your favourite South Bank cafes and restaurants. Many South Bank retailers have exclusive deals for Bridge to Brisbane Day participants – all you have to do is show your race bib.

 

This blog was contributed by our friends at Healthier. Happier.

Got any other suggestions on what to eat while training? Let us know in the comments below. 

Yet to enter Bridge to Brisbane Day? It’s not too late – but hurry, last year’s event SOLD OUT! Get your runners on and enter NOW. 

Don’t forget to share your training snaps by using the hashtags #bridge2brisbane and #BestTimeBNE!