Today’s Training: 7 miles tempo- Cool morning, beautiful sunrise, pounding heart. I felt really good, so I ended on the canal with 7 sprints. My sprint pace is between 5:50-6:00min/mile; I can’t sustain it for long though. I have no clue how many meters it was for each sprint- I just ran from this bush to that bridge, jog back; 7 times. I could taste today’s run in my throat when I finished. Tough stuff.
With sprints, you usually stay only on the balls of your feet because you’re moving so fast. It gets your heart rate almost to maximum intensity because your muscles need more blood flow. It helps your anaerobic fitness by helping you take in more oxygen and work more efficiently, increases your lactic acid threshold so you can work harder, longer (Qualify for Boston!?), and it burns lots of calories in a short time. It’s almost a complete exercise because you use so many muscles- legs, arms, abs. It’s hard, but so worth the effort. For me, if I really don’t cheat, it’s harder than hill repeats. Try yourself a few sprints today! Your heart will thank you for it!
Ahhh, and what did I enjoy after this intense run today?? Coconut Water!! Coconut products. I love them all! Be it coconut water, coconut milk, coconut yogurt, coconut ice cream, coconut oil, coconut cake- I can’t get enough! Today, though, I will focus on Coconut Water in all its deliciousness! Why is coconut water good for the athlete? Wait, IS it good for the athlete?
It’s the water found inside little baby coconuts before they mature. It’s naturally low in calories and fat free. Because coconut water is very high in potassium and has some sodium, it has been marketed as a “sports drink.” I do prefer it to other sports drinks, but honestly I just love it because it tastes good- it’s not some magic formula that does something water cannot. I don’t drink it every day- it’s expensive for one thing. And studies mostly say that nothing other than water is necessary for regular exercise under two hours anyways.
But there’s just something about an ice cold coconut water after a long hot run…
It’s certainly not bad for you, but one thing to beware of is the high sugar content of flavored coconut waters- it can be as high as soda. Chocolate is my absolute favorite, and was my biggest craving when I was pregnant. I have no scientific proof- but it made me feel better every time I felt queasy. However, it’s not exactly “healthy” if I drink them all the time- as with any drink besides water. Damn you, moderation! It takes some getting used to, but if you drink a lot of this stuff, stick to plain. I save them for my intense work out days. Or when I see them at Wegmans and I’m thirsty and I just can’t resist….hey, it’s better than a cookie, right? When I give some to Brax (yep, loves it- see “biggest craving when pregnant”), I mix half and half with water to lessen the sugar. We share, isn’t that sweet!
In marathon training mode- and in nursing momma mode (which is quickly coming to an end, sigh)- I don’t drink much alcohol; I do enjoy a good beer now and then. But sometimes I just crave a cocktail. You can make any cocktail with coconut water and it’s very tasty. This one is a virgin recipe, but add your alcohol of choice if you want. I mean, when in Jamaica…
Coconut Water “Sangria”
1 litre coconut water (preferably unsweetened)
½ pineapple, cubed
2 kiwis, cubed
½ mango, cubed
500 ml sparking water/club soda
mint for garnish
ice cubes (optional)
Step 1: Pour the coconut water into a large pitcher. Toss in the chopped fruits and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours of the fruit to blend with the coconut water.
Step 2: Pour the sparkling water into the pitcher just before serving.
Step 3: Serve in chilled glasses or with ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves. Drink up!