Friday, February 11, 2011
Thrive - The Game Changer
I just read (and re-read) Thrive by Brendan Brazier. You can't spend five minutes researching vegetarian + running and not bump into Thrive. This guy has written what seems to be the "Gold Standard" of nutritional information for vegetarian/vegan endurance athletes. Since I'm wholly committed to completing my first marathon in October fueled solely on plants, Thrive just keeps popping up.
If you have any interest at all in learning about how food metabolizes in your body, how all forms of stress effect your system (and ultimately performance) or how to make a rockin' pizza "crust" from vegetables and legumes... read on...
I won't rehash the contents of Thrive here but I highly recommend the book if these things interest you. I listened to an interview with Brendan on one of my favorite websites No Meat Athlete. Between the book and the interview I learned a ton but these are my two take away game changers:
1) You have about a 45 minute window to replenish your glycogen stores and protein after a workout. Eat the proper food within the window and you can be well on you way to recovery within a couple of hours and do it all again tomorrow. Miss the window and you miss your chance! Your body will cannibalize your muscle to restore itself. I Did Not Know This! I thought I was the smartest girl in the world for doing my long run on Sundays and following it up with 90 minutes of butt-kicking yoga before eating a single bite. WOW! How much more awesome would I be had this piece of information crossed my path? Hopefully, this will afford you months of potential awesomeness.
By wolfing down a green smoothie (more on this in future posts) or a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter & banana within a few minutes after exercise, you'll be able to save the hot muscles you've worked so hard for. Then you can go home and prepare a proper meal OR torture yourself with 90 minutes of yoga! The choice is yours...
2) The incredible value to be found in the long, slow, easy run. The longer, the slower, the more your body will learn to burn fat for fuel. Your carbohydrate fuel runs out at about 90 minutes no matter what so tapping into fat for fuel is key for improving endurance. My competitive and statistic-driven nature makes this lesson a hard one. I want "faster.better.more" when I need to be focusing on casually chatting up Hillaire at the 20K mark. If I can master this little nugget, I believe I will finish the marathon happy, healthy and smiling!
If this kind of information is useful to you, check out Brendan's books or vegan nutritional line "Vega". He also has a free video series called Thrive in 30 which outlines the principles of his book in 5-7 minute video clips. You'll receive videos with written reviews of the last lesson delivered to your email account every two days for a month. This is a great way to stick your toe into the Thrive/Vega world!