Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Running and Recovery: Nutrition

Immediately after any run, but especially after hard workouts and most especially after races, put some calories straight into your system. Large and equal amounts of protein and carbs (along with plenty of fluids) are most helpful. Also, chocolate (the purer, the better) has plenty of anti-oxidants...I drink a hot chocolate after every marathon, and the only after-marathon symptom I have is a little stiffness in the quads.

I've also expanded this recovery-through-calories concept into a shake which I blend after every workout. The latest recipe:

  • Ice (especially during hot weather, to improve the experience and especially to replenish fluids)
  • Cocoa (again, the more pure the cocoa, the better)
  • Honey for sweetener (the less refined sugar an athlete consumes, the better)
  • Apple
  • Banana (the potassium in bananas helps prevent cramps; if you don't like the taste of apple in your shake, throw in an extra banana)
  • Graham cracker or animal crackers for flavor
  • Walnuts (excellent source of protein, and walnuts are good for your long-term health)
  • Peanut butter (sparingly; a little extra protein and flavor)
  • Skim milk (cut the fat and don't bother with whole or low-fat milk; with all of the above ingredients, you won't notice the difference)

    And you can't get these calories into your system soon enough after a hard workout. If you're running with a backpack to the local track, for example, mix your shake beforehand and take it with you in a thermos to start drinking moments after you finish your recovery run. And eat a snack while you're mixing your shake after a run (apple sauce is a quick and convenient post-run snack if your finish line is your own doorstep).

  • Click here to return to Bill's Road Running section, where you can find links to listings of Boston Qualifiers by name, state/province, country and month, as well as a Boston qualifying marathoner's tips on how to become a serious runner and qualify for the Boston Marathon yourself.

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