Simply Running, although Running isn’t all that Simple….

Running with teaYou would think all one would have to do to run is throw on some sneakers (or tennis shoes for all those Colorado folks) and go. Once you get into long distance running or racing, this however, is not the case. You have to make sure you have the right shoes, the right amount of water, find out which energy gels you want to use, how to evade overuse injury….you get the idea. I am currently training for my second marathon, The Vermont City Marathon, which I’ll be running in two weeks. I am nervous as all hell. I’ve already run 1 marathon, 4 half marathons and a smattering of 5 and 10K’s, but gearing up for the 26.2 miles never gets easier. I think this is partially because no matter how much you train, how good you feel before hand, anything, and I mean ANYTHING can happen during the race.

Now my first marathon I feel like I got lucky, I was tired and lonely around mile 22 and my legs started cramping up a bit, but that is to be expected. Other than that I had no major injury, no blisters, no tweaked hamstring or IT bands or anything else that typically comes up from long distance running. I’m thinking this might be the reason why I’m nervous for my upcoming marathon, I’m nervous I won’t get this lucky a second time.

For the past month I’ve been training pretty regularly, rolling out my muscles, avoiding all alcohol, and eating the appropriate carbs, protein and fats. Since I drink tea all the time, I wanted to see if there was any benefits of my tea drinking that would aid in my running. My search lead me to another blog post that spoke about that very issue. It started off describing tea as a great alternative drink to coffee before a race for non-coffee drinkers “tea is the pre-run drink of choice. Although tea only provides about half as much caffeine as coffee, it can be much easier on the stomach, especially for runners who have prerace butterflies.” The blog then went into various tea types and the health benefits of each such as…

Green and white tea, “the least oxidized teas have the highest [nutritional] value, especially due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Green and whites also do the best job of any of the teas of boosting the body’s ability to utilize fat as an energy source.”

Black teas on the other hand, “contain more of the antioxidants that inhibit cancer growth and lower cholesterol. One study has shown that drinking just a cup a day of black tea can cut the risk of heat attack by 44 percent.”

The blog post also described that drinking herbal teas like mint and chamomile have no caffeine so the night before you can drink them and still fall asleep. What the blog post failed to mention however, is that one of my favorite teas, rooibos, like our Red Rocks, is actually rehydrating and has tons of vitamins and minerals and therefore is a favorite with athletes.

So we’ve realized that running is no easy feet (pun intended) I do now know that everyday, in addition to all my training and nutritional awareness, that my multiple cups of tea are aiding me with anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and keeping me hydrated for the long haul.

It’s time to go run!

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