Turn Up the Beet
Today is the day! It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year, marathon training season is officially amongst us. This week many Charlotteans began their journey to crossing the Charlotte Marathon finish line this morning, myself included. Some people may call it insane, but I couldn’t be more excited to train for the Charlotte Marathon this year.
I kicked off my morning on a long run with a few fellow Charlotte Marathon ambassadors and friends. There’s nothing like a good group run. I love running with friends and strangers because I learn so much from other runners, and you learn so much about other people! It’s a beautiful balance of time for inspiration and nonsensical banter. This morning we began our run at 7:00 am and completed about 8 hot miles. We started off nice and steady, and then (with a little convincing) we played with our pace a bit (thank you Fillnow Coaching!) This consisted of increasing our pace every 20 seconds for three rounds before starting over. It was a fun way to stay engaged, beat boredom, and increase our pace. When all was said and done, I logged 8.1 miles at a 9:18 pace and I felt awesome, #runnershigh.
For post-run recovery I stretched, foam-rolled, and made a light snack of toast with almond-butter and molasses (rich in iron and potassium). I also snagged a beet-juice.
Although they may not be glamorous, beets are one of my favorite foods. On top of having a beautiful color beets are rich in nutrients and vitamins with inorganic nitrates being what they are champs for. When nitrates enter your body, they are converted into a gas called nitric oxide (NO). NO is a vasodilator, meaning it dilates your blood vessels decreasing blood pressure and increasing oxygen flow. This then increases the amount of oxygen and fuel that can be sent to your muscles. Recent studies have indicated that consuming beet juice after workouts can increase overall endurance, decrease muscle soreness, increase recovery rate, and thus increase overall running performance (score!). An additional study indicates that the effects are dose-response, meaning the more beets you consume the greater effect you will see. Turn up the beet!
What are you training for?
Do you eat beets? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?