Make no mistake: Jamie Anderson is fit. Really fit. The professional snowboarder took gold in women's slopestyle during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and fills her downtime with plenty of yoga, hiking, and dancing. But when it comes to running, going the distance is new to Anderson—June 14 will mark her very first 10K race, the Oakley New York Mini Marathon in New York City's iconic Central Park. "I'm not a big runner," she explains. "That's why this is a good goal for me!" To help prepare, Jamie is focusing on maintaining a healthy diet and regular training, so GrindTV caught up with the snowboarder to get her tips on 10K nutrition for first-timers.
Training for a 10K race means choosing healthy, wholesome foods—something that gets exponentially easier when you cook at home instead of going out to eat. "Just being home and in my kitchen is so nice," Anderson explains. "I can eat clean and know exactly what I'm getting." She loves juicing and cooking different Ayurvedic meals, always including an extra dose of turmeric and ginger (both have anti-inflammatory and heart healthy benefits). If you're cooking at home, try to use the healthiest options—if you want bread, make sure it's whole grain. If you want stir-fry, steam your vegetables instead of pan-frying them. Lean meats like chicken and fish are preferable to red meats, and low-fat yogurts will still give you lots of protein without the extra calories.
Anderson's nutrition plan leading up to the 10K is focused mostly on balance, not dieting. "I've just been focusing on eating really healthy, getting strong, hiking, biking, doing yoga, and running," she says, explaining that the majority of her meals incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables. Other than that? Water, water, and more water. Chugging a gallon right before race time will lead to stomach pains, which is why proper hydration begins in the weeks before a race. An effective way to gauge your hydration levels is to check out the color of your urine—anything darker than a light straw color means you need more water.
The night before the race, Anderson plans on making a balanced meal that will be easy on her digestive system: rice and beans, vegetables, avocado and salsa. Don't overload on pasta, a common mistake that leaves runners tired and sluggish in the morning. Instead, eat like you normally would and add just a few extra carbs in place of your salad (just make sure you use a complex carb like whole grain pasta).
Snacks are a runner's best friend—bananas, avocados, unsalted nuts, and even dark chocolate can keep you satiated the day before a big race. As for the morning-of meal? "I'm not sure yet!" says Anderson. "I think something light but filling before the race. Maybe steel-cut oats with almond milk, fruit, and seeds." If your stomach can't handle much solid food before the race, try drinking a sports drink or munching on a little peanut butter and banana. Try to cut back on caffeine to avoid unnecessary pee breaks, and if you get hungry during the race, you're most likely just thirsty. Focus instead on taking in some fluid—you should be able to make it through the 10K without stopping to snack.
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