Road to the Race: How one runner’s journey to the start line
Meghann Seidner, Brand Marketing Director from ZICO Coconut Water, offers her perspective on nutrition, training and all things running as she prepares to take on the 1st Half Marathon at #TSFM2015
I follow a plant-based diet as it helps me feel my best. I am fascinated with the fusion of plant-based nutrition with endurance sports and get many of my recipes and nutrition tips from Thrive Foods.
Some of my go-to recipes when I am training:
- For runs longer than 40 minutes, I make sure to eat breakfast and digest before running. Chia seeds are chock full of fiber and omega-3’s and I turn them into a tasty pudding by mixing 1 part chia seeds to 4 parts homemade almond milk*, then adding fresh berries and sometimes a whisper of homemade granola. Deelish.
- Following my runs, I often enjoy smoothies. My favorite consists of ½ frozen banana, ZICO coconut water (look for no added sugar!), spinach, cacoa nibs, maca powder, hemp seeds, a scoop of peanut butter and a scoop of vegan protein powder. It tastes like dessert, but is great for you.
- Homemade almond milk. Lower in fat/calories than cow milk, this delicious blend is an ingredient in almost all my breakfast every day: Blend soaked almonds with ZICO coconut water, then strain and blend back in VitaMix with vanilla, nutmeg, dates, and cinnamon.
- Hydration: extremely important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. I get a little bored of water and switch it up by including ZICO Coconut Water as part of my day-to-day and post-workout hydration regimen.
I have a love/hate relationship with running. Nothing beats running in terms of caloric burn and I always feel amazing when I can prioritize running in my life: it helps reduce stress and gives me energy to conquer my day. But, I struggle with motivation. Over the years, here’s what worked for me:
1) I sign up for races to force myself to get on a training schedule. Paying a non-refundable race fee, adding the race to my calendar, and broadcasting to my friends/family/co-workers that I am doing it usually does the trick.
2) Buddy system. I make plans to run with a friend. I can’t press snooze and roll back over at 5am, knowing someone is counting on me to be dressed and ready to go by 5:30am.
3) I got a dog that requires a ton of exercise (they say a tired dog is a good dog… Ollie is questionable). Lucky for him, I love him so much and he is so cute. Regardless, he is my most consistent running partner and joins me on all my runs that are shorter than 10 miles.
Ollie after a run
Ollie when he hasn’t run in awhile
While training, and for my long runs only, podcasts are my new best friend. I recently got through an 18 mile long run by listening to several episodes of Serial. NPR Ted Radio Hour has been great, and I am excited to dig into this next Rich Roll Podcast #101.
I make sure I have a killer, surprise play list for the day of the race that I haven’t listened to yet. I will email friends two week before the San Francisco race and ask for their latest favorites to include.
Typical week of training:
In no particular order, here’s what I *try* to accomplish each week when training for a full or half-marathon. If I miss a run (or a week), I try and pick back up where I left off. Life happens!
- Day 1: Medium, moderate-paced run (mileage between short and long run)
- Day 2: Cross Train (Spin, Barre or Boot camp class – I need to sign up for a class vs self-instruct)
- Day 3: Short, easy-paced run (slow, fun, no pressure).
- Day 4: Tempo, hill or speedwork run (Goal = push myself here). Hill work is most important given San Francisco!
- Day 5: Run or Cross Train or Hike or Yoga or Rest (I would love it if I could add yoga 4 days / week on top of all of it. Yoga makes me a better runner. Running, on the other hand, not so great for my yoga)
- Day 6: Long, slow-paced run (ok slowing it down to very slow pace – a minute or 2 per mile slower than you are used to). This one’s important. When marathon training, this run caps out for me at 20 miles. For a half marathon, I usually cap it at 10, although my first half, I ran 8 on my longest run leading up. This time, I made it to 18!
- Day 7: Rest (uber important to give my body a break)
Who is Meghann
Meghann is an amateur Runner, Triathlete, Trail Runner,Cyclist, veggie-chef, ukulele player, and yogi. She fell in love with running after turning 30 and since then has run 2 marathons, 8 half marathons, an 18 mile trail run in Sweden (check it: Lidingöloppet!), a bunch of 5k’s and competed in 8 triathlons. While Training for the NYC marathon in 2011, she got her 200 hour yoga teaching certification with her favorite yoga instructor, Ally Hamilton. When not running, hanging with her dog, or cooking up veggie deliciousness, you’ll find me her work as the Brand Marketing Director for ZICO Coconut Water (where I have been found guilty of inspiring others to sign up for races outside of their comfort zones on multiple occasions).