Smoothie recipes for runners

Smoothie recipes for runners

There’s nothing worse than running on an empty stomach. Not having the energy to fuel the performance you’re capable of can be frustrating and ultimately demoralising for runners. Smoothies are a really effective and healthy way to increase your energy levels and can boost recovery post-run.  

Here are our top 5 recipes.

1) Banana Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk (whatever kind is your preference)
– 1 large banana
– 1 tablespoon of peanut/almond butter
– ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

This is a really easy and quick one, simply pop all the ingredients into your blender and then blitz until you get a consistency you’re happy with. Bananas are perfect for an active lifestyle, they’re quick and easy to eat, and they provide energy through their healthy carbohydrates and potassium. This helps control muscle contractions during activity and also aids recovery by restoring electrolyte balance post-activity.

2) Green Smoothie

– 1 cup of almond milk
– 1 apple
– 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
– 1 tablespoon of peanut/almond butter
– 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

If you can see past the colour it turns your smoothie, spinach is a great ingredient. It’s low in calories, but high in fiber, iron, zinc, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. The nitric oxide reduces the amount of oxygen muscles require during activity, making running easier and reducing the chance of injury. Just 2 small handfuls in your smoothie will provide a huge amount of nutrional benefit! Blitz all the ingredients together and pop in a scoop of protein if desired.

3) Blueberry Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup blackberries
– 1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt 
– 1 large banana
– 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Blueberries are incredibly good for you. They are very low in calories but high in nutrients. They’re packed with antioxidants, which protect your body from unstable molecules that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and diseases. Adding the yoghurt into this recipe is not only delicious but is a good source of protein and calcium. Again just pop in to the blender and blitz until its smooth.

4) Tropical Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk
– ¼ cup of Greek yoghurt
– 1 large banana
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
– 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
– 1 teaspoon dessicated coconut (optional)
– 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Pineapples are packed with immune-boosting nutrients and enhance heart health by dissolving artery plaque. They’re great to eat post activity as they reduce the time it takes to recover from exercise due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Mango is full of fiber and antioxidants making this smoothie packed with nutrition and perfect for a runner pre or post run. Put the ingredients in the blender and blend till its done. Add the coconut and/or honey if you like your smoothies a little bit sweeter.

5) Avocado Smoothie

– 1 cup of almond milk
– 1 ripe avocado
– 1 cup greek yoghurt
– 1 kiwi

Avocado is full of healthy fats. This helps to fill you up, meaning a single avocado can reduce the desire to overeat or snack later in the day. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, making them a great source of energy for longer exercise sessions. A whole avocado contains around 230 calories – providing 3g of protein and 9g of fibre, which ensures high energy levels and stabilised blood sugar.

Read More
Running in the Heat

Running in the Heat

It’s not everyday we are privileged with the GORGEOUS weather we have had over the weekend but that doesn’t mean your running has to suffer. Here’s our top tips on how to deal with running in the heat:

  1. Stay hydrated
    Hydration is crucial for performing at your best in the hot conditions. It’s so difficult to know how much fluid is lost through sweat on your run, but that makes it even more important to pre-hydrate AND post-hydrate.
  2. Check the breeze
    When possible try and start your run by going with the wind, and running back with a headwind – apparently running into the wind has a cooling effect! Especially important for the second half of your run.
  3. Avoid midday heat
    Try and avoid the midday heatwave by running earlier in the day or later in the afternoon. Not only will it be cooler in the morning but it’s also a great way to start the day and give you that extra energy boost!
  4. Dress appropriately
    Don’t wear too much clothing, keep it lightweight that possibly has vents or mesh. Don’t forget to protect yourself properly from the sun too, make sure you’re wearing an SPF of 30 or higher.
  5. Be patient
    It takes a long time for our bodies to acclimatise to hot weather, so adjust your routes and pace and gradually increase the length and intensity of your training. Be patient with your body!
Read More
Virtual Running Guide

Virtual Running Guide

A virtual running event is a concept that would have had many of us scratching our heads this time 18 months ago. However, virtual events have taken over the running scene in 2020 and 2021.

The great thing about running virtually is that it gives you a tangible goal during an uncertain time. What better way to spend time in lockdown than training towards doing something positive – and receiving a bunch of goodies in the process!

However, it’s totally normal to be unsure of the best method to undertake a virtual event. For many of you, the Kilomathon Virtual Challenge will be the first time you’ve dipped your feet into running an event solo! So to help out, we’ve put together our top 5 tips.

1) Safety First

Obviously, your safety during your run is the most important thing. This means being careful, letting someone else know your route, and picking quieter routes where social distancing can more easily be maintained if possible. This is your moment of glory, so best to avoid letting anything get in the way!

2) Create your Fan Club

Whether it’s a significant other, running buddies, family members, or the man next door, make sure they know about your virtual run. You have dared to be different with Kilomathon and you deserved to be cheered on! Tell them when you’re running so that they can either support you during the run, or shower you with praise once you’re finished. Motivation can be difficult when running alone, so having a support network behind you is sure to fire you on to the finish line!

3) Plan Your Route

One of the benefits of a virtual race is that the route is entirely in your hands. When else could you take on Kilomathon around your favourite circuit in your local area? You need to make sure you complete the distance, but the rest is up to you! So add flats, downhills, uphills as you see fit. If you can, adding makeshift fuelling and aid stations into your route will help keep you going.

4) Timing’s Everything

Another benefit of virtual running – you decide when you run! Nobody knows better than you when it comes to your running preferences. So whether you wake up and want to crack on first thing, or decide you fancy an afternoon canter, the decision is in your hands.

5) Enjoy It

Remember why you entered the event, spent so long training and are here now. This is your moment, so savour it and enjoy it as much as possible. Remember to stick to your pace, and the rest will follow. Good luck!

Read More
Fiona McRobbie

Fundraising Fiona taking on Virtual Kilomathon 13.1K in tribute to friend Cath

Fiona McRobbie will be thinking of her ‘fabulous friend’ Cath when she takes on her Virtual Kilomathon 13.1K on Sunday 11th April.

Fiona, from Linlithgow, is using the event to fundraise for MND Scotland in support of her friend Cath.

“I’m running for Cath. Cath lives in Linlithgow with her husband and has 2 girls, she is the life and soul of the party. She was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019 and has been amazing – she never stops smiling!” Fiona told us.

Despite the whole family’s positivity, they were rocked when the pandemic brought an end to many of their fundraising plans, curtailing social visits and disrupting important medical appointments.

“I can’t imagine how difficult that has been for them all. We are hoping that if restrictions lessen they will be able to meet up with family and friends again soon.”

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. MND Scotland is the leading charity in Scotland providing care and support to people affected by MND, as well as funding vital research into finding a cure. Cath and husband Alan have been taken aback by the level of support they’ve received from the charity.

“They have helped to make their lives easier and I know they are keen to raise as much awareness and funds for MND Scotland as they can and if I can do anything to help at all I will.”

Fiona describes herself as a ‘social runner’ who enjoys running for the fresh air and feel-good factor, not usually going further than 5K at a time. She explained that her motivation to raise as much money as possible was behind her pushing herself to the 13.1K distance.

“I chose the 13.1K rather than the 6.5K so I would have to push myself and find it difficult. When asking people to donate, I want them to know it’s not something I would complete easily!”

Training has had its ups and downs for Fiona, who is currently suffering from a knee injury. However, she won’t let that hold her back and says she will even power walk if required!

“I’m determined to do it – promoting MND awareness in my race t-shirt and raising any funds I can.”

Fiona is ready to finally get the challenge under her belt after what feels like a long year, and has her race route planned already.

“I’m just excited to give the money raised to MND Scotland. As we can’t travel outside our area I’ve chosen to complete a route along the Union Canal from Broxburn to Linlithgow, I’m so lucky to have it on my doorstep, there will be some stunning scenery and wildlife along the way.”

We want to wish a huge good luck to Fiona – we’re sure you’ll smash it!

If you’d like to donate to Fiona’s fundraising efforts, you can do so via the link below.Fiona’s JustGiving Page

Read More
Rob Grisenthwaite

Running Rob taking on Virtual Kilomathon in aid of Myeloma UK

26 year old Rob Grisenthwaite will be lacing up his trainers on the 11th of April as he gears up to take on the Virtual Kilomathon 13.1K from Oban.

Rob, a 2019 Kilomathon runner, will be hitting the streets in April for a very special cause. Rob explained his motivation to take on this challenge to us;

“I am taking part in the Virtual Kilomathon to raise money for Myeloma UK. Myeloma is a form of terminal blood cancer, with 15 people diagnosed every day in the UK. My Grandad Bill was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2018.”

Bill, who led a charitable life of his own, is acknowledged by Rob as an important figure in his own life.

“My Grandad has been an incredible influence on my life. He has always sought to do what he can for other people. For 30 plus years he ran a small animal rescue and rehoming charity. We are very lucky to have him with us.”

Bill has fortunately responded well to treatment so far, but like so many of us has found the pandemic difficult, and has found himself having to shield for the majority of the last 12 months.

Myeloma UK is the only organisation in the UK that deals exclusively with myeloma, ensuring that myeloma patients have access to the right treatment at the right time. Rob was inspired to fundraise for them from his own experience with the disease and his desire to help them with their ultimate goal of finding a cure.

“Myeloma UK are solely funded through voluntary donations and fundraising activities. They seek to provide support services to patients and families to help deal with issues myeloma brings. I am supporting this charity so they can get closer to their goals and continue the support they supply to patients and families across the UK.”

This won’t be Rob’s first running event, having turned into somewhat of a veteran of the scene since moving to Edinburgh in 2018.

“Since 2018 I have slowly braved greater distances, starting with a 10K here and there. In 2018, I took on the Edinburgh Half Marathon and loved it. I ran Kilomathon in 2019 and thought it was great, a perfect distance to gain confidence in running long distances! I have been eyeing up a Marathon for 3 years now and the Virtual Kilomathon is going to be a big step towards that goal.”

Training for his Virtual Kilomathon challenge in April has so far been relatively smooth sailing.

“Training’s going well. I am now based in Oban, and I’m doing my best to find new routes and fit training around my studies. I am mixing it up between long and short distances, whilst trying to eat well and listening to any aches and pains.”

Rob contends that running the Kilomathon 13.1K from Oban won’t be exactly the same as his previous experience of the event, but is looking forward to being a part of something bigger than himself on the 11th April.

“To know that I am part of something so many are doing for the betterment of others. We have struggled everyday in some sense or another. Now the gravitas of achievement can hardly mean more.”

He is wary, however, of battling the elements.

“There is always the incoming weather to contend with. Too often I have gone against the wind at the start to come back and it somehow is still blowing against me!”

We’d like to say a huge good luck to Rob, and will have our fingers crossed for him that he crosses the virtual finish line with the time he’s hoping for. We know you can do it Rob!

If you’d like to donate to Rob’s cause, you can do so via the link below.Rob’s JustGiving Page

Read More
Kettlebell Exercises

It’s time to put the kettle on

Just milk, no sugar please.

It’s safe to say that home workouts have rocketed over the past few months with many people working from home and gyms being closed. Sales of kettlebells have gone through the roof, but how do you put them to best use for your running training?

Research has found that kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, improves core strength and dynamic balance. This simple piece of equipment can develop muscular endurance, strength, power and cardiovascular capacity – all of which contribute to making you a better runner.

We’ve detailed some exercises below which you can incorporate into your home workout routine.

1. Squats

Squats are brilliant for building up the quads, hamstrings & glutes – muscles which all runners use in abundance!
Hold the kettlebell in both hands and squat until your elbows touch your knees. Only go as low as is comfortable, control the movement up and down, and don’t rush! The more controlled the movement, the better.
Set: 3 sets of 15 reps (1-min rest between sets)

2. Swings

Swings help to build strength in the hips – which we know causes problems for a lot of runners.
Make sure the kettlebell is at shoulder level, and remember to squeeze your glutes at the top of the swing.
Set: 2 sets of 50 swings (1-min rest between sets)

3. Single leg deadlift

This is a challenging exercise as it requires good core strength as well as balance/coordination, however the benefits to the hips, hamstrings and glutes are incredible, especially for runners.
Set: 3 sets of 10 reps

Not sure which weight of kettlebell you need?

If you can, get to the gym and experiment with the above exercises to see what feels right. If after 10 swings you’re really struggling, you’ve gone too heavy and vice-versa, if you finish them with ease then you’ve gone too light. You want to be able to complete all the sets and all the reps, but for those final reps to be hard work.

As a guide, a good starter weight for these exercises for women is 6-8 kg, and for men is 14-16 kg, but it really is down to the individual and what works best for you.

Read More
Healthy Snack Options

HEALTHY SNACK OPTIONS

It’s a strange time, and being asked to vastly reduce our time outside has meant that many of us are spending far more time at home than we’re used to. For some, being at home all day makes little difference to the daily routine, but for others, it can lead to an increased urge to snack. So to help out, we’ve put together a list of guilt-free, healthy snacks that can actually boost your energy and improve your running performance!
1) Bananas

This is an obvious one. Bananas are quick and easy to eat whilst simultaneously being a great source of potassium, boosting muscle function. They’re full of good carbs and are beneficial to the body before, during or after a run.

2) Popcorn

Corn kernels are whole grain, making them nutritionally similar to whole wheat bread or brown rice. So as long as you’re not covering your popcorn in butter, sugar or salt, it’s a low calorie and highly filling snack!

3) Carrots & Hummus

Carrots are another snack that are low in calories but filling. They’re a good source of potassium and fibre to the body, which helps slow down the digestive system and give the body a steadier supply of nutrients. Why not make your carrots a bit more interesting and pair with hummus? Hummus provides runners with iron and protein, which is essential for the body.

4) Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is absolutely packed with protein, which helps runners by boosting muscle rebuilding and repair. It’s also a good source of calcium, which can help reduce the chances of bone injury.

5) Dates

Dates are a common snack for runners. They’re naturally very sweet and like the other snacks on the list, provide a lot of carbohydrates and protein with relatively low calories. Dates pair well with nuts, which are another good source of protein.

6) Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are incredibly nutritional, and provide high amounts of protein, riboflavin and biotin. They’re very easy to make in bulk and serve as a highly nutritious meal on the go.

Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

Read More
Avoiding Overtraining

Avoiding Overtraining

Last week we asked our runners for any tips they had for new runners, or people who had increased their running during this period of lockdown. We got loads of great pieces of advice back, but one key issue that popped up more than any other was the importance of avoiding overtraining. 

Overtraining occurs when someone takes on more exercise than their body can recover from, which can lead to decreased performance and increased likelihood of injury. So to help out, we’ve put together some of the key warning signs of overtraining, and methods to overcome it!

Warning Signs of Overtraining

1) Decreased Performance

A key sign is lack of improvement despite consistent training. Overtraining can lead to a decrease in agility & endurance, negatively affecting running performance. 

2) Injuries

Another telltale sign is chronic or nagging injuries. Overused muscles can cause pain and slow recovery times. If your legs are noticeably sore at the beginning of or during runs, it’s probable that you’re overtraining.  

3) Fatigue

Heavy legs are to be expected now and again, but overtraining can lead to a feeling of persistent fatigue that can be hard to shake off. Excessive running doesn’t allow the body to fully recover, which can lead to fatigue & a higher perceived effort/heart rate than usual.

How to Avoid Overtraining

1) Adapt your Schedule

For some, especially new runners, it can be tempting to go out looking for PBs each time you put your trainers on, but a varied running schedule with different paces and intensities can be key to avoiding overtraining and building up your fitness gradually. 

2) The 90% Rule

It can also be really beneficial to lower the intensity of your running. There can be a temptation to empty the tank and really go for it at the end of a good run, but keeping things controlled is actually better for you long term. The 90% rule suggests that you should use 90% of your maximum effort, and leave a little bit in the tank so that you’re not crawling home from the run. 

3) Rest Properly

Accepting the importance of rest days can be difficult, but they are vitally important to your body’s recovery. Giving your body the chance to fully recover is key to improvement, and helps reduce the chance of injury.

4) Focus on Nutrition

This one may seem simple but a varied, healthy diet can go a long way to aiding the body’s recovery process. You need to keep your body fueled, so try to ensure a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Read More
Smoothie Recipes for Runners

Smoothie Recipes for Runners

There’s nothing worse than running on an empty stomach. Not having the energy to fuel the performance you’re capable of can be frustrating and ultimately demoralising for runners. Smoothies are a really effective and healthy way to increase your energy levels and can boost recovery post-run. 

Here are our top 5 recipes.

1) Banana Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk (whatever kind is your preference)
– 1 large banana
– 1 tablespoon of peanut/almond butter
– ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

This is a really easy and quick one, simply pop all the ingredients into your blender and then blitz until you get a consistency you’re happy with. Bananas are perfect for an active lifestyle, they’re quick and easy to eat, and they provide energy through their healthy carbohydrates and potassium. This helps control muscle contractions during activity and also aids recovery by restoring electrolyte balance post-activity.

2) Green Smoothie

– 1 cup of almond milk
– 1 apple
– 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
– 1 tablespoon of peanut/almond butter
– 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

If you can see past the colour it turns your smoothie, spinach is a great ingredient. It’s low in calories, but high in fiber, iron, zinc, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. The nitric oxide reduces the amount of oxygen muscles require during activity, making running easier and reducing the chance of injury. Just 2 small handfuls in your smoothie will provide a huge amount of nutrional benefit! Blitz all the ingredients together and pop in a scoop of protein if desired.

3) Blueberry Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup blackberries
– 1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt 
– 1 large banana
– 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Blueberries are incredibly good for you. They are very low in calories but high in nutrients. They’re packed with antioxidants, which protect your body from unstable molecules that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and diseases. Adding the yoghurt into this recipe is not only delicious but is a good source of protein and calcium. Again just pop in to the blender and blitz until its smooth.

4) Tropical Smoothie

– 1 cup of milk
– ¼ cup of Greek yoghurt
– 1 large banana
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
– 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
– 1 teaspoon dessicated coconut (optional)
– 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Pineapples are packed with immune-boosting nutrients and enhance heart health by dissolving artery plaque. They’re great to eat post activity as they reduce the time it takes to recover from exercise due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Mango is full of fiber and antioxidants making this smoothie packed with nutrition and perfect for a runner pre or post run. Put the ingredients in the blender and blend till its done. Add the coconut and/or honey if you like your smoothies a little bit sweeter.

5) Avocado Smoothie

– 1 cup of almond milk
– 1 ripe avocado
– 1 cup greek yoghurt
– 1 kiwi

Avocado is full of healthy fats. This helps to fill you up, meaning a single avocado can reduce the desire to overeat or snack later in the day. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, making them a great source of energy for longer exercise sessions. A whole avocado contains around 230 calories – providing 3g of protein and 9g of fibre, which ensures high energy levels and stabilised blood sugar.

Read More
Find your running mojo

Find your running mojo

The act of running brings with it numerous benefits, to both our bodies and our minds. Regular exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and heart, & recent studies have shown that running regularly can reduce the symptoms of issues such as stress, anxiety and even depression as effectively as medication or therapy. 

However many of us struggle to find enjoyment in running. So we’ve compiled a list of methods to help you to find the joy in running, so you can gain all the benefits without feeling like you’re completing a chore.

1) Run Your Way

Don’t just stick to the norm. Whether that means running along to techno music or an audiobook, or even without headphones, control the experience to meet your needs. That also applies to where you run. If you find pounding the pavements boring, try parks, trails or beaches. Find places that inspire you. 

2) Seek Water

Speaking of beaches, running beside or near water has been said to have multiple physical and mental benefits. Research suggests that the clean air and calm environment by water is beneficial to runners and can improve the quality of your run. So if you have a local lake or beach, give a run around it a try and see if you feel the effects.

3) Be Social

If you feel yourself becoming uninspired or in a rut, try finding a running buddy. Running with someone else can be a really good motivator and social outlet, reducing boredom on long runs and helping to drive you forward when you’re tired. If you want to be social but can’t find or don’t want a running buddy, apps like Strava have great little communities that allow runners to communicate and share stories or advice.

4) Feel the Love

Appreciate running for what it is and what it means to you. Think of all the benefits you find from running and why you got into it in the first place. Whether it’s the peacefulness, the alone time, the time to unplug your brain or the time to brainstorm, remember it and appreciate it while you’re running. And don’t be afraid to smile. Studies suggest that smiling during a run lowers oxygen consumption and lowers the runner’s perception of effort. 

5) Train for a Race

The act of preparing for a race that we previously thought beyond our wildest dreams is a challenging, but incomparably rewarding experience. Targeting a distance we don’t think we’re capable of can unleash the runner you never knew was inside of you. Every time you make progress on your journey, you’ll feel your brain release the reward chemical dopamine. Use this, and the thought of how good it will feel to cross the finishing line, as motivation and you’ll be flying. 

What better way to find your running mojo this year than signing up to take part in Kilomathon?

Kilomathon takes place in Edinburgh and is run on the beautiful Edinburgh cycle path network. Runners take in the historic Royal Yacht Britannia, picturesque Victoria Park and enjoy tranquil cycle paths before a fantastic finish in front of the West Stand at Murrayfield Stadium. 

There are three Kilomathon distances to choose from – the 13.1K is an excellent distance for those looking to step-up from a 10K and training for a half/marathon, or looking for a bridging gap between a 10K & a half marathon. The 6.55K is an ideal step-up from a 5K, or as a stepping stone to the 10K distance.

So if you’re looking to find your running joy, or even just looking for a little bit of extra motivation this year, why not sign up for Kilomathon 2021 today! 👇

THE PERFECT RACE DISTANCE

ENTER NOW
Read More
ENTER NOW