My Favorite Post-Run Smoothie

My Favorite Post-Run Smoothie | Lean and Green Body® Blog

Marathon training has been an experience of trial and error.

I've had to learn some lessons the hard way (wear longer socks to reduce blisters; avoid the area of the neighborhood with the bear; drink electrolytes before, during, and after the run; funny podcasts will lighten up the hard miles). One of my favorite moments of training happened just last week, when someone pulled over and asked if I was okay because I looked like I was going to "pass out." I laughed out loud. I guess 12 miles looked as painful as it felt that day. It was hot and I woke up late to run. Since then, I start my especially long runs before the sun rises.

Other lessons weren't as hard to learn. My post-run smoothie fell into this category. It came to me during a distance run. My body craved something sweet and hydrating. I needed fuel to recover well and build up what was broken down during exercise. I made it a priority to include spinach to add iron and vitamins to the mix. I wasn't sure how this would taste at first, but the result was incredible. It's exactly what I need after running a long distance in the Florida heat. This smoothie is creamy, light, and delicious. I love to drink it while foam rolling and static stretching.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 tsp all natural peanut butter

  • 1 big handful of spinach

  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Vanilla protein powder

  • 1 tsp chia seeds

  • 3-5 ice cubes

  • (For extra carbs, you can add 1/4 cup rolled oats)

Directions:

  1. Blend and enjoy!


Running Routine

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I had never craved Peanut M&M’s so much in my life. I’d go to the grocery store, buy a “sharing size” bag of the candy, and eat it in about 10 minutes. I did this several times per week. It was a wonderful time, but it was also tough on my body.

This was how I spent the first three weeks training for my marathon. I felt hungry and incredibly exhausted. I didn’t pay much attention to fueling my body. 

It wasn’t until a tough 7-mile run that I decided to make a change. During this run, I reached a point where I really struggled. I felt like I was dragging more than usual — both mentally and physically. A long distance run is never easy, but this was different. For the first time, I felt like my body was trying to tell me something. 

When I got home, I did a lot of research and talked to friends who finished marathons. They had all different tips and techniques, but one topic was constantly revisited: nutrition. I realized I wasn’t fueling myself strategically. Marathon training is hard on the body, and I wasn’t making it any easier for myself by eating carelessly.

Since then, I’ve developed a morning running routine that’s more beneficial for my body. (Disclaimer: I’m not an expert in nutrition, and this is all from personal experience)

On long distance running days, I wake up 30 minutes ahead of time, eat a piece of toast, and do some dynamic stretches. I pack some mid-run food (like Gu, chews, or frozen grapes) and stick a water bottle in my mailbox. Then, I lace up my shoes and run. About one hour into the run, I’ll have a snack and drink some water.

After I finish running, I immediately rehydrate with water with Nuun dissolvable electrolytes. I also make a healthy smoothie packed with nutrients to help my body recover.

Since making these changes, my body feels balanced and restored. I ran 9 miles recently, and I couldn’t believe how much better I felt. It wasn’t easy, but it didn’t feel impossible like before. I’m amazed at how small changes can have such a dramatic effect. 

These lessons in learning to take care of myself run parallel to marathon training itself. There is a lot to learn and study, but I can’t do it all in one day. It takes time and effort. 

Persistence. Faith. Self-love. Patience. And most of all, an unwavering commitment to become a better version of myself.