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Preparing for the Big Race: The Stuff They Forgot to Teach You

by on Mar 23rd, 2016

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So you just heard about another famous run happening in a few months and you quickly register for the 21k category. You still have a few months to prepare and you’re used to running long distance runs. You think to yourself, this won’t be a problem. You start training by running 10-20 hours a week, eating a bunch of food you thought was healthy (rice my friends is NOT healthy) and getting less sleep ‘coz you’ve still got to report to the office. Yep, you’re off to a great start! (sarcastic)

While your decision to start getting fit and healthy is one of the best decisions you’ve made, society somehow tricked you to thinking certain things might be good for you when they really aren’t. Here are a few tips you might want to keep in mind.


1. You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet!

When I first started running, I figured the more I run, the more food I could eat. A lot of people seem to have this mindset. They exercise not to lose weight, but to give them an excuse to eat more. While you may be .5% right, it is actually quite IMPOSSIBLE to outrun a bad diet. Imagine how quickly you can finish 1 order of fries from McDonalds… maybe 5min? And it’s equivalent in running?…. 5.97 kilometers! That’s roughly 40min for the average runner.

If you want to get fit and healthy, keep in mind that good nutrition goes along with a good exercise program. So make sure you do away with the unhealthy junk when carbo-loading. After all, the reason you run is to get fit and healthy right?



Check out more of the calories and km required to lose it here –

2. Carbo-loading VS Nutrient loading

Rice, pasta, bread and grains is the WRONG kind of carbo to carbo-load on. Sorry to break it to you guys, but if you really want to get fit AND healthy, carbo-loading with all that junk won’t do the trick. In fact, it could even get you sicker.  This is because loading up on these can spike up your blood sugar which will then lead to inflammation and eventually disease. Carbo-loading is only necessary for people who are sugar burners with no access to their own bodies fat stores.

Triathlete and Primed for Your Life owner Chad Davis shares, “If they must sugar load they should not compete as they will do more harm than good. How can eating inferior, nutrient lacking food that spikes blood sugar be good? It cannot and is not. Best to not compete until you get used to eating real food and getting your energy from real food.”

Dr. William Davis (best selling author of Wheat Belly) describes these products as the food of the “ignorant or desperate”. They are genetically modified “Frankenfoods” that all humans (young and old) are poorly adapted to digesting.”

Primed Kinilaw

Primed Kinilaw from Chad Davis of Primed for Your Life

3. Hydrate with water, not with sugar!

We all love our energy drinks. Our gels, sports drinks etc. We feel that these are what give us our extra boost when running. While that’s partially true, you also need to be informed of the negative side of sugar. Sugar is NOT good for the body. It will give you a temporary boost that will trick your body to thinking it can still manage when in fact it’s already pretty beaten up. If you’re really ready to run, then you won’t be needing any gel or sports drink to complete it. Just a few gulps of water to stay hydrated will do the trick.


4. Train less and enjoy life!

You know those times when you boast that you barely trained and still got a good time? Well, although NO training at all is dangerous, minimal training can turn out to be better than over training. You see, it is  in our culture to work hard. We feel tired and exhausted and yet we feel the need to continue and push ourselves more. While it is good to “push” ourselves, we also need to know when to stop. If you want to get a better time in your next run, get stronger by eating the right food and getting enough rest. As far as training goes, it’s QUALITY vs QUANTITY. Train shorter amounts of time but make sure you’re doing quality workouts. Moreover, make sure you eat the right stuff, ‘coz the healthier you are, the stronger you become.

Check out the photo below. In the first photo, triathlete Chad Davis trained 20hrs a week and completed the ironman at an official time of 14hrs 7min and 55 seconds. In the second photo, he trained for only 9 hrs a week but was getting the proper nutrition. He cut his finish time by 4min! To athletes, we know how difficult that is.

Chad Davis

5. Sleep more

Sleep is underrated. Filipinos somehow have this belief that sleep is only for the lazy because we all need to work hard! That’s just stupid. We don’t sleep just when it’s convenient. Sleep is our body’s way of recharging, without it, we become less focused and are pretty much useless at work. Sleep becomes extra important for athletes because it gives our muscles the chance to recover. If you keep working out and don’t get enough sleep, then you’re just tearing your muscles, and not giving it the chance to heal. Allow your muscles to properly recover, and you’d be surprised how much better you’d do in the next run.

Drew Canole

Photo taken from


That’s it. Follow these simple steps and I guarantee you’ll feel better and do better in your next run. Side effects include a little weight loss, muscle gain and more energy than usual! Good luck!


Did you find this article helpful? Do you have other tips for runners and athletes you’d like to share? Do leave a comment below!


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Cheryl Villareal is a preschool teacher and the owner/ editor-in-chief of On weekdays, she could be found teaching her little tots while Sundays are her workout days. She easily enjoys simple things and loves experiencing new things! Her blog is simply a way for her to share these experiences with people. Besides her blog, she also contributes and writes various articles on Follow her on Twitter

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