currently: listening to 'Cross My Mind' by Twin Forks
So I think it's official.
I have put my name forward for the Auckland half-marathon at the end of the year, and I'm slowly training in preparation of the 21 km I'll face. But since I got a bad cold last month, I've been struggling to get back into momentum with running. Every weekend, weather permitting, I've tried to put in a long distance run but I've struggled with recovering and the winter weather. Not ideal.
So I've started being more careful about what I do on the days I run, and keeping my wellness and immunity up. Only recently I discovered that coconut water has a lot of antioxidants and is a great source vitamin C, calcium and magnesium - which I honestly wished I knew sooner before I got my cold last month! And not only that, it's a perfect sports drink - it has electrolytes like a normal sports drink but no weird neon colour.
The good people at Vita Coco gave me a few packs of their coconut water to try, and I'll be honest, I've tried coconut water in the past and did not like it that much. But Vita Coco tastes better, and tastes natural, which I think is the most important. So I've been using it in post-run smoothies to help hydrate myself and make me feel refreshed and relaxed.
If I do go for a morning run, I never eat beforehand. I'll drink a bit of water but that would be as far as it goes, because I feel eating wouldn't really make my energy levels feel better. If anything it would probably make me feel weighed down and feel a bit sickly. And then post-run, I don't like eating heavy either, because my stomach would feel a bit to sensitive to digest a full rich meal after a lengthy run. Which is why smoothies have been a great option to have for me.
Now I'll admit I don't have amazing cooking skills, but I guess this is what makes smoothies so good. You just need to have a feel for what you want and what you want to focus on. So my Vita Blueberry-Mandarin Coco smoothie has all I need. I love blueberries, and they're great for antioxidants. Mandarins are perfect for vitamin C but not too rich with citrus flavour, and of course coconut water for a fast and natural refresher.
Vita Blueberry-Mandarin Coco Smoothie
1 large handful of frozen blueberries. (I usually make it about 3/4 of a cup.)
1 small sweet mandarin (seedless of course. )
1 half of a banana (for extra sweetness. Can be fresh or frozen.)
All you need to do is blend it all together until it's well mixed, then serve immediately! Frothy on top, sweet and easy to drink underneath.
Usually one glass of Vita Coco is enough for me to settle my empty stomach, and prepares me for proper meals later on too. I honestly need as much help as I can get when it comes to running, and there's no way I'll be turning to neon blue sports drinks. If something is that colour, it can't be good for you.
I'm going to try and do this running thing as naturally as possible.
[this post was sponsored by Vita Coco who gifted me their product to talk about. all opinions, photos and recipe are still my own.]