Thursday, April 29, 2010

Water and bananas

We've sometimes received water and bananas after a half marathon or a marathon. While we're running the last two kilometers of a long run race we could feel weak and our legs might start to cramp. Thanks in part to that water and bananas the body's imbalance returns to normal in about an hour. Of course water hydrates and bananas supply potassium which is of particular importance to runners. Potassium is a mineral which maintains fluids and electrolyte levels within the body. It helps in recovery and may also protect against hearth disease.
As I'm sure you're aware, we could find potassium in so many common foods such as spinach, carrot, orange and yogurt. Moreover, I've recently read that dry figs and other dried fruits have a high concentration of potassium. But how could we keep our potassium optimal levels every day? I don't know, but I'm sure that lots of fast foods are low in potassium. Of consequence, it's best to concentrate on eating a wide variety of whole foods every day.

After I had wrote this post I tried to find potassium in the meal :) So, we cooked potatoes with garlic, low-fat cheese and olive oil. And we didn't lose much time to cook it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Running and advanced thinking

I've always read on your runner's blogs that running makes you feel good. As you know, most runners wrote that they feel extremely relaxed after they run. Other blog's friends said that running helps their psychic equilibrium. What I'm trying to say is that running makes you happier.
It's scientific fact that the use of exercise improves cognitive functioning in both young and old people. I've read on a runner's magazine the relationship between phisical activity and mental penformance. In other words, active people are better problem solvers and think fast.
Some professionals say that their craft depends on running. While they are running they get into a "zone that allows them to solve problems". I sometimes feel that the spatial imagination is activated by running.
A scientific analysis of the University of Ulm, in Germany, shows that brain's neurotrasmitters increase during phisical activity. That's why running would enhance our ability to solve problems.
In this perspective, if I have a learning or memory problem I will run more :)
I hope that I haven't bored you.
Have a nice running weekend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tarquinia's 11.2 km race

A very hard race was held this morning in Tarquinia, an old small town near the Tuscan border. In this sunny morning about 400 people ran 11.2 km with three hard up-hills. The runners met dangerous steep slopes along the track and I didn't run fast those down-hills. On the contrary, the landscape was beautiful during that race because we ran through the old town and around the medieval wall. After the race I visited the old side of the town where we had run. The time taken was 51:19 minutes.
Ultimately I enjoyed that race and improved slightly the averaqe pace. While I was crossing the finish line I felt good. I hope that all you will have a nice week and a good training.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

12 kilometers "green" race

I think that I have to run the races which are held in my town. Although since the 1st of April I've got weight, this morning I decided to run the "Vivicittà" 12 kilometers race. Before we began to run the warm up I and Stefano had met some friends who wore green T-shirts. They were "green" runners because the race had been held in support of environmental protection. The atmosphere was very friendly and the weather was cloudy. I show you some photos of those "green" runners and I am near the two dogs with green T-shirts.

In the next photo you can see the two black knights before the race.

The track of the 12 kilometers race was hard and we ran four steep up hills. The time taken was 55:20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Training through the protected area

This time I didn't improve my running time and I didn't enjoy the training. I ran 10 km and the time taken was 54:39 minutes. Maybe I gained weight during last Easter weekend because I had eaten plenty of Easter's pastries, chocolate eggs and other Easter food. The main part of the track which we ran this afternoon was inside the protected area.

After we had crossed the Southern Suburbs we ran a hard up hill. Then we followed the path through a green valley of the natural reserve and we ran along the mediterranean forest. Today the landascape was better than the training. In the first photo above posted you can see a view of the small protected area with some typical Italian cattles. Then I showed you the spring colours of the mediterranean forest

and the hard up hill above mentioned. I hope that I'll improve the next training.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter time

I arrived at the Park early enough to do a short warm-up on my own before meeting up with the small running group. The time taken during that training session was 1 hour, 14 minutes and 26 seconds. This time I didn't improve the speed but I maintained my pace. We run 14,12 km along the Southern side of the town and through the countryside. My average pace was 5:16 min/km.

As you know we need a well balanced meal after running. If you see the photo below posted you can see the Italian Easter’s pastry which contains both proteins and carbohydrates. It is made from a very special and old recipe which has two particular ingredients which make it unique: moisture taken from the orange tree blossom and cooked wheat. Also used in the recipe are "ricotta" cheese, candid fruit and classic short pastry. Making the Easter’s pastry does not require any great ability.
Happy Easter to you all.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Wild asparagus

Thanks all blog's friends for the happy birthday wishes! Yesterday I wore the new running clothes which my family gave me for my birthday. After I had run 2 km warm up I ran 14 km throught the countryside in the Southern surrondings of the town. In that sunny afternoon the average pace was 05:14 min/km. Our running team wasn't there and I ran with a friend of mine this relaxing training.
There were some wild donkeys along the track. They live in this special patche of Mediterranean forest and this environment may become a small protected area near the town. While we were running we saw a lot of wild asparagus near the path. Today I've sought them and maybe we'll prepare the Asparagus salad with potatoes this evening.

Now I have to help my family to prepare the pastry of Easter. Its name is "Pastiera" and it has to be cooked with some days advance. This pastry takes time to prepare and requires presoaked grain. I'm going to buy its exotic ingredients such as cinnamon and vanilla extract. This is my contribution.

In the first photo above posted you can see the new running clothes. The other two photos show you the wild asparagus and the protected wild donkeys.