It might sound like a motivation myth, but there is a link between what you eat and your mindset – we find out more
It goes without saying that your state of mind is inextricably linked to how well you perform. Many of us are getting back our mojo now that races are finding their way back into our diaries and we’re allowed to train without the lockdown confinements that were in place a few months back.
Having said that, given we’ve had such extended periods out of our regular routine, some of us are finding it challenging to automatically snap back with bags of motivation. If you’re lacking focus, there are some diet steps you can take to spur you on.
Your diet has a big effect on how you feel, so piling your plate with ‘happy’ foods will help to keep your training on track.
Along with being a great source of potassium, bananas are a good source of the neurotransmitter tryptophan which is needed to manufacture serotonin. Oats are high in vitamin B6 and fatigue-fighting magnesium, while oily fish helps to sustain brain health thanks to its high Omega-3 content. If you really need a mood lift, reach for a pot of probiotic yoghurt as gut health has been shown to impact brain health and the more good bacteria that lines your gut, the happier you’ll feel.
And it’s not just what you eat – it’s when. Creating an association between food and your run can help your brain to get into gear for the exercise it’s about to do. If you always have a snack an hour before you run, or like to sip on an exercise drink as you go, this is ideal. Try to keep that food or drink the same for your next few runs, and soon you’ll soon start to feel more ready for your run when you consume them – even your if motivation is low before that.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. This past 18 months has been a hugely challenging time for all of us, so it’s no surprise if we can’t just ‘bounce back’ to pre-pandemic life and energy levels. Take things one step at a time, find races and runs that you really enjoy, and in time that motivation will make its own way back.