What a whirlwind this summer was training for the Berlin Marathon! On September 25th, I ran my 6th marathon with a Boston qualifying time of 3:24:50! I still can’t even believe it! But after about a month of time to reflect on it, I know there are many things that I learned from this cycle of marathon training and important elements of recovery that I will continue to implement for future races (yes, already thinking about my next one ;)) A new partner of mine came in at an important time of my training and I’m so excited to share more about InsideTracker with you.
InsideTracker provides personalized approaches to feeling better from the inside out. They give recommendations for nutrition, supplements and lifestyle based on your test results and provide actionable steps to optimizing your biomarkers. Between blood, DNA and habits, they take a holistic approach to how you can feel better.
During my peak week of marathon training, I went to get a blood test for the InsideTracker Ultimate Plan. This plan tests 43 Biomarkers and is the most comprehensive test! (Don’t miss the discount code I have for ya at the end of this 🙂 During this peak time, I was hitting around 50-55 miles a week so the training was intense! I was a little nervous about what could come back from my blood work since I knew I was putting my body through so much training to prepare for the marathon.
A week after taking my blood test, I received my comprehensive blood test results. WOW was I blown away from the amount of information InsideTracker provides. I’m used to doctors just calling me and telling me everything looks okay…instead I received biomarker information that was specific to my lifestyle habits. The first biomarker that I noticed was high cortisol. To no surprise, a lot of this could do with the high stress on my body from marathon training. It’s definitely something I want to continue to find ways to manage my stress because I don’t want to add more stress to my body for the risk of injury or burnout. Two things I began to implement are a meditation routine and beginning an Ashwagandha supplement. Another biomarker that was below optimized were my DHEAS levels. I learned this could be from not fueling enough and not incorporating enough healthy fats into my diet.
As someone who has been anemic before, my below optimized Iron and Ferritin results were important for me to recognize and begin to make changes to. Iron is important to athletes for its role in energy metabolism and oxygen transportation. Our body gets iron from the foods we consume, which means it was time to add more iron-rich foods into my diet. I was able to implement this immediately with more red meat, fish, nuts and quinoa. If I learned anything from this marathon training, it was that fuel is EVERYTHING. Not only is it important to fuel properly the morning of your run and the night before, but even what you’re consuming daily can have a huge effect on how you perform.
What’s so cool about the InsideTracker results is that it really helps you pinpoint specific aspects of your lifestyle that you can work on in order to implement the changes. Before I did my bloodwork, I felt fine–knowing that I was occasionally more stressed and extra tired on some days. Little did I know that a lot of it plays a role in my biomarkers that weren’t optimized. I’m excited to see how I start to notice these changes in how I feel daily!
In short, here are my biggest takeaways from this cycle of marathon training and recovery:
- Fuel is everything! Not only will this help you recover faster, but it will help you perform better too.
- Pay attention to how your body feels. If it needs rest, rest! If it’s needing more nourishment, eat more!
- Marathon training can be stressful. Find ways to feel your cup through other activities like spending time with friends and family, taking time for yourself or treating yourself to a good meal out.
- Recovery is key. Sleep, days off training and fueling properly are all components to recover well during training
Since taking my InsideTracker test and being out of marathon training for almost a month now, here’s what I’m working on using the InsideTracker Action Plan:
- Incorporating more iron rich foods and healthy fats into my diet. This will hopefully provide a better result when I take another test in December!
- Managing my stress through a meditation routine. I’ve always been hesitant of meditation but I know it has so many benefits! I’m hoping this can help me manage my stress levels. Between this and the decrease in mileage and stress on my body, I can get this high biomarker to a better spot!
I’ve loved all the insight I’ve received from InsideTracker and the knowledge I can use to make myself feel better. If you have any questions about my test or InsideTracker, feel free to reach out! You can also get a 20% discount on your test using my discount code “ONEBALANCEDLIFE”!
Thank you InsideTracker for sponsoring this blog post.
until next time...