General Wellness

Nutrition on the Run

If you were preparing to run an Ironman race – 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking and 26.2 miles running – how would you eat? Drink? Take care of yourself and your body?

A longtime runner and regular in road races, Clinic Sofia Physician Assistant Allie Nowak is training for the Madison Ironman in September and uses nutrition to fuel her workouts and days at work as she prepares for the upcoming race. She consumes a whole foods-based diet with vegetables and fruit, grass-fed meat, fish and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut, and focuses on three healthy meals a day for energy and wellness.

“Nutrition and lifestyle choices are something that I am passionate about as I truly believe it is at the root of health as well as disease,” said Nowak, who eats organic when possible and avoids added sugars. “The foods we eat not only provide us with energy, but the nutrient content in our diets influences our mood, energy, immune system, hormones, and ultimately our resilience and ability to recover from the stressors we place on our body on a regular basis.”

In addition, Nowak has participated in several preparation races, including an Olympic-distance triathlon, two half Ironman triathlons and a 100-mile supported bike ride. Her current training regimen involves biking three or four times per week, running two or three days per week, swimming twice a week and lifting one day a week.

And if you’re not training for a major event but are simply training to live a better life? Move your body. Pay attention to what you eat and potential added toxins. Nowak also recommends a daily multivitamin and vitamin D3 supplement.

“The biggest thing for living well is to take some time every day to do something you enjoy. We have so much stress in our lives and are pulled in so many different directions, but even five to 10 minutes of something you enjoy is good for your overall well-being.”

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