Rhode Scholar: Pullback week + cherry recovery smoothie recipe

Ahhhhh, pullback week: a couple easy 4-milers, some yoga & cross-training, a little ok, a whole bottle of wine, and an 8-mile long run. Granted, the long run was in the snow, but even that wasn’t too big of a deal (look carefully in my hair, though).

Snow? What snow?

The easiest part of this week, oddly enough, was the recovery from last week’s 14-miler. Honestly, I’ve never bounced back from a serious long run more quickly. Is my vegetarianism helping me recover? In No Meat Athlete’s post about his laid-back approach to veggie boosterism, Matt notes that some crazy endurance runners credit their vegetarian diets with shorter recovery times. Or maybe it’s my adherence to post-workout ice baths, even though I look forward to submerging my nether regions in freezing water about as much as I do shoving an ice pick into my forehead.

I also think some credit is due to a new recovery smoothie. I’ve been reading research about the effect of tart cherry juice on post-running pain for one of my nutrition classes, so I modified one of my recipes (at end of that linked post) to include the antioxidant-rich tart cherry juice.

Interested in trying one out? The recipe follows below. I hope my blender’s ready for a workout in the coming 5-6 weeks, when I’m heading into the toughest part of marathon training. The speed intervals increase, the hill workouts have more repeats, the tempo runs get longer, and the long runs… good grief, the long runs. For now, though, I’m going to enjoy the last bit of the pullback with another glass of wine tonight.

Tart cherry banana recovery smoothie

This recipe is intended to replenish a 130ish-lb woman after at least a 2 hour run. I calculate the amount of sodium I need to replace from sweat loss, taking into account the duration of my runs and the number of gels I eat while running. It varies each time I make this smoothie. You should do the same to avoid over-salting this sucker.

If you are using sweetened versions of the ingredients (soy milk and/or nut butter), you don’t need to add the Tbs of sugar.

(1 servings, approx. 600 calories each)

1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 cup tart cherry juice
2 Tbs almond or peanut butter
1 banana
½-1 tsp salt (see note above)
1 Tbs sugar

Throw all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.

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