Top 10 Tips for Your First Backpacking Trip

img_1970This summer, I developed a strong desire to spend some time in the wilderness.  Real adventure that gets me out of my comfort zone.   (For the record, I had done one real, adventurous, very legit camping trip in Alaska when I was in high school, but I was along for the ride with some camping experts and didn’t do any of the planning, so it didn’t feel like that counted.)  So bought a bunch of stuff at REI, researched online, and planned a short, beginner backpacking trip for my husband and our dog in Shenandoah National Park.  Of course it rained on the planned weekend and we had to cancel our adventure.  A few weeks later, I did some camping in Wyoming at formal campsites and really loved sleeping outdoors, but I didn’t want winter to arrive without having done a real backpacking trip.  So I somehow persuaded my wonderful husband to head out in much colder weather than originally anticipated (it was now October instead of August!) for a backpacking trip.  We survived!  Even with just one little weekend trip, I’ve already learned a ton, and I wanted to share it with other aspiring adventurers.  Without further ado:

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The ABCs of Marathon Nutrition

I am not a nutritionist.  But I’ve been running for a while, and I’ve tried a lot of different things during my training, races, and recovery.  Here are my best tips for marathon nutrition (or nutrition for any race or athletic event!), with links to some other reading that might be helpful.

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A is for Alcohol.  Yes, I abstain from alcohol during training and taper.  Because I just don’t need it, and it’s not helping me improve my performance.  That said, a cool beer to celebrate post-race or a glass of wine that evening can be a fabulous and well-deserved reward.

B is for (Chipotle) Burrito Bol and BGR (Veggie) Burger.  These are my favorite post-long-run lunch options.  They aren’t greasy and are the perfect portion size.  Think you can go to brunch and eat whatever you want post-run?  Think again.  By the time you are done that OJ and halfway through that stack of pancakes, you’ve probably eaten about the number of calories you burned, but you haven’t had much protein, fiber, or other nutrients that will help you recover and keep you feeling full.  I try to resist sugary and fried foods for my post-run meals.

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