Lately I’ve noticed my muscles taking much longer to recover. On days when I do strength training, Barre, or plyometrics in addition to my run and training runs, it seems like it is a few days before my legs stop feeling sore. And in that time, my runs are harder, take more energy and seem like way more effort than normal.
It’s partly to do with the heat and climatic difference here. There’s no snowy runs and windchill mornings for this girl, starting out 2017! And while I miss it a lot, and can definitely say it’s my favourite running weather, I’m doing much better running in the heat, and actually feel like I have gotten used to it more. Not used to it, as in loving running in the heat, but used to it as in, at least I’m not miserable and struggling.
But maybe the soreness is also related to my intake of protein for recovery.
Most of the time, the whole “how do vegans get enough protein” thing doesn’t have much merit. In other words, if you are eating lots of veggies, your daily greens, and consuming plant sources of protein like legumes and tempeh, you are probably meeting your protein requirements.
But if you are active and training, it’s a bit of a different game.
And there’s also the differentiation between being protein deficient, and simply not consuming enough protein to meet your needs. It takes a long time for your body to show up as protein deficient on any proper medical test, but you’ll feel the affects of it long before that – like sore muscles that seem fatigued, longer recovery time from your workouts, and lingering aches that you didn’t used to experience.
The point of this is to say, stop trying to put your protein and nutrient intake into boxes of what you “should” be consuming, or what the average person of your age, gender, weight etc. consumes, and instead listen to your body. Drink more water when you are constantly thirsty or have really dry skin and decrease your sugar intake if you are constantly feeling lethargic.
Increase your intake of magnesium if you have muscle cramps or are under a lot of stress, consume more vitamin C rich kiwi and citrus when you feel your immune system suffering and eat more protein if you feel like your muscles are sore for longer than usual after your workout and you are having a hard time recovering.
And so today, I’m eating more protein. And to do that, I’ve made this curry, which gets protein not only from the addition of greens, but also from the tofu and the butter beans which are combined with the coconut milk to make the sauce extra creamy and rich.
Legumes, like lentils, chickpeas and beans are one of my favourite ways to make things extra creamy, while simultaneously adding protein and fiber. You can even use them in sweet dishes! And if I get to eat delicious food, while also improving recovery and getting to improve my runs, I’m all over it!