Friday, February 8, 2013

Race Day Nutrition (Clinic Recap)

We had TONS of interest in our free nutrition clinic this week, so we wanted to do a quick recap of the clinic for anyone who was unable to attend!  We found that lots of people wanted to take care of themselves with proper nutrition when they are training, but many of you simply didn't know where to start.  It truly is the little things that add up to make all the difference in how you feel and how you perform.

Rules of Nutrition:

1. Practice makes perfect!  You need to train your body to process nutrition to fuel your body during distance runs/walks.  You have to experiment with different gels, chews, and drinks to figure out what your stomach can handle and what keeps your energy levels up.  You'll need to plan for how to carry your nutrition products (fuel belt, pockets, aid stations) and how often you need to eat/drink something.
2. There is a big difference in how many calories you will burn if you are running 10:00 minute miles (600 calories per hour) or 6:00 minute miles (1000 calories per hour).  Plan accordingly.  Your body can absorb 240-260 calories per hour.  Make sure you are taking fluids and nutrition before you "hit the wall" or it is already too late.  Most people should plan to take in about 100 calories per 30-60 minutes of exercise.

3. You need to replace your electrolytes (like Sodium and Potassium), as well!

4. NEVER try anything new on race day!  This is a big risk should it not agree with your system.  Stick with what worked during training.

Beyond this, stick with the basics.  Endurance athletes (this includes you, walkers!) need carbohydrates to fuel working muscles.  Protein is also necessary to repair muscle damage after exercise as well as to make red blood cells (which get oxygen to muscles!).  Make sure you always have enough of these nutrients, as well as maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.  Above all else, have fun!  Listen to your body and enjoy the experience.  Feel free to stop by the store or comment on this post if you have more specific nutrition questions.  Happy training!

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