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Tag Archives: Hydration

  • What's your hydration plan?

    Gazelle Sports was born and raised in Michigan. We’ve spent summers slogging our way through long runs on humid Saturday mornings (it’s basically swimming, right?). And we’ve wiled away sunny afternoons on the shores of Lake Michigan. When it gets hot, we get out, but we also remember to stay hydrated! We’re happy to share our collective water wisdom with you and maybe learn a thing or two from your experiences in return.

    When summer comes to Michigan, hydration becomes even more important when you're training. Your level of hydration impacts your whole body - heartbeat, bloodflow, temperature regulation, delivery of nutrients to cells, muscle function and joint cushioning to name a few - and therefore impacts your performance and ability to run. Dehydration is also the leading cause of training injuries.

    We have a number of products that will help you stay hydrated. From bottles to belts, handhelds to vests, we have a ton of options to fit your hydration needs and preferences. You can check out the latest products here:

    You can also hydrate more effectively by adding an electrolyte-replacement drink to the water you're drinking. Electrolyte drinks like Nuun and GU Hydration Drink Tabs contain sodium and potassium to enhance water absorption and retention. Nuun tabs are gluten-, dairy- and soy-free and made from plant-based ingredients. They contain an optimal blend of electrolytes that keep you hydrated for all levels of activities - whether you are running a marathon or a marathon of errands.

    NuunCome see us today to find the right products for you, including electrolyte replacement drinks which are key in keeping your body functioning at its best. Our staff is excited to help you stay hydrated and moving all summer long!

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  • Summertime Cools [Outfit of the Week]

    Nike Hypercool Summertime has finally shown itself! Clear skies, rays of shine, and sweat - pools of sweat. So with it we need to wear layers that will help keep us cool and comfortable, amiright?

    The Nike Pro Hypercool tank is a light weight fabric with excellent breathability. It'll hug your body and feel light as a feather as you move it. And the engineered mesh racer back provides ultimate breathability where we need it most.

    Nike Pro Classic Bolt Bra No ModelThe truth is, our girls need different types of support for different types of sports. The Nike Pro Classic Bolt bra, for example, is your best friend for medium-impact activities. Medium-impact activities include cycling, dance, and cardio classes. We love this bra because of it's stabilizing straps to minimize movement and Nike's signature material, Dri-FIT, that wicks away sweat and helps dry quickly.

    North Face Better Than Naked Capri

    These North Face capris are ideal for summertime sweat sessions. These aren't just for women who don't like wearing shorts - these are for absolutely everyone. Hence the name, Better Than Naked Capris. The magic is in the details, with quick-drying fabric, body-mapped ventilation, and breathability in areas where we need it most. In addition to keeping you cooler than shorts can, these capris have plenty of pockets for storage on-the-go and are made of 72% recycled sources! Try 'em and love 'em.

    Women's Asics American 33-FA

    Being in running specialty, I can't help but be pysched to show off the perfect kicks to match. These baby's and this outfit are a match made in heaven. But, being in running specialty, I can't help but include a disclaimer *choose your shoes according to fit and feel, not looks!* These are the 33-FA's by Asics. Stay cool with this highly breathable and moisture managing shoe, while having a lighter midsole than Asics standard and enhanced cushioning.

    Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Ergo-LiteThe best accessory we can have for any activity is our handy dandy water bottle. You'll love this one for walks and runs! Amphipid Hydroform Handheld's have a thumb hole for a grasp-free hold and fits to the natural shape of the hand. It also has a unique cap that allows for an effortless squeeze of hydration.

    Keep moving and stay cool!

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  • The Marathon Taper


    Why Taper?

    • Training provides the long term improvements necessary to successfully complete a marathon.
    • Training leaves athletes a bit tired most of the time.
    • The 3-week cycles provide some reduction in fatigue, but it is not enough to completely eliminate it and allow your body full physiological recovery.
    • The goal of tapering is to balance continued training and resting to allow for the best possible marathon experience.
    • The International Journal of Sports Medicine examined over 50 scientific studies on tapering and concluded that there is no doubt tapering works.
    • Studies have found improvements in performance of up to 16% with most studies showing 3 – 5% improvement. At a 5% improvement, that means a 3:30 marathon can become a 3:19 marathon through proper tapering.
    • A single workout, on the other hand will give you less than a 1% improvement in performance!

    How Long Should You Taper?

    • Studies show for the marathon one should taper for a minimum of 2-weeks with 3 weeks being optimal. Too short a taper will leave one tired on race day while too long will lead to a loss in fitness.
    • It is wise to err on the side of tapering too little rather than too much.
    • NEVER try to make up for lost time due to injury, etc during the taper weeks. By this time any gains in fitness that will impact marathon performance have already been realized and attempting to make up for lost miles or workouts will just leave you fatigued at the starting line.

    How Should You Reduce Training to Improve Marathon Performance?

    • Evidence indicates that the key to effective tapering is to substantially reduce mileage while maintaining intensity.
    • Reducing mileage reduces the accumulated fatigue
    • High intensity effort maintains fitness level
    • Exactly how much to reduce training mileage depends on your current training mileage, age and health. Older runners tend to need a longer taper than younger runners.
    • Studies have shown as a general rule of thumb:
    • 3rd Week Premarathon: Taper 20 – 25%
    • 2nd Week Premarathon: Taper 40%
    • Marathon Week (6 days before): Taper 60%.
    • Three weeks before is the most important time for a successful taper.
    • Marathoners often do too much this week because the marathon still seems a long way off.
    • It is much better physiologically and psychologically to allow your body to start to rebound this week, or you will find yourself feeling flat the last two weeks.
    • Often marathoners also decrease training efforts. This can result in a small loss in fitness as well as a lack of psychological reinforcement.
    • It is more effective to intersperse harder efforts within the recovery trend.
    • For example, the Gazelle schedule has 3 x 1-mile intervals the 2nd week pre-marathon.
    • Marathon week itself is all easy recovery, with the exception of Tuesday or Wednesday where it is recommended you do a 6 – 7 mile run with 2 miles at marathon pace.
    • This is a dress rehearsal, even wear the same shoes and clothes you will wear for the marathon!
    • By this time, if you have tapered properly starting with the 3rd week, you should feel light on your feet, like you can fly...this will provide a great psychological boost!

    Carbo-loading and Hydration During the Taper

    • It is vitally important that your muscles and liver be stocked with glycogen at the starting line.
    • Marathoners used to deplete glycogen stores for 3 days (sometimes even completing a long run up to 20-miles the week before), then carbo-load the 3 days prior to the marathon. This is no longer recommended since carbohydrate depletion can suppress the immune system (this is why many marathoners get a cold the week after a marathon – glycogen stores have been depleted) and the long run will leave you sore and tired.
    • What works just as well is to eat a normal diet until the last 3 days and taper your training program.
    • Then the last 3 days, eat a high carbohydrate diet and do a short, slow run these days.
    • Your body will store glycogen to almost the same level as if you did the whole depletion and loading program.
    • Also, make sure you are well-hydrated in the days leading up to the marathon so that you don’t arrive at the starting line suffering from accumulated effects of dehydration.


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  • The Marathon Aftermath

    By Shelly Glover

    You may not have given much thought to marathon recovery. After all, you trained, ran, finished and got your medal. With a wave of blessed relief, you realize the pressure is off. Now what?

    Coping – The First Few Hours and Days

    What’s more painful than running a marathon? How about the fatigue and soreness of the hours and days afterwards? Expect it, its part of the deal. Marathon recovery goes backward. At first you’ll feel worse instead of better. Whether you are bragging or licking your wounds, quicken recovery with our tips for rehydrating, refueling, and reducing soreness.

    Keep Moving. When you finish the marathon, it’s a hike to get your medal, a hike to get your blanket and a hike to the baggage and family reunion area. That’s good. Moving prevents stiffness. A 15-to-20 minute walk is helpful. More is better if you can manage.

    Drink and Eat. Refuel with carbs and fluid soon. Drink until your urine runs light yellow or clear. This takes a while. Of course how long depends on what you drink. A swig of beer can go straight through you and cause further dehydration. With beer your urine will be clear, but you’ll still be dehydrated. At least you will think you feel better.

    Ice. Contain swelling in painful areas by icing for 10minutes or so. Repeat along with ibuprofen for the next few hours and days to combat inflammation.

    Stretch Lightly. Limber up, but don’t overstretch fatigued muscles.

    Closure. Go ahead, hang around after the race to celebrate. Share stories of the gory and glory. When you’ve gathered the strength, or friends to assist you head home for the shower. You’ll feel better. The shower is optional for your friends. Some runners say a hot bath or whirlpool relaxes and loosens their muscles. Experts resist. They say heat increases inflammation and body temperature. They suggest instead cold showers or baths. No thanks. Not for me!

    Stop and Shop. Take a nap. The day’s caffeinated gels and excitement may keep you awake, but just resting a bit is a good idea. Later, go for another walk (15 to 30 minutes) and stretch lightly, or swim to combat stiffness and help you relax. My personal solution to movement and relaxation: go shopping! Every good effort deserves a reward!

    The Morning After

    Take a bath or warm shower to loosen up. Treat injuries first with ice. Walk and stretch gently. A professional massage speeds recovery. Schedule one 24 to 48 hours after the race and another a few days later.

    The Next Few Days

    Get plenty of sleep. At night, go to bed early. Other times take naps. Shuteye boosts immunity and heals the overexerted body. The first few nights after a marathon, runners often have trouble sleeping. If that includes you, at least lie in bed and rest often. On the other hand, if you are having trouble staying awake, don’t worry. Your body deserves the extra downtime.

    Refueling and Rehydrating

    It takes three to five days to refill glycogen stores. Runners often don’t go for carbohydrates hard enough after the marathon. Forgetting to munch with an eye on nutrition prolongs fatigue and delays a comfortable return to training.

    Returning to Training – The Reverse Taper

    Rebuilding. One predictable truth about runners is – if something works, they’ll change it. Case in point, if a runner runs a strong marathon, the urge is to jump back into training with a little more mileage, a little faster, a little harder, or a little more of something. This is how success breeds failure. After your great marathon effort, don’t be so anxious to start training your heart out and improve. Actually take a few easy runs to enjoy the scenery.
    Hold Back. Even if you feel strong, you’re only as strong as your weakest (or sorest) spot. Take one recovery day for every mile of your race. Um, for the math challenged that’s about 26 days or roughly a month. Recovery rate depends on the runner and the marathon. It’s usually easier to recover from a good marathon than a disappointing one.

    Biopsies done on marathoners show muscle cells take up to a month to recover from the microscopic damage inflicted during a race. Besides recovering from soreness and blisters, you need time to ignite the desire to train.
    Recovery deserves as much planning as your premarathon schedule. Think of it as the premarathon taper in reverse – a few off days, then a few short runs, then a gradual increase in weekly mileage until you reach your normal, pre-marathon peak level.

    To Run or Not To Run?

    Many veterans insist on running the next day, perhaps even the evening of the marathon. They believe it helps recovery. But a study by Dr. Costill at Ball State University in Indiana indicates you may be better off not even running a step for the first week. Researchers compared a group that didn’t run for a week with a matched group that ran easily for 20 to 40 minutes a day. The nonrunners scored better in tests for muscle strength and endurance three days and a week after the marathon.

    Why pound away on muscles that need time to repair? If you insist on working out, stick to 30 to 60 minutes of nonimpact aerobic exercise. Swimming is particularly good with its natural massaging action. Frequent walks help too.

    First Few Return Runs

    After a few days of nonrunning, try two to four miles per day or alternate days the rest of the week. Increase mileage the second week to no more than 25 to 50 percent of normal and to no more than 50 to 75 percent during the third and fourth post-marathon weeks (but less than this is okay). By the fourth or fifth week you may be ready to resume normal mileage. For example, this may be 40 miles a week compared to 50miles at peak marathon training.

    Pace and Speed Work

    Forget about for awhile. Run easy according to how you feel. First aim to run without soreness. Then gradually get back to your normal training pace. Hard runs aren’t advisable for a month or so.

    Ease into speedwork. If your body is ready and willing, about 10 to 14 days after the marathon try a light speed session. Controlled fartlek or a tempo run will help you ease into quicker running. Repeat this (or put it off) the next week, or try a few long intervals at 10K pace or slower. By the fourth or fifth week, you may be able to run harder speed sessions.

    Anytime during your four-week “reverse taper” feel free to back off training. If you feel fatigued or sore, run less. Take plenty of extra rest days until you’re back to normal. Don’t run on an injury – damage is compounded in postmarathon legs. Remember, recovery is priority for at least 4 weeks after a marathon. There’s no need to rush: Research shows you won’t lose much, if any, fitness.

    Depression and Rebound

    Your emotional post-marathon experience depends some on your personality type, according to Maryellen Duane, Ph. D., clinical psychologist at Winning Lifestyles.

    Duane knows what’s she speaks. A 10-time marathoner, she’s on the frontlines as head of the New York City Marathon Psyching Team.

    Newbie’s often have a different post experience than veteran marathoners, she explains. “For first-timers, finishing the marathon is a lifetime experience. They often
    revel in feelings of accomplished and pride. Like having your first baby, there’s nothing like your first marathon.

    Rebound with your post marathon rush to tackle projects or lifestyle changes you’ve been trying to get up the nerve to do. You know, write the novel! Go get that new job! Start that internet site!

    As per Lombardi-ism, “It is time for us all to cheer for the doer, the achiever – the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it. “Thanks, Vince. The doer is you. The achiever is you. You proved it finishing the marathon. Now go recognize a new challenge and do something about it!

    But alas – not all runners rebound from happy marathon experiences. Some runners must rebound from unhappy experiences.

    Unhappy competitive marathoners tend to focus on a single negative aspect of the race (for example finishing time) instead of the overall positive experience. They miss the pleasure. Come on all you narcissists; we are talking about you. That should at least make you happy!

    Even if you ran a good race, you may feel down for a few weeks. Allan Steinfeld, NYRP top honcho, at the AfterMarathon Clinic compared the let-down to postpartum depression. (Here we go with that baby simile again...) “Your ‘baby’ has reached the finish line and your long-sought-after goal, around which your life revolved for months, has been achieved, leaving you feeling empty, “ he explains.

    It’s okay to cool serious running for awhile. Shoo away the blues by delving into stuff you had to give up while consumed by running. Duane suggests setting another challenge for yourself. “Enjoy your marathon accomplishment, and then focus on a non-running goal. Try yoga, or cross country skiing. Run in a new place. Do something novel to avoid staleness.” Not only does this nurture a positive focus, but helps avoid injury too.

    But, don’t forget to run. Training during the winter months is a good investment in your future.


    • Generally the first week after a marathon you run very little or a few miles here or there.
    • The second week try running about 10 to 20 percent of your base mileage going into the marathon. Some 15 to 20miles for the week is usually more than enough.
    • The third week after the marathon, it is ok to come back up to base mileage.
    • The third or fourth week try a little light speed training such as modified fartlek or
    • a tempo run.
    • After four to six weeks competitive runners, depending on conditioning, may return to racing. Novice and casual marathoners may want to take a little more time and return to racing within five to eight weeks.

    Race & Training Analysis

    After weeks and months of training a runner races the NYC Marathon, gets a time and moves on. That’s that, it’s over, done, kaput, fine and the end. The course is run. You’ve been there and done that. Onward ho, you cry, to the next race!

    Slow down. Hold on. Back up. The finish line clock isn’t the only valuable feedback from a marathon. A backward glance helps direct and focus where you are going with training and racing goals. Most marathons aren’t all good or all bad. While the event is vivid, mentally play back the episode. Take the time to set down what went right – and wrong into specifics.

    The objectives of analysis are to:

    1. Reinforce what you did well.
    2. Learn from your mistakes.

    Here’s a key to looking for clues in your marathon performance:

    Race Time
    Record your splits. These are your times along the way (i.e. at 2miles, 10K, 1⁄2 marathon, 20miles) How was your pacing? How does your time compare to your goals, other marathons, predicted time, and training partners?

    It makes a difference in how your run. Write down specifics for accuracy.

    • Air Temperature
    • Wind
    • Rain
    • Humidity
    • Snow
    • Sun Glare
    • Heat
    • Cloud Cover

    Course Conditions

    • These variables can speed or slow your time.
    • Hills
    • Drainage slant or camber
    • Mud and puddles
    • Pavement conditions including fallen leaves, loose gravel, stones, oil
    • Car and spectator inference
    • Aid station bottlenecks
    • Runner crowding conditions
    • Crowd support

    Marathon Goal Time
    First-timers may have wanted to just finish. Others may have wanted to run the second half faster than the first. Still others may have wanted to beat another competitor or have enough energy to show off to the crowds on First Avenue. Mental Preparation. Record your motivational techniques. Maybe use a few from out list:

    • Visualization
    • Course memorization
    • Progressive relaxation
    • Themes such as songs or slogans to keep you sloggin’ along
    • Mental rehearsal

    Race Strategy
    Make notes on how you planned to run the course. Did they work? Eat and drink. Record what you did and if it was successful. If it gave you less than optimal results come up with an alternative for next time. Cover three areas of intake – before, during and after the marathon. Here are a few suggestions to trigger your memory.

    • Breakfast
    • Medications
    • Sports foods and drinks
    • Supplements
    • Miscellaneous foods on the course

    Shoes and Clothing

    • What did you wear?
    • Did the clothes rub or bind?
    • Were they the right warmth for race conditions?
    • Any ideas for improvement?
    • Which socks worked out?

    Aches and Pains

    • Notes what hurts when and where.
    • Transitory aches
    • Sharp pains
    • Blisters
    • Discomforts
    • Cramps
    • Where fatigue appeared first
    • Trips, slips, dips and zips that can result in pulls, plunges and pains.
    • Menstrual cycle status

    Training Review

    • How many total miles did you run in training?
    • How long was the taper?
    • How many long runs of 18 to 23miles did you complete?
    • While marathon training, how many races did you run and what was their quality?

    This is where you play sportscaster and recap the event. Make a few notes on each topic:

    • Best parts of race
    • Lessons learned
    • Comments
    • Goals for next marathon

    Post-Marathon Cold
    One in seven marathoners will get a cold during the first two weeks after the marathon. Yuck! That’s a six times greater risk than controls who did not run a marathon. Maybe marathoning should come with a Surgeon General’s warning, “Marathoning may be bad for your health.” Yeah, well, before you start running away from running, look at it this way: six out of seven marathoners do not get colds after running a marathon. Now, which is the newsworthy headline?

    The take home message here is that exercise at mild to moderate levels increases immunity. The intense level of marathon racing lowers immunity temporarily to upper- respiratory tract infections, e.g. colds. Young rookie marathoners are more at risk than veteran competitors.

    Stay healthy:

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Get your rest
    • Avoid unnecessary stress
    • Eat properly
    • Avoid that sneezing, coughing germ-incubating co-worker
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  • Long Distance Race Checklist

    Marathon/Half Marathon Checklist

    1. Get your packet early at EXPO – have time to look around – it’s fun
    2. Make sure you have YOUR CONFIRMATION
    3. Have your number pinned on your shirt the night before – it must be in front
    4. If you want crowd support – iron on your name or something to your shirt – people will yell what is printed to cheer you on!
    5. Tie the chip in to your shoe the night before
    6. Have an alarm or wake up call (not that you won’t wake up several times during the night)
    7. Remember to Body Glide the areas needed before you put on shoes, shirt, shorts
    8. Remember nothing new to wear today
    9. Double tie your shoes
    10. EAT breakfast
    11. Hydrate – hydrate – hydrate. Take at least one bottle of water with you to start
    12. Take an OLD SHIRT to put on for prerace warmth that you are willing to throw aside somewhere as the race begins or in the first mile or so (there are organizations who will pick up these shirts and give to shelter)
    13. Have a pair of cheap gloves (found at Meijer or a hardware store) or socks for your hands that you can throw aside
    14. If drizzling or raining take a garbage bag and wear it over your body until the start – there may be one in the race package
    15. Have a BATHROOM strategy for prerace – I suggest a trip to the porta-potty early for any bowel movement and use an empty water/Gatorade bottle (wide mouth) for while your standing in the huge line up to start – just squat and go
    16. Have a meeting place decided for afterwards – it is hard to find your family or friends if you don’t – there is a runner reunite area that has letters that you can use to meet someone
    17. Bring for afterwards: sandals (you’ll be glad to get out of your running shoes!), extra shirt (probably long sleeve), Ibuprofen, stretch or sweat pants, towel or towelette, and any personal special food/drink you like (there’s plenty at the event but some people have picky stomachs and may want that special item). Check in your bag if you do not have someone to carry it.


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  • Hydration Guidelines

    How Much Water is Too Much?

    While dehydration is a more common concern for exercisers, some experts think the public should be aware of the danger of drinking too much water, which can lead to a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia. Characterized by an abnormally low blood concentration of sodium, it is most often seen at extremely high-endurance events such as ultra-marathons.

    Hyponatremia is more common among women than men, and was responsible for the death of a 43-year-old woman running in the Chicago Marathon last year. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, headache and disorientation, and bloating in the face and hands.
    Research suggests that drinking about two cups of fluid two hours before exercise and another six to eight ounces every 20 minutes can help optimize performance. Some exercisers may opt to measure the amount of fluid they lose by weighing themselves before and after exercise to determine the number of pounds lost through perspiration. For every pound lost, experts recommend drinking one pint of fluid during exercise. Sports drinks may also be a good choice because they help replace lost sodium and have been shown to enhance performance during prolonged exercise.

    New Guidelines for Running and Hydration

    It's summer, you're running a marathon, and you've known ''the rules'' for years: To avoid dehydration, drink as much as you can at every aid station. Drink even if you are not thirsty because thirst is a poor indicator of how much fluid you need to replace.

    Well, those rules have changed. USA Track & Field, the governing body of track and field, long-distance running and race walking, has issued new guidelines for athletes to ''consume 100 percent of fluids lost due to sweat while racing.'' The USATF now recommends that athletes ''be sensitive to the onset of thirst as the signal to drink, rather than staying ahead of thirst.” Being guided by their thirst, runners prevent dehydration while also lowering the risk of hyponatremia (low sodium), a potentially dangerous condition increasingly seen as runners have erroneously been instructed to over-hydrate.

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  • Fluid Replacement

    Type of Event Timing of Consumption Amount & Type of Beverage

    Sports or exercise
    less than 1 hour in duration
    Before: 24 hours Drink adequate fluids
    2 hours 16 oz. (2 cups) cold water
    5-10 minutes 8-6 oz. (1-2 cups) cold water
    During: Every 15-20 minutes 8-10 oz. (1-1 1/4 cups) cold water
    Recovery: Over next 24 hours Adequate fluid to replace losses

    Sports or exercise
    from 1-4 hours in
    Before: 24 hours Drink adequate fluids
    2 hours 16 oz. (2 cups) glucose electrolyte
    solution (4-8%) carbohydrate
    5-10 minutes 8-6 oz.(1-2 cups) glucose electrolyte
    solution (4-8%) carbohydrate
    During: Every 15-20 minutes 8-10 oz. (1-1 1/4 cups) glucose electrolyte solution (4-8%) carbohydrate
    Recovery: Immediately after
    exercise & every 2 hours for 6-8
    hours following exercise
    Glucose electrolyte solution or glucose
    polymer solution to provide 1gram
    carb/kg body wt.
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  • Eating for the Long Run

    It comes as no surprise that providing your body with the proper nutrition while training for a marathon will help optimize your running performance. We know that good nutrition will help your body to “run” more efficient, enhance your overall health and immune system, aid in preventing/healing injuries, improve your body’s adaptation to training as well as promote speedy recovery. The food you eat and the way you eat it will indeed dictate how well you run! But with so much information out there it can be hard to know what to do and when to do it! Below are some basic recommendations to help you fuel your body for peak running performance. Use this information to guide you, but don’t be ultra concerned about all the details so much that you don’t enjoy eating!!!!! After all we run to eat! Or do we eat to run? Remember what might work for one person, may not work for you. Try to remember that just like running should be fun, eating should be fun too! Practice, practice, practice during your long runs to see what does and doesn't work for you and than follow that on race day!

    BASIC GUIDELINES: Endurance runners should aim for a diet high in carbohydrates (60-70%), moderate in protein (12-20%) and low in fat (20-25%). Food choices should include foods from all the 5 food groups: Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk/dairy and Meat/Beans. Calories should be spread evenly throughout the day (no skipping meals, especially breakfast which is the MOST important meal of the day) eating 3-6 times per day. Women should aim for 2,000 to 3,500 calories/day, men should aim for 2,500-4,000 calories per day. On rest days and shorter run days, aim for the lower end of the calories; on long run days shoot for the upper range.

    CARBOHYDRATES: are truly a runner’s best friend because they serve as the primary energy source for working muscles and help the body to use fat more efficiently. Carbs also help to maintain optimal blood sugars levels. Carbs are stored in the muscles as glycogen, which is the primary fuel you need to keep MOVING. When glycogen stores start to diminish, so do you. This is when exercise intensity reduces and you start to feel pain, cramping and sluggishness known as “The “WALL” take place. This will usually happen after about 90 minutes to 2 hours of running. Going out too fast too soon will also contribute to the deletion of glycogen stores. Therefore, training you body with running as well as carb intake will help avoid hitting the wall. Carbohydrate is also the source of many photochemicals and antioxidants which help us repair, recover, maintain a healthy immune system and prevent/heal an injury. Therefore a diet high in carbs is essential for long distance running performance. Examples of Good sources to fuel your body are: pasta, rice, potatoes, cereal fruit, vegetables, some low fat/fat free dairy products and whole grain product. Remember that 60-70% of your diet should be coming from these carbohydrate sources. One of the rewards of running is being able to sneak in a few sweets/treats now and then. But make sure you avoid “living” off from junk food as your main carb source because these carbs are virtually nutrient free and could end up harming your training efforts. To help figure out the amount that’s right for you, multiply your weight in pounds by 3.2 to give you the number of grams of carbohydrates you should consume per day.

    Examples include:

    • 15 grams of carb =1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta & 1 serving of fruit, 1⁄2 cup of starchy vegetables or 1⁄2 cup dried beans.
    • 12 grams of carb = 1 cup of low fat milk or yogurt or 1.5 oz of cheese
    • 5 grams of carb = 1 cup leafy raw vegetables or 1⁄2 cup chopped vegetables

    PROTEIN: is used to build and repair body tissues including muscles, tendons and ligaments. Protein is NOT a primary source of energy for long distance runners. Your body can only use so much at one time, any excess may be converted to fat. 12-20% of your diet should come from protein. To figure out the amount for you, multiply your weight in pounds by .6 to calculate the number of grams of protein you should consume per day.

    Examples include:

    • 21 grams of protein: 3 oz lean meat, poultry or fish provides
    • 8    grams of protein: One cup of low fat milk or yogurt provides
    • 7 grams of protein: 1⁄2 cup cooked beans, 1 ounce of cheese, 1 egg, 4 oz of tofu or 2 T peanut butter
    • 3 grams of protein: A serving of whole grain product (i.e. 1⁄2 cup cereal, 1 slice of bread)

    FAT: helps a runner sustain prolonged exercise. It is also an energy source that insulates the body against cold as well as helps protect and cushion vital organs. Limit fat for pre run/pre race meals as it exits the stomach slowly and my cause cramping. Fat burns better when combined with carbohydrates. There are three kinds of fat. Saturated fats include butter, hydrogenated oils, coconut oil and palm oil. Polyunsaturated fats include corn oil, soybean oil and margarine. Monounsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil and are the preferred fat. Peanuts butter (natural) is a good source of monounsaturated fat. Approximately 20-25% of your diet should come from fat, 10% coming from saturated fat.

    FLUIDS: Marathon runners are at risk for dehydration, and hyponatrimia (Low blood sodium levels, a dangerous but easily preventable condition). Dehydration can bring on fatigue, cramps and impair performance. If you drink too much and aren’t properly replacing your electrolytes you lose in sweat you are at risk for hyponatremia (low sodium levels) which can produce symptoms such a nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, headache, disorientation and bloating in face and hands. In general water is sufficient for any runs under one hour.    Any runs 60-90 minutes or longer generally require more than water.(i.e. Gatorade, Ultima, Endurox R4) To figure out your basic fluid needs take 1⁄2 your body weight (lbs) in fluid ounces. (140 # person would require 70 oz/day)


    Before: A meal or snack should provide sufficient fluid to maintain hydration, be fairly low in fat and fiber to aid in bowel elimination and minimize any GI distress, be relatively high in carbohydrate to help maintain blood glucose, be moderate in protein. Choose foods that are familiar and well tolerated, avoid unfamiliar foods. Drink 14-22 oz of fluid 2-3 hours before a long run and another 7-10 oz 10-20 minutes before the run.

    Pre Race Snacks:

    • 1 small bagel +2 tbsp peanut butter + 1 small banana.
    • 4 oz juice, 8 oz yogurt, 2 slices toast.
    • 1 1⁄2 cup ready to eat cereal or 1 cup oatmeal + 1⁄2 cup skim milk + 1 fruit.
    • 1 fruit cereal bar + 4 oz juice

    During: The primary goals for nutrient consumption are to replace fluid losses and provide carbohydrate (approximately 30-60 grams per hour) for the maintenance of blood glucose levels and to keep muscles primed. 6-12 oz of fluid should be consumed every 15-20 minutes depending on tolerance. Race snacks: gels, cliff shots, bananas, oranges, Fig Newton’s, graham crackers, pretzels, Jelly beans or fruit chews, granola bar, rice crispy squares, raisins.

    After: The dietary goal is to provide adequate energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and to ensure rapid recovery. Carbohydrate intake of 1.5 grams/kg body weight during the first 30 minutes (approximately) 60-100 grams carb) will be adequate to replace glycogen stores. Protein consumed after exercise will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. Runners should consume a mixed meal providing carbs, protein and fat soon after a long run/marathon. Drink enough fluids to replace sweat losses during exercise. Drink at least 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.

    Recovery Snacks:

    • Fruit smooth: 1 cup skim milk, 1 small banana, 1 cup frozen berries.
    • 1 cup cottage cheese w/fruit and 1 cup grapes and 1 cup orange juice.
    • 1cup low fat chocolate milk, gram crackers and peanut butter.
    • Baked potato with low fat cheese.
    • Pasta with low fat meat/cheese.

    Good eating habits are a lot like good training habits. Remember the big picture: don’t get caught up in the day to day things. A treat in your diet from time to time won’t harm your performance just like taking a break from your training schedule once in a while. In the long “run”, relax, have fun, be consistent, learn what works for you and above all, have fun running and ENJOY YOUR FOOD!

    Sources: Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance, Gatorade Sports Science Institute, National Athletic Trainers Association, USDA My pyramid, Cool Running, Runners world, and American College of Sports Medicine.

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  • E2 Eating and Exercise for Optimal Fitness

    1.    Hydrate

    • Before, during, after exercise. 16 ounces, 2 hours prior; 8 ounces, 15 minutes prior; 7-10 ounces, every 15-20 minutes. Replenish based on sweat rate.
    • All day long – elite athletes will drink an average of 2 cups of fluid between and with meals, primarily water.
    • Water, 100% fruit juice, low fat diary products, sports drinks and recovery drinks.
    • Minimum 8 cups, although your specific needs are driven by age, weight, % body fat, training adaptation, weather and more.

    2.    Carbohydrate (CHO) Rich

    • 55-65% of calories
    • Fresh fruits & vegetables (50% of your plate), low fat dairy, grains (50% whole grain)
    • 25-38 grams of fiber per day
    • CHO are stored 2/3 in muscle, 1/3 in liver as glycogen that fuel exercise.
    • In the absence of CHO you will breakdown muscle (& fat) to fuel your runs.

    3.    Eat a Big Breakfast

    • Never start your engine cold
    • Replenish with 3:1 CHO : PRO ratio after morning workout

    4.    3 Meals, 2-3 Snacks

    • Meals – minimum of 3 food groups
    • Snacks – minimum of 2 food groups
    • Always fluid, smaller portion
    • 3 low fat diary, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 5 fruits, 5 grains, protein source at every
    • meal.

    5.    Balance

    • Most common missing nutrients: fluid, carbohydrate, calcium (low fat dairy, fortified OJ, shrimp, salmon, beans), iron (lean red meat, greens, beans, nuts, legumes, brown grains) potassium (OJ, low fat dairy, tomatoes, potatoes), Vitamin A (low fat dairy eggs, carrots, spinach, margarine & salad dressing), Vitamin C (bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe), Folate (beans, asparagus, spinach).

    6.    Sleep

    • 7-8 hours minimum
    • Restless sleep is sign of overtraining, take day off

    7.    Train

    • Increases glycogen storage capability
    • Strengthens heart lung capability
    • Increases delivery of oxygen to muscle cells
    • Reduces potential for lactic acid build up

    8.    Weight Loss/Gain Timing

    • Not during final count down
    • Decrease with % increase in muscle, not increase in drag
    • Don’t be a yo yo.

    9.    Limit Sweets to 10% of Total Calories

    • No Good/Bad foods
    • Do Diets
    • As an athlete choose foods that fuel your activity so that you can train and compete at your optimal level.

    E2 Eating & Exercise for Optimal Fitness: How Can I Lose Drag, Gain Muscle?

    Many runners believe that a leaner physique will increase their speed. It’s a reasonable conclusion that a body comprised of a higher percentage of muscle will run faster if it has less body fat to tow. This rings true in most sports when comparing players whose positions require faster response times. For example, football lineman traditionally have more body fat than the linebackers, middle distance swimmers average greater than sprinter swimmers, and track and field distance disc and shot put are higher than distance runners. However some athlete’s pursuit of body fat level that is too low for their sport puts them at risk for increased frequency of illness, injury, slower times, increased recovery needs and potentially an eating disorder. If you are interested in losing weight as you train for this season’s summer and fall events, be wary of overly restricting calories. You must strike a very delicate balance when attempting to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously. A diet that is too limited in calories, results in the body breaking down muscle to use for fuel. A slow, gradual weight loss of 1⁄2 to 1 pound a week will minimize the muscle loss associated with fast and dramatic results. Minimize your muscle loss by consuming protein at each meal (beef, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, legumes, eggs, low fat diary) and don’t skip meals. Instead you want to eat frequently to offer your muscles a constant supply of protein and fuel. In addition to your regular cardiovascular workout make sure you are strength training at least twice a week, all 3 major muscle groups (legs & buttocks, arms & shoulders, abdomen & back). Don’t worry about weight plateaus if you’re a scale watcher since muscle weighs more than fat.

    Hitting the Wall

    Muscle pain, overwhelming feeling of fatigue, lightheaded, irritable, and poor concentration are all signs of hitting the wall.
    Why we train is to store more fuel as glycogen, conserve glycogen, rely more on fat, improve heart and lung capacity and enhanced delivery of oxygen to muscle.

    End Note

    Train with what you will race with.

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  • Athlete Nutrition Overview


    • Most efficient fuel for the body
    • Select slower acting forms for steady energy: whole grains, legumes, low fat milk/yogurt, whole fruit
    • Select simpler forms during activity - 30-60g/hour after the first hour

    Common Mistakes

    • 50-65% of our diet should be Carbohydrates, and at least half of them should eb from whole grains.
    • Carbohydrates should be consumed every 3-5 hours
    • Choose whole grain carbohydrates to avoid peaks or crashing in energy
    • Supplementing appropriately during a workout



    • Essential for building and maintaining muscle-mass, injury prevention
    • Include at all meals and snacks if longer time between meals
    • Lean choices: lean ground beef and pork, poultry, seafood, nuts, eggs, low-fat dairy, beans, seeds

    Common mistakes:

    • Consumption of too much protein and not enough carbohydrate
    • Not consuming protein throughout the day to maintain energy
    • Believing you need more


    • Transports/stores vitamins; maintains cell membranes; assists with metabolism; maintains healthy skin/hair
    • Poor source of fuel for workouts
    • Choose heart-healthy choices: nuts, seeds, oil, avocado, olives

    Common Mistakes

    • Not consuming enough fat
    • Consuming more saturated and trans fats rather than unsaturated fats


    • The best indicator is urine. Try to keep urine pale to clear in color through out the day
    • 16-24oz within 2 hours before o 6-12oz just before start
    • 6-12oz every 15-20 minutes during
    • Sports drink with 6-8% carbohydrate for events longer than 1 hour or high intensity/high heat

    Common Mistakes

    • Dehydration: throbbing headache; dizziness; severe fatigue; restlessness; confusion, nausea/vomiting
    • Weight loss of greater than 2% of body weight during exercise can cause dehydration that can compromise cardiac function, metabolic reactions, and thermo regulation
    • Electrolytes need to be replaced after the first hour of exercise, water is not enough to re-hydrate.


    • Try to get all of the vitamins and minerals from eating colorful, varied meals.
    • When looking for a multivitamin, try to find something that provides about 100% of the RDA
    • Caffeine: beneficial before workout for increasing endurance-spares glycogen and aids fat metabolism
    • Protein: consuming 20g protein post workout is optimal, more shows no benefit; this can come from a 20oz glass of milk
    • Glucosamine: beneficial to joints in those with issues; little risk
    • Fish Oil: a good idea if you do not consume omega-3 fatty acids in the diet
    • Fish Oil: a good idea if you do not consume omega-3 fatty acids in the diet

    Common Sports Nutrition Issues

    Hitting the Wall


    • Glycogen depletion due to limited carbohydrate intake - muscle glycogen storage infinite - max is approx. 80-120 minutes before depleted
    • Once glycogen depleted, you convert fat = increased 0xygen uptake = fatigue (hit the wall)
    • Every gram of glycogen is attached to 3g water - lack of either can impact doubly


    • Stroke volume decreases due to decreased blood volume
    • To maintain cardiac output, heart rate increases = fatigue
    • Follow guidelines above - use sports drinks as appropriate


    • Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, hydration
    • Electrolyte supplementation

    Recovery Time

    • Carbohdyrates are essential to restock glycogen stores - intake should be at least 60-75g carbs
    • Aim for 4:1 carb/protein ratio within 1 hour after workout
      • Many commercial recovery products aim to do this (Accelerade, Endurox, etc)
      • Food examples: 1 1⁄2 cups Cheerios, 1 c. blueberries, 1 cup skim milk; 12 Triscuits and 1 oz cheese; 16oz chocolate milk; 1 cup Kashi Go Lean with lowfat yogurt; Power/Clif Bar with 8oz milk; 2 String cheese with 32oz Gatorade;
    • Waiting too long after workouts hinders recovery


    • Usually a result of poor meal timing, inadequate intake of foods
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  • Fluid Replacement

    Type of Event Timing of Consumption Amount & Type of Beverage

    Sports or exercise
    less than 1 hour in duration
    Before: 24 hours Drink adequate fluids
    2 hours 16 oz. (2 cups) cold water
    5-10 minutes 8-6 oz. (1-2 cups) cold water
    During: Every 15-20 minutes 8-10 oz. (1-1 1/4 cups) cold water
    Recovery: Over next 24 hours Adequate fluid to replace losses

    Sports or exercise
    from 1-4 hours in
    Before: 24 hours Drink adequate fluids
    2 hours 16 oz. (2 cups) glucose electrolyte
    solution (4-8%) carbohydrate
    5-10 minutes 8-6 oz.(1-2 cups) glucose electrolyte
    solution (4-8%) carbohydrate
    During: Every 15-20 minutes 8-10 oz. (1-1 1/4 cups) glucose electrolyte solution (4-8%) carbohydrate
    Recovery: Immediately after
    exercise & every 2 hours for 6-8
    hours following exercise
    Glucose electrolyte solution or glucose
    polymer solution to provide 1gram
    carb/kg body wt.
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