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Feeling Overly Fatigued When Running? Low Iron or Vitamin D May Be The Culprit.

by Jason Blackham

Do you have excessive fatigue with your running? If you do, you should consider seeing a physician to have blood work done.  The most common causes of fatigue in athletes is poor nutrition, sleep problems, underlying medical problems, iron deficiency, and Vitamin D deficiency.  When seeing patients experiencing fatigue, I usually check a panel of labs to look for underlying causes as well. In this article, I will address iron deficiency and Vitamin D deficiency.  

Low Iron Levels

One of the most common underlying reasons for fatigue in athletes is low iron levels.  When iron levels are low for long enough, anemia or low red blood cell counts result.  However, one can be iron deficient without having anemia.  Anemia is most common in women athletes during the ages of menstruation due to loss of blood with menstrual cycles combined with not having enough iron in the diet.  Other major causes include bleeding usually in the GI tract, stomach or bowel, and not enough iron in the diet as well as other medical problems.  

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by on Jun.01, 2017, under Nutrition, Utah Running

Rehydration: The Key to Peak Performance During and After Exercise

 

by Julie Hansen, M.S., R.D., C.D.

Proper fluid replacement before, during, and after exercise can positively influence how you feel and how you perform.  Most people do not realize how quickly water can be lost from our bodies when exercising.  The heat production rate in active, exercising muscles can be 100 times that of resting muscles.

On the average, the body loses more than two liters of water each day through perspiration, urine, feces and respiration.  During exercise, sweat losses of up to three liters/hour are common.  Technically, dehydration occurs when body water loss equals one percent of body mass (performance is affected at a fluid loss of two percent).  For example, a 150 pound person becomes dehydrated after losing one and one-half to three pounds of body weight.

Thirst is an unreliable indicator of fluid needs after exercising in hot weather, partly because the intake of water quickly dulls the thirst sensation.  Further, rehydration with plain water dilutes the blood rapidly and stimulates an increase in urine production that leads to greater dehydration.

Rehydration will occur more rapidly when beverages containing sodium (the major electrolyte lost in sweat), are consumed.  Ingesting a beverage containing sodium allows the plasma sodium to remain elevated during the rehydration period and helps maintain thirst while delaying stimulation of urine production.  The rehydration beverage should also contain glucose or sucrose because these carbohydrates provide a source of energy for working muscles, stimulate fluid absorption in the gut, and improve beverage taste.

 

The following guidelines will help athletes maintain proper hydration during practice and competition:

 

  • Weigh in without clothes before and after exercise, especially during hot     weather.  For each pound of body weight lost during exercise, drink 2   cups of fluid.
  • Consume a sports drink containing sodium to quickly replenish lost body fluids.  The beverage should contain 5-8% glucose or sucrose.
  • Drink 2.5 cups of fluid two hours before practice or competition.
  • Drink 1.5 cups of fluid 15 minutes before the event.
  • Drink at least 1 cup of fluid every 15-20 minutes during training and competition.
  • Limit beverages containing caffeine and alcohol because they increase urine production and add to dehydration.

 

Try your own homemade sports drink:

5% Carbohydrate:

4 Tbs. sugar

4 cups water

1/8 tsp. salt

2 Tbls. lemon juice

 

6.5% Carbohydrate:

5 Tbs. sugar

4 cups water

1/8 tsp. salt

2 Tbls. lemon juice

Julie Hansen

Julie Hansen, M.S., R.D., C.D. is a Registered Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist.  She has been running competitively in road races since 1980 and competing in triathlons since 2005.  Julie currently teaches a Sports Nutrition course for Weber State University and a Weight Management course for the University of Utah.  She is the dietitian for the Weber State Athletic department and works part time as a dietitian for Kimberly Clark Corporation in Ogden, Utah and for Solstice Residential Treatment Center in Layton, Utah.  Julie also has a private nutrition practice in Utah working with individuals who want to lose weight, improve performance, lower cholesterol or prevent disease.

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The Challenges of Maintaining Training & Eating over the Holidays: Setting Yourself up for a Successful Season

by Kristi Spence

Perhaps this is a familiar scenario: The morning and evening air is a bit chillier than it has been, evening daylight is waning, and the weather forecast hints of snow. Holiday gatherings are filling up the calendar, and with a fall marathon behind you, your race calendar has wound down for the year.  With the change of the weather and the bustle of the season, it is no surprise that it is easier to skip the occasional day or two of training and change your eating habits. For many people, these uninvited and unintended behaviors encroach slowly, followed by staunch resolutions for the New Year.  But this cycle is not inevitable and breaking this pattern does not equate with strict dieting and discipline… it is all about balance. This holiday season, challenge yourself to devise a workable, fun, plan that incorporates both the endorphin rush of training with the delicious taste of pumpkin pie.

 

To get started, you must first know what you are up against. Each of us faces unique barriers. Identify your specific challenges during the holidays?

  • If from past years, you know that shorter days make it harder to fit in an evening run, can you carve some space out earlier in the day? Can you meet a friend? What adjustments can you make to set yourself up for success?
  • If you want some down-time from running, but you still want to maintain your fitness, perhaps your 6-day per week running plan needs to be modified to a 3 or 4-day per week plan garnished with some fresh cross training ideas.
  • If holiday parties mean overeating and snacking, be sure to eat something before the party. Then you can sample only what really sounds good.
  • If you tend to overeat during the holidays, practice slowing down, enjoying the company and tasting the food.
  • If portion size is your challenge, try using smaller plates.
  • Do you have a hard time with the cold weather? Maybe you can substitute some cross-training activities or figure out how an afternoon, instead of a morning workout might fit into your schedule
  • Perhaps your challenge is that the word “holiday” is synonymous with relaxation and a day off.  Perhaps you can work this day-off into your training or consider different, fun activities with family and friends. There is no rule that you have to run, but if you would like to figure out how you can run on a holiday, perhaps you can meet a friend and celebrate the day together, or get up and out early before the bustle of the day.

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Turning 50 and losing 40 – My journey into Running


by Kathryn Macleod
Turning fifty, is a milestone. For me it was huge. I admit to being quite vain and also to fighting getting older.
I wanted the day to pass without ceremony and attention. A few days after my July 12, 2012 Birthday, I took a trip to Vegas with my husband and another couple.
The celebration was to begin with a shopping expedition. I had this visual image of what I would look like in my special new outfit. I spent far too much money, but purchased what I thought was the perfect outfit.
That evening my husband took some pictures of me. I distinctly remember looking at the pictures and this huge lump came in my throat.
I was not “fat” but I was certainly quite chubby. I actually cried. That same weekend, my husband took a picture of me on my horse. Another weepy moment and another eye opener.
I had to do something. What could I do to change my lifestyle?

 

Las Vegas 2012
Las Vegas July 2012

 

Riding Horse 2012
Riding my horse Winston

 

I have always been an active person. I teach dressage riding professionally (think ballet on horseback), I ride many horses a day, muck stalls, lug hay, and do all sorts of manual labor.
I grew up in Prince Edward Island, Canada and studied Education at a university. I competed with my horses and my riding students at a very competitive level — coaching students to represent Canada in North American competitions.
How did this active person let the pounds just gradually slip on? I had done the diet thing many times…diet down for a vacation south…only to gain it back.
I was hitting middle age and for the first time ever…I was gaining weight on my middle. I weighed 167 pounds.
Social media intervened and so did the era of the “app”. I saw someone post on Facebook about a program called C25k [couch to 5k]. I googled it. Interesting, I thought, perhaps this is what I needed to do?
In August of 2012, I downloaded the “app” on my phone and I created a Facebook page called “Let’s Get Fit c25k”. I convinced several friends to take on the challenge with me.
I then put on whatever running shoes I had and ventured out my door.I did not know it, but my life was about to change.
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Sports Drink or Chocolate Milk for Recovery?

Many of my clients who are competitive runners have inquired whether they should consume sports drink or chocolate milk for recovery after a workout. The first question I pose is are they lactate intolerant and if yes, then the answer is easy. However, based on the barrage of media hype and public influence over the benefit of recovery sports drinks, many have questioned if what they drank as a kid could be as good as what many pros propose us to drink.

Several studies have found that if a combination of carbohydrate and protein in the form of chocolate milk is ingested within one hour and consumption continued for 1-2 hours after a submaximal workout, initial and subsequent endurance performance improves. The prevailing thought why the combination of both are good for recovery and subsequent performance is that carbohydrate helps replenish muscle glycogen used for muscle contraction and protein slows the synthesis or breakdown of the glycogen, preserving more of it for the next workout. Therefore, several versions of carbohydrate replacement drinks have emerged on the commercial market that contain either additional carbohydrates or electrolytes to stave off depletion of glycogen.

All types and versions of electrolyte and recovery drinks can be found in the cooler at any local quick mart, as well as chocolate milk, which contains rich balanced sources of carbohydrate and protein. However, chocolate milk has been shown to be more effective than either carbohydrate only and electrolyte replacement drinks for improving recovery and subsequent performance. Read More….

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by on Jul.18, 2012, under Nutrition, Recovery, Utah Running

Runner’s Trots

 

Question & Answer:  Frequent bathroom breaks while on the run aka “Runner’s Trots”

Question:   I am so hopeful you have time to respond to this question. I am a runner. I average about 40 miles a week, and compete in marathons and halfs. I am pretty fit. 5’7” 135lbs. I love running, and try to keep a good diet. The problem I have though, which doesn’t seem too rare, but is embarrassing, is that every time I go for a run, or run on my treadmill, I have to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, even multiple times before I can get my miles in. I don’t eat fatty foods, so I am confused on what to eat. I live in a rural area, so there are no bathrooms on the road like the city offers. So often times I have to find a discrete place to relieve myself. And I go a lot throughout the day, definitely more than the average person. I know this is kinda funny, and I wouldn’t blame you if you are chuckling right now. But it has become increasingly bothersome, and I need to know what to do, or eat. Is there any way to stop this from happening? Thanks for your time!!! John

Answer:   Hi John.  Thanks for the question.  Unfortunately over the years I have coached many people that have had this problem.  I think the first thing to do would be to start logging the foods you are consuming and see if there is some sort of sensitivity you are having to certain foods.  Be sure and track your BM’s (Bowel Movements) & exercise.  Many people are sensitive to foods that contain fructose (the sugar found in fruit).  If this is the case you can simply avoid having fruits, foods or juices with fructose before or during runs.  Some electrolyte beverages, bars and gels contain fructose, so be sure and read labels.  Dairy, spicy, fatty and high fiber foods can also be problematic for many runners so you will want to avoid these before a run too.  Some food sweetners can also cause problems (ie. sorbitol, aspartame etc…) so be on the lookout for these in sugar-free gums, candy, breath mints, etc…High doses of Vitamin C can cause the “trots” so review any supplements you might be taking.  Dehydration can also trigger bowel movements so be sure and stay hydrated with water.  Be careful with beverages that tend to dehydrate (diuretics) like coffee, tea, alcohol and foods containing caffeine.  Warm beverages can also stimulate gastric emptying.  You might also consider not eating anything too close to running (within two hours) since there is a decreased blood flow to the intestines while running and it may compromise digestion and cause the stomach to be upset.  After logging your foods, and if you can not detect any sensitivity to foods or food patterns then your problem may be related to the muscles or something else.  Another possible cause would be that the muscles in the intestines & stomach are being stimulated to contract more rapidly with the “jarring” of running.  I wonder if you would have the same result using an elliptical in lou of some running to see if it makes a difference.  You could give it a try and see.  Stress or having the “jitters” can exacerbate this problem so be sure and stay relaxed.  If not, then unfortunately I don’t think there is an easy fix to this, but I have had some clients find that using anti-diarrhea over-the-counter medications, like Imodium, before races and important workouts to be helpful.  I would caution you against doing this too much.  It would also not be a bad idea to consult physician to rule out anything else that could be going on.  There are other diseases that could cause this problem like colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac (gluten intolerance), etc… It’s worth getting it checked out just to be sure.

Happy Running,


Coach Lora Erickson

“Blonde Runner”

USATF certified running coach

www.BlondeRunner.com

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