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Post Marathon Nutrition

Expert Panel Questions???

“I ran my first marathon last weekend, now I always feel hungry. Even right after a meal. And if I don’t eat for an hour or two I have stomach aches. What is recommended food for post-marathon to regain the calories/nutrients that I burned?”

Answer:

After a marathon, the body is depleted of fluid and nutrients, both of which need replenishing for adequate recovery. Focus on hydration (aim to consume 150% of what you have lost in the form of water or a sport drink), adequate carbohydrate (bread, pasta, rice, sport products, fruit…), and moderate amounts of protein (nut butters, low-fat dairy, eggs, lean meat…). The most effective way to replenish after a marathon is to eat 3-4 times over the 4-6 hours post race. (See my post “Best Way to Recover After a Long Run.” The same rules apply here). Smaller, more frequent eating episodes replenish lost carbohydrate and repair muscle tissue more efficiently than one large meal. Here are some examples of post race snacks.

Post Marathon Snacks:

– Bread with peanut butter and jam or honey
– Fruit smoothie made with fruit, yogurt & milk or juice
– Chocolate milk
– Sport Bar & sport drink or water
– Yogurt
– Cereal with milk
– Banana with peanut butter

Follow-up this initial snack with a more complete and larger meal 2-3 hours post race. Avoid going too long before starting the recovery process – you definitely want to start replenishing within 1 hour. Waiting too long slows recovery.

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Training Schedule Adjustments for Running Multiple Marathons

Question:

“How do i need to adjust my training schedule for running multiple marathons (one a month for 4 months). i haven’t been able to find training schedules for this kind of running. I don’t know when to taper, how to do speed workouts, etc. i am trying to get under 3:30 for one or all of the races. I also want to know how often i should do gu or gels during the race. i have run more than a dozen marathons, yet i still can’t figure it out. If you have any advice that would be great!

Oh ya, if you know of any running studies i could be a part of that would be awesome too.
thanks,”
Sherrie Wayment LOVE2RUN

Answer:

Hi Sherrie,

The short answer is yes, you would want to adjust your training based on the number of races you plan to run and the frequency with which you plan to run them. The marathon distance takes a toll on your body and without adequate recovery you will not be properly, rested, refueled and ready for the next one. That said, I would think seriously about running one per month, especially if you are trying to set a personal best. I am a pretty firm believer that you can only really “race” 2-3 marathons per year – the incredible effort it takes to do well in a marathon (training: including mileage and speed work as well as recovering adequately) is quite taxing. Not knowing your current training schedule, it is difficult to make specific suggestions or comments – I am also not a coach, and consulting with one would be a great place to start. Paul Pilkington [Lora Erickson, and Janae Richardson], [members] of UtahRunning.com’s expert panel [offer] coaching services and may be a great resource for you to develop a training plan specific to your needs.

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Coffee? Good, bad? With/Without caffeine? before a run?

Expert Panel Question???

Question: “Coffee? Good, bad? With/Without caffeine? before a run?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts here)

Answers!!!

To caffeinate or not?

Many runners enjoy a cup of coffee before running or racing and the current research shows that this may enhance performance. Though the exact mechanism of action is not known, current theories suggest that caffeine may alter our perceived exertion, such that we are able to run harder without feeling that our effort level has changed OR caffeine may directly stimulate the neural activation of muscle. Whatever the mechanism, ingesting small amounts of caffeine before and during endurance exercise may give you an added boost. While some is good, more is not necessarily better. Improved performance and concentration can be seen with as little as 1 mg caffeine per kg of body weight. For example, for a 170 pound runner (77.3kg), consuming ~75-80mg caffeine (about the amount in an 8oz brewed cup of coffee) would do the trick. If you are not a coffee drinker, coffee in the morning may act as a diuretic and other sources of caffeine (sport nutrition products) may be a better option. (Many gels, and sport drinks/bars now contain caffeine).

In general, caffeine can be a good thing for us …remember that anything to excess can become dangerous, but up to 400mg of caffeine per day is considered safe and healthful.

by Kristi Spence MS, RD, CD Sports Dietitian

Google Buzz
by on Mar.03, 2010, under Expert Answers, Nutrition

Kristi Spence – Utah Running Expert

Kristi Spence               Masters of Science, Registered Dietitian

Sport Dietitian

TOSH Sport Science

Elite Athlete: Half-Marathon/Marathon

Kristi Spence is a registered dietitian and works with youth, recreational, and elite athletes at The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) in Salt Lake City. Through individual consultations as well as a series of monthly cooking clinics and nutrition education lectures, Kristi shares her passion for food, cooking and healthy eating with people of all backgrounds.

She completed her master’s degree in Nutrition at the University of Utah in 2007 and earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 2001. As a lecturer in the University of Utah’s Division of Nutrition, Kristi’s Healthy Weight for Life course addresses issues in weight management, healthy living, and sustainability. Kristi is also the dietitian for Athletic Republic, an international athletic training program. At Princeton, Kristi competed on the varsity cross country and track and field teams, captaining the team in 2000.

Still a competitive distance runner, Kristi qualified for the US Olympic Marathon Trials with a personal best time of 2:45:38 in the 2006 Chicago Marathon. She was 20th at the 2007 New York City Marathon and competed in the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston. Kristi is able to draw upon personal experiences with sport and nutrition to advise people of all ages.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts


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