Category: Training

5 Steps to Injury-Free Training

5 Steps to Injury-Free Training

If you are training for a fall marathon or half marathon, you may be concerned about injury. This is a valid concern, as injuries are common when runners train for a longer race, especially for the first time.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize your chances of getting hurt.

1. Build a solid foundation. Follow a professional program that ramps your mileage slowly and methodically to a marathon training workload. Find a running program online that you can tailor to your needs or work with a certified running coach to have a customized program created just for you. Follow a program that:

  • Starts from your current fitness level
  • Ramps your workload gradually – no more than 10% mileage increase per week or per session
  • Includes slow, methodical increase of your long runs to a longer run of approximately 20 miles (possibly 21 or 22 if you have previously run the marathon race distance)
  • Includes runs of different length, speed and terrain – variety is important to prevent injury

Also, be realistic.  If you are a new runner, build your running and run regularly for at least a year before attempting your first marathon.

2. Be consistent. Now that you have your training plan, follow it closely. Consistency is one of the keys to preventing injury. This doesn’t mean you can’t miss a workout occasionally, but if you find yourself missing a week of runs, this can be a recipe for injury. Try to stay consistent with your training plan, keeping the number of runs and miles per week close to your plan. If you miss a week, ease back into the plan or work with your running coach to get back on track safely.

3. Develop good running form. It is difficult to “force” yourself into perfect running form and it can be dangerous, especially if your muscles aren’t prepared for that method of running. However, in order to prevent undue force on the body, landing with each foot underneath your body – instead of in front of your body on your heel – is usually associated with lower ground forces on the body resulting in lower injury rate. The easiest way to achieve this is to shorten and quicken your stride. If you find you are an overstrider, practice the shorter strides with feet landing underneath you on a regular basis.

4. Strength train. Running is a very repetitive sport. As a result, it creates a high probability of overuse injuries. In order to prevent these injuries, strengthening and mobilizing key areas of the body are important preventive measures. Focus on these areas:

  • Core: Strengthen the lateral and anterior core with exercises such as plank and side plank variations.
  • Hips/Glutes: Strengthen the legs, glutes and stabilizers with exercises such as lunge variations, deadlift and glute bridge variations and hip abduction work (such as clams). Also, keep the hips and hamstrings mobile with key stretches for those areas.
  • Ankles and calves: Strengthen the ankles and calves with exercises such as calf raises, jumping/plyometrics and banded ankle work. Also, keep the calves mobile with calf stretching. Try doing some of this foot and ankle work barefoot for added benefit.

A strength training program for runners, such as RunSMART, can help you work on all of these areas.

5. Pace.While training, most of your running should be at a slow, conversational pace. Many people overtrain on their easy days and carry fatigue into their hard runs. Make sure you keep your easy days easy, even if you are a veteran runner. Following the pacing of your running program, as well as the distances, helps keep injury at bay.

These suggestions will help you avoid injury this summer and have a great fall marathon or half marathon.

Good luck!

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Laurie Lasseter
Marathoner
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
RRCA Certified Running Coach
Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers
www.EEHealth.org/fitness

Improve Your Time in 2016

Improve Your Time in 2016

So, you’ve run a marathon or half marathon (or maybe two or three) with the goal of “just finishing”. Congratulations! Finishing one of these runs is a tremendous accomplishment! But you may now be at the point in your running and racing career when you want to run faster, set a new personal record (PR) or meet a specific time goal. If that’s the case, you’ll need to modify your training program.

Your previous training has probably been completed at conversational pace, which is an easy pace in the lower part of your aerobic range. You may have incorporated some hill training and a bit of tempo running, but for the most part, your running has been at your steady conversational pace. In order to achieve a time goal, incorporate more running at a faster pace. Here’s how:

 *   Interval Training: This type of training improves your aerobic capacity and running efficiency and teaches your body to run faster while in an aerobic mode. For the marathon, intervals will be somewhere between ½-mile and 1½-miles. These intervals will be run at, or slightly faster than, your 5K race pace and each interval will be followed by a one- to two-minute slow recovery jog. (Run as slow as needed to allow full recovery between each interval.) Start incorporating this workout about three months before your marathon. Do this one to two times per week, replacing existing runs on your training plan that occur during the week. Start with just one or two intervals per session. Add one additional interval each week or two, until you are at six to 12 intervals (six for the 1½-mile intervals, 12 for the ½-mile intervals) per session. Taper these runs down during the final three weeks, as you will do with the rest of your running. For the half marathon, build up to four to 10 intervals (four for 1½-mile intervals, 10 for ½-mile intervals) rather than six to 12.

 *   Tempo work: During long runs, incorporate some tempo running. These workouts increase your aerobic capacity and improve your aerobic/anaerobic threshold. In addition, this type of workout teaches your body and mind to push its limits when you are tired. Here again, start incorporating this about three months before your race by including about 30 minutes at tempo pace in the second half of your long run. (Tempo pace is somewhere between your 10K and 10 mile race pace.) As your long runs increase in time and distance over the next weeks, build the tempo portion to 45 minutes for your final long run of 20-22 miles. Once again, you will not do this work in the last two to three weeks before the race, since you won’t be doing long runs during the taper period. For the half marathon, start with 20 minutes at tempo pace and build up to 30-35 minutes during your final long run of 12 miles.

Be sure to pay attention to your body and how it reacts to these workouts, as everyone is different in their response. A bit of soreness is normal, but if you find you’re having persistent soreness, unusual aches and pains or extreme fatigue, back off on the progressions described above. If you want a more personalized program, consider working with a running coach on a specific workout for you.

These two additions to your workouts will really improve your aerobic capacity and your mental and physical toughness. They also allow you to really push your limits and accomplish a new personal record or time goal. Best of luck!

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Laurie Lasseter
Marathoner
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
RRCA Certified Running Coach
Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers

10 Last-Minute Marathon and Half Marathon Tips

10 Last-Minute Marathon and Half Marathon Tips

By Dr. Michael Hartmann and Laurie Lasseter

This is it, the final stretch. Months of your life, more effort than you imagined and quite possibly, millions of steps have led you to these last days of training. With not much more than the big day ahead, here are our last-minute tips for marathon/half marathon day survival.

  1. Plan everything. Plan transportation to the race and from the finish area. Let friends and family know where you’ll meet them after the race. Do everything you can in advance, right down to trimming your toenails and pinning on your bib the night before the race.

  1. Not too much race expo. The expo is fun and a great way to get excited for the race, but don’t spend too much time or energy walking there. Don’t try any samples of new foods or drinks either. Save them for after the race.

  1. Weather rules. The most important thing is to wear layers on race day. Layering is crucial, as you’ll be shedding clothing as your body heats up. Don’t forget gloves and a hat if it’s chilly. And be sure to wear items you’re okay with tossing in the garbage throughout the race, if necessary.

  1. The perfect gear bag. The following items are must-haves for a well-stocked race bag: throwaway clothing (sweatshirt, sweatpants, early race shirt, gloves, headband or hat), plastic garbage bags, throwaway blanket, almost-empty Body Glide or Vaseline, sunscreen, toilet paper, pre-race hydration, pre-race food, early race hydration (including a fuel belt, if needed for especially congested races.)

  1. Lubricate!Make sure to lubricate all potential chafing spots before the race with Body Glide or Vaseline. Anywhere there is friction, like armpits and nipples, is a potential trouble spot for chafing.

  1. Practice gratitude. Remember, the volunteers and spectators are the ones who make the race possible. Take time before, during and after the race to thank them. Not only does it make them feel great, it boosts your race satisfaction, too.

  1. Do what works. Do not try anything new on race day. Shoes should be broken in and apparel pre-worn (preferably during your long training runs). Eat food you know digests easily. The same old choices leave less room for surprises.

  1. Be mindful of mechanics. During the race, focus on good form to get you through rough patches. Focus on staying relaxed, especially in the upper body. If your legs need a break, focus more on your arm swing and vice versa.

  1. Remember your mantra. Choose a saying that you’ll repeat during the race, especially when fatigue and discomfort visit. Whatever you choose, find one that motivates you. If you aren’t a “mantra person,” just try to stay focused and positive during rough patches and remember that your training has properly prepared you for success.

  1. Roll with the punches. Weather or unanticipated terrain difficulty can thwart your plans. Visualize yourself overcoming challenges and be ready to adjust expectations if needed. You’ve come this far and you will succeed! Good luck!

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Dr. Michael Hartmann

Race Medical Director, Healthy Driven Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon

Emergency Room physician, Edward Hospital

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Laurie Lasseter

Marathoner

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

RRCA Certified Running Coach

Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers

Planning and Practicing for Race Day

Planning and practicing for race day

By Linnea Omholt, Edward Rehabilitation Services and Sports Medicine

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As the race draws near, anticipation builds. With the training days dwindling, keep your eye on the prize. Sticking to your plan now is critical as you make your way toward the starting line. Here are my final-month plan and practice tips to ensure you’re prepared when it’s time to RUN!

No double sessions required. This isn’t school and you don’t need to cram in missed workouts to make up training. Take things one day at a time and if you miss a run or cross-training session, pick right back up the next day. This is not the time to overdo your workouts and wear yourself out.

Your body knows. You’ve been preparing for months and you’re ready. But as the day draws near, be sure to listen to your body, looking for signs that you need more nutrition or rest. If you wake up feeling you haven’t recovered from the prior day’s workout, up your food intake and get more sleep the next night.

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Longest run alert. If you plan to taper, and you should, your longest run should be 3-4 weeks before the race to allow your body enough recovery time. Plan to mimic as many aspects of the race as you can during that long run, such as your pre-run nutrition, the race time, your during-run hydration, your wardrobe and your route.

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Time off. Plan to take a day off two days before the big day to allow your body to rest. The day before the event, go for an easy run, about 15 to 18 minutes in length, to keep your muscles loose and ready. If you’ve followed a different plan for a previous marathon, do that instead. Consistency and comfort–from both a physical and mental standpoint—is key.

Get mental. In the last few weeks before the marathon, do what you can to reduce stress. Stay in and off your feet, letting your body rest and conserve the energy it will need. Spend time visualizing yourself throughout the race running past course landmarks, feel the excitement of the crowd and imagine crossing the finish line. It’s almost here—enjoy your amazing accomplishment!

For more of my favorite last minute marathon tips, visit Runner’s World’s 26 Tips for Running Your Best 26.2.

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Linnea Omholt, PT, DPT

Edward Rehabilitation Services and Sports Medicine

www.EEHealth.org/services/rehabilitation

Ways to Avoid Training Burnout

By Laurie Lasseter, Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers

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Let’s face it, training for a marathon is tough. And repetitive. Rest assured, occasional burnout is normal, even for the most elite athletes. Push through with one my five top tips for keeping training boredom and burnout at bay.

  1. Ease up (or race!) Take an assessment to determine if your burnout stems from overtraining or from staleness/boredom. If you show symptoms of overtraining – higher-than-normal resting heart rate, chronic muscle and/or joint aches, persistent fatigue, difficulty in completing normal workouts – it’s time to ease up on your training volume and/or intensity. On the other hand, if you’re feeling bored with your running workouts, it might be time to schedule a shorter race. Just don’t overdo the racing before the marathon. A 5k or two, a few months before the marathon, or a half marathon approximately 4-6 weeks before your marathon, is fine. These shorter races should help you hone your performance for the marathon.

  1. Plan long run rewards.Choose a reward that you give yourself only in relation to your long runs. This might be a special pre-run meal, post-run treat or activity, or a special new audiobook or music download to listen to during your run.

  1. Mix it up.Make sure your training plan has a good mix of pacing, run lengths and terrain. And, change the type of cross training you do occasionally to ensure you don’t do the same workouts day after day, week after week.

  1. Release the pressure!It’s okay to have time goals in key races, but if you find you’re putting undue pressure on yourself to meet time goals in every workout, it’s probably time to ease up for a while and focus on just enjoying your runs.

  1. Create a support system.Make time for running group activities, which allow you to connect and commiserate with other runners and can give your training a big boost. For more information, check out my July post – Community Spirit.

Fuel Up for Long Runs

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By Laurie Lasseter, Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers

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In my June blog post, we discussed proper nutrition for shorter runs. But now your training runs are getting longer and your body likely needs more nutritional and electrolyte support than it did before. It’s time to incorporate my top tips for fine-tuning your long run fueling to help tackle long runs like a pro:

Staying Hydrated

  1. Every day: Approximately ½ ounce of water for every pound of body weight per day (includes the liquid in food).
  2. During runs over 60 minutes: 7 to 10 ounces of a sports (glycogen + electrolyte) drink (such as Gatorade) or electrolyte-only drink (such as Powerade Zero or Nuun Active) every 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. During runs over 90 minutes: 7 to 10 ounces of a sports (glycogen + electrolyte) drink every 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Post long-run: Replace 120-150% of fluid loss in water or 100-125% of fluid loss with a sports (glycogen + electrolyte) drink – use the fluid loss rate that you learned to measure in my June blog post.

Fueling for Top Performance

  1. Two hours before runs over 60 minutes: Eat a simple carbohydrate, low fiber, low protein snack – such as a bagel with a small amount of peanut butter. You’ll need to experiment a bit with the pre-run snack to see what works best for you and your digestive system.
  2. During runs over 60 minutes: Ingest 30-60g carbohydrates per hour via a sports drink (glycogen + electrolyte). See detailed hydration recommendations above.
  3. Within 30 minutes of a long run: Refuel with a protein and carbohydrate rich snack, such as such as a fruit and yogurt smoothie or a bagel with peanut or almond butter.
  4. Daily macronutrient balance: Strive to maintain a diet consisting of 55 percent carbohydrates (mostly vegetables, fruits and whole grains), 25 percent lean, high-quality protein and 20 percent healthy fats.
  5. Avoid digestive upset during long runs: It is best to avoid sugar, high-fiber, lactose-containing dairy and fat prior to your runs, at least until you understand how your digestive system responds to these foods. During your run, keep your tummy happy by avoiding caffeine and excess sugar (beyond sports drink recommendations).
  6. Smart caloric increase: You do need more calories per day to fuel your marathon training, but not as many as you might think. Depending on your size, your 40-mile per week marathon training program will probably allow you to eat 600 to 800 additional calories per day above what you would eat if you were not running at all. If you ran regularly before embarking on your training, the additional calories needed are even less. Make sure those added calories are in the form of lean protein and nutritious carbohydrates (including vegetables, fruits and whole grain foods). And, monitor your weight – the suggested calorie range is a guideline. Added body weight will hinder you from achieving your marathon training goals!

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Laurie Lasseter

Marathoner

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

RRCA Certified Running Coach

Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers

www.edward.org/fitness

 

Course Talk – Part 2

By: Tom Minichiello, Course Manager

Healthy Driven Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon

Welcome back for Course Talk, Part 2!  Great news – the marathon and half marathon courses are now USATF certified! So, in addition to the course map  on our website, let me talk you through the exciting new route for 2015.

We start in grand fashion on Eagle St., between Jackson and Aurora avenues, where Naperville’s famed Riverwalk crosses Eagle St. The quarry and the Carillon are to your right and City Hall is on the left. You begin running south towards Naper Settlement, turning left on Aurora Ave. Your view here will include the sunrise above Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium at North Central College.

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The course heads south on Washington St., passing Edward Hospital. You’ll hit Mile 1 just past Osler Dr. and then Mile 2 just before Hobson Rd. A left on Hobson Rd. and a quick left on Hobson Mill Rd. takes runners through neighborhood streets, passing Mile 3 on Honest Pleasure Dr. and Mile 4 on Hillside Rd.

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On Brainard St., we run by Highlands School leading to an impressive view of NCC’s Athletic Complex from Prairie Ave. Then another stretch through neighborhood streets, passing Mile 5 on White Oak Dr. and Mile 6 on Pembroke Rd. This leads to Chicago Ave., where runners are treated to a marvelous view as the course heads west toward Downtown Naperville!  Runners are treated to a long decent to Mile 7 before heading into Naperville’s celebrated Historic District and the NCC campus.

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At Ellsworth St. and Chicago Ave. is the fine-looking Wentz Concert Hall. We turn right here and then left on Jefferson Ave., running past Quigley’s Irish Pub and crossing over Washington St. into the heart of Downtown Naperville! Runners pass the downtown’s many shops and restaurants, including Naperville Running Company, consistently voted one of the top running stores in the country. The course turns right on Main St. and then left on Benton Ave. and we pass Mile 8.

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We head north on Mill St. to the sprawling NNHS grounds, running through and around the school, passing Mile 9 on Naperville North Dr. and Mile 10 on 5th Ave. Then it’s back south on Mill St., and a right on Spring Ave through neighborhood streets, including Mile 11 on Douglas Ave. and the section of Jefferson Ave. where it crosses over the DuPage River.

Then back east on Aurora Ave., passing Mile 12. The half and full marathon then split at the intersection of Aurora Ave. and West St. Half marathoners stay on Aurora Ave, passing NCHS and Naper Settlement on the right, and the Millennium Carillon and Rotary Hill on the left, all while enjoying a nice smooth decent past Mile 13, and left to the finish on Eagle St.

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Full marathoners head south on West St., passing Mile 13 and the halfway point and Knoch Park, before entering the Hobson West neighborhood, where West St. then traverses in a southwesterly direction. After passing Mile 14, runners turn right on Rickert Dr., passing Mile 15 and reaching the western most part of the course at Book Rd.

We head south on Book Rd., cross over 75th St., and pass Mile 16, which is flanked by Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. Then just beyond 87th St., we pass Mile 17. A left on Leverenz Rd. begins another stretch of neighborhood streets, passing Mile 18, crossing over Plainfield-Naperville Rd., and then a left on Gateshead Dr., passing Mile 19. After a left on Modaff Rd., we loop around Avena Cr. where we pass Mile 20, then we begin our way back north.

We turn right at 87th St., passing Mile 21, to Washington St., where runners head north, passing Mile 22. At the Bailey Rd. intersection, runners hop on the DuPage River Trail and continue through the 75th St underpass. Then a left turn through the tunnel under Washington St, takes runners to Mile 23. A right on Clyde Dr. and a quick left on Tupelo Ave. begins the final stretch through neighborhood streets, including Mile 24 on Laurel Ln. and Mile 25 on Emerald Dr. A right on West St takes runners to the “One Mile To Go” point at the corner of Osler Dr. The course continues past Knoch Park to Aurora Ave.

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A right on Aurora Ave. takes full marathoners past Mile 26 with NCHS and Naper Settlement on the right, and the Millennium Carillon and Rotary Hill on the left, all while enjoying a nice smooth decent, and a left to the finish on Eagle St.

Wow!  What a course! The landmarks, scenery, schools, miles of picturesque neighborhoods with beautiful homes and parks, and of course BEAUTIFUL Downtown Naperville. What a town! Can’t wait to see you out there on November 8!

And here’s an insider tip…if you’re out on the course for a training run, keep an eye out for light green painted numbers at each mile (see exact locations below) and arrows at every turn.

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I’ll be back again closer to race day with more course information, including convenient ways for spectators to cheer on runners at multiple points!

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About Tom:

Tom Minichiello is Finisher #52 of the 50sub4 Marathon Club – a group of about 300 runners with the goal to not just run and complete a marathon in all 50 states, but to run each marathon in each state in under 4 hours.  Currently, there are about 65 runners or “finishers” who have accomplished the goal.  For more information about the 50sub4 Marathon Club, visit www.50sub4.com. View  a video about Tom’s journey at www.vimeo.com/85624446. Contact Tom at tom50@naperville26.com.

Mile Marker Locations:

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Half & Full Marathon

1 – on Washington St, 185 feet south of the Osler Dr traffic light

2 – on Washington St, 0.1 mile north of Hobson Rd

3 – on Honest Pleasure Dr, at the second Cavalcade Cir intersection

4 – on Hillside Rd, in front of 417 Hillside Rd

5 – on White Oak Dr, 63 feet south of the Kings Park sign

6 – on Pembroke Rd, just south of Jane Ave, 50 feet north of the fire hydrant

7 – on Chicago Ave, between Julian and Columbia streets, at 726 Chicago Ave

8 – on Benton Ave, 73 feet east of the Stop sign for Eagle St

9 – on Naperville North Dr, at the far end of the northwest parking lot, 21 feet south of the crosswalk

10 – on 5th Ave, in front of Naper North Car Care Center at 600-602 5th Ave

11 – on Douglas Ave, 37 feet west of the sewer grate at the corner of Parkway Dr

12 – on Aurora Ave, 160 feet east of the sewer grate at the corner of Berry Ct

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Half Marathon

13 – on Aurora Ave, 123 feet west of the traffic light pole at the corner of Eagle St

Full Marathon

13 – on West St, north of Martin Ave, 22 feet south of the fire hydrant

13.1 “Halfway” – on West St, south of Martin Ave, 3 feet south of the Corporate Partners sign

14 – on West St, 190 feet north of the second Merrimac Cir intersection

15 – on Rickert Dr, 0.1 mile east of Flat Iron Dr

16 – on Book Rd, 0.48 mile south of 75th St

17 – on Book Rd, 0.05 mile south of 87th St, in front of 10S049 Book Rd

18 – on Leverenz Rd, in front of 1350 Leverenz Rd

19 – on Gateshead Dr, 32 feet east of the driveway to 712 Gateshead Dr

20 – on Avena Cir, at the fire hydrant by the corner house, 340 Avena Cir

21 – on 87th St, 50 feet east of the corner at Countryside Cir

22 – on Washington St, 0.08 mile south of Harbor Ct

23 – on the path, west of the tunnel under Washington St, near the end of the canyon

24 – on Laurel Ln, 40 feet north of the sidewalk on Basswood Dr

25 – on Emerald Dr, at the Robin Hill Dr intersection

25.2 “One Mile To Go” – on West St, at the northeast corner of Osler Dr

26 – on Aurora Ave, in front of Rotary Hill, 53 feet east of the crosswalk to NCHS’s main entrance

Community Spirit

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Community Spirit

By Laurie Lasseter, Edward Health & Fitness Centers

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There’s no denying the benefits of a running community. They’re almost too numerous to count! Here are a few of my favorite reasons for lacing up with friends instead of hitting the road on your own:

Commitment. The most important aspect of your training is consistency. You’re more likely to get out for your run if you feel you’ve committed to others and they expect you to be there. Even if you run in a group, be accountable to one or two specific individuals for each run. The thought of letting someone else down will make it hard to sleep in or skip your run.

Camaraderie. Sometimes, when we run alone, the time can just drag on and runs seem to take forever. The camaraderie and distraction of being with others can really help. As your runs become longer, the “we’re in this together” feeling becomes even more important.

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Safety.  We’ve all heard that’s there’s safety in numbers, and it’s true for runners, too. If someone gets hurt, others are there to get help. Larger groups ward off wildlife visitors or humans up to no good. Groups of runners are more likely to spot trail hazards – like obstacles or holes in the road – and warn others. And lastly, your group is less likely to get lost while together, but if you do, you have each other to develop a plan to get back home.

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Creative stimulation. A running community is helpful outside of actual runs, too. It’s super helpful to have others to discuss ideas with or work through a creative solution to a training issue.

Motivation. Having others to run with makes it hard to quit mid-run. You’re more likely to finish and reach your goals in a group. Being with others makes you feel that if they can do it, so can you!

Performance. A little friendly rivalry or competition can be a good thing and improve your running performance. Just make sure you don’t make every run a competition. Remember to keep your easy days easy!

Networking. You never know whom you’ll meet in your running group – they just might end up being contacts that will help you with other personal, career or philanthropic goals.

Social/friendships. Some of my best friends over the years have been my running friends. Long runs are a great opportunity to really open up with someone and get to know them on a deeper level.  I have had running friends that have retired from running years ago that I am still in close contact with. Running friends are friends for life!

Laurie Lasseter
Marathoner
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
RRCA Certified Running Coach
Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers
www.edward.org/fitness

Fill your tank with the right fuel

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FILL YOUR TANK WITH THE RIGHT FUEL

By Laurie Lasseter, Edward Health & Fitness Centers

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At this point, with about five months before the marathon, most of your weekly runs are pretty short – less than 60 minutes – and preparing your body with smart, sustaining nutrition is a cinch.  In my Marathon Training Workshop, I talk about nutrition for shorter and longer runs.  Here’s what you need to know to coast through your runs over the next couple months:

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Hydration.  Water, as opposed to sports drinks, is your best bet when prepping for runs that are less than an hour.  Two hours before each run, drink between 17 and 20 ounces of water.  About 10 minutes before you head out, drink another 10 to 12 ounces.  During shorter runs, I advise clients to simply drink when they’re thirsty.  The typical runner needs about seven to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes to stay hydrated.  For a more specialized approach, you can replace fluids based on your own fluid loss rate.  In order to calculate, do a 60-minute run, weighing yourself before and after.  Subtract any fluid you drank during the run (16 oz. = 1 lb.).  The remaining loss is water/sweat loss.  Now that you know your rate of sweat loss per hour, replace lost fluid, in ounces, within 30 to 60 minutes following each run.

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Drinking before, during and after your run isn’t the only important consideration.  Ongoing daily hydration matters, too.  A great guideline is to drink a half-ounce of water for every pound of body weight per day, which includes water obtained from foods.  By doing this, you prepare your body with the hydration it needs for optimal function.

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Fuel.  I like to refer to food as fuel – I think it’s the healthiest way to think about the quality of what we put in our bodies.  For shorter runs, it’s OK to skip pre-run food, as it can be easier to run on an empty stomach.  If you prefer a snack beforehand, keep it small, simple and low fiber/high carbohydrates, think half a bagel or a slice or two of toast.  Whole grain is more nutritious, but you will need to experiment to see if pre-run whole grains upset your stomach.  Within 30 to 60 minutes after your run, grab a protein- and carbohydrate-rich snack, such as skim milk and fruit or an apple with almond butter.

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Just like daily water, what you eat over the course of each day prepares your body for the demands of marathon training.  As a guideline, about 55 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates (mostly vegetables, fruits and whole grains), 25 percent from lean, high-quality protein and 20 percent from healthy fats.

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As run lengths increase, I’ll share more dietary tips to help you reach training goals.  Stay tuned!

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Laurie Lasseter
Marathoner
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
RRCA Certified Running Coach
Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers
www.edward.org/fitness

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