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Monday, November 22, 2010

Road to Disney: Nutrition Part 1

roadtodisney_edited-5Now that Miami Man is done, I'm turning my focus to Disney in January. My eyes are squinting and I've got my "focus face" on and I've got some more work to do. There are many miles between now and January and I need to make the best of them.

For the next few weeks, I've got new goals: strength training, distance, and nutrition.

I learned a lot about nutrition in the weeks leading up to Miami Man and I am sure that the work I did on my nutrition helped me through the event itself. In fact, I never realized just how important nutrition was in going into race day and even into the long workouts, but I've seen a striking difference between an 8 mile run on no sleep and crap food and hydration and a 13 mile run after eating and hydrating well. I've seen the proof. I'm now a believer.

For instance, an 8 mile run this past Saturday after having gone to bed at 1:30 a.m. and after failing to properly hydrate and eat well the day before: WORST RUN EVER. I called it quits by 7 1/4 miles and a major case of gut rot. However, the Miami Man run after a 56 mile bike? Pretty freakin fantastic.

What did I do different nutrition-wise? I took a few tips from articles around the internet including this article right here (and remember, I am not a dietician so I am not qualified to make recommendations, I can only tell you what worked for me and how I have switched things up to work for me.)

  • I hydrated not one, but TWO days before the race. The day before the race I drank water and switched up with Gatorade because I have learned that it is possible to saturate your body's natural electrolytes with too much water.
  • I ate healthy carbohydrates and/or whole grains at every meal paired with healthy proteins and ate 5-6 small meals, again, not one but TWO days before the race. Things like oatmeal, chicken, whole wheat toast, my applesauce oatmeal muffins, eggs.. I did eat my evening pre-race meal of pasta, but the most important meal of the day before the race is actually LUNCH! Did you know that? Because it takes that long for your body to be ready to use that energy! This according to Lee at Body Zen, which is a wealth of triathlon information. So for lunch the day before, I had a yummy bowl of brown rice and grilled chicken from Chicken Kitchen in Miami.
  • I tried NOTHING NEW on race day. I ate my pre-race meal of a bagel, coffee and Myoplex Lite protein shake. I did eat a Myoplex Lite bar on the bike, but I supplemented water with bottles of water with NUUN in them (citrus flavored). I thought about switching to Hammer brand Perpetuem during the race, but I hadn't trained with it and was afraid it would be disastrous so I didn't. I also had an Espresso Love GU every 30-45 minutes of exercise which provided me with energy and a little caffeine pickmeup.
I felt great on the run for the most part. This week, my training run is 20 miles. Saturday morning at 5 a.m. This week, I'll be experimenting with Hammer Perpetuem and Hammer's Endurolyte pills (electrolyte pills) to see how that works for nutrition. I need something that will give me substance for the long training rather than just gels, and Perpetuem has carbohydrates and added fats because according to the website, "A small portion of fat seems to cue your body to more liberally release its fatty acids stores, which account for up to two–thirds of one's energy requirements in long bouts of exercise. A little fat in the fuel also slightly slows the rate of digestion and thus promotes “caloric satisfaction,” another attractive plus during primarily aerobic ultra distance events."

Because I'll have the Perpetuem in my water belt and no room for the Nuun in my water bottles for electrolytes, I'll take the Endurolyte pills beforehand and once again during. I also have a brand new training log journal to document my experimentation in! Hooray!

So we'll see how that works! I'll also be eating the same way I would before a race and hydrating days beforehand.

It's the great nutrition experiment of 2010! Have you tried any of these products? When and which ones? And what are your experiences with training and race day nutrition?


Kirsten said...

So I'm a fan of the Hammer gels with caffeine. T turned me on to those, and I really like them. I think I'm going to have to find some of the Perpetuem solids because on my 18-miler I was hungry but knew that actually eating something would have made me feel sick. I will have to see if I can some before my first 20-miler on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

I have to say, that I am an Ignoramus when it comes to nutrition. I am slowly trying to learn to fuel my body for day to day living..."performance nutrition" seems like such a huge step.

I really need to get on the bandwagon with this one. I kind of sell myself short and say "I don't exercise hard enough/long enough to need anything special".

I'm wondering if that's not actually the case.

mommaof3ontherun said...

I'm eagerly awaiting your findings! I love the idea of planning appropriately 2 days before...hard if you have to travel at all to the destination!

Roo said...

Nutrition is so hard for me. I feel like I need a crash course in day-to-day nutrition AND exercise nutrition. Ok, help. I need to get back running/walking. What will fuel me so that I am not dragging the entire time? (An hour or less a day typically.)

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