5 Nutriton Tips for Marathon Training: Fitness Friday

If you ever thought about training for a marathon, you know what commitment and effort it is. Proper marathon training and adequate nutrition is essential to peak performance as well as reducing your chance of injuries. I was so excited to learn about Dr. Susan Kleiner, a Ph.D. in sports nutrition, and I am thrilled to share her top five nutrition tips for marathon training:
  1. Nothing beats the impact of hydration on performance. Before the race, let thirst be your guide to the finish line and use a sports drink to replace fluids during the race. If you are racing just to participate and finish, then drink when you are thirsty throughout the event.  If you are racing to win or achieve your personal record then have a structured fluid replacement plan during the race and stick with it!
  1. Getting the proper pre-and-post training nutrition is very important for daily recovery and fueling for the competition. Two important factors when picking meals or snacks before and after workouts are: the combination of carbohydrates and protein, and convenience. For a light pre-training meal try a USANA low-glycemic protein shake. Consuming low-glycemic foods provides sustainable energy, which is ideal for long distance training. When carbohydrates combine with protein, they deliver fuel to your muscles more rapidly. Moreover, the liquid snack easily empties from your stomach just before training or the race. For a post-training snack that contains a good amount of protein and fiber, grab a nutrition bar. Personally, I like to add a chocolate milk to enhance rehydration and boost recovery. They’re convenient and easy to consume after training.
  1. Healthy vitamin D levels will do your training a world of good by supporting balanced hormone and metabolic function. Eat fatty fish, drink vitamin D fortified milk, and include a vitamin D supplement daily.
  1. Put your food and supplements to work for you. Target most of your carbs around exercise (pre, during, and post) to maximize their fueling function. This also helps control body fat to keep you light on your feet. Supplement your training diet with all the B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and choline) to support optimal energy and protein metabolism.
  1. To support cellular, vascular, and joint health, eat at least 3 servings of fatty fish per week. Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, black cod, halibut, catfish, crab, oysters, or shrimp are a few examples. Also, supplement your diet daily with 1000 mg DHA+EPA.


Dr. Susan Kleiner, Ph.D, RD, CNS, FACN, FISSN, is a high performance nutritionist and foremost authority on nutrition for strength and power. In addition to having a Ph.D. in sports nutrition, she’s a founder and fellow of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and the best-selling author of numerous books, including Power Eating—written specifically for athletes to build muscle, gain.

 

Fitness Friday: 17 Marathon Running Motivation Tips

Hannah Pate is a 5th grade teacher and spin instructor in Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently training for her first Ironman triathlon. She is a huge fan of any type of exercise, but she says, “I really like to mix things up and try new things, and I have a strong passion for swimming, biking, running and yoga.” She recently sent the following advice to a friend the week before her first marathon. This advice is great for any of you training for your first race, marathon or workout event. Thank you Hannah!

1. This is YOUR week!

2. Rest!

3. Recover!

4. Get pumped!

5. Go in with the right attitude.

6. Go into it with a plan… a goal without a plan is merely a wish.

7. Be ready to tackle some serious mental hurdles.

8. You will dominate!  You have worked so hard. You have put in the training time. Your body can handle it. Your body is ready for it.
Get your mind ready.

9. Prepare to cross a threshold that you have never ever crossed.

10. Be prepared to coach yourself through it. Write down some mantras to say to yourself when you are at a low point. It will help.

11. Think of the people that are praying for you; the people that want to see you succeed.

12. Think about the people that helped you get to this point.

13. Think about all of the effort that you have put in and the time that you have committed getting you there.

14. Think about how strong you are and how this is JUST A DROP IN THE BUCKET.

15. Have no regrets.

16.Think about how you will feel at the finish line.  Think about how proud you will be of yourself.  It’s A HUGE accomplishment, and you will feel like a million bucks when it’s over.

17. No one ever finishes a marathon easily.  It’s hard for everyone– from novices to elites.  You will be a stronger person when it’s over.  You are about to complete your first marathon!

Spinning: Cycling Rain or Shine

I took my first “spin” (or cycling) class a few years ago, and I loved it. I quickly learned that the teacher and the music can make or break the class, but you can do it at your own level so it’s a great exercise for anyone. It’s also a great cross-training exercise as well. I am so excited to share this interview on spinning-how to’s with one of my favorite instructors, Josh Beck. Josh is the true definition of athlete inspiration. Since getting involved in endurance sports in 1999, he has completed 8 ironmans, 22 marathons and currently holds the East-West state record for cycling across Alabama. When it comes to cycling, he knows the drill. Check out our interview below:

1. Why did you start teaching spin classes?  I had always utilized spin classes to stay in cycling shape throughout the winter.  So, I figured if I taught the class, I could share a couple of interval, high intensity workouts with others.

2. Why do you recommend trying a spin class? What are the benefits?  Cycling in general is just great cardiovascular work without too much wear and tear on your joints. Other than swimming, it’s hard to find a better low-impact cardio workout.

3. Why do you think indoor cycling has become so popular?  People come for so many different reasons.  The main factor is:  it’s more fun to exercise with a group (camaraderie factor).

4. Why should people incorporate spinning in their cross-training?  The main reason is injury prevention.  Running, in particular, 4 to 6 days per week can really take a toll on your joints and ligaments. No matter what your main sport, cycling is a good way to mix it up from a physiological and mental standpoint.  If you put forth 100% effort on the intervals during a spinning class, you can’t help but gain some cardio fitness (increased ability to process oxygen).  This will transfer over to your other sports.

5. How many calories can you burn in an hour spin class?  It really depends on the instructor.  My classes have high intensity intervals sprinkled throughout the hour.  If a rider does the workout like I have it laid out, a male will burn around 1,000 and female around 800 calories.

6. How important is the music to the class?  Very important.  Climbing songs need a steady, consistent beat.  Fast, interval songs need a fast beat and to be high energy.  The music needs to match the segment of the workout you are doing.  If the music is bad, well, so is the class.

7. Do you have any tips for beginners?  Your first move should be to have the instructor help you set up the bike so that it fits properly.  It is like any other type of exercise; it takes a few times to build up your conditioning to where you can really push yourself for the entire hour.  Just do the best you can during the first several classes.  Another factor is saddle comfort.  If you are going to spend time on a bike seat, you need to get some cycling shorts that have a chamois built in.  Lastly, you should try each of the instructors’ classes at least once to find the class that fits you the best.