Six Tips to Help You Stay on Track on Race Day

As race day nears, many thoughts go through a runner’s mind. But don’t worry, race day (or week) jitters are normal! In the week leading up to a race it’s best to stick to your plan, and trust your training. Don’t worry about what the latest research article, or your training partner, recommends. You’ve been training for months now and it’s best to follow what you’ve practiced and stick to what you know.

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Here are some tips to help you stay on track for race day:

1.) Stick to the plan – be confident in your training, make sure you do not feel hungry at any point during race week. Keep fueling your body with familiar foods for the effort it will put out on race day.

2.) Stay hydrated – keep fluid intake up, but be careful not to over drink. If you notice you’re using the bathroom more than usual, or if your urine is clear, then you are drinking too much plain water. Drinking too much plain water can flush critical nutrients away from your body, adding electrolytes (sodium) to your water will help pull water to your cells, helping you hydrate efficiently.

3.) Avoid indulgence – avoid the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating this close to a race. Save the tasty desserts and beer for the finish.

4.) Practice your plan – pick a longer training day once the date nears, and do everything you would do during the race for that training session. Wear the same gear, wake up the same time, and eat the same things. Practice makes perfect.

5.) Stay focused – there’s no point in getting nervous about the race, or trying to figure out whether or not you trained enough. Focus on the things you can control, like hydration and fueling.

6.) Get enough rest – sleep is important, not necessarily the day before the race; but make sure you get enough rest the days leading up to the race.

Avoiding Common Nutrition Disasters

Throughout the course of a marathon or long training session an athlete has to pay close attention to hydration and fueling strategies. This not only helps maximize performance, but it will also help prevent complications.

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We’ve all heard horror stories about runners trying new products that end up doing more harm than good. It’s important to realize that each individual absorbs nutrients differently. This means what works for your training partner may not work for you. Therefore, experimenting with products, and fueling strategies is the best way to ensure you’ve done everything to perform at your best.

Below you will find some common fueling and hydration mistakes that can occur during a marathon, and tips on how to prevent them.

1.  Dehydration & Bonking

Athletes that drink only to avoid thirst and take in calories only when they feel low often end up running on empty.

Follow these guidelines to ensure you are properly fueled and hydrated before your next marathon training sessions:

– Hydrate throughout the day

– For 2+ hour workouts:

– Drink: 16-24 fl oz per hour (1,2)

– Aim to take in 100-250 calories per hour (carbohydrate rich) (1,2)

– Follow up caloric intake with fluids to help increase the delivery of    nutrients

2. Drinking Too Much

Overconsumption of fluids is starting to become more and more common during long running events and marathons.

Use these tips to avoid the overconsumption of fluids:

– Experiment with different amounts of fluids until you find a range that works best for you.

– Do not exceed 24 fl oz per hour. This is the maximal rate of intestinal absorption and anything more may lead to Gastrointestinal distress (3).

– Drink electrolyte-rich beverages to help your body make the most of the water you’re drinking.

- Electrolytes (sodium) help the body process and retain water, and get water to muscles and cells (1,2).

3. When To Eat

Give your body too much time in-between meal and training sessions, and you may bonk. But if you give your body too little time in between eating and training you can experience Gastrointestinal distress.  It’s important to practice timing, and find a window that works best for you.

Follow these guidelines for the ideal timing of nutrient consumption:

– Give your body 2-3 hours after consuming a meal before you exercise

– For shorter workouts (less than 90 minutes), give your body 30-60 minutes           to digest a snack

– 30 minutes after your workouts, consume a carbohydrate and protein rich             beverage to maximize training effort.

Every runner at one point or another has experienced these issues. The good news is that they are preventable. It just takes a little practice, to find out what works best for your training.

Additional Resources:

1. Fink, H.H, Burgoon, L.A, Mikesky, A.E. (2009). Practical applications in sports nutrition. (2nd ed., pp 220-254). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.

2. Clark, N. (2008). Sports nutrition guidebook. (4 ed., pp.183-185). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

3. Noakes, Tim. (2012). Waterlogged. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Team Spotlight: Pauole Sport

Team Name: Pauole Sport
Location: Seattle and Greater Seattle
Sport: Triathlon
Number of members: 125
Favorite Nuun Flavor: Lemon Lime

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Team Mission: Pauole Sport Triathlon Team is a close-knit, friendly and outgoing team based out of Seattle, Washington.  The team enjoys training and racing together and the main requirement is you have fun, do your best, and support your fellow teammates.  Pauole Sport has team members of all ages and abilities, from elite athletes qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii to beginners training for their first triathlon. The team is made up of an outstanding group of coaches, team leaders and athletes who are supportive, encouraging and help athletes reach their full potential.   The team’s knowledgeable and experienced coaching staff offers a wide variety of services including: personal triathlon/run coaching, private swim/underwater video sessions, camps & clinics, team workouts, social events and support at all team races.   The Pauole Sport Triathlon Team fosters a truly supportive and welcoming atmosphere in which athletes can achieve their athletic goals.

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Why does the team like Nuun? Our athletes LOVE the taste of Nuun.  It’s light, effervescent and always refreshing while racing, training and recovering from a workout.  Nuun is super simple, easy to carry while running or biking and supplies the electrolytes our athletes need for optimal balance.

Where is the team’s favorite place to train? Why? Our favorite place to train and most popular team workouts are our weekly morning swims in Lake Washington in the summer.  We often jump into the lake and enjoy beautiful sunrises with clear views of with Mt. Rainier.  It’s a very peaceful swim, especially when the water is warm enough to go without a wetsuit, and a great way to start your day.  It’s also a fun time to meet up after our swim with fellow teammates at Starbucks or Madison Park Bakery.

Upcoming races: In July, Pauole Sport had a strong showing at Ironman Canada where we earned 1st place in the Ironman Triclub competition.  We also raced Lake Stevens 70.3 in August and many other races this summer including: USAT National & World Championships, Penticton Challenge, Black Diamond Half/Olympic/Sprint, Kirkland Sprint, Ironman Arizona, and Ironman World Championships. (We have 4 Ironman qualifiers).

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Pauole Sport was named The Best Triathlon Club in the Northwest by Competitor Magazine (2011-2013).  Pauole Sport placed Top 5 Overall in the 2013 Ironman Triclub Competition.  For more information on coaching and/or team membership please contact Head Coach Kainoa Pauole-Roth at Kainoa@pauolesport.com

Hydration & Fueling for Marathon Success

For those of us running a fall marathon – or any marathon – there are so many variables that can help make your day a successful one. Some factors are out of our control, such as wind, heat, and humidity; but there are also things that we can control that have a big impact on race day. One of the most important things, aside from solid training that we do have control over is proper hydration and fueling.

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If you’re reading our blog you probably already know that proper hydration and fueling help contribute to athletic success, but here are a few example of how they help.

Proper hydration and fueling will:
• Prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
• Settle your stomach
• Fuel your muscles and mind
• Prevent dehydration

But how much should you eat and drink, and when?

The answer to that question varies greatly from athlete to athlete depending on age, gender, weather, acclimation to weather, fitness, and diet. Because personal needs vary greatly we highly recommend testing different methods to learn what works best for you.

For training sessions 2 hours or longer here are our recommendations:

Pre-workout:
• Timing is crucial! Aim to eat 2-3 hours before longer training sessions.
• Choose foods low in fiber and protein and high in carbohydrates. Aim to intake 200-400 calories with electrolyte-rich fluids – this will help deliver nutrients for proper absorption.
• Begin your workout in a euhydrated state (positive water balance, or “well-hydrated”) Achieve this by maintaining good hydration status in the days prior to your long run, or race. Aim to intake 12-16 oz of fluids at least 1 hour beforehand (1,2).

During your workout:

• Aim to consume 100-250 calories per hour in carbohydrate rich sources (25-60g) (1,2).

Aim to drink 16-24 ounces of electrolyte-rich fluids to aid in fluid retention and to promote proper muscle function (2). Monitor signs of dehydration including fatigue, headache, cramps, and increased heart rate.

After workout:
• Refuel within 30 minutes of exercise with a carbohydrate and protein rich drink. Be sure to follow that up with a meal within 1-2 hours post-workout
• Hydration should be ongoing throughout the remainder of the day with electrolyte rich fluids.

If you have any questions about proper hydration and fueling for marathon training comment in the field below! We’ll do our best to cover common questions in future blog installments.

Additional Resources:

1. Fink, H.H, Burgoon, L.A, Mikesky, A.E. (2009). Practical applications in sports nutrition. (2nd ed., pp 220-254). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC. 

2. Clark, N. (2008). Sports nutrition guidebook. (4 ed., pp.183-185). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

3. Noakes, Tim. (2012). Waterlogged. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

4. American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM). (2011). Selecting and effecticly using sports drinks, carbohydrate gels, and energy bars. Retrieved from: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-sports-drinks-carbohydrate-gels-and-energy-bars.pdf