Tag Archives: running

Prepped, Ready & Hydrated Kara Takes NYC

This Sunday, Kara Goucher will compete in the TCS New York City Marathon. We will be live tweeting her race on Sunday morning.

BONUS: In preparation for an exciting race weekend, we got to chat with Kara about all things NYC marathon. Enjoy!

2014 Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon

Kara Goucher 2014 Philly Rock n Roll Half Marathon, photo via our friend Oiselle

How are you feeling as you about to head into the TCS New York City Marathon?

I feel great.  I feel healthy and excited.  I know that I am not in the best shape of my career, but I am healthy and I have made the most of the last three months.  I feel grateful to be running.

Which food do you like to fuel with the night before your race?

My first choice is rice, veggies, and fish. I’m easy though, and  usually pasta ends up being the easiest to get.

What was your best training run leading up to the New York City Marathon? The worst?

Hmm, that’s hard to pin point. I had some good quality long runs that gave me a lot of confidence.  I also had a set of kilometer repeats that made me feel fit. But I’ve also had some really windy long runs that really drove me crazy.

What’s your favorite segment of the course?

The last ten miles are the loudest.  I like that way that it sort of builds over the first 16 miles and then it is mayhem when you come off the Queensboro Bridge.  There is so much going on in the NYC marathon, the boroughs, the neighborhoods, the scenery is always changing.

Which flavor of Nuun will you drink while on course?

I will be drinking the Lemonade flavor.  It is so light and crisp, perfect for race day.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?

I like to listen to music to drown out the chaos around the start and just zone in on myself.

If you had to pick your favorite pump up song, what would it be?

The song I want to hear on my ipod before I have to go to the start is Chandelier by Sia.

Where will the “cheer zones” be for Adam and Colt?

They will be inside watching the live feed and then will come out to the stands when I have a couple miles to go.  Adam will be a wreck.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate post-marathon?

I love to go out with friends and family who came to watch.  I just want to be around loved ones.

What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC? (Not running related)

Go to new restaurants!  There are endless opportunities.  I also love a stroll through Central Park.  It makes me feel like I’m in a movie.

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

 

 

 

Heat Acclimation

With summer officially in full swing, and as training starts to ramp up, it’s important to keep proper hydration strategies top of mind. Staying hydrated throughout the day cannot only help you increase your sport performance, but it can also help you stay safe.

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HEAT ACCLIMATION

One of the most important steps to take before exercising in the summer is to let your body get use to the heat and humidity. Heat acclimation is crucial to help your body adapt to the different environmental conditions that may be present. It can help prevent many heat related illness that have detrimental effects on the body. Start by taking walks or spending more time outdoors just to let your body begins the initial stages of adjusting to higher humidity and temperatures. When moving on to exercising in warmer conditions remember to take it easy the first few sessions.

Slow Down & Monitor Heart Rate

If your normal easy run pace is 7:30 per mile, ease up to 8:30-9:00 per mile for the first few runs. You’ll notice that you may feel the effects of the heat even at a much slower pace, perhaps an increased heart rate or perspiration. Do at least 3-4 of these easy runs before resuming normal training paces and efforts.

Plan Your Route

Be sure to carry fluids with you, or run a loop where a water fountain is accessible. Staying properly hydration throughout the day is the easiest way to help prevent dehydration and other illness that may occur when exercising in warmer conditions. Note: IOM recommendation for daily fluid intake; Men: 3.1 liters, Women: 2.7 liter, and a mere 2-3% in total body water loss can lead to a decrease in exercise performance.

Replenish Electrolytes

In the warmer conditions it’s important to replenish electrolytes as your sweat rate will increase dramatically, and your need for these nutrients will also increase. Drinking plain water over and over again can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium), which is a very serious condition that has severe impacts on the normal body functions. Hyponatremia occurs during longer sessions where the athletes drink nothing but plain water, and end up flushing out critical electrolytes that are needed to maintain many internal functions (For example; Sodium/Potassium pump).  During hyponatremia the body starts searching internally for sodium, when your stores are depleted the body will then turn to your kidneys for sodium in order to maintain vital functions. Taking sodium away from key organs can lead to kidney failure, which can lead to cardiac arrest. So for those longer runs, or sessions where it’s a bit warmer carry a bottle with you, and make you throw in a tablet or two of Nuun.

Be aware of these signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat related illness:

  • Headache                                                                  
  • Muscle cramping                                                      
  • Fatigue                                                                      
  • Excessive thirst                                                        
  • Excessive sweating (post workout)
  • Dry mouth                
  • Dry skin
  • Chills/goosebumps                                                  
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

 

Additional Resources:
1. Brochure on proper fluid intake by ACSM:  http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-hydration-for-fitness.pdf
2. Noakes, T. (2012). Waterlogged. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
3. Institute of Medicine: DRI’s for Electrolytes and Water
Photo credit: Nuunbassador Jessica

 

Emma’s First 5k

Team Nuun keeps growing and growing, and one of our newest and brightest additions is Emma. She recently got inspired to run her first 5k, and not only knocked it out of the park but benefited the Seattle Animal Shelter with her sweat!

So how did it go? Read below for her firsthand account and some pretty compelling reasons to join in the Furry 5k fun next year!

Furry 5k Finishline

One can’t work at a place like Nuun long before getting swept up in the positive, fanatically active lifestyle at the office. After only a month, I started feeling convicted to stretch myself by trying a new activity: running. I have to admit that this was an odd choice for me, as I’d always despised distance running. Maybe it was the contented looks on my coworkers faces when they’d come back from their “runches” (runs during lunches) that made me think twice, or maybe I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Either way, I pulled the trigger and signed up for the Furry 5k (dogs welcome!) to benefit the Seattle Animal Shelter.

I announced to the office that I had my first 5k on the horizon, and received enthusiastic support and encouragement. A coworker (running guru Vishal) provided me with a training regimen that I thought sounded embarrassingly easy. I scoffed at the idea of a 20 minute run just three times a week, but surprise, running is HARD. I was having a tough time hitting even one mile before I needed to stop and walk, and I was kind of mortified.

The night before the race I was fairly discouraged, and admittedly tempted to “forget” to set my alarm clock and sleep through the race. But I thought of all the well-wishes I had received from my coworkers on Friday, and knew I couldn’t walk in Monday morning without a bib and a race story. So I went anyway.

kisses

This is what I found: The energy at a race is awesome. All types of people, big and small, young and old, beginners and pros, showed up in support of the cause. Seward Park was wriggling with happy dogs. My husband signed up last minute and offered to pace with me, which was invaluable. I may have been the slowpoke that fell behind the waves of sprinters, but at least I had someone else to share my conservative pace. And to my absolute surprise, once the race had started, I made it to that elusive one mile mark without any trouble. I was almost too busy pointing out cute puppies and laughing at dogs who hated running more than I did to notice. And then I was at the 1.5 mile marker. And then the 2! It wasn’t until I hit a massive uphill that I had to slow to a walk for the first time. My confidence soared, and I realized that maybe, possibly, I was enjoying running. Crossing my first finish line felt pretty remarkable.

droolfest

Bonus list: Awesome things seen at the Furry 5k (and reasons why you should come run it with me next year).

1. Fluffy little Pomeranian Price Philip, who (with his owner) won the race and set the Pomeranian world record for a 5k.
2. Pit-bull kissing booths. Self-explanatory.
3. Water stations with kiddie pools for hot pups (And the pups that refused to get that far before cooling off, and bee-lined for Lake Washington, dragging their owners behind them).
4. A dog owner drinking nuun, then squirting some into a cup to share with her golden retriever.
5. More adorable pups in race bandanas than I knew what to do with. Puppy kisses galore.

Photo credit: Caitlyn Walsh