Nutrition Comments Off on Race Day Hydration |

Race Day Hydration

Brijesh Gajera talks about how he handles race day hydration, one of the most important aspects of running the healthy way.

 

Water, water, everywhere,
Not a drop to drink;
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink.

– The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Have you ever felt your body and mind losing energy during the course of a marathon? Ever felt yourself melting drop by drop in your own sweat as you continue to push every step of the way or the water being sucked out of your body? Ask any seasoned runner and they will tell you that over-hydration or lack of it can make or break your marathon performance.

I have had first-hand experience with one of my trainees. He was participating in a 10K race and the weather was unusually hot that day. He was a newbie to running and was not used to hydration while running. To top that, he started the race with a rather aggressive target. A little after the 6K mark, he started feeling disoriented which ideally should have set off a warning sign for him, instead, he chose to ignore the signs and with the intent of achieving his target, he pushed on. A couple of kilometers down the road, he started wobbling. A fellow runner noticed this and saved him from falling to the ground. I happened to be there cheering runners and recognizing him for a distance, I noticed his discomfort and ran towards him. By the time I got there, he was almost unconscious – we instantly took him to the mobile ambulance on site and once he was administered IV drips, he felt a lot better. The doctor confirmed that it was a case of dehydration and that he was lucky to get timely intervention.

Imagine if we could store water somewhere in our bodies and not worry about it as we knock off mile after mile, right? Unfortunately, that is not possible but instead, we have the ability to continue performing in a moderately dehydrated state before the need to hydrate arises.

So how exactly should you hydrate in a long-distance race? In general, I am quite wary of giving a definite number or quantity as everyone’s bodily demands and reactions are somewhat unique. So, I would rather use Coleridge’s epic poem to help you decide for yourself.

Imagine you are surrounded by a limitless expanse of water. Unlike Coleridge’s mariner which was treading the salty waters of an ocean, here you have access to fresh sweet water. How will you drink water then? It is a no-brainer! You will drink it when you feel mildly thirsty or drink regularly like you would on a normal day. You will not wait for the moment when you are dying of thirst or drink too much water and feel bloated. It is almost the same while running a marathon. You do not have water everywhere around you but you know upfront where exactly the water points are located. All it takes is to look at this detail and plan your run around it. Instead of running as far as possible without water, just keep sipping water at every aid-station or at an alternate aid-station.

And for the record, there is something also known as over-hydration! Excessive water can lead to hyponatremia (the low concentration of sodium in the blood due to drinking too much water). It can lead to nausea, headache, weakness, and other problems. As much as you do not want dehydration, you also want to avoid over-hydration. Drinking an energy drink and water alternatively is also a good strategy to avoid both extremes. If you are taking gels, many of them also contain electrolytes so drinking water regularly along with it should help.

Here is how I take care of my hydration:

I typically carry a small bottle of water in all my training runs. If not, I do my training runs in loops of 3-5km so that I get back to the point where I keep my water bottle. For the very long runs, I keep the plain water as well as electrolyte drinks and alternate between them. For the races I participate in, the first thing I look at is the placement of aid-stations on the route and drinks available in them. I still prefer to carry a small bottle of water for my races not because it gives me the freedom to have water whenever I need it but also to reduce the usage of paper cups or plastic bottles. I would rather refill my bottle than use a disposable cup or bottle.

The real place to try all these is on your training ground. Do not think of your training just as a way to increase mileage. Think of it as a way to fine-tune your hydration, nutrition and race day strategy. In fact, that is the place where you can afford to fail and find ways to succeed.

So why not try your hydration during the training and make sure your boat sails smoothly on the race day?

ABOUT THE GUEST COLUMNIST

 

Brijesh Gajera is an avid marathoner, aspiring ultra-marathoner and coach at Ashva Running Club.

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Featured, Motivation Comments Off on Experiencing the BMW Berlin Marathon |

Experiencing the BMW Berlin Marathon

Protima Tiwary talks to Reeti Sahai and Nivedita Samanta about their experience of running with 45,000 that the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon.

There is a slight chill in the air, fluffy white clouds dot the clear blue canvas that is the Berlin sky, and Brandenburg Gate is buzzing at 7:00 am as the crowd gathers to cheer the runners. There is an electric energy in the air as the runners get ready for the official flag off at the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018. Among the 44,389 runners are Reeti Sahai and Nivedita Samanta, Adidas runners from India.

I caught up with them post their full marathon to find out how the experience was. Excerpts from the interview:

What was it like to run the BMW Berlin Marathon?

Nivedita– The Berlin Marathon is considered to be the fastest course in the world. It is flat, the weather is fabulous in September and the vibe is amazing. The entire city comes out to celebrate. The neighbourhoods were full of excitement, cheering spectators, playing music, cheering you on, handing out water and rooting for you. Words cannot describe the feeling of togetherness, and the motivation it gives you to keep going. The one thing that shocked me was the number of people running the race. Throughout the 42.2km distance, I was surrounded by a sea of bodies as almost 45,000 people came together from all across the world to run this marathon. I was prepared for a crowd, but not something to this extent. It was mentally exhausting because I had to constantly plot the quickest way around the crowds without losing any of the planned water stops.

There is a reason why it is called a World Marathon Major (WMM). The organisation was absolutely perfect. The fact that a new world record was set made it all the more memorable. I am now ready to run my second WMM race, for sure!

Reeti – This one was special in more ways than one. It was my maiden marathon, that too a World Major one! At the age of 40 I was trying my hand at a full marathon, I was prepared mentally and physically. I surprised myself by completing this under 4 hours! A sub 4 hour maiden marathon at the BMW Berlin Marathon at the age of 40, where Kipchoge broke his own world marathon record- you can see how special this one will be for me for the rest of my life. I am so grateful, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The people of Berlin kept cheering me on, and I felt more confident. I kept visualising the finish line.I continued running, enjoying the energy around me. I felt grateful thinking about the fact that I’m actually living my dream of running a world major as my maiden marathon.

Marathons don’t always go perfectly. Any moment you’d like to share with us where you thought things were going downhill? How did you overcome that?

Nivedita– I am actually pleased to say, for the first time in my running career, that I had a near- perfect race. The only time I’d say I lost focus for a while was at the 40th km, when I lost because of a large number of runners around me. I wanted to go faster but was mentally tired from all the shoving. But that moment of weakness lasted maybe for a minute. I just remember scolding myself for already doing my fastest time ever and for complaining about something I had managed to do for the entire race. I just decided to continue at the same pace instead of going faster. I still finished strong and with a smile.

Reeti– Navigating through the crowds was mentally exhausting, and it took me 15km to find my own space to run. I popped a gel and took a couple of sips of water in my 8th kilometre, relaxed by 10km, and kept talking to myself to stay on track at the same pace. Before I knew it, I had already run 16km. I wanted to get my hands on a water bottle, but the water stops were jammed. Picking up a glass and running wasn’t easy, and I didn’t want to stop because of the crowd at the stops. It was quite frustrating to navigate my way to drink water. I popped my second gel at 16km, found a water station, regained my pace and confidence, and continued with a smile on my face. At the 34th kilometre, I got tired, and the thought of “The Wall” crossed my mind. I had not encountered it yet, but I had heard of it from my marathoner friends. I didn’t want to hit the wall! I took the 4th gel, stopped for some water, and continued (All this while talking to myself) I crossed the Adidas Runners cheering station at the 37th km and they gave me a new burst of energy. 5 more kilometres to go, I could do this! Giving up at this point felt easy, but I knew I had to push myself. My legs were screaming, and I kept saying to myself “pain is temporary. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” At the end of 5km, I wanted to be a marathoner. I was going to do this. When I crossed the Brandenburg gate and saw the finish line 400mt away, I teared up. I was smiling through those tears, and I had achieved my dream. And I was a sub 4 marathoner!

How did you decide to run the Berlin Marathon? How did you train for it?

Nivedita– Running a World Marathon Major has always been on my life goals. So, when I got the chance to run as part of the Adidas Runners team, I was SO excited! My 20-week training period was intense. The primary reason for my focus was that I had never enjoyed a full marathon distance in the previous 5 attempts. When I introspected, I realised that I wasn’t training adequately and was, therefore, falling short of my goals. So, I set several goals –

First goal – Try and finish at least 15 minutes faster from my previous time of 3:55.

Second goal- Enjoy every bit of the training period and the eventual race. Something that I had never accomplished. In my previous full marathons, I’d forget the main reason why I run- because I love to. I needed that joy back in my life. – Be very vigilant with my nutrition.

Specific to training, I’d read the book ‘Advanced Marathoning’ by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas to get more inspiration, as suggested by my friend Satwik Rajani. I took inspiration from the book, and ran 6 days, covering 90km every week, in the famous Delhi summer. I was also very lucky to have support from some of the Adidas Runners Community members and Reeti-my fellow Adidas Woman teammate – we’d wake up at 3 am to start running at 4.30 am on Sundays to cover our mileage.

After several injuries in previous years, I have learnt the importance of strength training. So, in addition to running, I was in the gym doing resistance-training at least 3 times a week. On the days that I had my weekly smaller speed workouts, I’d merge it with upper body and core conditioning. On my goal pace run days, I’d make sure to cool-down with focussed yoga & mobility stretches. At every step, I was super careful about keeping my nutrition products from Unived close. I used 3 different running shoes during the entire training cycle- I used the super light pair of adios for all my speed runs and the Ultraboost Lace-less and Solar Boosts for my other runs. This helped my legs and feet adapt to different levels of cushioning and support was good training.

Regular physio visits, massages and enough sleep were crucial for my recovery. The final piece of the entire training plan was establishing a positive mindset.

Reeti–  I had been running half marathons for 6 years now, and always thought that a full marathon was way too exhausting to even think about. So I never really aimed to train for one. I turned 40 this January and decided I wanted to do my full marathon in my 40th year. A simple wish manifested into a goal, and I called my running coach Ian and told him this news. 4 months were left for the Berlin Marathon, and I was afraid Ian would tell me I was not prepared. To my pleasant surprise, he said “Great! Let’s train for a sub 4 marathon Reeti!” I was so touched by his confidence in me, but I wasn’t sure what that meant in terms of training.

I started receiving my weekly training plans and I started running 4 days a week, and strength-training once a week. Gradually the mileage, intensity and days of training increased. So did the heat and humidity in Delhi. There were mornings I’d question my decision. There were days I didn’t feel like running. I went through emotions I hadn’t experienced. Training in the summer wasn’t easy. I chafed and HOW. I discovered aches and pains in new parts of my body. I slept for 10hours a couple of days a week. I tried to eat as healthy as I could. I had a bare-minimum social life (they thought I’d hit midlife crisis) I visited my sports physician for every minor niggle I had. I got regular massages done. I almost slept at 9 pm if not earlier for these four months. I barely drank alcohol. I had the most amazing set of running friends who are family now. I couldn’t have done this without them. They say a sport has the power to change lives – I can vouch for this.

A marathon is a combination of mental and physical strength- any tips you’d like to share with us on how to stay strong during the race?

Nivedita–  Staying positive is key. No matter what, just visualise that finish line in your brain.

Moreover, preparation is key. It is hard to set lofty goals and try to achieve them with inadequate training. There are no shortcuts and hard work is the only way to succeed. Being a good runner isn’t only about running. You must pay equal attention to cross-training, weight training, eating healthy and getting enough rest. Research about your race. You should know well before you race about the main water/fuelling stops you’ll make. If possible, carry a small water bottle and keep refilling it.

Finally, believe in yourself. It is very easy to start worrying about what people will think about your race. It doesn’t matter what others think. It’s only your opinion and your self-belief that matters.

Reeti– Whether you’re running your maiden marathon or your 10th, 42.195kms is a mental as well as a physical battle. It is your inner voice that helps you – what we are saying to ourselves at any moment will determine how we feel about race day. Talk about wanting to be confident and relaxed, talk about enjoying the day. Use your inner voice in a positive way. Visualize the finish line. Set small goals. Be it 5kms, the next lamp post or 10kms. And focus on that. Smile. Think of all that hard work you have put in. Lastly, do not forget to be grateful.

You can follow the journeys of these superwomen on their Instagram pages.

Nivedita – https://www.instagram.com/nivi.fitrabbits/

Reeti – https://www.instagram.com/thedefaultrunner/

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An Army kid who wishes to travel the world one wellness vacation at a time, Protima Tiwary is a freelance content writer by day and Dumbbells and Drama, a fitness blogger by night. High on love and life, she is mildly obsessed about travelling and to-do lists and loves her long gym sessions like a fat kid loves cake.

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Nutrition Comments Off on Staying hydrated as you run! |

Staying hydrated as you run!

Hydration doesn’t always mean water, Deepthi Velkur explores all your options for hydration during a run.

Staying hydrated during your runs is a critical element to a successful run – less so in a 5k, way more so in a marathon. How much hydration you need during a run depends on factors such as – age, gender, temperature, intensity, and distance.

Especially on hot and humid summer days, hydrating during your long run is of the utmost importance. As you are aware, any form of exercise leads to sweating and the more you sweat, your blood volume decreases further making your heart work harder than usual to supply the required oxygen to your working muscles.

It is important to hydrate yourself to reduce the negative effects of dehydration, but pay attention to what you should be drinking, how much and how frequently? At first, avoid overhydration – drinking more than what is required. Overhydration may lead to gastrointestinal distress or in extreme cases a condition called hyponatremia.

Secondly, drinking to offset sweating serves no purpose when it comes to boosting your performance or regulating body temperature versus drinking according to your thirst.

Dehydration kicks in only for runs longer than 90 minutes and the amount of hydration required depends on each individual as the sweat rate varies. Keeping sufficient reserves of palatable drinks accessible to you during your runs and drinking only when you feel thirsty optimizes your overall performance.

Here are some simple and most convenient on-the-go options to fuel your runs:

Sports Drinks: On very hot days, when you tend to sweat much more, just drinking plain water might not be sufficient and you might require a beverage which contains electrolytes and carbohydrates especially potassium and sodium. Sports drinks give you a blend of carbs which are easy and quick fueling options that instantly boost your energy and keeps you well hydrated. Drink two 236ml(8oz) every one hour to pump in a minimum of 30 grams of carbohydrate.

Energy Gels: They are the most popular on-the-go fuel source amongst runners. The energy gels are the best source of fast-acting carbohydrates as they are easily absorbed by the body to give you the instant boost of energy. Using one every 30-40 mins into your run works wonders and opt for gels that have 25-30g of carbs and 50g sodium. You can also pick gels that contain caffeine along with carbs. Most importantly, it is essential to consume water (avoid sports drink) after having your gel.

Bite-size chews give you that punch of energy and pack in the same amount of carbs found in gels and sports drinks. Drinking water is a must each time you pop one in your mouth to avoid the risk of choking.

Here are some organic options if you want to avoid artificial drinks :

Coconut water: This natural drink contains 9g of carb and plenty of potassium more than 20times that of a sports drink. Coconut water with a pinch of sea salt gives you the sodium you need to stay hydrated.

Orange Juice: Drinking citrus juices provide the required potassium and mixing it with water helps to dilute the juice to prevent stomach cramps. One portion of orange juice with one part water and a pinch of salt will do the trick.

Honey: It contains simple sugars like glucose and fructose which are also found in sports drinks. These sugars enter the bloodstream quickly giving you the sudden burst of energy. Try the honey packets or straws for a mess-free snack.

Watermelon: A juicy watermelon provides you with a refreshing feeling. It contains 11g of carbs and a bit of potassium. Sprinkle some sea salt to avoid the fruit from getting mushy and pre-freeze it.

Drinking 250ml of water every 15 minutes during the run along with the above options is recommended. Practice your hydration plan well before race day, and learn to trust it.

In conclusion, do not over-complicate your plan, keep it simple: “Drink when you are thirsty”.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Gear Comments Off on Making trail running easier |

Making trail running easier

Deepthi Velkur reviews the Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Belt that is useful for trail runners.

The Marathon season is upon us now and it is always a good time to discuss the essential running gear that makes our long runs easier to deal with. An avid runner is quite familiar with the benefits and convenience of using running accessories, but, with the options flooding the market, it is important for us to review and determine what actually makes a difference to each one of us.

We all know that long-distance running is an endurance sport and like in all other endurance sports, hydration is key. It is a no-brainer that you need to have a constant supply of fluids with you if you want to survive and endure the amazing sport of running.

There are a number of ways you can hydrate yourself during a run like making pit stops at water stations, wearing a hydration belt or by using a hand-held water bottle. If your planning to run for an hour or more and want to run hands-free, a hydration belt is your go-to answer.

A hydration belt is an ingenious invention that holds not only your water bottle but can stash away your other essentials like the phone, sports gels, light snack, keys, and money leaving you to run free. There are a plethora of choices in the market for a running belt and to choose the right running belt depends on your individual running needs and also the type of runner you are such as a trail runner, long-distance runner, casual runner or a beginner. You also need to determine how much water you consume and the amount of storage space you need.

Features

Here is why I think you should consider the Nathan Trail Mix Plus Insulated Hydration pack –

  • SpeedFit holster with two 300ml Fire and Ice reflective and insulated flasks ensure quick one-handed access.
  • Zippered pocket with key ring clip and front stash pouch for gels, compatible with iPhone 6 Plus.
  • The ergo-shaped insulated belt is made from a soft monofilament material secures firmly around your hip and has a lightweight buckle closure which allows multi-directional stretching to give you a proper fit and eliminates bounce
  • Dual shock cords with one-pull tension lock for energy gels and glove storage
  • Double- wall flask construction keeps fluids cooler, 20% longer than other insulated flasks.
  • It is ultra-lightweight and comfortable providing an easy on the fly access to hydration and nutrition without slowing down your pace.
  • It weighs just 258g – so light and easy.

On long runs and I didn’t experience any problems like bouncing or bottles coming out of the holster. The balance and the location of the weight are excellent and with the pocket that is capable of holding a good amount of my running essentials, the TrailMix Plus is a perfect accompaniment to your running gear.

Price

The Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated is available on www.amazon.in and costs INR 7423.

Final Word

Let’s face it – running or for that matter any aerobic exercise is tough. Hydration belts help us stay hydrated, focused and with this belt in, particular, it also removes the strain of carrying personal items thus making the run a better experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Motivation Comments Off on Hydration & Running |

Hydration & Running

Runner need to watch their hydration, writes Deepthi Velkur

Drinking enough water is of paramount importance not only during summer months but all year round for runners.  When you run your body heat rises, and this saps the water content in your body through excessive sweating. Hydrating the body well with fluids is essential before, during and post a run as lack of proper hydration leads to dehydration (fatigue, headache, muscle cramping ), exhaustion and heat stroke.

So how much water do you need? There is no definitive answer as different people require different levels of hydration during a run as some people tend to sweat more than others. Temperature and climatic conditions also play a major part for runners. A good balance of water and sodium levels help ward off fatigue and enhance your running performance.

Pre-Hydrate to run fast

Keeping yourself well hydrated a few days prior to the run is essential. A good indication to know your well hydrated is when the urine is pale yellow in color. Avoid diuretics such as tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages as they dehydrate you quickly. It is good to hydrate yourself well before bedtime if you need to race the next morning. Drinking 500ml of water and adding one ORS\sports tablet to it, boosts your sodium levels. This should be had an hour or two before you start your run.

Hydration during the run

A simple strategy to keep in mind while running is to drink when you feel thirsty. Strenuous running generates 20 times more heat and it is important to dispel this heat to regulate and stabilize the body temperature. Hydrate with 100-200ml of water every 15 minutes. For longer runs, substitute with a sports drink to replace lost sodium and other minerals(electrolytes).

Sweat Test

Weigh yourself pre and post-run and assess the weight loss as this determines the current intake of water. If the weight loss is 2% of your body weight, that’s a sign your water intake should be more on your next run.

Mind over Matter

Most importantly be conscious of your water consumption and never to over hydrate. Forcing yourself to drink more fluids, makes you feel uneasy while running. Over-hydration can also lead to gastrointestinal distress and in some extreme cases water intoxication or hyponatremia. So it’s true when they say you can’t have too much of anything, not even water.

Re-hydrate after running

Hydrating post a run is of equal importance as much as it is before and during a run. Replenishing your body with fluids like 500ml of water or sports drink is crucial as most of the runners tend to skip which leads to dehydration.

For runners, proper hydration during a run makes a vast difference to fluid levels in the body thereby improving efficiency and overall performance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Motivation Comments Off on How to Prevent Chafing |

How to Prevent Chafing

Radhika Meganathan finds out the hard way that you need to be prepared ahead to deal with chafed skin resulting from running.

Spring in Central Park is magical. Flowers are in full bloom, the air is mild and fresh, and the winding pathways along pretty fountains and interesting landscaping offer the best running experience for novice and experienced alike. And there I was, happily jogging at my own pace when the climate suddenly changes – the sun shone with all its might and the day turned sultry. Oops!

But no problem, I am in New York and I am not going to allow a hot day – bah! I am a Chennaite and I am no stranger to the heat! – to deter me from my afternoon run. So I proceeded, until I became slowly aware of a burning in the area where my inner thighs made contact. In less than half an hour, I was in agony and unable to even step one foot forward. The pain was worse than a toothache!

I had no other choice but to collapse on the grass, and even after resting for an hour, the pain didn’t alleviate. Finally, I had to wobble like a duck to the nearest exit (each step was like walking on burning embers) and hail a taxi to the nearest pharmacy.  All in all, a very costly lesson in Preventing Chafing 101!

What is Chafing?

Repetitive contact between skin and skin, or skin and clothing, can cause painful chafing, which, if untreated, can become an open wound. It’s common for runners to experience chafing on the armpits, groin area or inner thighs, since those body parts create friction when running. You can be especially prone to chafing on a hot and humid day, but really, chafing can occur any time. If your skin is already chafed, here’s what to do:

  1. If you are outside and in agony because of your chafed skin, leave immediately. Do not keep running or walking.
  2. If you are not able to leave immediately, your best bet is to borrow or buy coconut oil or Vaseline and smear it on the offending areas. The idea is to stop the dry chafing, which is the reason behind all the pain. By introducing a lubricant like an oil or Vaseline, you will be able to experience temporary relief until you get home, or make it to the pharmacy.
  3. At the pharmacy, you can opt for a number of remedies, such as anti-chafing ointments. Remember, you need a cooling salve to soothe the burning skin, so clearly ask for the right product for your chafing.
  4. If your chafed skin is inflamed on the verge of breaking out, choose a salve with antibacterial properties. Even diaper rash cream works wonders.
  5. In case the chafed skin is throbbing or bloody, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Preventing chafing

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some preventive measures to avoid chafing:

  1. Wear clothing that allows optimum movement, lets your skin breathe and absorbs extra moisture. Lycra, Spandex and polyester material do the trick.
  2. Wear compression shorts under your running outfit. Before putting on your shorts, apply a layer of baby powder on your inner thighs and groin. This will prevent friction when you run.
  3. Hydrate. Drinking a lot of water keeps the salt concentration in your sweat minimum. Why is this good news? Because salt irritates skin, especially chafed skin.
  4. Never do a long walk or run in a skirt, especially in hot weather. Naked skin creates the quickest and most painful chafing.
  5. Always carry a small tub of Vaseline whenever you run. You will be glad you did!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Radhika Meganathan is a published author who is an advocate for healthy living, she practices sugar-free intermittent fasting, all-terrain rambling and weight training

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Nutrition Comments Off on Summer Foods for Runners |

Summer Foods for Runners

Summer is the time for runners to indulge in food, thus making it the best season for runners, writes Nandini Reddy

Hot and humid weather is always a big deterrent for runners. As the sun bears down, there is one
aspect that runners do love about the summer – the ability to indulge in summer foods. Getting
dehydrated and exhausted in the summer is easy. We get the freshest fruits and vegetables to
indulge in every summer and these help in lowering the core temperature and refuelling our bodies.
Refreshing the body doesn’t need electrolyte drinks, tabs, powders and pricey bottled drinks during
the summers because of the availability of fresh foods in abundance.
Sweat doesn’t just remove water from the body but also essentials nutrients. So, it is important to
eat the right kind of foods in the summer. Generally hot weather tends to kill appetite and its very
important to ensure that you get adequate nutrition. Even if don’t feel like indulging in a heavy meal
of protein and carbs, you should include the below foods.

Fruits
Summer brings a whole host fruits – watermelons, mangoes, strawberries and plums. Watermelon is
the best fruit for ensuring that you hydrate and regain your nutrients. Lycopene content in the fruit
helps in preventing sun damage to the skin cell. Plums help in improving the immune system and
prevents summer diseases. For runners it’s a great fruit for ensuring a healthy gut. While mangoes
need to be consumed in moderation, this fruit is rich in selenium and iron, thus making it a very
important addition to a runner’s diet.

Vegetables
The vegetables with high water content such as cucumber, zucchini and all the gourds, make for
great summer foods. The foods are good for digestion, replenish lost nutrients and helps in purifying
the blood. All the vegetables have a cooling effect on the body and help reduce the core
temperature. Leafy vegetables like Spinach and Amaranth are good to fight off the ill effects of
summer.

Smoothies
The berries in the summer are perfect for summer smoothies. You can combine strawberry with
yogurt or almond milk to create a nutritious smoothie that makes for a great post-run drink. The
popular mango lassi is also a perfect drink to beat the summer heat. Dark chocolate is also a great
addition to your smoothies. This is the best food to quell hunger pangs and it packs a whole lot of
nutrition.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are the best as they provide the right nutrition that you need to
rehydrate and fuel your body for your running training during the summer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Featured Comments Off on Dawn to Dusk – handling the long haul |

Dawn to Dusk – handling the long haul

Well, you might be prepared for the Dawn part but are you sure about the Dusk part? Let us foresee what is awaiting you in the afternoon, writes Raghul Trekker.

If you have already gone through the event information, you are well aware that you are going to cycle in the afternoon. Though this is relatively the coldest time of the year in Chennai, it is better to take precautionary measures to combat the heat. It would be around 30° C to 25° C which is not something to be ignored.

Gear yourself up with proper hydration plan for the cycling leg. Fill two to three bottles of electrolyte mixed with energy drinks. You might need 500 – 750 ml of fluid every hour of cycling. Considering the temperature drop and the reduction in perceived exertion as the dusk falls, you might need less than the above mentioned quantity.

Research says that, the absorption rate of energy drinks is faster when the system already consists of fluid/water in it. So, before you saddle up, it is good to consume an energy drink or at least sip some water to start off with.

There are lots of hydration drinks from different brands available in the market which fall under different categories.

  1. Electrolyte drink with no or minimal energy supply
  2. Energy drink with minimal electrolyte
  3. Energy drink with electrolytes

Out of the above three options, the most suitable drink for this event where you are put to test under the sun, is the one which has energy mixed with electrolytes.

During endurance activities like cycling, we lose 300-400 mg of sodium, 50-75 mg of potassium, 400 mg-600 mg of chloride, 20-30 mg of magnesium. The above values are approximate and may vary from person to person depending on each person’s sweat rate.

An excess of hydration in terms of electrolytes may lead to nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting.

Dehydration without proper replenishment may lead to cramps, muscular spasms, headache, improper functioning of brain and several other problems.

Considering the above factors, it is good to have a hydration plan in place.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raghul Trekker is the Head Coach at Tri Crash ‘n’ Burn (a unit of Dhaamz Sports & Entertainment Pvt Ltd). A 4-time Ironman coaching more than 100 athletes for the last 3 years. Tri Crash ‘n’ Burn is a team of more than 60 triathletes and runners constantly pushing the limits to better their personal best. You can check out more about them at tricrashnburn.com

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What you need after a Race?

Your recovery can be sped up if you eat and drink the right food after a race, writes Nandini Reddy

Food is fuel and it is extremely important to plan what you eat post run as much as the pre-run meal. The first most important thing to remember after a race is to re-hydrate. Running long distances can put a strain on your kidneys so it is important to re-hydrate to prevent any injury. Another great way to re-hydrate is with milk or soy milk, not smoothies which are thicker.

Replenish your energy stores

Tough workouts like long distance running tend to deplete the glycogen stores in your body. Glycogen is what gives you energy. So to ensure that these energy stores are replenished ensure that you eat a good amount of protein and carbohydrates after your race.

Quick Snack

For days after the run you might feel a bit fatigued. You can get over this with a small snack that you can pack and have in-between your meals. Pack a snack of fresh fruits and cheese, they will both instantly refresh and energize you.

Eggs

Eggs are rich in Omega 3 and it can help in reducing heart rate and aid recovery after an endurance activity. Mountain climbers, trekkers, triathletes and elite runners consume eggs as part of their regular diets. During recovery, eggs can play a great role in helping you recover faster.

Whey Protein

Bring back the whey protein from day 3 after your run. This will help you in building back the weakened muscles and you will also be able to get back to your training programme again. But ensure that you watch the sugars in these drinks. If you haven’t used whey protein before then don’t try it now.

Pizza

Yes you can have a pizza! Opt for a pizza with a lot of vegetables and low processed meat (as it has too much salt). A thin crust pizza will give you the right nutrition and energy that you need to recover.

So if you just finished a marathon and you are training for the next one, then remember that recovery is crucial and important if you want to keep running injury free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

 

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