The past few months, I have been working with runners who are training for a marathon, ultra or a half marathon. Most have come to me after reading a blog post, seen a video on YouTube or Facebook Live or at one of my talks to their running group. They may have similar symptoms, but different hydration and fueling solutions.
Usually, I get a few in the audience nodding their heads in agreement, and many afterwards saying
“I thought running was supposed to be hard!””
“I now realize that I am doing something wrong and need your help. Everything you said made sense.”
“I thought cramping was just what happens when you run longer.”
“Wow, you really made it clear – I need to start paying attention to what I eat and what my symptoms are!”
I am here to make your running (or any sport or event) more fun. I want you to be able to be the best runner, triathlete, tennis player, cyclist, cross country runner, swimmer or whatever sport athlete you are.
Today I am focusing on runners, since August – October is when most are training for their marathons.
The interesting thing though, is that every athlete, although they may have similar issues, has different answers to their issues. Some might be same in principle, but the food, bar, liquid, powder, gels, salt tabs, etc choices are different.
If I have worked with 10 different athletes these past 2 months, I have had to customize each hydration and fueling plan to each individual. Each plan has a few similarities like the number of calories to try to consume per hour, but each and every one has had different options and choices they use for what those calories look like and whether they want to use what is on the course, or take stuff with them.
Many of these clients have cramping issues, fatigue, nausea, headaches and some had symptoms that until I mentioned them, they didn’t know it was their sign of dehydration.
If you want to know your sweat rate, you can go weight yourself before and after an hour run, and get a rough estimate of the fluids you lose and I can estimate what sodium and electrolyte needs you have. To be more specific, I suggest getting the Levelen testing (using NIM code for your 10% discount) and then we are able to really dial in the hydration. The Levelen Testing has been quite a game changer!
With or without the testing, each of the 10 clients will use something else. Here is an example of 5 of them.
Client 1 – Uses water with NUUN in 22 oz per hour + salt cap every hour. Uses 1 GU every hour. Potatoes are a pain to carry. Ok with dates but prefers GU.
Will preload sodium the day before with NUUN, salt caps and V-8.
Client 2 – Tailwind in 24 oz water per hour, plus 1 Salt Tab every 30 minutes. Preload with 2 Salt Tabs every meal day before, morning or and adds chicken broth (very salty!). Uses potatoes and dates for food.
Client 3 – Uses Infinit, 1 scoop per hour, 1 Salt Tab every 30 minutes, GU every 45-60 minutes.
Client 4 – Can only tolerate water but is a heavy sweater. Has to preload with almost 3000 mg sodium the day before using both V-8 and chicken broth, and 2 Salt Tabs with each main meal.
Uses 3-4 Salt Tabs per hour, adds broth every 90 minutes, eats potatoes, pretzels, whatever he feels like including a PBJ in quarters.
Client 5 – Uses Tailwind full strength in 30 ounces per hour. Also preloads sodium but only with chicken broth, olives and other salty foods they prefer the day before. Uses Salt Cap every 20 minutes, Clif shot blocks or other gummies, soft pretzel and/or a granola bar as needed for food.
I could list more, but as you can see, each one has different options based on what they can tolerate and what they need. I do not tell you “This product (or food) is the best for everyone” as that would be a lie. DO I have my preferences? Are potatoes and dates really easy to digest? Yup, so I like to suggest those options. But my job is not to make you eat this or that, but to give you options to try, give you suggestions of how to modify what you are already using and if that doesn’t work, then we switch to something else until we find the right combination and solution for you.
Just today I reviewed the fueling and hydration plan for a client. She had more issues in her half marathon run/race than she did during her 20-miler…..partially because she didn’t plan well being that she traveled to her daughter’s and just didn’t bring what she needed. She tried a new bar that was too high in sugar and nuts for her – a KIND bar. She now knows the bar she took is not the right one for her. She prefers potatoes over the bars. She also recalled during our session, that her body likes Carboom gels better than GU gels. So she will make that switch for her 23 miler this weekend.
After that session, she said “I feel so confident about my long run this weekend. It is going to be great!”
That is how I want them to feel – great! and I want you to become the expert of what it is YOU and your body need to fuel it to be its best….every day and not just race day. I want you to have a great day!
If you are looking to understand what your body needs for the activity and runs you have, it may be time to schedule your 15 minute chat so we can determine if one of the Table To Race programs is suited for you.
You also want to work with a sports nutritionist who understands that every athlete is not the same so every athlete needs their own customized program.
Or invite me to your running club or store so I can do a talk on sports nutrition. They are free usually but always educational and fun 🙂