If you are running fasted…. STOP
Running in a fasted state will increase fat oxidation, but when the goal is to increase aerobic endurance and speed this is a bad idea. To break down fat you require more oxygen and it takes longer to break down so therefore you have to run slower to keep your heart rate down. Admittedly your pace will improve as your body becomes more efficient at breaking down fat, but you would still be able to run faster using a sports drink or at least having a meal before your runs.
Your body adapts to the specific demands placed on it in training. So, if you’re going to eat breakfast and have a specific electrolyte drink during your races then train that way. I would also try different meals and different drinks to find which one sits best with you.
What if I have a REALLY sensitive stomach and nothing seems to sit well?
I always want my clients trying to have something before running, but if they just can’t seem to stomach it then at least try swishing a carbohydrate drink in your mouth a few times and spit it out. A study was done
Nutritionist and author Susan Kleiner says this:
Sometimes, it’s not just having the fuel that helps, but thinking we have the fuel. Receptors in the mouth can trick the brain into believing you’ve eaten, Kleiner explained. She cited a 2014 article in the journal Nutrients that reviewed studies looking at the effect of carbohydrate mouth rinse on exercise performance. Participants were given either water or a flavorless carbohydrate drink to swish in their mouth and spit out, so no energy was ingested. Those who received the carbohydrate rinse experienced a “significant” performance increase.
She explained it further by saying: “The brain opens up the fire hose to allow full access to the body energy stores” because the receptors in the mouth told the brain that food was on its way.”
Be prepared come race day. The last thing you want to do is forget something that you’ve been training with on every run.
If you’ve been training with compression socks wear them, if you wear tights to help with chaffing wear them, if you’ve been running on a certain electrolyte drink then drink that.
Don’t get fancy and try to make any changes a few weeks out and especially not on race day. The races are early and one of the biggest mistakes people make is eating at a different time or eating something different. It’s natural to have some nerves come race day, so don’t risk stomach issues by eating 45 minutes from the start of the race if you’re use to eating an hour and a half before running.
A very high percentage of runners admit that their runs were slower due to an equipment issue. So how we can make sure that we are giving our self the best chance to succeed?
Here are some items that we at ChaseFIT use to set ourselves up for success.
- A Hydration Belt – The last thing you want to experience is dehydration during a run or race. Try to hold a bottle while running makes you grip the bottle causing to be tense instead of relaxing.
- Compression Pants or Shorts – Chafing is your worst enemy. As you get sweaty you don’t want your waist band, inner thighs, or armpits rubbing. Once your become uncomfortable during a run it takes your focus away from your tempo and breathing.
- Compression Socks – If you are new to running you might need compression socks to help with recovery and help prevent shin splints.
- Synthetic or Wool Socks – Possibly the most important. If you start feeling “hot spots” on your walks/short runs I would assume that your likely to get blisters there on longer runs so be proactive not reactive. These sock are moisture wicking so they are a lot less likely to give you blisters.
You know what to wear. You have Your snacks planned and extra nutrition laid out. Where do you store it? What else do you bring? Getting everything laid out before a race and packed is always a safe bet.
Traveling to a Race
Race day is upon you, it’s time. There are a few things to keep in mind on when traveling to an event. Forgetting things at the hotel or half a mile away in the car when you approach the venue can be a serious hassle. If you are grabbing a hotel the night before here are some helpful hints.
Don’t forget your ID! Make sure you have cash for parking and bag check! Have a good dinner plan the night before, on the road you have to eat out and making a smart choice with food you know is a safe bet. Bring clothes that give you options based on weather. Have your breakfast planned out ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling the morning of. It’s never a bad idea to have long pants or shorts to choose from as well as choices for tops. Make sure your bag is packed, double check the night before. Towels, bags, a change of clothes, and some hydration and pre race fuel. Loading up everything in the car and filling up the tank the night before will help make the morning less stressful.
Arrive at the event early, signing waivers, getting your bib, and checking in your gear takes a while. Plus you will want time to calm your nerves, eat any last snacks and continue to hydrate. Cut your time down by coming to the race pre dressed in your race gear, and don’t worry about changing before the race. Most races suggest a hour early, try to be earlier than that. Coming from someone who has shown up to a race checked his bag and is putting his bib on in the starting corral moments before they say go. Trust me you do NOT want to be that guy. Be early and be ready, it’ll be so much less stressful and make the event so much more enjoyable.
Post Race Recommendations
Change of clothes for post race is recommended because you will be dirty. Packing everything in a backpack makes holding gear easy, plus races offer a bag check often for a fee, but they’ll keep your bag safe while you run.
Venues offer a rinsing station for after the race to wash off a bit. Bring soap if you like, shower of the muddy clothes you are in. Bring a garbage bag to throw your wet clothes in and a towel to dry off plus another to sit on in your car. They have changing tents to change after rinsing. Flip flops are a great way to allow your feet to dry and store in your backpack easily. Bring snacks, some hydration, and enjoy being prepared for a hassle free race day.
Lastly if you’re of age enjoy a beer and celebrate all the hard work you have put in!
There are ways to prevent altitude sickness. Lean on your guides to pace you to the top. They will keep you at a slow enough pace that you shouldn’t experience it.
If you do start to feel dizzy, get headaches, or get short of breath stop and rest.
Some things that help me on my climbs:
- Salt tablets – Since we are eating more fast carbs while climbing our sodium can drop causing us to dehydrate. The salt tablets helped keep my headaches under control and take away the nausea.
- Cell Food – This is a elevation sickness prevention. You take these drop about 1-2 weeks out from a climb and it helps prevent elevation sickness on your climbs.
- Acetaminophen Tylenol is also great for headaches
- Acetazolamide is a diuretic (a drug that increases urine output) that increases kidney excretion of bicarbonate. This decreases the blood ph, thereby stimulating extra breathing, which results in higher oxygen levels in the blood.
All these need to be approved by your doctor. These are recommendations not prescriptions. So use any of the above remedies at your own discretion.