Nutrition 101 for Runners and Triathletes

Last Saturday, the weather was cold but dry and windy. The workout is short bike and long run of 8-9 miles. I had no problem on the because I wore my Fuel-belt and had plenty electrolytes with me. The guys didn’t have anything with them on the run but on the bike. When they got back they were totally dehydrated. Told them to drink at least 40-60 oz to replenish what they lost during the run. The weather can be deceiving when it is cold. In New England, the weather we have been extremely dry the last few weeks after a wet winter.

Rule 1: When the workout is longer than hour and temperature is cool, you need to hydrate with electrolytes every 15-20 minutes. When it is hot, you need to hydrate with electrolytes throughout the whole run every 15 minutes. When it is dry and/or hot, you need drink at least 80 oz of water everyday. Powerade and Ultima Replenisher have the 4 main electrolyte minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium. Many races uses Gatorade but water down during the race. Powerade has 0 calorie product. Many runners and triathletes water down these products down. Also, you can use gels and CliffBloks for your electrolytes which you wash down with water.

Rule 2: Triathlons are endurance and you need to fuel the body. This includes electrolytes and food with carbohydrates and protein. This is important with long distances with Olympic, and critical in Half Ironmans and Ironmans. During my Half Ironman last year, I set my computer to stop watch to make sure I was eating 1/4-1/2 of my LaraBars every 15 minutes. Some use PowerBars but LaraBars are gluten free for those are gluten intolerant/Celiac. Bike is time to eat and hydrate. On the run continue hydrating.

Rule 3: Use your training time to practice refueling your body. Find what works for you that you don’t have gastro issues on the day of the race.

Rule 4: Eat breakfast or snack before your race. Make sure it is carbs with protein. An example: whole wheat bread with Almond butter.

Published by Pam Houck

Work in the health industry as personal trainer, running and multi-sport coach. As an athlete with celiac disease and asthma, I don't let it limit me to compete in road races and triathlons.

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