Essential Sports Nutrition


Quick Trip

Last night was early to bed like usual. As for this morning, I had one of those mornings. I wanted to ride but I just wasn't feeling it. The wind was blowing (not in my favor), the ground was wet and I was alone. I usually ride an hour alone before Gearlink rides and since we were doing bridge repeaters today I wanted a nice spin before those "climbs". I guess I had a lot on my mind cause it was just one of those mornings where I debated about going back home and calling it a morning. I wish I could run cause I really wanted to be outside. I stayed on my bike because of that reason and I'm glad I kept riding. I met the group at 8 and completed all the repeaters at my effort and finished the ride with 50 miles. Karel has a Tough workout today...87 minutes at tempo pace (according to a certain power) with a total of 3 hours on the bike. Actually, he was out for about 4 hours since he forgot his key. Poor thing..he didn't bonk during the ride but he bonked so bad After his ride since he was ready to get home for the smoothie and another hour riding around to look for me really depleted him. Back to his workout - I can't believe he can keep that intense pace (Even in the crazy wind we had today). I know Karel is going to have a great season this year. Speaking of his season. Karel was invited to race on a team in Jacksonville. We headed up to Jacksonville this afternoon and picked up his new bike at the ABC bike shop. We are staying at a comfort inn right on the beach and it is just beautiful. I love how the waves splash against the sand and I enjoy seeing all the people walking around on the streets. Nice area..I look forward to coming back. Karel has a big ride tomorrow with some of the guys up here. I think they are going for 110 miles and I'm sure it isn't an easy pace. I brought my bike and I plan on riding along A1A. Again...wish I could run but I guess I will burn some calories on my bike. I just checked out the continental breakfast and although I'd prefer pancakes...I was eyeing the waffle maker downstairs...yumm! Good night!


Running Tips from my talk

Training for a Marathon:
When planning your training for a marathon or any road race, use a training plan. Not only are plans designed to help you improve your fitness and help you reach your running goals but the plans keep you scheduled so that quality workouts are not replaced with junk mileage. If you have minimal running experience or you are coming from a background in another athletic sport, give yourself 2 months to build a running base before specifically training for your marathon. During those 2 months, focus on running skills, drills and economy and fall in love with running. Even if you are a vetran in the sport and you are planning on running 1 or more marathons a year, give yourself a chance to enjoy the art of running and exercise for fun without actually training. For newbies, run for time (not distance) for a 4-6 weeks and once you feel comfortable running between 45 min and 75 min, start increasing the speed through intervals and try to cover more distance in that designated amount of time. After your aerobic base building, plan on spending another 8-12 weeks (around 2-3 months) to increase mileage while continuing on working on speed. for newbie and veteran runners, the longer you spend in your base period, the better prepared you are when you enter into your marathon training plan.
Before you start a new sport or new training plan, consider your health status and fitness. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of the endurance world (specifically ironmans and marathons) so it is very important that you are well enough to start a new challenge. There is nothing worse that starting a training program injured or even worse, racing injured. If you are sick, injured or suffer from medical conditions, reassess your training plan and goals in order to truly enjoy your running experience.
Running Economy:
Your running performance is made up of your vo2 (max oxygen used during exercise), anaerobic threshold (lactate production exceeds removal) and running economy (movement velocity for a given energy consumption). Even if you aren’t an elite runner, your performance during a marathon (or any race) depends on how well each of those variables have been trained and how they will perform during the given task. As for marathoners, nothing is more important than the efficiency of the lungs, heart and blood to deliver oxygen around the body. The best runners (from people who are fast to those who truely enjoy running regardless of finishing time) show a high running economy which means that they have trained themselves to run a given speed with less oxygen demand. In part of improving your running economy, combine intervals, threshold runs and speed work into your long, slow sessions. For lactate training, in addition to fartleks and intervals, add in a weekly hill sessions. Drills, proper running form and proper breathing all contribute to good economy. . Just because two people have the same VO2 or max HR doesn’t mean that they will perform the same. The person with the best running economy will use less oxygen during the race and will be the most efficient runner come race day.
Injury Prevention:
In addition to proper training and proper fueling, the greatest challenge of running is getting to the start line uninjured and rested. Why do injuries occur when you are training for an event? Why not in the off-season? People think more is better and mileage increases too rapidly. If the body isn't ready, you will spend more time on the couch recoverying from an injury rather than recoverying from training. Another cause for injury is inconsistent training or pushing too hard with training. Building mileage too rapidly (more than 10% mileage per week), training hard for more than 2 days in a row and skipping key workouts (long runs to recovery day) are some of the most common factors contributing to injuries. Listen to your body. If you feel extremely tired and fatigued or you feel life is getting a bit busy or stressful, take a day off, get some extra sleep or just walk and enjoy exercising. One or two skipped workouts may save you from being severely injured and possibly missing your event. Other tips for injury prevention are staying hydrated, stretching after your workout regularly, lifting weights to train opposing muscle groups, getting massages, take ice baths and replace your shoes every 3-4 months. Cross training should be an important component of your training plan. Not only to keep you sane with your running routine but you will help prevent overuse injuries. Active recovery, through cycling, swimming or walking are great ways to rest your torn-down legs, maintain your fitness and decrease your level of fatigue. Spinning your legs before and after your long run, swimming a few laps after a speed session or walking 10-15 min. after a hill workout will work wonders for your legs! Good luck!! Nutrition tips will be up shortly.


It went great!

The talk this evening went great. I was so super nervous. I always get nervous before I talk but once I see the crowd and know that I have the chance to help people, I get really excited. I had a big turnout at the American Running Company (great shop!!!) and I just loved the enthusiasm of everyone in the room. This was one of the few talks I have given to only runners, but when it comes to sports nutrition I always have useful tips and advice for all athletes. Tomorrow I will post some of the info that I discussed this evening. I handed out a lot of business cards so I'm hoping that I get the opportunity to help more athletes with their nutrition. I am happy to say that I am jogging now, without pains or weird feelings in my legs! I did 4 miles on the treadmill with the first 30 min. of walking at 6% grade at 3.8 mph. I was reading over my talk for the evening so time just passed by. I was feeling really good on the treadmill so I decided to bump up the speed. Wow baby...6.1 mph and I was running!!! I kept it at a 2% grade and I felt SOOO good. Nothing like the 7.8mph warm-up I was doing earlier this summer but I'll take it!Nothing hurt and I was sweating! It's been a while since I got hot on the treadmill and I was enjoying every moment from rolling my sleeves up to feeling the pounding of my legs. Once again, I was smiling and finally I feel like I can get back into a running routine (yes running...I think I am getting there!). What a great day! This morning Karel met me at the Y at 6:45am after my 5:30-6:30 swim and we had a lot of fun with our training session. We started off with plyometrics on the bosu followed by partner crunches w/ the medicine ball and wall-sits. I've been reading a lot of studies about plyometrics mixed with strength training exercises. Karel and I have both increased our strength in the weight room so the next couple of weeks should be fun since we added a new component to our strength routine. Well, just wanted to give a big thanks to Chris Corbo and the American Running Company staff for letting me speak at their store tonight. Also, I super big thanks to the great crowd of athletes who had many fabulous questions for me! I just love helping people!!!


What else would you do on a tues night???


Marni Rakes, MS- Exercise Physiology,certified sports nutritionist, and Hawaii Ironman

Come out and listen to our local sports nutritionist. She will be speaking on topics such as:
Marathon fueling.
Running efficiency.
Nutrition for all different types of runners/walkers.
How to get ready for a workout of different lengths.
How to recover properly, to allow you to continue your workouts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007.
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Dunedin Store (1689 Main St, Dunedin)
Hot Chocolate Served.
Bring friends, family and co- workers welcome.


Mission Possible: The holiday party without weight gain!

Last night karel and I went to a holiday party. We met a lot of people and saw many familiar faces. I love socializing and chatting with people and the ring on my left ring finger never gets old as a great conversation starter :) So, many people ask me for advice for holiday party's and how to not overdo it with the food. I simply tell people to enjoy times with friends and family, try to eat small portions, avoid the "bad" stuff and eat a small meal before the party. Apparently I didn't realize how hard it is to not want to try EVERYTHING at a holiday party!!! All that wonderful food and when there is no cooking prep or clean-up, eating is at its best! I will use this blog as a resource for beating the weight gain during the holidays. Mission: Go to a holiday party, eat and socialize and leave without feeling grossly stuffed. My first step for the party (which I knew of in advance) was to eat foods during the day which I assumed I would not be eating in the evening. Most party's are overwhelmed with carbs, sugars and well, more carbs. Nothing wrong with the carbs but the pancreas can not handle all that sugar at once and an insulin surge won't be your friend if you are trying to watch your weight. After my morning ride I of course enjoyed pancakes (there's no way around that one) but I filled the majority of my plate with egg whites and fruit w/ a side of pancakes (2 small ones). My thinking is I enjoy a little of everything and I don't deprive myself of any food (especially since my favorite foods are nuts and bread). Later on in the day I enjoyed nuts, fruits, veggies, yogurt a whey protein smoothie and some veggie meat. I include protein with all carbs in order to keep the blood sugar stable all day. A coffee in the afternoon and lots of water kept me feeling good. We stopped at the store around 6pm and headed to the party which started at 6:30pm. Guests were supposed to bring a dish so I brought my secret weapon...a veggie tray! Perfect, I thought to myself. You always want to bring a dish which you will eat. And if you think that is sellfish you can bring 2 dish's, one for everyone else and one for you. But hey, you don't want to sabotage anyone else's nutrition plan and who doesn't like fruits and veggies? In the car I had a few walnuts for Karel and I in order to keep our blood sugar stable as our tummy's were starting to rumble. Nothing like going to a party hungry and then gorging on food and feeling just awful. I was feeling good when I walked into the party but then it happened. All the food was just staring at me! YUMMM My first move for the evening was to meet and greet. I put a piece of gum in my mouth to keep me from nibbling (and the breath was smelling minty-always good for saying hello). When trying to stop yourself from reaching for appetizer foods, first think of all the hands you are shaking and all the things you are touching. You always want to wash your hands before you eat and since I am a big germ-phobe I don't eat until I wash. So after saying hi to everyone and washing my hands I make my first move for the evening. NUTS! Perfect, blood sugar stays stable and a little fat keeps me happy. During this time, I enjoy a pinch (not a handful) of almonds (my FAV!) and peanuts. Seeing that the protein in the nuts will keep my insulin from surging out of control I then decide to go for the chex mix. Pretzels, corn flakes and other salty yummies keep my taste buds happy. I don't think there is a party without nuts so always go for the nuts first. You will not only feel better when you are eating but you will eat less. After the chex mix it was time to socialize some more. This holiday party was great because everyone brought a dish. However, that means as people came to the party, 6:45pm, 6:50pm, 7:15pm....more food came as well! My second move was to scope out the competition. What do I really want to eat and what can I do without? Since I am a vegetarian, my choices are always limited so I really take note of foods that I probably won't cook for myself. I love indulging in things but it is always a little of everything. After a full water bottle of water (which is a must for keeping you full longer) I was ready for my meal. As I mentioned-vegetarian here so the chicken, turkey, salads w/ meat, pastas,fish, wraps, etc. weren't an option so I usually have a lot of snacky food to eat for my dinner. I don't really mind since I can eat more foods without a lot of calories. I went straight for my secret weapon...veggies! Because I felt safe with my cucumbers, carrots and peppers, i filled up most of my plate with those items. Another option would be a salad (dressing on the side) or fruit for your secret weapon. Next I went for the cheese. A great source of fat and protein and since I don't pass on the bread, I grabbed a piece of a baguette to go with the cheese. Kinda like a marni-friendly sandwich. I also grabbed some salsa and bean dip for the veggies and some crackers. By this time, i was feeling kinda satisfied (Not full) with all my veggies, nuts, cheeses and water and I popped in another piece of gum. Now time to forget about the food and call it half-time. I went to another room in order to avoid all food completely. since i don't drink, wine and beer aren't a concern for me but i suggest a glass of wine or beverage of your choice and be sure to factor in 100-200 extra calories into your daily diet by cutting out a 100 calories from lunch and another 100 from snacks and/or breakfast. During half-time Karel and I played a game of Foosball. I think I might have a new passion in life. If triathlons don't work out for me, Foosball team here I come. Proudly, I won against karel and that was worth celebrating. I didn't really feel hungry for the next hour but the deserts were very intriguing so I thought I would pick my desert of choice. I wanted to wait until i had all deserts in my view before making my final move. Since Karel loves his sweets and I, in no way, consider myself a baker (therefor I don't really eat a lot of sweets) I let him pick the deserts that I find super yummy (yet calorie loaded) and I take a bite of them. For Karel, he burns calories just looking at food so it isn't a problem for him to occasionally indulge in treats (you should see our 'fridge...pretty healthy. We don't even have a pantry...just a cabinet for a small selection of processed and boxed foods :) Confession...we do have ice cream and I love graham crackers and teddy grahams :) Anyways, I made my decision...rum cake and pound cake. I always recommend cutting your own piece and if the piece is large (or cookies/brownies too large), share with someone or eat half. I had a little of both rum cake and pound cake and I was totally satisfied with my selection. SCORE! I did it! I survived the holiday party and didn't feel stuffed, gross or bad about my decisions. I didn't feel like I had to avoid any foods and i was happy with my decisions. I hope I provided useful info for your holiday party. any other questions just email me! :) It may seem silly to have a game plan for a holiday party but you need to be aware of what you eat and why you are eating it. I always tell people to have an idea of what they will eat at each meal and snack, everyday, especially before you start a training session. Also, have a range of calories for your meals and snacks and try to stay within that range. I suggest 300-450 calories for meals and 125-175 calories for snacks. For holiday party's, keep your calories low per hour and enjoy good food and great friends!