Thursday, January 24, 2013

#FABTraining - Avoiding GI issues

I now consider myself an expert in GI issues, during a run.  I have experienced it all and it isn't pretty.

The sad truth is, most runner - at one time or another have that emergency pit stop.  We eat right, we train hard and then come race morning, our stomach is in knots and we become residents of one of the course porta potties.

Even though I eat gluten-free and I have discovered that gluten was the cause of all my GI issues in 2012, I am going to give you some tips, unrelated to gluten.

1.  Long runs should be a time you practice your race day meal.  Then, practice it again & again.  How are you to know if your stomach will like that peanut butter toast, if you don't run after eating one?  Your body will react differently to foods when you run.

2.  Drink your last water or other beverage 2 hours before gun time.  For me, it's 3 hours. This gives my bladder enough time to empty.  It also ensures you don't have anything sloshing around in your stomach at gun time.

3. Gels & shots do NOT mix with any type of sports drink.  Follow your gels & shots with water only.

4.  ALWAYS follow your gels & shots with water. There is a reason the instructions say to do so.  Failure to drink some water, will guarantee GI distress.

5.  No dairy products for at least 6 hours before gun time. For an AM race - stop drinking or eating any dairy (cheese included) the night before.

6.  Do not over eat before a race.  This is not the time to fill the stomach.  You want to run any race, of any distance, slightly hungry.

7.  You do not need fueling every 30 minutes.  Fueling is to replace the glycogen.  The faster you go, the more glyco you use.   I recommend at least an hour in between fueling.

8.  Balance your hydration.  On your long runs, find out what works for you.  You do not want any hydration sloshing in your stomach.  Less is more - but not too little, either.

9. Do not eat or drink anything new on race day!  You are coming up on Mile 10 and you see gel's or chew's.  If they are not your preferred brand - DO NOT TAKE THEM!  Not all gel's and chew's are created equal.

10.  Breathe. Yes, breathe.  Breathing helps relax your stomach muscles and can prevent nausea

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-12
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Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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*San Francisco Marathon Ambassador 2012-13
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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