Science on the Run: The Cost of Eating and Running

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

In endurance running, a lighter body means a reduced cost of running, making it easier to achieve better running results. Research has been performed to determine the effect of various factors affecting running performance, such as if different body size, shape, and composition.

In a recent study, it was found that along with losing fat mass, gaining fat free mass allowed for an increased ability of the body to store and release elastic energy during running, which reduced the cost of running.

2015 Marathon Nutrition Q&A w/Matt Laye

Big thanks to Matt Laye for answering nutrition questions from the New York Flyers‘ Marathon Training Program. Members of the group submitted their questions as they prepare for their fall marathons.

MTP:  I have been throwing up and feeling sick in my last two marathons after mile 17. I drink water every couple miles but i start throwing up in the later stages. I take GU every couple miles that I take in training as well.

Matt:  A couple things could be going on. 1) You may be drinking and eating TOO much. 2) You may be running too fast for your fitness or much faster than your normal training. Each of those could cause your body to divert blood from your stomach to your muscles, which can lead to nausea.

Science on the Run: Breakfast, A Recipe For Performance Success!

UntitledLinking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

We know that a reduced body mass leads to improved endurance performance (of course, to a certain degree) as it takes less energy to fuel and transport a lighter body. However, athletes must balance their weight loss goals with maintaining strong workouts and race performances.

Dr. Jack Daniels On Interpreting Ferritin Levels (VIDEO)

Dr. Jack Daniels enlightens attendees at the first VDOT Coaching Clinic on how to understand iron storage and ferritin readings. Registration is now open for the next clinic at GU Energy Labs in August.

“You can’t take a specific ferritin reading and say whether it’s good or bad.” “I know people that say if your ferritin is below 50 you’re in trouble as a runner…and that’s not true at all.” – Dr. Jack Daniels

Dr. Jack Daniels On When To Get A Blood Test

Listen to Dr. Jack Daniels in his element discussing hemoglobin levels, iron supplements and when to get blood work at the VDOT Coaching Clinic. Registration is now open for the next clinic.

“Best time to get blood work is when you’re really feeling great,” says Dr. Daniels. The logic being, everyone gets a blood test when they feel bad and then they have nothing to compare it to when they get the results!

Science on the Run: Carbohydrates For A Kick!

UntitledLinking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

Pacing is our body’s way of preserving energy and it is suggested to occur both consciously and subconsciously from our brain and local muscles. Pacing requires a complex integration of brain and muscle signals that is highly debated as the Central Governor theory (the brain) vs. the Peripheral Fatigue model (read more here) with the purpose of keeping our bodies from harming themselves through excessive exertion.

NY Flyers Nutrition Q&A, Part II

Below is part 2 of our 2014 Marathon Training Program Nutrition Q&A w/Alicia Shay. You can find Part 1 here

MTP:  Been dealing with an increased level of pain in my toes–not toes nails–toes. This is new. I think it’s arthritis. By 4.8 miles I’m in intense pain. Bones feel like they’re cramping/breaking. I need to be as pain free and energized as possible leading up to the Marathon. Started reading about drinking apples cider vinegar or juiced beets w/ wheatgrass or just buying a green powder for making drinks. Have you ever heard of any of these reducing the pain? Any danger of drinking any of these things right before the big day?

AS:  For this particular issue I would recommend that you see a doctor, sports therapist, PT or physio. Since it is located to one are of you body and you are feeling pain, I wouldn’t presume that it is something that can be eliminated through dietary changes. I would not recommend drinking or eating something different. You should see someone for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

MTP:  I’m gluten free (or try to be). Any optimal carb you recommend for the night before the race?

AS:  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, brown rice, quinoa or gluten free pasta.

NY Flyers Nutrition Q&A With Alicia Shay

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Alicia (pictured above atop Mt Elbert, 14,439 ft) is a Run SMART coach and Nike sponsored athlete. She consults on Nutrition for Performance and has her BS in Nutrition from Stanford University. She is the former NCAA record-holder and two-time NCAA champion in the 10k. 

Below is part 1 of our MTP Nutrition Q&A:

MTP: The manufacturers of energy gels, like GU, recommend that a packet be consumed every 45 minutes of sustained activity. Is there a way to effectively test in training whether one would need a packet every 45 minutes? I have often thought that one every 45 minutes was excessive, but was fearful of hitting the wall in training or racing, if I consumed the gels less frequently than every 45 to 60 minutes.

AS: It depends.

#1 If you have fueled well heading into the run then you will be less dependent on taking in as many calories as frequently. If you have not eaten breakfast or another meal prior to your run then you will probably want to begin consuming gels a little earlier and closer together (every 30 min would be appropriate).