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.

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).

Marathon Recovery Tips – Immediately After Race

Run SMART coaches have put together a list of tips to help you recover from your marathon. We recommend the following immediately after the race:

Nutrition

  • Electrolytes. This is a very individual scenario. A short answer would be that most runners don’t need to replace electrolytes right after finishing if they are planning on eating balanced meals and snacks following the race.  Most foods, especially packaged products and meals served in restaurants contain enough sodium to equalize any potential electrolyte imbalance. However, if you have an extreme craving for salt then you need drink or eat something that contains sodium.  This could be your body’s warning that your electrolytes are out of balance.  

Last Minute NYC Marathon Tips

Run SMART coach Brian Rosetti offered up some important last minute marathon tips for the New York City Marathon at DNAinfo.com. Proper rest, nutrition, warm-up, settling nerves, etc. were just some of the topics covered.

Rest. “There’s nothing you can do at this point to improve your fitness in time for the race. At this stage, you can only hurt yourself by doing too much,” said Brian Rosetti, an Upper West Sider who founded of The Run SMART Project, a coaching service for runners.

Take a few days off completely this week, said Rosetti, and limit your running to a two or three mile run at your goal pace or a little faster on Tuesday or Wednesday.

You can read the full article of tips here.

Don’t Let Last Minute Diet Decisions Ruin Your Marathon

Last October, Run SMART coach Alicia Shay put together a comprehensive series on ‘Marathon Nutrition’. She broke it down nicely into four pieces: Day BeforeRace DayDuring the Race and the Day After. We’re amidst fall marathon season and thousands of runners, including many of our clients, have been training and sacrificing all year for this moment. Please don’t let poor nutrition decisions or last minute attempts at trying to gain an edge negate all the training you’ve put in. Be smart and take a good look at each piece Alicia has put together. It’s really great stuff!

Marathon Nutrition Part IV – Day After

Part IV of Alicia Shay’s Marathon Nutrition Series covers tips for the “Day After.” You can read her tips for the Day Before, Race Day and During the Race here, here and here.

Day After

Congratulations! As part of finishing a marathon, most people want to kick back, eat a lot of junk food and drink a lot alcohol to celebrate.  However, the first 24-48 hours after a marathon, your body is trying so hard to rebuild itself….so treat it well! 

Marathon Nutrition Part III – During the Race

Part III of Alicia Shay’s Marathon Nutrition Series covers tips for “During the Race.” You can read the Day Before and Race Day here and here.

During the Race

1. Research.  Figure out what sports drink the race will be providing at the aid stations.

Marathon Nutrition Series Part II

Marathon Nutrition Series Part II by Alicia Shay…

Race Day!

1.Wake up early enough to eat your regular breakfast or a slightly small version of it.  Ideally this would be 3-4 hours before the gun goes off.  This is important to do so that you are eating food that are familiar to your body, you have adequate time to digest the food and your breakfast will help top off your glycogen stores.