Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Evolution of Nutrition

Ugh.  I still haven't learned how to use this blogger.  I thought it was going to post this automatically-so to my readers, I'm sorry for the delay.

I'm putting off a promised blog post about taking breaks during running to post about my nutrition.

When I started running, I was clueless.  Sometimes I still am.  I was so proud of how I looked with something like fourteen packets of Gu stuffed in a running belt during the Austin marathon...

I used Gu to keep the calories in.  On my frame, however, I took in too many calories.  Now, several years and many evolutions of my nutritional plan later, I'm still running water stop to water stop, but my nutrition is different.  None of this occurred in one huge leap, but more as a series a stumbles and hops as I (eventually) took advice of those smarter and more experienced than I.

The first major evolution of my nutrition came when I moved to triathlon.  I started using a packet of Gu before my swim, then water and Gu just out of T1 and every 30 minutes for the rest of the race.  I added a half serving of Perpetuem per hour on the bike and took in water when I took in Gu.  Essentially, every fifteen minutes I was taking in Gu or Perpetuem.

Guess what?  Still. Too.  Much.  Nutrition.  At my last triathlon, I wound up abandoning my "tried and true" nutrition plan and taking in coke on the run just to try and settle my stomach.  It was a less than pleasant experience (well of course it was, it was a half ironman, silly) and I vowed not to repeat the nutrition portion.  But since I'm gearing up for Ironman Texas and a marathon and........   Anyway, I had to figure out what I was going to replace my defunct nutrition plan with.

Enter Infinit.  (Can you hear the angels singing?)  I'd been considering switching anyway.  I was tired of all the gels, all the mixing, keeping it straight on race day, and trying to figure out where to put all my gels (There's a joke there..) So I logged onto the Infinit website, ordered an initial consultation, and waited patiently.  The slider thing on the front page didn't do much for my Type A personality because (are you listening Infinit?) there are no numbers on the sliders to tell me what exactly is in my drink at each step of the way.  Okay, I'll wait for a real person.  And of course, I'm a typical athlete.  I know what I need, I know what's best for me, just set it up so I can do it the way I've been training and let me order it!!!!!!  Yeah, about that.....   I got a email from Laurie asking me some basic information about what distance races I usually tackle, how heavy do I sweat, do I have any GI issues, my, ahem, weight......  In a pretty short period of time she had two formulas set up for me.  One for running and one for cycling.  I looked at the nutritional values and (drumroll please)......

Are you kidding me?   How am I supposed to run on that?  My pet dog couldn't run for an hour on that, let alone me.  But her email was so convincing, so I decided to give it a try. I ordered my first bag, a cycling mix, and I didn't just settle for any test.  I put it to a real test.  I set out for a 52 mile bike ride.  Hills.  Sustained climbs.  Wind.  Heat.  With no backup nutrition.  Just me, my bicycle, Infinit, and of course my cell phone, just in case my stomach decided to revolt and I had to turn my bike ride into a sudden duathlon involving a run for the treeline away from the road. 

What happened next was pure magic.  No stomach upset.  No bonking.  I felt strong, I felt good and my bicycle had wings that day.  Okay...  I'm convinced...  Slightly.  Let's see what happens when I run.  Surely this is a fluke and can't happen twice. So I ordered a bag of the running mix.  Once again, a real test.  Fourteen miles in Texas heat.  Once again, magic.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not just taking my word for it.  I'm putting it to the test.  Again.  And again and again.  And we'll see what happens.  But through this whole process, Laurie has been amazing.  She's been patient with a Type A athlete who is demanding and not understanding.  I just run this, I don't do the whole microbiology thing where you need to understand exactly how muscles/cells/organs work and work under the stress of endurance exercise and then how to feed them.  I mean really, who has time to do all that?  But I'm glad someone does!

So I'm still taking in nutrition every fifteen minutes, but not at the higher levels of calories I was taking in before.  Laurie dialed it down for EXACTLY what I needed.  She seems to be an expert or something!!!  She asked the right questions and got the answers she needed so that my hypersensitive-going-to-need-counseling-before-this-season-is-over stomach could handle the stresses I'm putting my body through.

And that's the foundation behind Infinit.  The formula is designed with each athlete in mind.  How many calories, how strong you like your flavor, how much you'll be sweating, how much caffeine do you want (if any), do you have any gi issues, etc.?  Infinit knows you aren't just another athlete with a number.  You're an individual with different needs than the ones that you're racing, and I really got that feeling throughout this whole process.

So, Thanks, Infinit.  And Laurie...  Standing ovation!

Infinit has goodies like energy drink mix and recovery drink mixes, water bottles and hats.  Don't forget that when you order from Infinit, you can help to fund the scholarship by using the discount code "firegirl" at checkout.

To my readers-I hope your holiday season is going well.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Great news from our Sponsor and an early Christmas Present for You!!!

So I interrupt this crazy Holiday week to bring some really great news!!!  Infinit Nutrition has agreed to help sponsor me for the marathon!

What this means:

Are you an Infinit Customer?  Use the code "firegirl" at checkout to save 10% on your order and Infinit passes your savings to us!
Are you considering switching to Infinit?  Use the code "firegirl" at checkout to save 10% on your order, and Infinit passes your savings to us!
Do you know anyone who uses Infinit or is thinking about it?  Pass on the discount code to them.  Let's get this out there!

Tomorrow you'll see another blog post about my Infinit journey and the evolution of my nutrition to where I am now.  I started using Infinit before they became a sponsor.  Give their custom blend nutrition a chance, and you'll see why they have such a great product!
Infinit Nutrition really is an amazing product, but even more-they are an awesome company.  So send over your order today and help us fund scholarships!

You can find Infinit Nutrition's American Website here .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why trainer and treadmill work are (in my opinion) important to any good training program...

There, I said it.  The boring, mind numbing, OH-MY-GOSH-THIS-WORKOUT-IS-NEVER-GOING-TO-END, work that involves a treadmill or a bicycle trainer (better known as dreadmill and drainer, muahahahahaha) is important to a triathlon training program in my opinion.  With winter setting in for the Northern Hemisphere, many of us relegate ourselves to hours of indoor riding/running.  Despite the mindsuck that is trainer riding/ or treadmill running, this is something that is an important piece of the triathlon puzzle for me.  Here's why:

No breaks, unless I take them.
When I'm out for a ride on the road, even on the flats, I can get to a point where I can stop pedaling and coast for a bit.  Not true on the trainer.  If I stop pedaling, the trainer stops.  Constantly pedaling, constant effort.  It's the same on a treadmill.
Of course, there are the breaks that I take... More on this in my next blog post...

Increased resistance... (trainer)
I've found that it takes more effort to push those pedals a similar distance when my bike is properly installed on the the trainer.  And, depending on the model of the trainer, I might even be able to increase the resistance even more.
Increased speed... (treadmill)
I've found out how fast I can really go under controlled circumstances, leading to greater gains in the wild.  Ideally.
Unsolicited advice:
The biggest thing here is if you are running this seriously that you care about times and gains and are keeping track of your miles, you should consider investing in a high quality gps heart rate monitor.  One that can keep track of your mileage inside and out.  The reason here is that I started to discover inconsistencies between treadmills and their speeds.  The key is that I calibrated my gps monitor about two weeks after I buy every  new pair of shoes. I'll post more about that later this month.

You can keep it where you want it for as long as you want it.  Well, if your legs hold out!!!  Thanks to tougholdbuzzard for pointing out this one, you can keep your cadence where you want it for a specified amount of time.  Combined with resistance, this makes for a MEAN workout!  This goes for both the bike and the treadmill. No dodging or running from dogs, cars, geese, or snakes (Texas, remember?)  I seem to remember my running and cycling mentors nagging me to keep my cadence high for both cycling and running, and, well, my training still reflects that teaching.  So, depending on what metric you use for training, cadence can be an important factor.  It's one of the few that I look at on a post run analysis (distance, speed, time, cadence:  that's it)

Inclement weather...
Pretty obvious here.  But what sends one person indoors may just be another day on the course for another...

The pros do it...
 Do I need any other reason?  Okay, so I'm kidding.  But, the pros do it. Companies that make money producing indoor workout videos for cycling make a big point of counting how many of the podium winners at each big race use their videos.  Lately I've been hearing more and more about treadmill videos!  But pros don't typically do useless workouts.  And as I get more and more educated about the elements of workouts the pros do and why, I'm adapting my workouts as well.

I want to point out that I'm not saying take ALL your workouts indoors.  I'm saying that I think I should do a few workouts a week indoors, and that I think treadmills and trainers are valuable to a triathlon training program the way that a race belt is to a marathoner.  Valuable, probably helpful, but not necessary.

There are many more reasons...  I'll update my blog post as readers give me some great reasons.

Why do YOU take your workout indoors, and why do you believe it's a necessary part of any good training program?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Open letter to a fellow treadmill, uh, runner?

With winter setting in for the northern hemisphere, many of us are moving our workouts indoors.  Well, those of us who don't have a support crew that we occasionally, uh, need a, uh, short, period away from that causes us to occasionally have an indoor workout anyway.  I'll call a spade a spade, and admit I'm a weenie for running indoors in 40 degree weather (truthfully, my favorite is 50ish and clear) but yeah, it's for the support crew.  That's right, I'm keeping them comfortable.  Suuuuurrrreee I am......  And honestly, the whole: "He's touching me," "MAMA DAWGEE!" "He's breathing on me!" "SCREEECH!" "MOOOOMMMMMMMY, he's LOOKING at me!" wears me out more than running a half marathon in Texas heat can.

Um, so what do you do?  It's not like running faster helps much.  And I don't think that CPS would look kindly on me force feeding them cheetos to keep them happy for a two hour run.

So I move my winter workouts inside quite often.  And the cardio cinema at Gold's Gym is great.  Could you think of a better way to pass two hours than to have someone else take care of the support crew while you run on a treadmill and Indiana Jones saves the day, yet again.  I mean talk about motivation.  Could you imagine snakes and house size boulders behind you in the dark, and if you stop running or slow down, you'll get smooshed?

But this latest treadmill workout brought out something that I, thankfully, don't see very often.  So I figured I'd put it in letter form.

Dear dude on the treadmill next to me today.

1.  Axe body spray in copious amounts is not recommended before your workout.  It does not work like a magnet for the chicks to your "manliness" like the commercial says.  Please reconsider before you have to start purchasing gas masks for the people around you.

2.  The aforementioned axe body spray does not hide the fact that you are not wearing deodorant.  Yes it's gross. Yes, you need it.  Please reconsider before you come back to the gym.

3.  Sharting is real.  Yes, I can tell you did it.  No, the previously mentioned axe body spray and lack of deodorant does not hide that you (a) failed to wipe your bottom, or (b) lifted so much weight before coming over to the treadmills that you are now experiencing anal leakage.

The tears in my eyes have nothing to do with the fact that I'm so grateful that an Adonis like you had the time to run on a treadmill next to me in what you must still think is a meat market.  It has more to do with the dry heaves that your 'fragrance' has sent me into.  Frankly, I get to see people that look way better than you, and take fitness (and, to be honest, personal hygiene as well) much more seriously than you on a regular basis, but thanks again for the compliment you paid me by running on the treadmill next to the only other occupied one in the joint.  I'll remember that when I see (and attempt to avoid) you in the future.

No, please, stay where you were, I'll find another treadmill.

While we're at it, what do you want to vent about now that winter is here?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Training runs and Bustin' moves...

I'm sitting here bopping to the music on one of the Phineas and Ferb shows while my Support Crew eats breakfast and bops along with me.  The music makes me think of last night's training run.

I had a great training run last night, but for one exception:  I treated myself and dusted off my poor, neglected mp3 player.

I'm not kidding that it was a treat.  I LOVE music.  It really gets me moving and helps keep my mind off the miles, which have become harder since some of the miles have recently included firefighting gear.  Since starting triathlon, the mp3 player has taken up residence in a forgotten place with the running shoes I no longer use but can't bear to throw away, race shwag I haven't found a use for yet, long expired coupons and receipts for athletic products, etc. The problem with listening to music comes when the chorus of "Bust a Move" comes on in the middle of an intersection and I have the sudden urge to stop running and literally bust a move.  Too bad I have the same dancing skills my two year old has.  It's much cuter when he does it, though. 

So, I don't doubt the the miles were slower than I had wanted, and my movements that had absolutely nothing to do with the motions required for forward progress attracted some attention.  But it was fun.  And that's really the point.  There's almost always this point in a race where I think "I don't want to do this anymore." It doesn't usually last long, though.  I won't always be (one of) the fastest in my age group and I won't always meet the goal.  But I will always accomplish something.  Even if it is just to have fun.

And to show my kids, er, I mean, Support Crew, you can do anything you want to.

Why do you run or swim or bike?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kerrville Triathlon Festival - A Must-Do Event for 2012

WOW.  High Five Events, you get a standing ovation.  Well done.

You guys even got the weather to cooperate.

The drive in wasn't so bad.  Two-ish hours from the Austin area, through beautiful central Texas.  The Inn of the Hills hosted the event, and the packet pick-up, expo, and athlete meetings were all in the same building, about a block away from bike check-in.  The whole thing felt well organized and welcoming from the beginning.  I was one of the last minute registrants, but, not a problem, the race organizers still had it work smoothly.  I registered for the quarter iron distance, got my wristband and shwag, and got some last minute items from the expo.  I picked up some Zensah sleeves, anticipating a cool start for the next morning (Thanks, Hill Country Running!).  Bike check in was next.  T1 was about a block away from packet pick-up, and once again, well organized.  Everything went smoothly.  Thanks to the help of a volunteer who is slightly OCD like myself, the race number got onto my bike and my bike got checked in.  Off to T2 and run bag check in.  Once again, thanks to the help of a VERY smart volunteer, I got my bag set up and ready for T2.

Next stop?  Got to find dinner.  Chili's was very welcoming, and the servers even seemed excited for the race, wishing us good luck on the way out the door.

Back to the hotel to get ready and rested.

The morning was in the 50's.  Off to the races.  Parking was near the finish line/T2, with a shuttle to the starting line/T1.  The half iron distance waves went first with the quarter (olympic) distance waves last.  As far as an open water swim goes, the water was a dream.  It was as calm as you could get, and you could get a view of the half iron distance swimmers as they went by.  The race announcer was a hoot!  I'm not sure who he was, but he had us cracking up while we were waiting for our wave.  Then, 3-2-1 and my wave was in the water and off!  The water was almost warm enough to go without wetsuits, but not quite (which was good, because most of us used wetsuits for warmth before the race, not during!).

The swim was good.  After my wave thinned out, it was fairly calm, with very few people running over each other.  Then, out of the water, up the ramp and over to the strippers.  And first, I need to give props to the guy that made the ramps.  'Cause dude, you rock!  Back to the strippers...  If you've never done a triathlon needing a wetsuit or that had strippers, you need to.  These guys and gals are awesome.  You and they get the wetsuit down to your waist, you flop down on your butt, they rip the wetsuit down over your feet, and off you go.  But this is where I had a problem...  When the strippers ripped my wetsuit off, the chip strap on my ankle broke.  No, I don't mean came undone.  It broke.  And the chip must have flown a good ten feet or more.  Thanks to some sharp eyed volunteers, they saw it take a hike, and got it back for me.  So I wasted several minutes while one of the awesome volunteers figured out how to make the thing work for the rest of the race.  Did I mention how awesome the volunteers were?

Run up the hill and to my bike.  Except for the mishap with my chip strap, T1 went well.  Then, onto the bike leg.  Which.  Was.  AWESOME.  If you're familiar with Central Texas, you know that cycling can sometimes be a crapshoot.  Hills, traffic, chipseal, hills, lights, itty bitty shoulders, hills, roadkill...  You name it.  Well, the course was mostly flat-ish, some chipseal, and wide shoulders/protected roadway/quiet roadway.  Gorgeous hill country.  Two hills that reminded you that you were, in fact, still in the hill country.  Fast enough of a course that I was grateful for my sleeves!  Great, well supported course.

Then into T2.  Great transition-uneventful.  And on to the run.  Well supported.  Did I mention well supported?  Two loops through downtown(?) and a park.  Then the finish line.  It was a beautiful thing.  They even stretched a tape across the finish line for each finisher so you could "break" it.  Results were up so quickly that my head was spinning!  Post race massage, snacks, and adult beverages were available.  There were finisher's medals for everyone that completed the quarter and the half distance events (I'm not sure about the sprint from the day before).

I just got my email saying that pictures were ready, and my post race high is typically smooshed by viewing those pictures. Well, Kreutz-thanks for not ruining that high!  Kreutz Photography did a really good job.

My stats:
4th in my AG, 7th woman.  24th finisher overall. Time 2:50.  Great place to start!
Congrats to all the finishers. 

The volunteers were amazing
Beautiful race
Well organized
The volunteers did such a great job
Great swim course
Awesome bike course
Nice shuttle between T2 and T1
Post race party
Kreutz Photography did a great job
Well organized
The event was about the triathletes, focused on having fun
The town got involved and was very welcoming.
Did I mention the volunteers rocked it?

Mud in T1
Half of the run course was off road
The run course may have been longer than it was advertised
At least one aggressive cyclist that would pass people and then cut them off-she was really rude!

Hands down, the best triathlon I've ever done.

So once again, High Five Events, amazing job.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What do I wear for my triathlon?

I frequently see the question, "What do I wear for my triathlon?"

You can find many different solutions online.  Search the forum at iamtri.com or beginnnertriathlete.com and you can find this question has been answered over and over again.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the two-piece tri suit.  I have three.  I train in them religiously and I have my favorite.  One of them even matches my bike.
But I've learned several things about what to wear, and what not to wear during endurance sports.

First, the baggier your clothing is, the more likely you are to chafe.  Coming from a running background, I have all the cute running skorts.  Guess what.  I used to bathe in body glide to keep from chafing so badly that I'd walk bowlegged for a few days.  I once saw a guy during the Austin Marathon bleeding from his nipples from chafing so badly. No more cute running clothes...

Second, everyone wears tight fitting lycra, and no one cares!!!  If you catch a stranger looking at you, they're probably admiring your tri suit or jersey, and wondering what brand it is.  In one race, I saw athletes with their names on their bottoms.  Try not to stare at that!

Third, train in it.  If you wear your pretty new tri suit the day of the race, you won't know where the hot spots are.  I have one tri suit that I have to coat the inner seams so I don't chafe or blister.  I'm glad to have found this out before race day!

Unless you're doing an Iron distance event, the likelihood is that you won't have a changing tent-meaning you won't get to change.  Tri suits reduce the time spent in transition and give you one (or more) fewer thing(s) to worry about.

Since I started doing triathlon, my running gear has gotten a makeover.  I now run in either a tri suit, or compression shorts and a racerback top.

The most important thing to remember is that no two bodies are alike.  What fits one person just right and doesn't chafe may be too harsh on another person's shape.  One brand may work well for one person, but not at all for another.  Be prepared to try different things.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kerrville Triathlon Festival

With the Kerrville Triathlon Festival on Sunday, I look at my training this week a little differently than most weeks.  How do my shoes feel?  How does my saddle feel?  What do I need to do to make sure my heart rate monitor doesn't give me blisters?  Don't go too hard this week, an injury would derail my racing plans...
All season I've been training like each day was a race; maybe not the speed or the endurance, but practicing the nutrition, paying attention to the hydration, wearing the right clothes, and working on the other major aspects of Triathlon.  This is the week to look at the little things.   The things that irritate us, but don't really derail our training.  These are the things that might derail our race.  Unfortunately the dreaded DNF comes in many forms, and even small things can precipitate the dreaded DNF.  The fourth discipline of Triathlon to master is nutrition.  And nothing ruins a good race faster than poor nutrition. Can you finish a race if you "bonk?"  Think you can run on a blister?  What about one that covers the entire bottom of your foot? 

Now is the time to notice the raw spots in the shoes, in the tri suit, in the numerous straps we wear.  I favor body glide for race lubrication, and use it quite liberally.  At a suggestion from another triathlete, I coated some problematic seams on the inside of my first tri shorts.  Ahhhhhhhmazing race.  Another race saw a band-aid wrapped around a trouble spot on my heart rate monitor strap.

My point is get familiar with your swim/bike/run.  Know how it feels.  And don't be afraid to do something about those little annoyances, because the little annoyances become big ones.

Everything is in place for Kerrville.  A few hours of training this week will focus on maintaining strength and movement, rather than any gains.  A few (hundred) prayers to the tri-gods for a swift, smooth race...

Sunday will come all too quickly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Garmin Sets the Bar for Customer Service

I want to send a shout out to Garmin customer service.  Twice now, I've had an issue with my Forerunner 310xt.  Twice now, I've called customer service.  And twice, I've looked back at the decision to use a Garmin training device and been thoroughly pleased with it.  Fortunately, the unit is still under warranty, so the issues are covered.

Devices break.  That's the nature of sports, especially triathlon. Endurance athletes play hard, and expect that our toys will last.  Well, the reality is, we outlast the devices we use.  We beat them up in use, put them away wrong, and expect that they'll keep working.  Since the technology is computer based, you need to have at least a Doctorate in working and caring for gps devices, mp3 players, phones and their apps, and have the ability to know all about the newest gadget within two days of its release date.  DC Rainmaker can help you with education you need to keep up!  www.DCRainmaker.com  But, I digress.  We need a company that keeps up with our rock star attitudes and diva behavior, and gets us back out training yesterday!  Enter Garmin.

The first problem I had was a heart rate monitor strap that reported a heart rate of 220ish.  Ummmmmm.  I don't think so. I wasn't running THAT hard. Google the problem.  Trouble shoot on my own.  Call customer service.  Trouble shoot again with people who know what they're doing.  Didn't solve the problem.  Part ordered.  Be there in a week.  Showed up in three days.  Problem resolved as soon as I paired the new strap.  Done.  I was so pleased with the service that I called back to talk to a supervisor and let them know how happy I was.

Last night the wrist strap broke.  It might have something to do with the 9-10 hours a week of training and racing I've been doing.  Maybe.  Wasn't really sure what to expect this time.  But when a company takes the time to walk through potential (temporary) solutions in order to keep you swim/bike/running, while the needed part gets ordered.  THAT is customer service.  I've easily spoken to more than a half dozen Garmin representatives total, and the service has been equally as good with each person.

Garmin, I'm impressed.  Kudos to you for your quality customer service team.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hydration Equation, What's Your Situation?

Hydration math...

Yep.  That's about how it can feel sometimes after a discussion of hydration math.  With the drought and the fires in Texas, I thought I'd take a moment to put a few words in on this very important subject.  While not everyone needs to worry about it during a race, everyone should be considering their hydration status during other times.  Proper hydration is important because it can affect your performance, helps lubricate your joints, helps your body recover, and even affects cognitive function.  There is so much that proper hydration does for us, that to list it here would take away from the intent of my post.

Let's start with how much fluid you lose during a training run.  I'll use an example from a discussion held a few months ago...

First, a important message from our sponsor, Water.  Water equals a little more than 8 pounds per gallon, so 1 pound is about 16 ounces...  Keep in mind, the math gets a little fuzzy and I round for simplicity and to eliminate decimals.

Say you're a 155 pound athlete that went for a 8 mile run in 100 degree heat, you drank 24 oz of water and it took you 81 minutes.  Weigh yourself naked before your run.  Then weigh yourself after your run, also naked.  For our example, you lost two pounds.  155-153 is 2 pounds of hydration loss.  24 ounces of water taken in is about a pound and a half.   Add that together and you lost roughly three and a half pounds of fluid.  3.5 divided by 8 miles is .4375 pounds of fluid.  A calculator helps me find (16 oz per pound, so 16 times .4375) that .4375 pounds of fluid roughly equals 7 ounces per mile of fluid loss.  I prefer the per mile measure rather than per minute because it tends to be more constant through the different speeds we run and easier to figure than using per minute.

So, you lost 7 oz per mile of fluid through sweat, exhalation and other normal body functions.  This is good to know.  But these numbers may change as the weather changes, as your exertion changes, and even as you become a more finely tuned athlete.  So, for endurance athletes, weight is your best measure for hydration information, and as you get more familiar with this method, you'll be able to predict where you'll be.

Okay, so I lost a billion ounces of water on my run this morning.  Now what?

Now, you replace it.  Not at once, but gradually.  Evidence shows that your body can process about a liter of water per hour.  If you drink more, you risk affecting your electrolyte balance.  Want to your body to get the most use of that expensive bottled water or sports drink?  A liter per hour, max.

So what does that mean for me?

It's all weight based. The minimum amount of fluid you drink every day should be one half your body weight (pounds) in ounces of fluid every day.  So, if you still weigh 155, then you should start by drinking 78 ounces a day.  Then, you went out and ran for 81 minutes.  Replacing fluids by weight lost is the preferred method.  If you know how much weight you lost during a workout, attempt to replace that much fluid  (16 ounces per pound) in addition to your minimum daily intake.  Since in our example, you lost 2 pounds, drink at least 32 ounces of water (at a liter per hour).
If you don't know how much weight you lost during a workout, start with the following formula:
Hours of training x 32 = total fluid.  Total hours of training is how long you should spend rehydrating following this method.  In our example, you ran for 1.3 hours, so drink at least 42 ounces of fluid at a liter per hour.

Real life application (in a bubble)

Now it's time to apply the formulas.  You got up and ran this morning, as soon as you got up.  You weigh 155 pounds, so you need to drink a minimum of 78 ounces a day of fluids.  You lost 2 pounds during your workout, so you need to replace 32 ounces of fluid (16 oz per pound), but don't forget the 24 ounces of fluid that you drank during your workout.  78 + 32 + 24 =  134 ounces of fluids.

I want to point out that recent research points to sports drinks, certain teas, juice and other fluids being acceptable for hydration.  Caffeinated drinks aren't the hydration nemesis they were once thought to be.  However, hydration math has its limits, as it cannot predict sweat rates in different weather conditions, differences in individuals and other wrenches that get thrown into the works.  Your best gauge is the color of your urine.  If you are peeing clear to light yellow, all signs point to well hydrated.

Having said all the above, you'll need to find out what works for you.

Electrolyte Replacement

I also want to mention sodium.  I've spent several years researching, practicing and seeing what works for ME.  You'll need to find out what works for you.   Don't forget potassium, calcium and magnesium either-these are also crucial to proper electrolyte balance, proper muscle contraction/release, and for life.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The beginning...

I started my day yesterday with an 18 mile run.  I got up early on one of the few days I could have slept in and went out for a three hour 'beat-the-heat' race.  With much of the country in an ugly drought/heatwave, long runs or rides have to start really early.  Thanks goodness for random port-a-potties (I really have no idea why it was there, but it was there, it was clean and it was pink!), water fountains in parks at the halfway mark, and a gps watch to keep track of the whole darn thing.

Later in the day, someone called my run a 'hermitage.'  Loosely defined, a hermitage is a place where someone goes to be quiet, clear their mind and be with their thoughts.  Yeah, that's about right.  One thing I thought about is putting down the lessons I've learned over the last several years about endurance sports.  So...  Enter the blog.  My goal is to start documenting the nutrition, hydration, physical training, and other lessons I've learned mixed in with motherhood, random observations about just anything, and appreciation for the people who have helped me to get where I am today.

So, for my random observation of the day:  I was watching the birds yesterday during my run.  And I realized that there is a point, right after sunrise, where the morning sunlight catches the wings of vultures and makes them looks like eagles.  Frequently these birds are called ugly, but in the early morning light, they resembled their majestic cousins. It was amazing.