Sunday, November 16, 2008

Supplementation and a Long Run

After running intervals on Thursday the stiffness and soreness set in to my legs almost immediately. Friday I hobbled around the office looking like I'd just gotten off of a horse. Running on 17.4 mi* on Saturday was going to be interesting...

I spent my Friday evening at a sports nutrition seminar. The talk was divided in to two parts - the first focusing on food choices, the second focusing on supplementation. The talk focusing on nutrition was fairly interesting. Some of it I knew already, but I did take a few interesting things away. The part focusing on supplementation...well... I can barely remember to take a multi-vitamin on a regular basis, but it was interesting to hear about how certain deficiencies can play a role in fatigue, muscle cramping and inflammation. What are your thoughts on supplementation? Does it play a key role in your nutrition strategy, or do you try to eat as well balanced as possible? Where I didn't agree with the speaker was when he talked about what he eats on a daily basis...and most of what he eats is some form of supplement as opposed to real, actual food. My attitude towards food has always been that I think you can have something as long as it is in moderation. Take that out and consume a bunch of powders or bars for your main meals and somehow that makes eating seem a lot less enjoyable. But different strokes for different folks, right?

Luckily by the time Saturday rolled around my legs weren't quite as stiff. I wanted to take it easy on them so I purposely tried to start my run at a slower pace - a good 30 seconds per mile slower than where I was at on my last long run. This time I tried a couple of new Gu flavours on my run too, to see if it made a difference from Hammer Gel. I brought Lemon Sublime and Triple Berry with me. Both tasted...not too bad. I thought I would head out to the Glenmore Reservoir, one of my favourite places for a long run. The pathways were pretty quiet out considering how nice of a day it was. I was keeping a fairly consistent pace for the first bit, but then around the 6 mile mark I slowed down a bit... Then with a mile or so left to go on my first loop around the reservoir I hit a patch of pathway covered in snow and ice. I gingerly made my way across the ice, and then once I started running again I could feel the fatigue in my legs. As I finished up my loop I tried to not look at my car for fear that it would tempt me to stop running and head home instead. I didn't want to navigate the icy part of the pathway again so I opted to do an out and back on the second loop. I alternated miles between feeling good and feeling fatigued. So much for starting slowly with the idea that I might speed up later! No doubt it was relative to running a hard race the weekend before... It felt good when I finally hit 17.4 miles and I could stop running. I wouldn't label this run as terrible because despite the fatigue in my legs it didn't go too badly. I kind of viewed it as good preparation for how I would feel in the later miles of the marathon. I think I still need to work on my pacing strategy though... When I got home I spent about 20 minutes spinning on my bike at a nice high cadence to try and work some of the stiffness out of my legs. It helped immensely! The weather was nice enough that I could have ridden outside, but truthfully I didn't feel like riding any of the hills around my neighborhood so I opted for the trainer instead.

Well, that's about it for me! I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

*Why such an oddball number for my long run? My coach gives me my long runs in either kilometers or time. In terms of distance and pace I can really only think of it in terms of miles though..! So 28 km, or 17.4 miles...

12 comments:

teacherwoman said...

Nice job on the run. And I think spinning for 20 minutes afterwards is a nice way to cool down, but keep that blood pumping through the body.

On the topic about supplements. I agree. Supplements should be exactly what they sound like... "supplemental" ... How fun would eating be if all you ate was powdered crap?!?! ...but your right, to each their own.

Happy Monday!

Viv said...

Great job on the intervals then a long run.
I agree a spinout on the legs is a great cool down.

I am trying to get my supplementation right and it is a struggle. I first need to focus on the diet part. I also know so many whi live off these bars and shakes...I need food solid food not something I unwrap. then again most of these people do really weel so I am contemplating what to do this "off season". I might start adding like a protien shake for lunch or dinner and use some kind of bars for snack. Who knows how long that crap would last.
Keep us posted if you try anything out that is just fantastic or not.

Laurel said...

Way to keep a positive attitude about the run. i like that you could still look at it as a learning experience instead of dismissing it as another crappy run. I need to take a tip from you ;)

I try to remember to take supplements, but honestly I am not very good at it. I would also hate to live a life where half of my food was in a pill or powder. But you're right, some people don't mind.

Brooke said...

interesting you should post this now as nutrition was recently very detrimental to my long run Friday. Out of curiosity- what info did they give you? What kind of supplements were recommended? What deficiencies lead to cramping, etc? I will recommend Gu Roctane for the long run. I tried it Friday and wasn't sore AT ALL. It is pricier, but has some sort of amino acid blend that is supposed to help reduce the build up fo lactic acid, and it seemed to help. No- I agree with you- eating only shakes and bars is no way to live.

cindy said...

Great job on the long run!

I'm with you when it comes to supplements...moderation and balance are key I think. I try to get most nutrients from foods, but I don't always eat as healthy as I can. I take a multivitamin when I remember to.

ShirleyPerly said...

I take a multivitamin and an iron pill (not a big meat eater and have had problems with anemia in the past). I try to get most of what I need from regular foods but have heard that so much is over-processed and stripped of vitamins that it's not often possible to get what you need if you're asking a lot of your body. A friend of mine, who is a pro triathlete, says she made huge strides in performance when she dropped the moderation in diet thinking. I'm not sure I'm to that point as I'm too cheap and not disciplined enough to give up sugars and other stuff that I know to be "bad" for me.

Nice job on your 17-miler!

Jen said...

Hey...great job. I plan on meeting up with Claire while you guys are in FL in January. Would love for all of us to hang out.
Thanks for the info on the Garmin. I just can't get over how little the HR display is...way up in the corner. :)

Wes said...

I think my coach always took special glee in making me do a 2 hour hard bike the day before a 2-3 hour run. It is excellent training, mental and physical! She always had me spin my legs out the next day. Active recovery is a good thing!!!

Marlene said...

GREAT job getting it done. When the fatigue sets in (especially early on) it's so hard to stay motivated.

I definitely believe in eating real foods, and try to eat "clean" as much as possible. I do take a multivitamin and omega, but that's about it.

Amanda said...

I too would prefer to simply have food rather than having a powder. I try really hard to make sure I get veggies and fruits, in combo with good sources of fiber and protein. Every once in awhile I'll remember to take a multi-vitamain but not often. Though if I had to choose I'd take the vitamin over the powders and bars

Eileen Swanson said...

Hey there,
Thanks for the comment on my blog. Nice post! Good job on your run and yes supplements are such a heated subject still. I take a multivitamin daily and that's about it now. I did take iron and calcium when my levels were low over the summer, but not anymore, as I am back to normal ;)
E

Marci said...

Sounds like a great run. Hope you have a great week.