Monday, May 18, 2009

Women's Race Nutrition Strategies

On Sunday I tuned into a webinar put on by Infinit Nutrition that focused on nutrition in training and on races. Dede Griesbauer and Kim Mueller (a registered dietician) were on hand to give tips and answer questions. In case you aren't familiar with Infinit, you can customize your own personal fueling mix. Ironman, short distance, or a bike or run formula. You decide what you want and come up with something that works for your body. I've read that a lot of bloggers out there use Infinit. I wanted to check out the webinar first, but it definitely sounds like a great product.

Here are a few pointers that I picked up from the webinar:
  • Fuel properly before you start racing. Fiber can be a disaster on race day as it takes a long time to digest. Pick something with refined carbohydrates so you can digest it quickly, but add in some protein so that your blood sugar won't spike up then drop.
  • Allow at least 1 hour of digestion for every 200 calories eaten pre-race.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate pre-race!
  • Females need on average 200-300 calories/hour on the bike. Needs to be mainly carbohydrate based. Protein can be taken in, but only on the bike and for events longer than 3 hours. Aim for 3-4 grams of protein/hour.
  • Protein needs more oxygen for digestion, so oxygen is diverted from the muscles to the belly. This can result in cramping and gut problems if taken in on the run. Switch to a carbohydrate only based nutrition plan as soon as you start on the run.
  • The most common cause of performance decline has to do with fluid intake. If you are dehydrated calories will sit in your stomach instead of going to fuel your muscles.
  • If you are taking in calories and fluids as you should be, you shouldn't experience bloating. The exception to this may on a very hot day.
Dede also shared how she carries her nutrition on race day. She mixes Infinit in concentrated amounts in a gel flask, then dilutes it down in an aerobottle on the race course. This way she can carry a couple of gel flasks with her. If you mix all of your nutrition into one water bottle, then hit a bump in the road and lose the bottle, your nutrition is all gone for the day. That makes a couple of gel flasks Dede's preferred strategy!

Hope these tips may help some of you!


Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

WOw that is so interesting! Especially the 200 calories/hour of digestion. Love stuff like that!

Thanks for posting it Leana!

teacherwoman said...

It is ironic that your post is about race nutrition. I have started to think about this because it is all so new to me. I am sure I will be looking for more advice and pointers down the road!

Thank you thank you!

Marlene said...

Those are some really great tips, some I had never heard before. Thanks for sharing!

Lily on the Road said...

Thanks so much for sharing, I'll try this on the Bike Tour in June.

RunToFinish said...

oh thanks for sharing! I love bullet points I can actually remember them

lindsay said...

very interesting facts and tips! the cals and protein points will be helpful with my running too. thanks for sharing.

Ali said...

Great post! I need this reinforced all the time (doesn't sink into my brain). The number of times I do it wrong, and know I am doing it wrong ... arrgghhhh.

ShirleyPerly said...

It seems that about half the people I know who have used/tried Infinit love it, the other think it's a waste of money. One thing I was surprised to read recently on someone's blog is that she still needed to supplement with an outside source of salt. Does that make sense to you from what you learned during the webinar? I thought carbs, protein, salt, etc., could all be in one drink and that was the whole point ...

aron said...

great post and very useful info! thanks!!!