I began walking then running as rehab for ruptured disc in July 2009, was up to running 3.5 miles per day 6 days/wk. Decided 3 weeks ago to try a Resolution Day 10k, so grabbed a bit from a Nike+ training plan and went for it. Yesterday was only the 5th time I had run 6 miles. I completed the run yesterday, and while I was happy, my body was not. Here's my questions:
I train at 5am(no food), eat breakfast at 8am, fruit snack 10& 11 am, then lunch. Race began at 8:45am, so I ate a banana at 6:30am so I wouldn't get stomach cramps. By 9am my stomach began growling, so I need to figure out how to eat before a race (what, when) so this won't happen again.
Half way through I was thirsty (I never drink on my training runs), and I know if I'm already to the point of thirst, it's too late, I'm dehydrated. Fortunately it was only about 50 degrees otherwise I would have been in BIG trouble. I decided to try to drink on the run. Grabbed the water from the nice lady, and basically got water up my nose and in my eyes attempting to drink whilst running ( I could have stopped, but didn't). The next station I tried again, and got a sip before it was down the front of my shirt. I need to figure out how to drink from a paper cup while running/not stopping.
At the end of the race I had the opportunity to pass one more lady to better my female finisher position, but I was totally spent. I need to figure out how to have some at the end (I'm sure it has to do with not running 1:00/mi faster than tempo pace in the beginning, but the competitive spirit took over
Yesterday afternoon had a major 'hangover' headache, a sure sign of dehydration. Drank and drank water, finally going to bed to sleep it off. Am fine today, but need to learn what I don't know about running in these types of races.
Any/all help appreciated. Thanks and happy 2010!
Firstly, you need to have drank before the race.
During the race, try pinching the paper cup, so the water comes out slower. Also, I find if you direct it to the side of your mouth, not staight back, there is less chance you will end up choking on it. And don't be afriad to run with the cuup for a while, to make sure you get enough to drink. You don't need to throw the cup down as soon as everyone else.
You should always have some nutrition, and pre-hydrate for both training and for a race. If you don't it's like trying to drive a car on an empty gas tank---you are not going to get very far. You should at lest have some raw almonds and/or some string cheese so you have your protein, and you should always hydrate at least a couple of hours before a race. You definitely recognized that you were lacking hydration since you suffered the effects of being dehydrated both during and after the race. I have said in several forums that Jeff Galloway has some great training and racing plans; he uses the walk/run methods, and even if you modify these and simply walk through the water station, so as not to drown yourself whilst trying to drink from the dixie cup, and you may even find that your times improve when you give your body this small window of recovery. Good luck on the next one! Remember to put fuel in the tank before you head out, and you will see the difference.
@Jeff: You are correct, I did need to drink more, both days prior and right before the race. Thanks for the hint on pinching the cup, sounds like a winner and one I'll pracitice before the next race.
@Elvismom: I understand the driving the car on the empty gastank analogy, but I'm having a bit of a hard time with logistics. For example, for training at 5am, I'm up, dressed and out the door asap before I wake the house. I suppose I could put some nuts, etc. with my clothes and eat before I leave. Will have to try to see how much/many/when I can get away with and not feel stomach sick as food sloshes. Is a protien the best food to have in the stomach for digestable energy during the run?
I also need to figure out how to carry water for the training runs as they are now getting to be 6-10 miles and I definitely will need hydration. Any suggestions?
Now for race day, I need to determine how fast a stomach empties, again so as not to be stomach sick/sloshing. Maybe two hours? What types of foods are best pre-loading foods?
I'll read up on Jeff Galloway's training tips/plans, and see if I can follow them. It was such a great accomplishment when I graduated from walking to running that it will take an attitude adjustment on my part
thanks both for your help,
Hi Margo -
I've struggled with the eating before running issue before also. For training at 5am, that's a really hard one. Even if all you eat is a banana, you have no time to digest! I have to admit, if I run that early I don't eat before-hand. For race day, you definitely need to eat more. Try playing with the times during your training; try, for example, eating an hour before running and see if that works, then try 45 minutes, etc. and see how close you can get before it gives you issues. I usually eat just toast w/peanut butter about an hour before race time, so by the time I'm finished I'm famished and load up on the freebies! One lady I know says she gets up extra early, eats a lot, then goes back to bed! That way she gets all her nutrition and her rest: YMMV.
As for hydration while you're running, if you figure out how to drink while running let me know! I don't drink during 5Ks or my training runs, and during the couple of half-marathons I've done I walk thru the aid station. I run outside when I can and on a couple of my training runs I had a hard time staying hydrated. I read a suggestion I might try this Spring - "plant" a water bottle or two on your route where you think you might need them - then just take them with you. They have those belts with the water bottles - I've never tried one becuase they look uncomfortable to me. I think I will use the "stashed" water bottles and just kind of re-stash them when I'm finished. I doubt anyone would pick it up before I can drive back to retrieve it!
And, as you guessed, you need to pace yourself during the race! It is really hard when the adrenaline is pumping, and people are passing you left & right, just remember YOU will be passing THEM on mile 4,5, etc.! Just use your watch/heart rate monitor and trust it. I'm still looking for the perfect pace - but at my last few I've been able to "sprint" (as much as one can sprint when one's legs are numb!) the last couple of hundred yards. It's kind of fun to blow by people at the very end of a race!
Way to go and good luck!!
I wear a belt with a water bottle when I run and when I race. That way I can give the water station traffic jam a wide berth. But if you're trying to get an amazing time for your races then you may not want to carry the extra weight. I run in Phoenix, so I prefer to stay hydrated during every run. I find I run better that way.
I use the Camelbak Podium water bottle which has an amazing valve that you can sip or squirt from, but does not leak. I have a Camelbak belt that it sits in securely, but I can retrieve it with one hand.
I hope that helps.
Thanks everyone for the tips and advice. I'll give them a try on my upcoming training runs and hopefully I'll be much more prepared and get a better time.