Transcript of live chat with Kathryn Parker

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 2:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 2:53 p.m.

2008-01-22 15:37:45.0

kathrynparker331: Greetings to Everyone; I've have found my way to the chat room and am ready to answer your questions. Kathryn

2008-01-22 15:38:51.0

Lillian Guevara-Castro: Hello Kathryn, I know the importance of hydrating before, during and after a run or workout. But what do you recommend for staying power (or at least to avoid keeling over) during a run?

2008-01-22 15:39:19.0

Lillian Guevara-Castro: Sorry....I forgot the verb....what do you recommend eating before a run?

2008-01-22 15:41:40.0

kathrynparker331: Yes, one must prepare to avoid keeling over, does't make for good pictures. Here's what to do: after you've been at it for 1/2 hour, your beverage should have either diluted gatorade or fruit juice to give you small amount of glucose. you don't want to drink anything full strength because it may slow absorption. So I would dilute my beverage 1/2 and 1/2 and sip every 20 minutes. This way you'll fill you tank without overfilling and should have enough glucose to keep your brain happy and telling your muscles to keep working. Hense, you won't keel over.

2008-01-22 15:42:11.0

richard.goldstein: We often hear about carbohydrate packing in the context of training for long distance running. But I read recently that a balanced diet is best. Are there foods that someone training for a marathon should consume more of or less of?

2008-01-22 15:43:07.0

kathrynparker331: Before the run: if you have more than 3 hours, you can eat pretty much whatever you want. I would focus on high carbs like oatmeal, fruit, yogurt. If you have 1-2 hours I would have something like bagel with juice and if you have 1/2 - 1 hour you want something light to keep your stomach empty so I would just have some juice.

2008-01-22 15:45:02.0

Amy Reinink: Any tips for overall diet as it relates to marathon training? Should runners be eating extra carbohydrates or protein in their overall diet, for example?

2008-01-22 15:47:00.0

kathrynparker331: Richard: Marathon runners are unique characters. Out of every 100 folks you see or meet, very, very few are serious athletes like the marathon runner. So, watch what you read as most information is for the general public. Balance diet is always the baseline from which to build. Having said this; the gasoline that burns cleans and is the rate limiting step in endurance events such as the marathon will require more gasoline to keep going and going and going, hense the answer to your question: carbs. Rule of thumb 60 -75% of your diet should be carbs to allows you to keep up the pace of increasing miles and also to buikld and repair muscle damage. Pay special attention to your post run carbs: weight dividied by 2. The number you get is the amount of carbs you need to replace. Kathryn

2008-01-22 15:48:36.0

kathrynparker331: Amy: It's all about calories. Marathon runners need more calories than most other athletes due to the sheer number of calories burned training. Specifically: 60-75% of calories shoudl come from carbs and 10-15% should come from protein foods. The rest can come from fat and if you're worried about clogging artieries, just the fats from monounsaturated oils. They won't clog. Kathryn

2008-01-22 15:50:00.0

Amy Reinink: Thanks, Kathryn. During our last chat, Mike Wasik got a question from a reader named Peggy he suggested I pass along to you this time: "I'm hearing/reading a lot of conflicting stuff about nutrition. I'm a vegetarian. Sometimes I read that carbs is the only thing I really need to focus on, sometimes I read/hear that protein is the biggie; sometimes I read that fat is a huge no-no. What should I be eating? I don't eat junk food at all. Should I be using a protein powder?"

2008-01-22 15:56:44.0

kathrynparker331: Amy: Peggy's question: keep in mind that what is written in the general press is for general population. Marathon runners and vegetarians are not "main stream" so the information can be confusing. The bottom line whether you are an athlete or not, vegetarian or not: you need to first and foremost supply the brain with enough carbohydrate to function and this requires at least 130 grams of carbohydrate/day. Non negotiable. Where you choose to get the carbs is the real question and without a doubt the less process the food the better in that you become the processing factory and get all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, phytochemicals and water from the food. Protein foods are needed to build and repair muscle. Protein can be used for energy if not enough carbs are eaten, but this is highly inefficient and in the long run not a good idea. Fats are essential to health. We don't need must fat in our diets, it's just that fat tastes so good as is abundant. In my opinoin there is not forbidden foods, just amounts. Regarding the protein powder: without knowing anything else, I would say probably not, because you're in America and we don't have protein deficiency. Kathryn

2008-01-22 15:58:03.0

Amy Reinink: We also had a couple of e-mails from readers who couldn't be here tonight.

2008-01-22 15:58:14.0

Amy Reinink: A reader named Jen asked: We know it's important to refuel with carbs after long runs. Is it necessary to refuel after shorter runs (30-45 minutes)? If so, how? How about after a cross-training workout, especially resistence training?

2008-01-22 15:59:24.0

Lillian Guevara-Castro: A runner friend at the office uses those Gu products when she runs for an extra boost. Are they too high in sugar? What do you recommend for a 'on the road' snack? Or should I wait to snack when the run is over?

2008-01-22 16:00:40.0

kathrynparker331: Amy: Similar to gasoline in a car, you eventually need to replace what you used if you want to move. Rule of thumb: weight divided in half = amount of carbs used in exercise. For example: 120 pounds divided by 2 = 60. So I would need to replace 60 grams of carbs following my workout. Less than an hour I wouldn't worry too much about the details as you'll pick up the carbs in regular eating. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:03:17.0

kathrynparker331: Lillian: Gu gels are excellent to use on the run as they are easy to consume. I wouldn't take in more than 100-300 calories/hour of carbs while exercising. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:04:49.0

Lillian Guevara-Castro: What vitamins do you recommend for runners? I take glucosamine for my joints. But should I be taking more calcium?

2008-01-22 16:10:00.0

kathrynparker331: Lillian: I like to refer supplements to Professor Paul Doering, but I'll give you my opinion. Runners need carbs to meet the demands of the sport. You can't run on fumes, you run on fatty acids which are released because you have enough carbs in your blood stream to keep your brain telling your muscles to work. Carbs supply the vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, phytochemcials, etc that help us build, repair, fight infection and prevent disease. I don't taken supplments, I eat. Now regarding calcium which is a mineral. Most American's don't get enough calcium in their diets. Research states we get about 450 mg/day and we need at least 1,00 - 1,500 mg/day depending on our age, etc. If you want to supplement for calcium I would suggest a calcium citrate supplement and don't take more than 600 mg at a time because your intestinal track cannot absorb more than that at one time. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:14:16.0

Amy Reinink: Another question from a reader who couldn't log on tonight ...

2008-01-22 16:14:27.0

Amy Reinink: A reader named Jeff asked: "What do you recommend eating in the days leading up to the marathon? How about the night before? Does carbo loading work? Should I eat pasta the night before the race, or is that a myth?"

2008-01-22 16:19:02.0

kathrynparker331: Jeff: You betta ya. Haven't you heard about the "forbidden food festival" or the "carb loading night". Where have you been. Yes, the night before I would have a carb meal such as pizza, spaghetti or any other pasta you prefer. The reason is that you will "top your tank" and should have a pretty good start to your run. Remember that you have a limited ability to store carbs as glycogen inside your muscles and that you need to remember no matter how good you feel, after you've been at it for 45 mintues to an hour, you need to replace some glucose at intervals along the way. I suggest diluting your beverage half water half gatorade or juice and sipping at 20 minute intervals. No more than 100-300 caloires/hour are needed at this point. You should have enough fuel to finish the race without falling on your face. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:20:43.0

Amy Reinink: Any foods you'd avoid the night before race day, or any meals you're particularly fond of for carbo-loading?

2008-01-22 16:23:35.0

Lillian Guevara-Castro: A two-part question: Aren't sports drinks like Gatorade better than water to replace stuff I'm burning off during/after a run? And is caffeine, like soda, something I should avoid drinking before a run?

2008-01-22 16:24:14.0

kathrynparker331: Amy: Hmmmm foods to avoid the night before a race: this should not be news to the trained marathoner. The night before any event is too precious to experiment with new foods. I would absolutely stick with foods you know have not caused you any GI issues during your training. At this point in your training you should not be experiementing. I would avoid alcohol as it leads to dehydration and you have plenty of time to celebrate after the run. Carb-loading should include your favorite foods such as pizza, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, etc. Again, at this point in the training, you shouldn't be experimenting with new foods. Eat what you trust. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:25:52.0

kathrynparker331: Lillian: Part 2: Caffeine is a diuretic and essentially doesn't hydrate you. However, it does release free fatty acids for fuel and reduces your need for glycogen whch delays fatigue. Your choice.

2008-01-22 16:26:54.0

kathrynparker331: Part 1: Gatorade is needed after you've been at if for about an hour. You lose sodium and potassium during races but you have quite a bit to draw from that it's not necessary until you've been at it for an hour. I still suggest diluting 1

2008-01-22 16:28:28.0

kathrynparker331: oops, hit the wrong key. anyway I suggest diluiting 1/2 and 1/2. See how you do during your training sessions. Again, no one should be doing any of these suggestions for the firs time before your race. All should be done during your training so you can see how you respond to the recommendations. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:29:26.0

Sarah Sain: In addition to training I'm also still nursing my 5-month-old. I find that I days I do longer runs I'm extremely hungry. Should I be getting extra calories to make sure my body can handle the "double duty"?

2008-01-22 16:32:02.0

kathrynparker331: Sarah: Yes, extra fluids for sure. I would suggest you "drink" your calories because of the increased demand on making high quality breast milk, recovering from exerise and doing daily things. Be sure you're urine is lighter than the yellow pages first void of the day and that you urinate at least 8 times/day CLEAR liquid. Your need for fluid is hugh and I suggest you get lots and lots of liquid with calories to meet your needs. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:32:42.0

kathrynparker331: That's it from me. I'm toast. Kathryn

2008-01-22 16:34:28.0

Amy Reinink: Thanks, Kathryn!

2008-01-22 16:34:31.0

Lillian Guevara-Castro: Thanks, Kathryn.

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