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On the Outside Health and Fitness Podcast we explore new and fun ways to get fit on the trail, on the water, on the slopes and outside. Discover the latest in health and fitness from leading experts and get tips on fun ways to get fit. We're getting outside the box, outside our comfort zone and outside and in shape.

Feb 29, 2016

Proper Nutrition for Running

In this episode of the Outside Health and Fitness podcast I’m talking with Tara Whiton from Fleet Feet Maine Running about the best approach for nutrition and running.

On Today’s show you’ll discover…

  • …what you should eat before a run;
  • …good alternatives for energy to carry with you;
  • …and the best foods to eat for recovery after your run.

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About Tara Whiton

Tara is a certified exercise physiologist, a running coach and an outreach coordinator for Fleet Feet Maine Running. She’s an avid runner and helps others at any level from beginner to those running mountain and ultra races using a science-based approach.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk with her at Fleet Feet Maine Running in Brunswick about proper nutrition for running.

Listen to my previous interview with Tara when we talked about how to stay motivated to run during the colder, winter months.

Nutrition for Running

3:20 Common Questions about Running and Nutrition 

The most common questions about running and nutrition center around:

  • When to eat?
  • What to eat? and
  • How much to eat?

4:24 Advice on what to bring with you on a run

There are recipes on-line for people who like to make their own all natural foods for running. Crystallized Ginger is a nice option

Commercially available products are options too.

  • Goo
  • Hammer
  • and a variety of Electrolyte drinks

5:42 Hydration and Electrolyte replacement is an important factor in running.  

It can be dangerous to do a long event like a marathon or iron man if you’re not replacing electrolytes. If you feel nauseous after a run a common remedy is to drink electrolytes. The feeling can happen as a result of dehydration. Even though you’re drinking plenty of water electrolytes are needed to ensure your cells are properly hydrated.

6:56 Common Mistakes Runners Make With Nutrition

One common mistake is rewarding yourself after a long run with a big meal or food that’s less than nutritious. Sometimes runners over estimate the calories they’ve burned during a run. It’s important that your reward is aligned with your long term goals.

Another mistake is eating too much before or during your run. You don’t need to eat a gel every mile. In fact, overeating like that can make you feel pretty sick. A lot of it comes down to trial and error and figuring out what works best for you.

8:00 What are good food choices for after a run? 

You should try to get carbohydrates in your system within 30 minutes after a run so you can restore glycogen used during your run. Drinking fluids with electrolytes and carbohydrates is also a good choice after a hard effort.

Within the next hour it’s good to have a meal consisting of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to help repair your body at the cellular level.

9:00 How much should you eat before a run? 

Typically, if you’re running for an hour or less you don’t need to eat too much. If you’re planning on running for more than an hour you should eat something, preferably something with carbohydrates like peanut butter or a banana.

If you’re running for more than 60 – 80 minutes you should start fueling before that point. Every 40 -45 minutes you should have something like a gel or a couple of shot blocks. Again, it depends on your body size and level of fitness.

It’s important to try and pay attention to your body signals although when you’re running that can be difficult. If you are eating gels it’s important to wash them down with fluids to help them properly absorb in your intestines.

11:16 What are some of the different nutritional supplements you sell at Fleet Feet Maine Running? 

The most common are Goo, Hammer and Nuun Hydration. Honey Stinger is an all natural honey based product. Huma gels are another all natural option that incorporates chia seeds.

Some people look at the ingredients of some of these products and feel they contain ingredients that aren’t natural. However, an ingredient like maltodextrin is just a scientific name for a carbohydrate. Cliff also makes a chewable form.

13:01 Up Coming Events 

  • Sugarloaf Marathon training group
  • Irish Road Rover 5K in Portland
  • Run Club starts on April 1st

Where Can You Follow Fleet Feet Maine Running On-Line?

Facebook Groups
Portland – Fleet Feet Sports Maine Running-Portland
Brunsiwck – Fleet Feet Sports Maine Running-Brunswick

Instagram – Fleet Feet Maine Running
Twitter – @MaineRunning

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