Coming soon on
February 28, 2009:
Zi Spa Day!!! Watch the
Forum for details!
Base Bike Training Avoiding
Dear Santa, Opportunites &
Training, G.I. Distress,
page 2 Time to Rest?
page 4 Page 6 pages 9-11
Training: Track Delicious
Workouts, Recipes, Calendars,
page 5 pages 7-8 pages 12-13
Race Report: USATF Cross Country Club Nationals short time, but I was mainly keeping an eye on the guy behind
By: Matt Cusack me. After the second lap, I knew if I didn’t totally fall apart he
wouldn’t catch me, goal one down..maybe. We had a great squad
In the days leading up to this race, I knew this would be a battle out there, without them, I am not sure if I would have endured
for me, since I would be a triathlete (slow one) in a field of fast that pain. Ten kilometer races are painful enough, but add below
runners. My first goal was to not be last, second goal was to run 0 temps and 30 mph winds trying to knock you over and stopping
a 45 (below what I was hoping to be able to pull off). your breath, not making it easy. On the final lap I
I tried to ignore the weather forecast, but I started to catch a runner in front of me that was
couldn’t, I knew this would be worse than ice fading, I kept pushing but in the end I didn’t have it
climbing in frigid temps. Morning came, I met up in me to make up the ground in time. I finished in
with Greg Gallagher and we were off to the course. 45:53, which I am stoked considering the horrible
First thing we noticed out there were the cold conditions. This was my first open 10k race, I had
Siberian wind gusts, not helpful. only run them in Olympic distance and my PR was
49:10, so this was an improvement. I watched the
About 40 minutes before the start, the team we last guy come across a minute later, and the 12
were running for, Brooks I.D., headed out for a DNF's gave me an idea on just how bad it was out
warm up along the course to cheer for some of the there. This was a hard starting line for me to be at,
ladies we knew in the race. A few times I got blown from the start I felt I shouldn’t be there. I am too
about while warming up , but I hoped running faster slow, I am not a runner, but to others on the team
would shield me from this...yeah right. that didn’t matter. They treated me like I have
been out there for years running like them, thanks
Before the gun went off I was a little nervous, this was new to guys! My fiance, Jessie was out there doing her best to keep my
me and I didn’t want to get spiked. head up and legs moving , thanks babe, you rock! And I want to
thank everyone that came out, since this was not an easy race to
Then we were off, and instantly, I was pretty much alone. I be a supporter and fan: thanks Tim, Jessi, Emma, Roger, Natalie,
knew this would happen and I was hoping a few runners would Phaedra, Teresa, Jazmin, Josh, Greg, Steve, Mike, The Barrs,
stay close. The first lap went well, painful and cold, but well. I and all others. It was a cold day in hell out there, all who
went by the 2 mile mark at 13:56 and knew I needed to slow just endured are tough and dedicated!
a little bit. A lot of thoughts went through my head in such a
Dear Santa, A Triathletes there are actually Elves that need to
I was bad this Christmas. Despite a Correspondence to Santa lose weight), have been able to shed
pretty good training protocol, I by Ben Greenﬁeld, MS, CPT several pounds in a 2-4 week period of
basically ate everything in sight. Now I time when utilizing this strategy.
have a spare tire around my caloric (carbohydrate) intake during We’re not quite sure why it works, but it
waistline and I¹m trying to figure out exercise. In the same way that starving does.
how to shed it quickly. Any advice? your body during the day decreases your
resting metabolic rate, starving your 3. Lift weights
Dear Triathlete, body during exercise decreases your Certainly I would not argue that
Good news. I have some proprietary fat- exercise metabolic rate. weightlifting has been shown to
loss techniques that we use up here significantly enhance triathlon
with some of the Elves that go berserk So during your next few months of performance, because it hasn’t. But,
on the tiramisu at our annual North training sessions, remember this core when
Pole potluck. We also have some bigger- principle of physiology: fat burns in the added to a cardiovascular exercise
boned reindeer that have really flame of carbohydrate. Now you program, weightlifting has been shown
improved their power-to-weight ratio know how to get rid of that giant log of to significantly increase metabolic rate
using these same fat-loss strategies. fruitcake from your dear Aunt - and fat-free body mass. In other
Heck, after eight hundred Christmases consume it piece by piece during your words, it is a great way to get lean.
with a solid 24 hour diet of chocolate long workouts! Or you could just Perhaps not quite as good as our
chip cookies and very large glasses of donate it to science. distinct strategy of cage fighting a Polar
milk, I myself have had to buckle bear, but definitely more
down at the New Year on many 2. Perform a 15-20 minute morning risk-free.
occasions. So in no particular order, workout, sans breakfast. When you
here are my top three fat loss wake up in the morning after an Think of it this way: your body must
techniques: overnight fast, your body has burn more calories to sustain a fiber
primarily burnt through the liver’s of muscle vs. a droplet a fat. By adding
1. Eat during your training. carbohydrate stores, and has ample more muscle fibers to your body,
Have you ever tried struggling through a muscle glycogen (storage carbohydrate) you increase your metabolic rate, and
multi-hour indoor cycling session to use as energy. During a window of burn more calories during the day,
with as little sustenance as possible? Or time prior to breakfast, you can actually even when you’re not exercising.
perhaps headed out for a 15 mile jump-start the weight loss process Wouldn’t it be nice to watch the big
run in the snow with only one gel, just in by exercising in your body’s fat-burning, football game and know you’re blazing
case you really, really need it? intensity zone for a brief period of time. through an extra 25 calories per hour?
Struggling through the last 15 minutes This is usually about 50-60% intensity. A good weightlifting set:rep scheme for
of the training session light-headed You will not bonk, because your muscles hypertrophy (an increase in the
and dizzy, you must have burnt can still supply the small amount of size of muscle cells), is three to five
boatloads of fat, right? necessary carbohydrate energy to sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Try to
maintain exercise. choose multi-joint motions, like squat-
Wrong. While it may feel like this to-overhead-press, pull-ups, walking
strategy burn is a great way to deplete You must, however, not perform a long, lunges, and deadlifts. By lifting weights
the body of storage energy, in reality marathon-style workout in this for just 20-30 minutes three times
you’re doing just the opposite. pre-breakfast window, or you will be per week, you can significantly increase
Training starved actually decreases the ravenous afterwards and more likely to your proportion of lean muscle to
amount of calories burnt during overeat and store fat. So stick to a fat, and subsequently lose weight. And
your training session, while also limiting brief, sustainable, fat-burning you wouldn’t believe how a few extra
potential intensity and harming workout, and do it every morning until medicine ball lifts can help when it
recovery. you have achieved your goal weight. comes time to hoist a giant toy bag
No excuses. into a sled.
As a matter of fact, when you do
consume carbohydrate during a training You must understand that there is no Obviously, there are a great many ways
session, your body actually burns more research that has studied this to lose fat. These are just a few of
fat and a greater number of overall fat-burning window. At least, we’re not the more effective strategies that can
calories. This may seem counterintuitive, aware of any up here in the North Pole. be implemented by an athlete, whether
but multiple research studies have However, I myself, as well as dozens of in the off-season or in the process of
observed increased fat burning in the of fat-loss Elf clients (yes, preparing for a race.
Winter Running: Helping Your Feet Survive
By Christine Dobrowolski 6. Don't pull out your old shoes for winter running.
You may not want to wear your new running shoes
in the rain, but make sure you do not start your
winter running in shoes that have 400 - 500 miles
As the days shorten and the weather cools, running on them. This could lead to injury.
becomes more difficult. Many times it may seem
more inviting to curl up with a good book and a warm 7. Warm up slowly. Your muscles will take longer to
cup of tea as opposed to bundling up and facing the warm up in colder weather. Without proper warm-up
elements. time, you will increase your chance of injury.
For those who are motivated enough to run through 8. Minimize running on uneven ground. When running
the cold, dark winter days, it is important to know on uneven terrain, your body needs to quickly adapt
how to protect the feet so they too can survive the to the rocks, roots or dips. In cold weather, it is
winter months. more difficult to adjust to uneven terrain because
your muscles do not react as quickly. This will
1. Wear one pair of light or medium weight increase your chances of developing muscle strains
(depending on the temperature) synthetic socks. and sprains.
Don't wear cotton socks. Synthetic socks wick away
moisture and help prevent blister formation and cold 9. Break in your shoes. Make sure you have at least
feet. 75 - 80 miles of running on your shoes before
wearing them in a winter marathon.
2. Consider running in a trail shoe. Trail running
shoes will help protect your feet more than lighter 10. Consider cross-training. If you are feeling more
nylon running shoes. Trail shoes also tend to have stiff and sore than usual or are experiencing foot,
more tread on the bottom to add traction for ankle or leg discomfort, take a break from running.
slippery surfaces. Overuse injuries occur more frequently in the winter
as runners unconsciously alter their gait to adapt to
3. Make sure your shoes fit. If your feet tend to slippery, hard-to-see surfaces. Consider occasional
swell a little in the summer, then your shoes may be visits to the gym or embracing the elements on
a little loose in the winter. If you tend to wear cross-country skis or an indoor training ride.
heavier socks in the winter, this may not be an issue.
If not, you may find your cold toes are being jammed
against the front of the shoes when running hills and
your heel may be slipping and causing blisters.
4. Avoid tight footwear in cold weather. Tight shoes
may decrease circulation to the toes. The cold
weather also will decrease the circulation to the
extremities, and the combination can lead to
5. Pair your socks and shoes. Don't assume your
heavier socks will work with your summer running
shoes. The reverse is also true. Your summer running
socks may not work with your winter or "muddy"
Simpliﬁed Base Bicycle Training
From Joe Friel’s blog
If you are now in your early base period of training there are only three things
you should be focusing on in your training: aerobic endurance, force and speed
I write about this topic a lot this time of year, it seems. That’s probably because I see
so many athletes doing so little in their training now to optimize fitness in these three critical areas. Most are in a
hurry to get into muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance and power training. In fact, those who burned out last July
or so have been training these abilities since September when they started to get their enthusiasm for training back.
They are flying now. That’s why I call them “Christmas Stars.” By about May motivation will start to wane again and will
be totally gone by June or July when, in most parts of the northern hemisphere, racing is still going strong and has a
few months to go.
Patience is the key to success in endurance sport. I’ve also written about that idea many times. One must be patient
with training. When passed by a group of Christmas Stars on the road now you’ve got to have the patience to hold back
and stick with your planned base fitness training. It helps to have a coach, someone who will hold you accountable for
what you do in workouts. I seldom have to remind the athletes I train that they need to stick with the plan while
avoiding Christmas Star group rides. Down deep we each understand the benefit of building deep levels of fitness in
these three key abilities before starting to do the high intensity stuff later on. We realize that if we are patient now
and just grind out the miles as planned, the reward later on will be much greater.
There are three simple ideas I build into the workouts of the riders I coach to help them get benefit from every
workout this time of year. Here’s the gist of what I have them do in the form of training suggestions for you. There’s
more to it than this. You can read one of my books to get all of the details. But it can all be boiled down to three basic
elements of training for early base training…
1. Aerobic Endurance. Maximize 2-zone training time each week. For now, try to get about 40% of your training time
each week in this zone. And higher doesn’t count as part of the 40%. Pay close attention to your power meter or heart
rate monitor. Ride steadily. Avoid high and low numbers. No sprinting and no coasting. You’ll have a big aerobic engine
after a few weeks of this.
2. Force. Climb all hills on certain select rides each week staying in the saddle. This will do wonders for building hip
and knee extension strength improving your riding power overall. After a few weeks of this you will be a stronger rider,
just in time to start the high intensity training. This is a simple stepping stone workout for great sustained power.
3. Speed Skills. Put a 25T or 27T cassette on your bike and pedal at high cadence on all terrains, including hills, at
least three days a week. “High” cadence means at the upper end of your comfortable cadence range. Most riders are
comfortable from about 75 to 95 rpm. So ride a lot averaging about 95. Your power will drop down some. That’s okay. It
will rise in a few weeks as you become more economical. Improved pedaling skills will pay off in faster racing later in the
Three Track Workouts for Ironman Performance perhaps a few stride-outs, you’ll commence with eight
By:Carmichael Training Systems 1000-meter intervals, separated by 4 minutes of easy
jogging or walking. Start each interval gradually instead
September-12-2008 of sprinting up to speed, but quickly settle into your 5K
race pace. The first 3 or 4 intervals may feel pretty easy,
Why would an athlete but they will get more challenging as you proceed,
preparing for an event especially since the 4 minutes of recovery is purposely too
that lasts more than 8 short to allow for full recovery. You should, however, be
hours want to spend able to complete all the intervals at the same pace, and
time running around a shouldn’t feel totally wiped out when it’s over. If you do,
track, and for what go 3–7 seconds slower per 1000-meter repeat the next
benefit? Though they can seem contrary to the spirit and time you complete the workout.
demands of Ironman distance triathlons, track workouts
are actually an integral part of preparing your body for a 2-Mile Repeats
faster and stronger performance in your next, or first, The natural question we get regarding 2-mile repeats is
Ironman competition. that if you’re strong enough to run 4 miles at the same
pace, why bother with a recovery break after 2? Because
Why bother with the track? in order to go from running 9-minute miles to running
With all the beautiful trails and paths you could run 8:30s, you have to move your feet faster and push your
through, why should you bother running in circles? Well, heart and lungs harder, and that means running long
successful triathlon training is all about managing your intervals at a pace you can only sustain for limited period
time and getting the biggest impact from each of your of time. These intervals are good to do on the track
training sessions. The track offers a prime opportunity to because you can time each lap and see if you’re still on
focus your running workout on high-quality intervals so you pace, something that can be much more difficult on the
can get the stimulus you need to become faster, but not open trail. Of course, with newer heart rate monitors you
so much fatigue that you struggle to recover in time for can use GPS technology to monitor speed and distance
your next training session. accurately on roads and trails. These intervals should run
at your Tempo run pace, which is a strenuous intensity but
Track workouts are strenuous, but they serve a very about 98–102% of your heart rate at your maximum
specific purpose beyond making you tired. By pushing the sustainable pace (not your max heart rate!). After a good
pace and training at the high end of your aerobic range warm-up, run two 2-mile intervals at this pace, separated
near your lactate threshold or maximum sustainable pace, by 4 minutes of easy jogging or walking for recovery.
you’ll force your body to adapt to producing and recycling
increased amounts of lactic acid. Over time, this results in 2-Mile Ladder Drill
the ability to run faster at both moderate intensity levels Ladder drills are a staple of track training, but these may
and at race pace. be a little different from what you used prior to sprint
and Olympic-distance events because these a bit longer
One departure from old-school track workouts you may and slower than you may be used to. The key is to
notice in the descriptions below is that we’re not talking complete each segment of the ladder at the same pace.
about gut-busting, go-till-you-puke intervals. Instead, The shorter segments in the beginning will seem very
these should be done at a pace between your 5K and 10K easy, but resist the urge to go faster in the beginning so
race pace, which is faster than your marathon pace, but you have the stamina to put in quality intervals all the way
not an eye-crossing sprint, either. It is best to to the end. Like the 2-mile repeats, these intervals should
incorporate one track workout a week into your training run at your Tempo run pace, about 98–102% of your heart
program, starting about 4 months out from your Ironman- rate at your maximum sustainable pace. Start with 400
distance event. yards, then proceed to 800, 1200, 1600, 2000, 2400,
3200, 2400, 2000, 1600, 1200, 800, and 400 yards; and
1000-Meter Repeats recovery after each work segment should be the same
Of the 3 workouts listed here, this is the hardest one amount of time it took to complete the work segment.
because the pace is the highest. Following a warm-up and
Training Opportunities!!! I'm certainly a fan of getting out there and trying to get a
by Natalie Gallagher workout started, especially since you can often get through
a whole workout as long as you can get through the first 10–
15 minutes. However, “wimping out” is sometimes the
Beginning on January sixth, the Tri Fusion board members smartest thing you can do. There are times when I wish the
have been posting and hosting training events weekly. These athletes I work with would listen more closely to their
training opportunities are additions to opportunities that a bodies and call it a day when they're not responding to their
few board members already post and host weekly, such as workouts. Here are a few good ways to tell if turning around
the Thompsons’ weekly BAT’s and the Gallaghers’ weekly is the right thing to do:
head lamp run. Why did we add the new training events to
the schedule? We paid close attention to the results of the 1. Your heart rate/power output doesn’t match your
member survey a few months ago, when several folks wished perceived exertion. Though perceived exertion is often
for more training opportunities in different parts of dismissed as being “unscientific,” I believe it has to be
Spokane. So, we put together some small teams of board taken into consideration when talking about training. You
members that committed to showing up at Champions Sport know how you normally feel when you’re exercising at a
Medicine on Tuesday nights at 6:00 and the valley YMCA on certain pace or intensity. If it takes a superhuman effort to
Wednesday nights at the same time. raise your heart rate or power output to your normal
cruising level, or to the level necessary for intervals, it’s a
Participation has been sporadic at the two new training sign that something’s not right. Usually, it means you’re
opportunities, but we are hoping that you all like the options fatigued and that you’re better off doing an easier workout
and will be able to begin or continue to attend. The board or taking the day off. Sometimes this scenario will even
will continue as guest hosts through the month of January. continue for a few days, but generally it won’t last more
Hopefully members will want to keep participating in the than a week. Listen to your body and give it the time it
weekly runs and decide to meet up at Champs on Tuesday, needs.
and/or the valley Y on Wednesday.
2. You feel like taking a nap by the side of the road or trail.
Beginning on January 29th, we will slightly change the
Most days, you’re raring to go when you head out for a
meeting place of the weekly Thursday head lamp run. Let’s
workout, but then there are days when you just can’t seem
plan to meet at the Wandermere Starbucks to run. Each
to get excited about training; you’re yawning at stop lights
week that the Gallaghers are available to host dinner, we
and daydreaming instead of focusing on your workout. On
will post the dinner information on the Forum for after the
days like these, it’s important to get out there and see what
run and enjoy further fellowship with one another.
happens after about 15 minutes. If you snap out of your
funk and get your head in the game, then continue with the
Please see the calendar attached and continue to
workout. If you can’t get your head into it, turn around and
peruse the Tri Fusion forum for a wide range of
go home. I’d rather see you miss that one workout and come
group training opportunities!
back excited the next day instead of absentmindedly going
through the motions for several workouts in a row.
There’s one other piece of advice (it’s not completely
It’s Not “Wimping Out” When
pertinent to the original question, but it’s useful anyway): a
Your Body Needs the Rest
shortened workout is better than no workout at all. So, if
by Chris Carmichael
socializing or poor weather cuts your available time down to
just 30 minutes, take it. It helps you stay in a consistent
“I’ve been following a training program for several
training routine and ensures that you’re not slipping
months, but there are days when I just don’t feel like
backwards in your fitness progression. Shortened workouts
doing my workout. I don’t know if my body’s trying to
may not move you forward as much as complete ones do, but
tell me something or if I’m just wimping out.”
they’ll help you keep the fitness you’ve worked so hard to
— Jason W., Portsmouth, ME
Turkey Sausage Frittata
1 ½ Cups Swiss cheese Shredded
1lb Cheddar Cheese Shredded
1 cup Freshly Chopped Parsley
1 cup Chanterelle Mushrooms (or any other type)
1 Fuji Apple
2lbs ground turkey
¼ tsp- Thyme, Poultry Seasoning, Cumin
1 tsp- Pepper, Salt
2 sprigs Rosemary
¼ cup rubbed sage
1 cup freshly chopped parsley
In a large skillet put in turkey sausage and spices, stir together to mix evenly. Turn stove top to
medium heat and cook until browned. As you are cooking turkey sausage, in a large bowl break
open all the eggs, beat together and set aside. Wash and cut up mushrooms into bite size pieces,
and wash and cut apple into small chunks, then add into turkey mixture when it is almost done.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large glass pan, spray with olive oil and set aside. After turkey
sausage mixture has cooled down, approx. 10 min., add egg mixture to skillet with Swiss cheese
and ½ cup of cheddar. Combine thoroughly and pour into pan. Top with remaining cheddar. Bake
until done, approximately 35-50 minutes depending on oven. Should serve about 12 people. Serve
hot or cold with your choice of condiments, we like Salsa!
Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Chili)
Submitted by Tiffany Byrd
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup) *to save time, just chop!
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15 oz can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can V-8 juice
1 T white vinegar
1 1/2 t salt
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t thyme
1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditalili pasta
dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper
fresh Parmesan cheese
*2 c water (see note at bottom)
1. Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat. Drain off fat.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour (if you're running low on time, 30 minutes is fine too)
4. About 50 minutes into simmer time, add in the uncooked pasta and continue simmering for the final 10 minutes.
5. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.
*This Olive Garden favorite is very thick and chili-like. If you are looking for a more "soupy" texture, add the water.
From Jen Polello
2 ½ cup oats ¼ cup honey
½ cup wheat bran cereal ¼ cup canola oil
½ cup wheat germ 1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped or whole almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries or mixed berries
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients. Heat oil and honey in saucepan until bubbly, pour over dry
ingredients, pour in shallow pan or cookie sheet, bake 30-40 minutes, stir every 10 minutes. Add raisins and cranberries,
cool, store in air tight container. Makes about 5 cups.
Avoiding Exercise-Related GI DISTRESS IS COMMON AND
Gastrointestinal Distress SYMPTOMS VARY BY SPORT: CULPRITS AND CAUSAL FACTORS:
By Christopher D. Jensen Frequency estimates vary, but GI distress The causes of exercise-associated GI
during or just after exercise is more distress are not yet fully understood. But
common than not. In a study of individuals a variety of causal factors seem to be at
who trained for 18 months in preparation work, including some that are inescapable
for a marathon, 25% reported symptoms and others that you can do something
You’re out on a long training run. Your pace
of GI distress during a 25-km race 12 about.
is strong. The last chilly vestiges of the
months into their training, and 52%
early morning combined with the rising sun
complained of distress symptoms during FACTORS YOU CAN’T CONTROL:
warming your back has you feeling like you
the marathon itself. The fact is that digestion is a process
could go on forever. The miles drift by.
that takes place best when you’re at rest.
You’re in the zone.
In a another study of well-trained Exercise throws a wrench into the works.
endurance athletes, researchers asked the
But around mile 7 you experience what
athletes to report whether they’d When you’re exercising, blood flow to the
feels like the beginnings of abdominal
experienced symptoms of exercise-related digestive tract is severely restricted, the
cramping. You keep going, trying to
GI distress during the preceding 12 gut may incurs all kinds of mechanical
refocus, all the while hoping the sensation
months: trauma due to the motion associated with
will pass. But the feeling doesn’t go away.
exercise, and there’s a boost in the
Instead, the cramps grow in intensity to
• Among runners, 71% reported lower GI secretion of key hormones that increase
the point where — forget training — you’re
tract symptoms, such as side aches, gut motility — the process whereby the
now running for one purpose only: to find a
abdominal cramping, urge to defecate, contents of the digestive tract are moved
and diarrhea. In contrast, 36% reported through the system. Together, these
upper GI tract symptoms such as exercise-related changes can wreak havoc
Sound familiar? Abdominal cramping is just
burping, nausea, and vomiting. on the digestive process, resulting in the
one of a handful of symptoms that
• Among cyclists, the incidence of lower range of GI distress symptoms that
collectively are referred to as exercise-
and upper GI tract symptoms were athletes report. The evidence also
associated gastrointestinal distress. For
similar, at 64% and 67%, respectively. suggests that the higher the intensity of
short, we’ll call it GI distress. Symptoms
• Reports from triathletes confirmed the exercise, the more disruptive it is to
can include heartburn, burping, flatulence
symptom patterns observed in runners normal digestive processes and the
(the scientific term for passing gas),
and cyclists. During the cycling leg of greater your chance of suffering GI
nausea, vomiting, abdominal or stomach
triathlon competitions, lower and upper distress symptoms.
cramping, the urgent need for a bowel
GI tract complaints were reported in
movement, diarrhea, and/or
45% and 52% of athletes, respectively. Although you can’t really do much about
During the running leg, lower GI tract the mechanical trauma or the physiological
complaints were reported by 79% of changes that occur in the digestive tract
If one or more of these symptoms has
athletes, while upper GI tract in response to exercise, understanding
ended some of your competitions or
complaints were reported by 54% of that these factors exists underscores
training sessions prematurely, or arrived
athletes. the importance of making adjustments
with a vengeance within a few hours of
• In the most recent and largest study to to those causal factors you can
crossing the finish line, you’re not alone. In
date, elite and recreational runners control.
fact, these types of gastrointestinal
competing in an event that included
complaints are very common among
distances of 5, 10, 21, and 42 km, were
asked to complete a questionnaire
related to GI distress symptoms. A total
In this article we’ll explore GI distress,
of 45% of the runners had at least one
which athletes tend to get which
GI complaint during their run, and
symptoms, what are likely causes, and most
almost 3% reported symptoms in the 24
importantly, what you can do to steer clear
hours after the competition. These
of the problem and keep your gut happy.
findings indicate that GI distress is
common across endurance sports, and
that the nature of the symptoms tends
to vary from one sport to the next.
Avoiding G.I. Distress (cont’d)
For carbs and fluids as you near the start
FACTORS YOU CAN CONTROL: of training or a competition, use a well- Practical strategies:
Digestion is the process whereby the food designed sports drink, such as Try to avoid losing anymore than 2% of
and beverages that you consume are POWERBAR® ENDURANCE or GU 2 0 your body weight due to fluid loss during
broken down so you can absorb necessary sports drink, instead of fruit juice or a exercise. For a 150-lb (68-kg) athlete, a
nutrients and eliminate waste. If GI soft drink, which are typically too high in 2% weight loss equates to just 3 lbs (about
distress is making it impossible to be at carbohydrate concentration. 1.4 kg). Monitor the effectiveness of your
your best during training sessions or Consider whether caffeine ingestion is hydration plan by weighing yourself before
competitions, altering what and how you contributing to your gastric woes. For and after exercising.
eat and drink before and during training many athletes, some caffeine before and/ Use a sports drink to rehydrate with and
and competitions may be your best shot at or during exercise can provide a much- minimize fluid loss during exercise. For
a solution. The following are strategies to needed boost. But there are individuals training sessions or competitions that
consider: who develop GI symptoms from caffeine. extend much beyond an hour, or any time
Experiment with and without caffeine you’re exercising in the heat or humidity, a
CHANGE YOUR PRE-EXERCISE MEAL during training sessions to see what works sports drink that provides carbohydrates,
AND SNACKING REGIMEN: best for you. fluids, and sodium, is a better option than
If you’ve got a sensitive gut, don’t tax your plain water when it comes to managing GI
digestive tract in the hours before GET YOUR BOWELS TO MOVE BEFORE distress. There are a number of
exercise. STARTING A RACE: advantages. A sports drink not only
If your typical GI distress symptom provides carbohydrates to fuel your
Practical strategies: happens to be the very uncomfortable muscles; it also provides a carbohydrate
Consume your pre-exercise meal 3–4 hours urgent need to defecate when training or concentration in the optimal range to
before training or competing to allow more competing, get the bowels to move before minimize GI distress. The sodium and
time for digestion to take place. you get to the starting line. carbs in a sports drink cause the fluid in
Consume liquid rather than solid food as a the beverage to be absorbed more quickly,
pre-exercise meal. Solid food generally Practical strategy: so there is less fluid sloshing around in the
requires a longer amount of time to be A light carbohydrate snack with a warm digestive tract. The sodium helps maintain
digested and absorbed. A fruit smoothie beverage and a bit of gentle exercise your drive to continue drinking fluids and
and a meal replacement drink are good (warm-up) can help stimulate a pre-race helps you retain the fluid that you’ve
examples of liquid meals. bowel movement. consumed, so that dehydration doesn’t
Steer clear of high-fat and high-fiber exacerbate the already-significant
foods in your pre-exercise meal. Fat and AVOID DEHYDRATION AND reduction in blood flow to the GI tract.
fiber are slow to digest and/or process. OVERHYDRATION DURING EXERCISE: Finally, athletes freely consume more
Stick to easy-to-digest carbs and a You can’t do anything about the severe fluids when their hydration beverage is
moderate intake of protein for your pre- cutback in blood flow to the digestive flavored, as is the case with a sports drink.
exercise meal. tract during exercise. But you can make Implement and refine your during-exercise
sure that dehydration doesn’t make hydration strategy during training
matters even worse. If you don’t sessions, and find that gut-happy medium
adequately replace the fluid and sodium where you’re in your hydration zone and GI
you’re losing during exercise due to distress symptoms are avoided.
sweating, you can become dehydrated.
When this occurs, there is even less blood CONSUME THE RIGHT CARBS IN THE
circulating to the digestive tract, and this RIGHT AMOUNTS DURING EXERCISE:
can make the symptoms of GI distress For endurance exercise of an hour’s length
even more severe. That said, don’t push or longer, consuming carbohydrates during
your fluid consumption during exercise to exercise can delay the onset of fatigue.
the point where large quantities of liquid During exercise, appropriate carbohydrate
are sloshing around in your digestive tract sources are primarily sports drinks and
and making you nauseous. energy gels taken with water. If chewing is
feasible, sports bars and energy chews are
Avoiding G.I. Distress (cont’d) CONSIDER SOME DIETARY CHANGES The cause of these debilitating stitches
A DAY OR TWO BEFORE COMPETING: hasn’t been firmly established, but the
Practical strategies: Lactose is the sugar naturally found in conventional wisdom is that they aren’t
When using sports nutrition products dairy products such as milk. Lactase is an necessarily a digestive problem.
during exercise, consume those that offer enzyme in the small intestine that breaks
multiple transportable carbohydrate down lactose into sugars we can readily Some theories as to their causes
sources, POWERBAR C2 MAX is an absorb. Some people have plenty of the include: taking shallow breaths with the
energy carbohydrate blend that features lactase enzyme. Some people don’t have chest during exercise, rather than taking
a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose. Each enough and are lactose intolerant. deeper breaths with the diaphragm;
type of carbohydrate is absorbed via its stretching of ligaments that hold internal
own unique intestinal transport system. When lactose-intolerant individuals organs in place; pain that originates from
This innovation allows carbohydrate fuel consume dairy products, the lactose can’t the mid-spine, but shows up as a side ache;
to be absorbed at a faster rate, without be broken down. Instead, it moves into the and irritation of the membranes that line
overwhelming the carbohydrate absorptive large intestine, where microbes feed on it. the abdominal cavity.
capacity of the GI tract. As they chow down, these microbes
During endurance exercise lasting 1–2 produce lots of gas and organic acids, Prevention is the best remedy, and in his
hours, consume carbohydrates at the rate which quickly produce symptoms such as book, Lore of Running, physician and
of 30–60 grams per hour. Refine your rate bloating, flatulence, burping, cramps, and exercise physiologist Timothy Noakes,
of intake during race-pace training rapid-onset diarrhea. People that are says stitches may be prevented by
sessions. lactose intolerant clearly need to avoid breathing with the diaphragm during
During endurance exercise of 2–3 hours or lactose-containing dairy foods. exercise and strengthening the abdominal
more in length, consume carbohydrates at muscles.
the rate of 45–90 grams per hour. Refine There is a third category of individuals
your rate of intake during race-pace that have moderate levels of the lactase For stitches that occur when running,
training sessions. enzyme. As such, they may be able to Noakes advises trying two measures:
tolerate a small amount of lactose under exhaling very deeply to stretch the
CONSUME ADEQUATE FLUIDS WITH normal circumstances, but not during diaphragm, or breathing out when you land
YOUR ENERGY GELS: times when the gut is stressed, as it is on the foot opposite the side where the
Another option for rehydrating and during endurance exercise. stitch is felt.
refueling during exercise is to consume an
energy gel and chase it with plain water. Practical strategies: Of course, there are no guaranteed
Make sure to select an energy gel that If you suspect that lactose from dairy solutions. Other anecdotal suggestions
provides sodium along with carbohydrates. products may be contributing to your GI include placing your hand into your belly on
These gels provide the carbohydrate and distress, try switching to lactose-free the side where the stitch is, just under
sodium of a sports drink. dairy products for a day or two before a the ribcage, lifting up slightly, and inhaling
competition or an extended training and exhaling evenly as you push up.
Practical strategy: session.The same 24- to 48-hour Stretching may help, as well. Raise your
Consume a gel every 20–45 minutes during avoidance strategy can be applied to any right arm straight up, lean to the left, and
exercise, and don’t skimp on water. Take a food or foods you suspect may be hold for 30 seconds. Then do the same
few gulps of water with each swallow of contributing to your symptoms. For stretch on the other side. And, of course,
the gel to properly dilute its example, if you rule out lactose-containing slowing your pace until the pain subsides is
carbohydrates. dairy foods as a culprit, try cutting back the tried-and-true option.
on high-fiber foods for a day or two
before a competition or extended training
session to see if it makes a difference.
SOLVING SIDE STITCHES:
Side stitches are common occurrences in
distance runners, as well as in swimmers
and athletes in team sports. In medical
circles, these side aches are referred to
as exercise-related transient abdominal
The Board of Directors, Sponsors
and The Calendar of Upcoming Events...
Board of Directors We would like to extend a
• Steve Anderson - Membership Director generous thank you to our
• Tiffany Byrd - Uniform Director truly amazing sponsors!
• Phaedra Cote - Kids Club Director
• Trish Cudney - Social Director
• Greg Gallagher - Event Director
• Natalie Gallagher - Newsletter Director
• Ben Greenfield - Website Director
• Mark Hodgson - Mentor Director
• Jim Powers - Vice President
• Tim Swanson - Treasurer
• Jessi Thompson - Secretary
• Roger Thompson - President
Jan./Feb. Calendar Races/Runs: Upcoming Events:
• February 8th: Valentine Next Social:
Training Opportunities: Duathlon at Olympia, WA
• Saturday, February 28th: Tri Fusion
Day at Zi Spa in Coeur d’
• Masters Swims @ Northside OZ on
Tues @ 6-7:30 pm, & Sun @ 8-9:30 Alene! Details will appear
• February 8th: Partners in Pain 5K soon on the Forum.
am Race at Spokane, WA
• Masters Swims @ Valley OZ on Thurs Next Membership Meeting:
@6-7:30 pm, & Sun @ 8-9:30 am.
• March 7th: 30th Annual Snake River
• Thursday evenings: Headlamp Run is Canyon Half Marathon at Snake • February 18th, 2009 @ 6:30
back at the Gallagher’s (619 E. Huron p.m.: General membership
Drive) at 6:30! Watch the Tri Forum meeting at location TBA.
for details! • Also: Leprechaun Scurry at
North Idaho College, Cd’A, ID
• Starting in January: Headlamp Runs
downtown at Champions on Tues @ • Next Kids Club Meeting:
6:00 & from the valley YMCA on Wed • March 15th: St. Paddy’s Five Miler at January 25th, 2009 @ the
@ 6:00 pm too! Spokane Community College, Downtown YMCA @ 1:30-5:30 pm.
• Many more group training Spokane, WA
opportunities are posted daily on the
Tri Forum... check it out!