Newsletter: Volume 52, Nov 2003
This month I will celebrate my 40th
anniversary of running marathons, by trying to beat the time
I ran as an 18
year old. I’m returning to the race I ran first in 1963,
the Atlanta Marathon, with a goal of 2:56:35. In August, I went
back to the track for 1.5 mile repetitions—the first speedwork
I’ve done in 10 years. These sessions have taught this 58
year old some humility, but I’ve responded to most of the
challenges. I’ll be inserting the lessons learned in my tips
in this newsletter during the next year. Think of me on Thanksgiving
If your goal isn’t motivating any more . . .
Having gone through more than 120 marathon training programs,
I’ve experienced many motivation letdowns. On most of these,
I’ve rebounded, but on a few, I didn’t. Burnout and
dropout are mental injuries. If you back off and adjust early,
you can avoid major burnout later.
Here are some adjustments to make in the middle of a training
program, if you lose your drive:
1. Reduce mileage, and cut your running days to three. Walk a lot.
2. Run and walk in scenic areas, places that really motivate you
3. Schedule a social run with a friend or a group of friends. Tell
them that you need help. Have a good time and meet afterward for
a snack or meal.
4. Have a "theme" run with friends: trivial pursuit,
favorite character, best joke contest, best juicy story contest.
5. Do anything necessary to add more fun to your program: after-run
rewards, special outfits, or shoes after specific long runs, etc.
6. Adjust your goal event so that it is more motivating. Stay at
a special hotel, get some friends to meet you there, schedule weekend
activities with your family, sibling or special friend (at events
such as the Big Sur Marathon, the original course marathon in Greece
or the Disney World Marathon).
7. Sometimes it helps to choose another goal event and adjust your
Galloway’s Book on Running (Shelter Publications, 2002),
Another mission: So, let’s get another mission started, now!
Write the date of your next project on a calendar or in a journal.
It’s best to shift gears and select a different type of mission:
a scenic trail run, a weekend trip to a big festival event, a group
run with friends you haven’t seen in a while, and so on.
If you’ve trained in a group, schedule an easy group run
three to four weeks after the race, and you’ll look forward
to the reunion. It’s okay to shift missions in mid-stream,
but be sure to have a specific event always written on the calendar.
If you wait until after your first "mission day" to choose
another goal, your letdown will be more severe.
The body follows your mental mission: The more you embrace your
new mission in advance, the quicker you’ll lose the aches
and pains of the big race. Instead of wallowing in your misery,
tell yourself that your muscles have achieved their "good
tiredness" by overcoming a great challenge – and you’re
still glowing from it. The positive mental momentum of your accomplishment
will pull you through the few days immediately after when you may
(or may not) feel that the legs don’t want to run a step.
From Jeff Galloway’s Marathon You Can Do It! (Shelter Publications,
Reserve now---Jeff Galloway’s Weekend Beach Retreat,
Blue Mountain Beach, FL
The retreat house is about a 99-second jog to the brilliant white
beach. There are 30+ miles of forest trails, a bike trail and state
parks where you can run from the house. Take a dip in the pool
after a run and philosophize. Join Jeff and his guests for the
information you need for more energy with inspiration that will
last for months. Jeff will help you set up a schedule for the goal
of your choice—and you’ll receive priority email access
in the months afterward.
Upcoming Beach Retreats:
* December 12-14
* March 12-14 with special guest Sports Nutritionist Nancy Clark
* March 26-24 with special guest John “the Penguin” Bingham
For more info, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 27 - Atlanta Marathon & Half Marathon
December 6 – Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run 5K & 10K
January 18 - Lost Dutchman Marathon
February 1 – The Home Depot San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
February 29 – Nokia Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Marathon
March 7 – Seaside Half Marathon & 5K Run
May 29 – Prince of Wales International Marathon
June 6 - Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon & Half Marathon
The Truth About Carbohydrate and Protein, By Matt Fitzgerald
The way things are going, it won’t be long before Atkins
and anti-Atkins replace liberalism and conservatism as the dominant,
competing ideologies in this country. I’m referring of course
to the high-protein, low-carb diet promoted by the late diet guru
Robert Atkins, and to the backlash against it.
All of this controversy about carbs and proteins has led many
runners to question whether the high-carbohydrate diet traditionally
recommended for runners is really the right way to go. Should we
be filling up on proteins instead? The purpose of this article
is to clarify for you what the latest science says about the roles
of carbs and protein in the life of a runner.
No Atkins for Runners
While carbohydrate continues to be demonized in the popular media
coverage of fad diets, the evidence in support of high-carbohydrate
diets for endurance athletes continues to accumulate.
As everyone knows, the Kenyans are considered to be the best distance
runners in the world. While the traditional Kenyan diet – lean,
unprocessed, and mostly vegetarian - is certainly not the only
reason behind the Kenyans' running dominance, it is very likely
a strong contributing factor.
Recently, researchers from the University of Copenhagen set out
to determine the macronutrient breakdown of this diet. They studied
the food intake of 12 adolescent male runners from the storied
Kalenjin tribe over a two-week period. They found that a whopping
71% of their daily calories came from carbohydrate, only 15% from
fat, and a mere 13% from protein. Their staple foods were corn
and kidney beans.
One of the main effects of endurance training is that it increases
the muscles’ capacity to store carbohydrate for use during
activity. A high-carbohydrate diet is required to take advantage
of this adaptation. Dozens of clinical studies have demonstrated
that the more carbohydrate an athlete has stored in his or her
muscles prior to exercise, the better he or she will perform. For
example, in a study performed at the University of Guelph, Ontario,
well-trained women were randomly assigned to either a high-carbohydrate
(78%) or a low-carbohydrate (48%) diet prior to a cycling test
to exhaustion. The women in the high-carbohydrate group were able,
on average, to continue exercising significantly longer.
Runners do need more protein in their diet than sedentary individuals,
due to the need to replace muscle proteins broken down during workouts
and races. But they only need more protein in proportion to their
overall need for more calories in general. Protein should account
for about 15% of calories consumed. Carbohydrate should account
for 60% and fat for the remaining 25%.
What tends to get lost beneath the clamor of the pro- and anti-carb
and protein ideologies is the important fact that carbohydrates
and proteins actually cooperate to boost endurance during exercise
and to promote recovery after exercise. It’s not that one
is good and the other bad. We need both, and we need them together,
to optimize running performance.
Carbohydrate is the primary fuel source for running. As you probably
know, a whole mountain of research has demonstrated that consuming
a sports drink containing 6 to 8 percent carbohydrate plus electrolytes
during workouts and races improves performance and delays fatigue.
For the past 30 years, sports drink formulas have been based on
this research. But newer research has shown that consuming a small
amount of protein with carbohydrate during exercise results in
faster delivery of carbohydrate to working muscles. This is because
both protein and carbohydrate stimulate insulin, the hormone whose
job is to transport carbohydrate into the muscle cell.
Runners generally fatigue when the working muscles’ supply
of stored carbohydrate (called glycogen) becomes depleted. So,
the faster the carbohydrate you consume during a run is delivered
to the working muscles, the more glycogen is conserved and the
more fatigue is delayed. In one study, athletes who used a carbohydrate-protein
sports drink were able to continue 24% longer than athletes who
used a conventional carbohydrate-only sports drink and 57% longer
than those who drank only water.
During prolonged runs, when carbohydrate fuel runs low, as much
as 20 percent of a runner’s energy needs are supplied by
protein. Under normal circumstances, these proteins are “stolen” from
muscle tissue. This process weakens the muscles, reducing performance,
and leads to post-exercise muscle soreness.
However, there is evidence that consuming protein can reduce muscle
protein breakdown during prolonged exercise and the weakness and
soreness that come with it. By using a sports drink or energy gel
containing protein, you are able to get the majority of the protein
your body needs for energy from this source, so your muscles are
left alone, and both your performance and your later recovery get
Getting the right amount of protein is crucial. Exercise physiologists
believe that a carbohydrate-protein ratio of 4 to 1 (that is, 4
grams of carbohydrate for each gram of protein) is optimal. When
greater amounts of protein are taken in, the rate of stomach emptying
decreases and gastrointestinal problems (e.g. stomach cramps, nausea)
It is not possible to consume enough carbohydrate during moderate-
to high-intensity exercise to replace what is burned, nor to completely
offset muscle protein degradation. So it is important to consume
additional carbohydrate and protein after the workout. This should
be done as soon as possible, because the body is able to synthesize
glycogen and protein at more than twice the normal rate due to
heightened insulin receptivity in the muscle cells following exercise.
Carbohydrate-protein sports drinks are again the best immediate
post-workout nutrition source because of their rapid absorption
and their water and electrolyte content. Using such drinks and/or
water and solid foods, you should be sure to fully replenish fluid
losses (i.e. return to pre-workout bodyweight) and consume 10-20%
of your daily carbohydrate and protein intake within the first
two hours after completing exercise.
Chances are you’re already eating more than enough protein.
Chances are, too, that you’re getting less than 60% of your
calories from carbohydrate. To find out, record everything you
eat and drink for a three-day period and use a resource such as
The Complete Book of Food Counts to determine the macronutrient
breakdown. Then tweak your diet as necessary.
It’s also likely that you’re not consuming carbohydrate
with protein during workouts. The simplest way to correct this
problem is to switch to one of the newer sports drinks such as
Accelerade that contain the ideal 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
Your body will let you know you’re doing the right thing.
Then you can tune out all that fad diet noise!
Matt Fitzgerald is the author of the forthcoming book, The Runner’s
World Guide to Cross-Training. He coaches runners and triathletes
online through Carmichael Training Systems (www.trainright.com).
The Athlete's Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark, MS, RD 10/03
THE GIFT OF GOOD FOOD FOR YOU & YOUR FRIENDS
Whether it's a gift for yourself or your exercise buddy, a gift
of good tasting but healthful food is always welcome. Yes, everyone
loves fudge brownies (for the moment), but why not give gifts that
invest in health, performance?and a happier wasitline? Here are
some gift ideas selected from the more than 60 recipes in my new
2003 Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Third Edition. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE ENERGY BARS
If you are tired of eating yet another highly-processed engineered
food, give these prize-winning energy bars a chance. They're
easy to make, less expensive than commercial energy bars (only
25 cents per bar, or $4 for the entire recipe), and they taste
1/2 c. salted dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup raisins, craisins or other dried fruit
1/2 c roasted sunflower seed kernels
2 cups raw oatmeal, quick or old fashioned
2 cups toasted rice cereal, such as Rice Crispies
1/2 cup peanut butter, crunchy or creamy
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a large bowl, mix together the peanuts, raisins, sunflower
seed kernels, oatmeal and toasted rice cereal. Set aside.
2. In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the peanut butter, brown
sugar, and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Add vanilla
and stir until blended.
3. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and
stir until coated.
4. Spoon it into an oiled 9" x 13" pan. Press down firmly.
(It helps to coat your fingers with margarine, oil or cooking spray.)
5. Let stand for an hour to harden, then cut into 16 bars.
Calories per bar: 225, 30 grams Carbohydrate, 6 grams Protein,
9 grams Fat
Recipe courtesy of the National Peanut Board: www.nationalpeanutboard.com
These light and fluffy pancakes are perfect for carbo-loading the
day before an event. As a gift, serve them for a surprise breakfast
in bed or as the highlight of a special brunch.
1/2 cup uncooked oats, quick or old fashioned
1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (or milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon
vinegar and left to stand for a few minutes)
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, as desired
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour, preferably half whole wheat and half white
1. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, yogurt, and milk. Set aside
for 15 to 20 minutes to let the oatmeal soften.
2. When the oatmeal is through soaking, beat in the egg and oil;
mix well. Add the sugar and salt, then the baking powder and flour.
Stir until just moistened. For best results, let the batter stand
for 5 minutes before cooking.
3. Heat a lightly oiled or nonstick griddle over medium-high heat
(375° for electric frying pan).
4. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle.
Turn when the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look
5. Serve with syrup, honey, applesauce, or yogurt.
Yield: 6 6"-pancakes Serving size: 2 pancakes, 330 Calories,
84 grams Carbohydrate, 13 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat
BEST EVER BANANA BREAD
This highly acclaimed recipe has been included in each edition
of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook. It's just too good to delete!
Athletes love this banana bread for fueling up before and refueling
workouts. For best results, use bananas covered with lots of brown
3 large well-ripened bananas
1 egg or 2 egg whites
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup milk
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups flour, preferably half whole wheat and half white
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Mash bananas with a fork.
3. Add egg, oil, milk, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
4. Gently blend the flour into the banana mixture and stir for
20 seconds, or until just moistened.
5. Pour into a 4" x 8" loaf pan that has been lightly
oiled, treated with cooking spray, or lined with wax paper.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the
middle comes out clean.
7. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan.
Yield: 12 slices, Calories per slice: 135, 24 grams Carbohydrate,
3 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat
Nancy Clark, MS, RD is nutrition counselor at SportsMedicine Associates
in Brookline MA (617-739-2003) and author of her new 2003 Sports
Nutrition Guidebook, Third Edition, updated with the latest
nutrition news. To order this or Nancy’s Food Guide for Marathoners,
go to http://jeffgalloway.com/merchandise/nutrition.html. "Helping
active people win with good nutrition."
830 Boylston St. #205, Brookline MA 02467
Phone: (617) 795-1875 Fax: (617) 795-1876
Foods Must List Information on Trans Fats by 2006
From American Running Association’s September/October 2003
issue of Running & Fit News, pp. 1&4
On July 9, the FDA issued a regulation requiring food manufacturers
to list trans fatty acids, or trans fats, on the Nutrition Facts
panel of foods. They have until January 1, 2006 to do so. The move
is designed to help consumers make healthier food choices, but
it could also cause manufacturers to reduce or altogether abandon
the use of trans fats in their ingredients. There is a great deal
of scientific evidence illustrating the relationship between these
fats and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Trans fats
have been shown to raise levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol).
As part of a well-known and ongoing prospective study know as the
Nurses’ Health Study, the Harvard School of Public Health
determined specific type of fat intake in 80,082 women ages 34
to 59 with validated questionnaires over a 14-year period. They
concluded, “the replacement of 2% of energy from trans fats
with energy from unhydrogenated, unsaturated fats would reduce
(heart attack) risk by 53%.
Look for trans fats wherever you’d expect to find fat: they
may be found in vegetable shortening, margarines, crackers, candies,
baked goods, fried foods, many processed foods and salad dressings.
Simply stated, saturated fats and trans fats negatively affect
cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats
(such as olive, canola, flaxseed and corn oils) have good effects.
Trans fats are never part of a healthy diet.
The FDA website (www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/transfat/) posts examples
of food labels with information on trans fats, which will help
you determine where to look for this important data. Until 2006,
however, it’s necessary to pay attention to listed ingredients
to determine trans fat levels in the foods you buy: if the ingredient
list includes the words “shortening,” “partially
hydrogenated vegetable oil,” or “hydrogenated vegetable
oil,” the food contains trans fats. Recall, too, that smaller
amounts are present when the ingredient is close to the end of
the list. Finally, the more solid a spread is at room temperature,
the more trans fats it likely contains; liquid margarine is therefore
preferable to stick margarine. (New England Journal of Medicine,
1997, Vol. 337, No. 21, pp. 1491-1499, www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/transfat/)
A Healthy Pie Crust?
With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s good
news to hear about Mother Nature’s Goodies’ Whole Wheat
Pie Shells. Each eighth of a shell has no trans fat, less than
one gram of saturated fat and around two grams of fiber not to
mention all the nutrients and phytochemicals in the whole-grain
fiber. This sounds especially good when compared to most home-baked
or store-bought shells which are made from white flour and have
about three grams of saturated or trans fat per wedge. The texture
isn’t quite the same but is reported to be “not heavy
or chewy or mushy.” Designated as the Right Choice (as opposed
to Food Porn) in the November 2003 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter
from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, p. 16. www.cspinet.org.
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