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Seawheeze Q&A: Top Nutritional Tips for Half-Marathon Race Preparation

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Seawheeze Q&A: Top Nutritional Tips for Half-Marathon Race Preparation

Vega Sport will be one of the key sources of clean nutritional fuel for Lululemon’s Seawheeze half-marathon race on Saturday, August 11th, and we recently teamed up during a pre-race  live “Ask a Trainer” Q & A session via Facebook  and Twitter to help the runners prepare for the race.

Hosted live by Lululemon’s Seawheeze Tacklebox Trainer, Rob Tubajon, and Emma Cutfield,  Holistic Nutritionist & Vega’s Education Manager, the questions poured in fast and furious, just as runners from across North America will soon for the race!

Many of the questions captured some of the most common FAQ’s for runners of any distance, and the answers represent expert nutrition advice  that anyone training for an upcoming endurance event could benefit from.  We thought we’d share the highlights here with you now as we all get pumped for SeaWheeze next week!

Q1: What’s the best pre-race breakfast?

A1: We love plant-based breakfasts for ease of digestion and nutrient density. Top up your tanks with a complete meal 1-2 hours before your event, and a pre-workout carbohydrate based beverage, or piece of fruit 20-30 minutes before the race.

When race day jitters set in, and your adrenalin is starting to spike from the moment your alarm goes off, ease of digestion is crucial to maximize your absorption of nutrients crucial to the race. Start incorporating these pre-run breakfasts during your training to ensure you feel great fueling with one of the following options:

  1. Power Smoothie: Use potassium rich bananas or mango as your fruit base, combined with a scoop of Vega One, or Vega Protein Smoothie, 1-1.5 cups of water, non-dairy beverage (dairy can increase digestive cramping), or coconut water. This is great if you feel quite nervous, and the thought of solid food makes you a little queasy.
  2. Sprouted, whole grain or sourdough toast (for digestibility) with coconut oil (as a spread) and natural fruit jam, or an Endurance Gel (used in place of jam and coconut oil, spread on toast). The natural fruit sugars provide quickly digested carbohydrates that your body can convert into glycogen for working muscles. Coconut oil, (also found in the Endurance Gel) is an easily digested medium chain triglyceride to support sustained activity.
  3. Gluten free porridge using a pseudograin such as buckwheat, or gluten free oats. Stir in a spoonful of nut or seed butter for sustained energy, and sweeten with fruit, maple syrup or agave nectar.

Q2: How do I prevent cramping mid race?

A2: Electrolytes are key to reducing the potential for cramping. Your key electrolytes are sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium & magnesium. Aside from emphasizing foods rich in these minerals in the lead up to the race, consider replenishing either morning of, or mid race with an electrolyte beverage. Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator contains a balanced electrolyte profile, and can be mixed into your hip flask (it will also be supplied on course during the SeaWheeze!), or coconut water can be used, as one of nature’s best natural electrolyte sources. You can also make your own version with recipes found in Brendan Brazier’s book “Thrive Fitness”.

Also try & avoid dairy or high fiber foods the morning of the race, as these can lead to digestive cramping, affecting your breathing, form and concentration.

Q3: Do I need to fuel up mid run?

A3: Re-fueling with additional carbohydrates during the race helps sustain energy, as well as protects muscles from breakdown. When carbohydrate (glycogen) stores are depleted (typically 60 mins into a workout), the body begins to burn the next available fuel source, protein (which is comprised of amino acids, stored in your muscles). This muscular breakdown is inefficient, and can contribute to muscle loss in the long run (literally). Use a carbohydrate based gel, or chew every 45 minutes to maintain glycogen levels for efficient energy release. Look for endurance products that don’t contain maltodextrin, a sweetener which commonly induces bloating.
If you can’t stand the thought of using a gel, try mixing it with water into your hip flask, or hand held water bottle, or consuming dried fruits such as dates (which can be found in Vega Sport’s Endurance Gel).

The Vega team will be live on-site at SeaWheeze in downtown Vancouver on August 10 & 11, 2012 (wearing bright green t-shirts!), sharing clean plant-based nutritional fuel as we help Seawheeze runners prepare, sustain, and recover from their half-marathon run. If you’re in the area, come check us out and cheer everyone on!   If you’re not, stay tuned for race highlights afterwards, and maybe we’ll see you next year!

For more info on the SeaWheeze weekend, click here:   www.seawheeze.comartyHeart

Emma Andrews

Emma Andrews is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, certified in Plant-based Cooking. An endurance runner and cross-training addict, Emma believes the kitchen is your playground. She loves exploring new and innovative ingredients, recipes and food trends almost as much as she loves beating a personal best in trail and road races all around North America. Her motto? “Live a life that’s anything but average!” Learn more about her work as a public speaker and wellness educator at emmamazing.com or join her on social @emmamazing_life
Emma Andrews