Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nutrition for Marathon Runners


How much fluid do I need?

Should I drink water or a sports drink?

What type of food is best for energy?

How soon can I eat before training?

Good nutrition should form an important component of your preparation for running a marathon. Just as you will plan aspects of your training such as increasing your distance training and improving your training time you will also need to plan your diet carefully. How much fluid do I need?It is important to be well hydrated before, during and after training. The best way to ensure this is to drink early and often.
When you exercise, your body looses water through sweating and through vapour on your breath. If this water is not replaced you will become dehydrated. Even a slight amount of dehydration can have negative effects: your body will not be able to regulate your core temperature and you will overheat, you may also experience nausea and light headedness. Left unchecked dehydration can lead to collapse.
The amount of fluid you need depends on the length of time you spend exercising, the intensity of your exercise and the weather. Studies show that many athletes drink only about half the volume they need. In general, you should aim to drink 150ml-200ml every 15 minutes during exercise. However, if it is a hot day or your exercise route is hilly (higher intensity) you will need to drink more.

Should I drink water or a sports drink?

The energy needed to run a marathon exceeds the amount of energy stored as carbohydrate (CHO) in the body. Carbohydrate, fat and protein stores will all help to keep you going during the marathon itself but carbohydrate is the most efficient at providing energy. Following a high carbohydrate diet all during the training period will help expand your body stores of carbohydrate, but these stores alone will not last the entire marathon event. It is important therefore that you drink an isotonic sports drink during training and during the marathon itself.
These drinks contain carbohydrate and will help to supplement your energy needs and avoid fatigue during the race. They can be bought in most shops and supermarkets. Popular brands include Powerade, Gatorade and Lucozade Sport. Alternatively, you can make your own by mixing 200ml squash/cordial with 800ml water and 1g (pinch) table salt.
Recent studies show that sipping isotonic drinks during exercise also helps to protect the immune system. This is good news for athletes who, in general, are more susceptible to infection than non-athletes because of what is described as an 'open window' of impaired immunity that follows heavy or prolonged exercise. The 'window' may be open for between 3-72 hours after exercise.
The early weeks, as you build up your training distances, are a good time to practice drinking during training. Find a sports drink that you like the taste of. Experiment with different brands and homemade versions of drinks until you find one you like. Also, it is easier to drink a cool rather than a very cold drink so it is a good idea to take your fluid bottle out of the fridge an hour before you start training.
Drinks should not contain caffeine or alcohol. Avoid carbonated/fizzy drinks also as they tend to cause gastric upset.

What type of food is best for energy?

Carbohydrate (CHO) is the most efficient form of energy and all athletes are recommended to follow a high carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrate-rich foods include bread, crackers and bagels; pasta, noodles, rice and couscous; breakfast cereals; fruit and milk.
The longer you spend training the more carbohydrate you need. The table below will help you calculate your daily carbohydrate needs.
Duration of Training
CHO needs
1-2 hours/day
6-7g CHO/Kg body weight/day
2-4 hours/day
7-8g CHO/Kg body weight/day
4+ hours/day
8-10g CHO/Kg body weight/day
So, if you weigh 68kg when you begin training, you should be eating 408g CHO every day. This should be spread throughout the day. For example, aim to eat 100g CHO with each main meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), 50g CHO as a snack two hours before training and a 50g CHO snack directly after training.
For example, to reach the 100g carbohydrate target at main meals, include any two of the following foods or drinks at every meal:

Breakfast cereal, milk and sugar (large bowl);

Toast (4 slices);

Sandwich/roll (2 rounds of sandwiches or demi-baguette);

Pasta-based meal like spaghetti bolognaise or lasagne;

Potatoes (2 large, baked);

Rice (4 serving spoons);

Noodles (400g);

Soft Tortillas (flour tortilla wraps);

Fruit juice (500ml);


Fruit yoghurt/yoghurt drink (2 pots);

2 pints milk.
If you are finding it difficult to eat the large amounts of carbohydrate recommended for sport, sports drinks, some of which contain up to 50g CHO per can will help meet your carbohydrate needs. Sweets and confectionery bars also have a high carbohydrate content and can be used occasionally to top up your daily carbohydrate intake.
The following foods contain 50g CHO and will be helpful as snacks between meals to help top up your carbohydrate needs:

2 crusty bread rolls;

4 slices toast;

6 jaffa cakes;

Large bowl of cereal;

5 fig rolls;

1 Mars bar;

2 cans Lucozade Sport;

1 can of Gatorade NRG.

How soon can I eat before training?

Eating the right foods in the right quantities will help you build up your energy stores and fight fatigue. However, it is also important to eat at the right times. Aim to eat a high carbohydrate meal 2-4 hours before training and pack a carbohydrate-rich snack or sandwich and a drink in your kit bag to eat immediately after exercise.

AuthorNuala Collins,BSc. Human Nutrition, Dip Dietetics and Nutrition, Cert Allergy, Accreditated Sports Dietitian

Friday, April 27, 2007


The surest way to blow a 5-K is to start too fast. But just how fast is too fast?

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire examined the effect of different pacing strategies on 5-K performance. Their subjects were 11 female runners from the school's cross-country team, who trained an average of 35 miles per week and had 5-K PRs ranging from 18 to 21 minutes. After running two 5-K time trials to establish a baseline pace, the subjects then completed three more 5-Ks using decidedly different pacing strategies: The subjects ran the first mile of each race either equal to, three percent faster, or six percent faster than their established baseline pace per mile. After the first mile, the subjects could change their pace to finish as quickly as possible.

The results surprised everyone familiar with the go-out-easy approach. Eight of the 11 women ran their best 5-K times (averaging 20:39) when they ran the first mile six percent faster than their baseline pace. The other three subjects posted their best times (20:52) going out three percent faster than baseline pace. The even-paced runners produced the slowest times, averaging 21:11. The faster-starting women did slow down more during the race, but the even-paced runners simply couldn't make up the time lost in a slower start.

So how is it that these runners achieved their best times by logging their first mile a seemingly suicidal 26 seconds faster than their predicted 5-K pace? According to the study, at the end of the first mile, the even-paced runners were at only 78 percent of their VO2 max, an effort level more akin to a tempo run than a 5-K race--below their potential. The three-percent and six-percent faster starts put the subjects at 82 and 83 percent of VO2 max after the first mile, which is closer to the intensity you'd expect from an experienced runner racing the first mile of a 5-K.

So should we all go out as fast as possible in every race? Not exactly. Moderately trained runners may benefit from a faster start because they're probably not starting fast enough in the first place. The researchers suggest that their study findings are probably most applicable to competitive open and master's division runners, not elites who already know how best to push themselves right from the gun or beginners who totally lack a sense of pacing. And even competitive runners shouldn't try the go-out-fast strategy in longer races, when other variables become more important than first-mile pace--like, say, finishing another 25.2 miles.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Larian Bersama Bomba Participants - 6/5/07

Men Open
1) Carls Chua
2) TH Lee
3) CW Ng
4) Gary Chua
5) Calvin Sim
6) KP

Men Junior Veteran
1) CS Wan

Men Jr- 7K
1) Jason

Women Open
1) Nurul
2) Siti
3) Christine

Women Veteran
1) BS Tan


Another big turnout from our members and colleague.
According to the BOMBA officer, they will increase additional 25 medals for each categories.
Members for Men Category (100 medals), in order to grab the medal, below 53minutes is required.
Good Luck

2007 Power Run

Medal No.19. Position No.142, 57:19 minutes... will put more effort in training and look forward better result for coming BOMBA Run

Port Dickson

Port Dickson - Thunder Storm Run

1/4/07, PD Half Marathon

Results :

KP : 1:53
Hoo : 1:59
Cheng : 2:06

Best Timing so far for three of us....eventhough in this type of conditions.
Will further improved in the coming events