Newsletter: Volume 32, October 2001
"A marathon begins with a single step . . . A lifestyle change
begins with a vision and a single step." Jeff Galloway
The fall marathon season is in full swing. Here are some tips from
Jeff that just might help you if yours is coming up:
Marathon Day Checklist
- Drink four to six ounces of water every hour.
- Mentally rehearse the marathon: feeling good, overcoming challenges,
- Eat small carbohydrate snacks constantly.
- Relax with friends or family.
The Night Before
- Drink four to six ounces of water every hour.
- Eat light carbohydrate snacks like energy bars.
- Relax, laugh, enjoy the moment.
- Go over the procedure, route, etc. for getting to the start.
- Do a very relaxed mental rehearsal of the marathon, concentrating
on the positive.
- Pack your bag.
Your Marathon Bag Should Contain
- Race number and pins
- Race instructions, map, etc.
- Copy of "Marathon Morning List˛ (in tomorrow's email) and
a copy of your magic marathon words
- Prepare to bring a controversial issue, at least one interesting
story and at least one joke
- Shoes, socks, shirt, shorts, and warm-up suit
- Other clothes if it's cold: tights, polypro top, long-sleeved
T, gloves, hat, ear covering, etc.
- Water (about 32-64 ounces)
- Bandages, Vaseline, etc.
- $20-30 for reserve funds (rapid transit tokens, etc.)
- Energy bars or your chosen carbohydrate source (enough for start,
second half, and after)
- Fanny pack or plastic bags, pins
- Some extra "throwaway" shirts and/or pants as extra
layers in case the staging area is cold
- Garbage bags as an inexpensive waterproof top and ground cover
Marathon Morning List
- Drink four to six ounces of water every 30 minutes until you
- Eat - according to the schedule which has worked for you in
the long runs (example: one energy bar with eight ounces of water,
one to two hours before the start).
- Bring your bag, car keys, etc.
- Leave at least 30 minutes before you think you'll need to leave
. . . in case of traffic, etc.
- If you have several hours at race site before start, stay warm,
get off your feet and relax.
- Sixty minutes before the start, walk around the staging area
to mentally rehearse lining up.
- Thirty minutes before the start, walk around for 15 minutes
to get the legs moving.
- Jog for three to five minutes (very slowly) just before lining
- Keep the legs moving, in place if necessary, as you stand waiting
for the start.
- If going for a time goal, get to the starting area early enough
to secure a good place.
- Most of us with the goal "to finish˛ should line up in
the back of the crowd.
- Joke around; enjoy the energy and personalities of the folks
- Go out slowly. If it's hot, go out even slower!
- Get over to the side of the road and take every walk break,
from the beginning.
- Drink at every water station until you hear sloshing in your
- If you feel warm, pour water over your head at each water stop.
- Each walk break gives you a chance to appreciate and enjoy every
- When tired shorten your stride.
- Don't stretch during the run or immediately afterward.
- You may cut out the walk breaks after mile 18 if you're feeling
- Grab water and carbohydrate food(s).
- Walk, eat and drink for at least a mile.
- If possible, immerse your legs in a cold bath, as soon after
the finish as possible.
- Walk for 30 to 60 minutes later in the day.
- Eat carbohydrate snacks continuously for the rest of the day.
- Drink four to six ounces of water or electrolyte fluid (at least)
- Walk for 30 to 60 minutes the next day.
- Run/walk for 30 to 45 minutes two days after the marathon.
- Continue to alternate: walk 30 to 60 minutes and run/walk 30
to 45 minutes.
- Wait at least a week before you 1) schedule your next race and
2) vow never to do another marathon.
from Jeff Galloway's new Marathon!
(Phidippides Publication, 2000), p. 116
Q: I am not sure if you can help me with this question since
you are a man, but I am having a problem with my sports bra rubbing
on my chest and causing open wounds. It is the only problem I am
encountering with my marathon training. If it is this bad after
one hour, imagine how it would be after twenty-six miles! If you
have any tips on lubricants, or any other advice please let me know.
This is rather embarrassing, but Runners World never writes about
it. Thanks for your time.
Jeff: My wife, Barb, has this problem all the time. Occasionally
the use of a product called "compeed" helps to protect the skin
and reduce friction. Unfortunately this does not work for long runs.
She has found 2 bras by Nike that have worked because the band across
the bottom in front is soft, and covered entirely by nylon. The
model numbers are the following: 281107 and 281103. This is a real
problem and you must keep trying to find the best product for you.
The Athlete's Kitchen
By Nancy Clark, MS, RD
Transit Troubles and Intestinal Concerns
"More marathons are won or lost in the porta-toilets than at the
dinner table" proclaimed marathon king Bill Rodgers while talking
to a group of runners. You can fully understand the truth in that
statement if you are among the many athletes who worry about unwanted
pit stops, abdominal cramps or diarrhea. Transit troubles and gastro-intestinal
(GI) concerns are surprisingly common among both athletes and non-athletes
An estimated 30 to 50% of distance runners experience intestinal
problems related to exercise.
The vast majority (83%) of 471 marathoners who completed a survey
reported they suffered GI problems occasionally or frequently during
or after running: 53% experienced the urge to have a bowel movement
and 38% reported diarrhea. Women were more likely than men to experience
Among 155 mountain marathoners, 24% had intestinal symptoms; 2
dropped out due to GI troubles.
Dieters (including athletes--and those with eating disorders) are
more likely than non-dieters to report abdominal pain, bloating,
diarrhea and constipation.
In a random survey of 2,500 Americans, 40% reported one or more
digestive symptoms in the month prior to the interview: abdominal
pain (22%), bloating (16%), diarrhea (27%). These problems were
more prevalent than expected and more prevalent among women than
men. Given the above data, we need to acknowledge this fact: bowel
problems are a concern for many active people. Yet this topic is
rarely discussed; few athletes feel comfortable discussing their
dilemma with diarrhea. This article addresses this concern and hopefully
can reduce your transit troubles.
Causes of "runners' trots"
Many physiological facts help explain why diarrhea is a concern
for athletes, particularly athletes in running-type sports: "jostling"
of the intestines; reduced blood flow to the intestines as the body
diverts blood flow to the working muscles; changes in intestinal
hormones; altered absorption; dehydration. Add high intensity exercise,
stress, anxiety, pre-event jitters, and little wonder athletes--particularly
young and novice athletes whose bodies are yet unaccustomed to the
stress of hard exercise--fret about "nervous diarrhea." Exercise--specifically
more exercise than your body is accustomed to doing--increases intestinal
activity. (Even strength training accelerates transit time from
an average of 44 hours to 20 hours in healthy, untrained 60 year
old men). As your body adjusts to exercise, you may resume standard
bowel movements. But not always, as witnessed by the number of experienced
runners who carry toilet paper with them during exercise, and also
know the whereabouts of every public toilet on the route.
To help alleviate the problem, try exercising lightly before the
event to help empty the bowels. Experiment with training at different
times of the day. Visualize yourself exercising with no intestinal
problems; the problem may resolve with a positive mindset and experience.
Fuel wisely; the following nutrition tips might help reduce the
1) Reduce your intake of high fiber cereals. You don't need the
roughage! Fiber increases fecal bulk and movement, thereby reducing
transit time. Triathletes with a high fiber intake reported more
GI complaints than those with a lower fiber intake.
2) Limit "sugar-free" foods such as sugar-free gum and hard candies
that contain sorbitol. This type of sugar can cause diarrhea.
3) Keep a food & diarrhea chart to pinpoint food triggers. Take
away any suspicious foods--excessive intakes of juice, coffee, fresh
fruits, raisins, dried fruits, beans, lentils, milk, high fiber
breads and cereals--for a week and then eat a big portion. Observe
changes in bowel movements. If you stop having diarrhea when you
stop eating bran cereal (but have a worrisome situation when you
eat an extra-large portion), the answer becomes obvious: eat less
bran cereal. To find the food culprit, you may need to look carefully
at your prior diet, because food moves through most people's intestines
in 1-3 days. A simple way to learn your personal transit time is
to eat sesame seeds, corn or beets--foods that can be seen in feces.
4) Drink extra water to maintain hydration. GI complaints are common
in runners who have sweated off more than 4% of their body weight.
(That's 6 lb. for a 150 lb. athlete.) These same runners often believe
the ingestion of fluid causes the diarrhea. The truth is the dehydration
that occurs due to inadequate fluid intake is the true culprit.
5. When all else fails, you might want to consult with your doctor
about occasionally using an anti-diarrhea medicine (such as Imodium).
This may have side effects that hinder performance; be educated.
The bottom line (so to speak): You are not alone with your concerns.
By experimenting with different food and exercise patterns, you
may find a welcome solution.
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, nutrition counselor and Director of Nutrition
Services at SportsMedicine Associates in Brookline MA, teaches individuals
how to build their nutrition skills. Her best seller, Nancy Clark's
Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Second Edition, is available via www.nancyclarkrd.com
or by sending $22 to Sports Nutrition Services, 830 Boylston St.
#205, Brookline MA 02467. Phone: (617) 795-1875 Fax: (617) 795-1876.
Book and sports nutrition teaching materials are also available
at this site.
More Tips from Jeff
Eat - to hold your blood sugar up for the first half.
One of the reasons I've advocated eating before all of your long
runs is to discover the foods and the pattern of eating which will
work best for you in the marathon itself. You should use what has
worked best for you in your food countdown before long runs. Eating
about 200 to 250 calories of high quality carbohydrate about an
hour before a long one has helped many runners to stabilize their
blood sugar level for the first half of the marathon.
Eat during the second half of the marathon.
Eating small carbohydrate snacks during the second half of the marathon
has helped marathoners improved time goals by boosting the blood
sugar level. This maintains mental concentration, sustains a positive
mental attitude, and reduces the opportunity for negative left brain
messages to creep in.
Sometimes you Feel Like a Nut
from GOODIESNEWS Digest for Tuesday, August 28, 2001
*** CLASSIC PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES ***
You can make a healthy peanut butter sandwich, or you can make one
that's the PITS, nutritionally.
Start with whole-wheat or whole-grain bread. For the jelly, skip
the sugar. Look for fruit-sweetened jelly, or a made from fruit
How about adding fresh fruit with peanut butter? Apple slices or
banana slices with peanut butter taste terrific.
*** LUNCHBOX SPECIAL ***
Spread freshly ground peanut butter, over a layer of no sugar added
strawberry or grape jam. For something different, try it with raspberry
or apricot preserves.
***LONG LIVE THE KING PB SANDWICH***
Reported to be Elvis's favorite: A grilled peanut Butter sandwich,
stuffed with sliced bananas and honey.
*** CINNAMON-RAISIN PEANUT BUTTER***
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons raisins
2 tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese
1/2 apple sliced thin
2 slices whole wheat bread toasted
Mix cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter together in a small bowl.
Spread mixture on one slice of toast. Spread cream cheese on other
slice of toast and top with apple slices. Fold slices together to
make the sandwich.
*** PEANUT BUTTER POWER SANDWICHES ***
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoons shelled sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons honey
8 slices whole wheat bread
In small bowl combine all ingredients except bread and mix well.
Spread mixture on 4 bread slices; top with remaining bread. 4 sandwiches
*** Peanut Butter and Banana Dog***
Linda's fast food invention! peanut butter Mayonnaise or Nayonnaise
banana hot dog roll (whole wheat if you can find it)
Check with a grown-up before starting this. Spread some peanut
butter on the one side of the roll. Spread mayo on the other side
of the roll. Add a peeled banana (whole). Close the sandwich and
take a big luscious bite!
Healthy Food Should Taste GOOD!
Editor: Linda Randall
Publisher: Good Stuff Delicious Nutrition
From "Health & Fitness"
edited by Beth Moxey Eck, Runner's World, November 2001, pp. 24-25
Strengthen your bones. A new study at the Centers of Disease
Control and Prevention shows that running just once a month can
help keep your bones strong. The study looked at 4,000 men, 900
of whom ran at least once a month, and 3,100 men who did not run.
Researchers found that average bone density in the thigh was five
percent higher in runners than nonrunners, even for those men who
only ran once a month. Those who ran the most during the month (nine
times or more) had the highest bone density.
10 Minutes to Nirvana: Exercising for just 10 minutes a
day can improve your mental outlook, suggests a study in the July
issue of Health Psychology. Once a week for four weeks, 14 college
females engaged in one of four activities: riding an exercise bike
for 10, 20, or 30 minutes, or sitting quietly for 30 minutes. Before
and after each test, study participants took a mood survey, which
showed that even 10 minutes of exercise significantly boosted mood.
Check this out: Today, about half of all adults are considered
overweight, and childhood obesity has doubled in the last 20 years.
To help you combat weight problems and understand proper nutritional
guidelines, the Federal Government has created a new Web site, www.nutrition.gov,
which includes lots of information on nutrition, health eating,
physical activity, food safety, and more.
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