Eat Your Way to the Finish Line: 5 Nutrition Tips for a Successful Race Day

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 10-09-2014

Finish-LineYou’ve made the decision: You’re going to run a marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, 10K or any other major fitness event, like the upcoming Memorial SportsCare Women’s Biathlon. Good for you! That’s a huge undertaking. And, while training, you might hit hurdles or hard times. You might feel like giving up. But, with the right training and some healthy efforts, you can do it. Go you! 

One aspect of training that gets lost in the shuffle but is an important, necessary part of your preparation is food. Nutrition training is as important as physical training–it can make or break your experience. Angie Sebree, a registered dietitian with Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, offers her top five tips for training nutrition. 

1. It’s not you eat, but when you eat. 

Sebree offers this tip to those in training: Figure out what time your event will be. While training, eat two hours before that time every day. 

“Train your gut,” she said. “Treat every training day like it’s race day. If you plan to eat one or two hours before the event, eat that way when you train in that timeframe so you will feel the same way when training as you will on race day.” 

2. Make sure what you’re eating is substantial. 

If you have the ability to eat a meal two hours before the event, do that. Sometimes, however, that may not be feasible. 

“If the race is at 7 a.m., you might not want to eat a large meal at 5 a.m., so eat a snack an hour before,” Sebree said. 

Sebree’s rule of thumb for race day nutrition: About an hour to an hour and a half before the race, eat 20-30 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 grams of protein. You can hit these numbers with a serving of chocolate milk, a Luna bar, a Nature Valley protein bar or a hardboiled egg with two pieces of toast. 

3. Decide if you’re training for speed or weight loss. 

You will need to choose, as both might not be possible. 

“If you’re training for speed, you shouldn’t be losing weight,” Sebree said. “But if you’re training for weight loss, you should know your speed might not be your best.” 

Either way, it is still important to eat within that structured schedule. You might simply need to adjust your calories. That said…

4. Be sure you get enough calories. 

“If you don’t eat enough calories or get adequate nutrition, you’re going to get very fatigued,” Sebree said. “Your weight loss might stall. There is a fine line between eating and physical activity.”

Sebree suggests tracking your caloric input and output using MyFitnessPal or a Fitbit device.

5. Hydration is everything.

“About a week before your event, make sure you’re very hydrated–overly hydrated even,” Sebree said. “A standard 64 to 80 ounces per day plus what you’re losing during your workout.”

Not sure how to quantify how much water you’re losing? Here’s a good rule to follow: For every 30 minutes of physical activity, give yourself 10-16 ounces of fluid. 

The day of the race, two hours before event, drink about 16-24 ounces of fluid, with 12 of those ounces within an hour before the event. 

“After an hour of physical activity, start using Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing fluids,” Sebree said. “Shoot for 10 to16 ounces every 30 minutes.”

Biathlon Participant: ‘I want to finish strong’

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, SportsCare, Women | Posted on 14-08-2014

Deb Whitson, left, with her friend Deb Kerley, preparing for a ride on the Centennial Bike Trail in Springfield

Deb Whitson, left, with her friend Deb Kerley, preparing for a ride on the Centennial Bike Trail in Springfield

Deb Whitson had thought about doing the Women’s Biathlon before. But she didn’t.

“I always thought I couldn’t,” she said. “I thought you had to be a top-class athlete or something.”

This year, thanks to the invitation of her friend Deb Kerley (the two friends refer to themselves as “Deb Squared”), Whitson plans to participate in Memorial’s SportsCare’s annual Women’s Biathlon on Sept. 21. Biathlon participants will bike 12 miles and then complete a 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk.

Since December, Whitson has been working to get in better shape. With the exception of a few weeks this summer when she was directing a show at Theatre in Park in New Salem, she has gone to the YMCA several days a week. As a result, she has lost 30 pounds and increased her activity, strength and endurance.

“I thought about Deb Kerley’s suggestion, and I wanted a way to maintain a structured workout routine – which I can easily fall out of with work and other activities. And I thought it would be really cool to finish a biathlon,” Whitson said.

Deb Squared signed up for the Biathlon Brigade, a new 12-week training program SportsCare introduced this year to help participants train. Athletes meet twice a week and receive direction on how to safely and effectively get in shape for the event. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Improve Your Results Before Surgery

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Orthopedics, SportsCare | Posted on 10-06-2014

Rambach-05Before receiving knee replacement surgery, Libby Rambach took advantage of Memorial Medical Center’s patient optimization program to improve her outcomes.

“Everything was tailored to what I wanted to do and what my outcomes were,” she explained in the video below. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Reasons New Runners Must Cross-train

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 12-05-2014

Woman-on-BicycleFor people who are new to running, adding in “cross-training” to a schedule can seem overwhelming. Other runners who are getting into training habits often don’t want to cross-train for fear of losing progress. However, cross-training needs to be a part of your exercise routine.

Cross-training for runners involves activities, such as biking, swimming or yoga, that exercise different muscles and are not as high-impact on the joints.

“While cross-training sounds like a break and is less intense, it actually helps strengthen the entire body and supports healthy, effective training,” said Gabe Stinson, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial’s SportsCare.

Still not convinced you need to cross-train? Stinson gives three reasons you should: Read the rest of this entry »

I Want to Run a 5K … But I’m Not a Runner: 3 Tips to Get Started

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 15-04-2014

RunnersWhat motivates people – who otherwise never run – to train to run a 5K? Sometimes it’s to support and raise money for a special cause. There are charity 5Ks every weekend – including several fun ones coming up in Springfield. (Click on a list of Memorial-sponsored upcoming races and walks here.) Other people just want to try something that may seem unattainable.

Gabe Stinson, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare, shares his expertise with those wanting to cross the finish line of a 5K this spring or summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Sprain, Strain or Break: What’s the Difference?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, SportsCare, Winter | Posted on 27-01-2014

Older Man with Injured Leg in SnowWhether you are braving the icy, snowy weather or playing an indoor sport for exercise, winter can be a time when injuries to bones and muscles occur. If — or when — that happens, do you know the difference between a strain, a sprain and a break?

John Gee, a physical therapist for Memorial’s SportsCare, explains:

Strains occur in muscles and/tendons (the tissue that connects muscle to bone) and are most commonly caused by overuse (such as sports that require excessive jumping). However, any activity that causes a muscle to be twisted, pulled, overstretched or torn, such as a fall on the ice, can result in a strain. The most common symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasms/weakness, swelling, inflammation and cramping. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond Weight Lifting and Agility Training

Posted by | Posted in ALMH, SportsCare | Posted on 19-08-2013

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Max Cook, senior, Lincoln Community High School

Max Cook is serious about improving his basketball game.

A senior this fall at Lincoln Community High School, Max has his sights set on earning an athletic scholarship. The 17-year-old is turning to the staff at Memorial SportsCare at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital to help him sharpen his game.

“Staying ahead of the competition is never easy. For some local athletes, weight lifting and agility training may not be enough,” said Missy Anderson, athletic trainer. “That’s why we offer an 18-session Performance Plus Program for those athletes ready to get a step ahead of the competition.” Read the rest of this entry »

How Yoga Supports Your Workout Regimen

Posted by | Posted in Events, Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 11-04-2013

Yoga ClassNeed a low-impact exercise to compliment your cardio and strength-building exercises?

Just say, “om.”

Yoga — a set of body movements intended to stretch parts of the body while also focusing on breath control —is a great way to enhance your workout routine, said Gabriel Stinson, MS, PES, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.

“Moving through and holding the various positions of yoga focuses on improving strength, flexibility and cardiovascular function,” Stinson said. “It’s also a great stress reliever. It provides a great workout while refreshing the mind and body.” Read the rest of this entry »

Training for a Tough Mudder

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 28-03-2013

mud runThe first time Gabe Stinson learned about a Tough Mudder race from a friend, he was intrigued. And once he participated in his first – he was hooked.

 Whether it’s a Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder  or Spartan Race, they’re gaining in popularity,” said Stinson, MS, a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.

Though more people are participating, these competitive events —  which combine off-road running through fields or rough terrain and challenging obstacles — are not for everyone, Stinson cautioned. Training is very different from training for a traditional road race. Read the rest of this entry »

Experts Urge Bounce House Safety Precautions

Posted by | Posted in ExpressCare, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Safety, SportsCare | Posted on 17-12-2012

Inflatable bounce houses are becoming a staple at backyard birthday parties and other outdoor gatherings. But with children’s more frequent exposure to these popular party attractions comes a higher likelihood of injury, experts are finding.

A new study, which looked at numbers from 1990 to 2010, found that more than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, twice the number from 2008. The study found that most injuries occurred from falls and collisions with other jumpers; more than half of the injuries included fractures, sprains and strains.

While the study couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increased number of bounce house-related injuries, the authors suggest their growing popularity, which Paul Kircher, ATC/L, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare, said he agrees with. Read the rest of this entry »