It’s Not a Sprint, It’s a Marathon.

marathon2   To say we’re excited about May 25th around here would be an understatement. On May 25th the LA Marathon will take place and New Performance will be an Official Nutrition and Supplement Sponsor. As such, I thought it would be worthwhile to give some pointers to all those who are ambitious enough to take this race on – but don’t be mistaken, these tips can be used by anyone wanting to better their physical endurance and athletic performance.   

      Physical training should precede any athletic undertaking – especially if you’re in for the long-haul 26.2. Marathon athletes should train three days a week between Monday and Thursday. There needs to be a recovery day allotted between those 4 days and Fridays are ALWAYS exercise-free. Your body needs time to recoup and heal torn muscle tissue, which will only increase your strength. Saturdays should be your most strenuous training days. The LA Marathon and the LA Roadrunners have generously provided a training schedule, so take a gander and see what you’re in for when it comes to marathon training.

     While physical training is imperative to running a marathon, your nutritional training is just as important, if not more crucial. The most essential thing you can do for yourself nutritionally is eat three balanced meals a day that include carbohydrates, protein and fat. Why is it so important to have all three? Well, let’s look at each individually and I’ll show you exactly what role they’ll play in helping you cross that finish-line.

      Carbohydrates are our bodies’ quickest source of energy. Upon consumption, carbohydrates are broken down into smaller sugars and converted into ATP– energy that is instantaneously available to working muscles. Since carbs are quickly utilized they can become depleted rather rapidly as well, leaving an athlete weary after only an hour or so of exercise. That’s why you hear athletes talk about “carb-loading because it is important to have enough carbs in storage to keep your body fueled during an extensive workout. This is called Glycogen. Glycogen is stored carbs waiting to be called on. In a depleted state your muscle can store 40% more glycogen if properly loaded! That helps immensely for the big day! Grains, pastas, yams and potatoes are just some examples of complex carbohydrates that will provide your body with the energy it needs and can build up glycogen storage. Be careful though, during training most people make the mistake of eating too many carbs and actually gain weight during this training time. Mind boggling! 

      Although carbs provide a quick energy fix, fat has the highest concentration of energy of all nutrients. While carbs will help you chug along, it is your fat that will carry you all the way through the 26.2 miles. Fat is a stored nutrient, which means that the body burns other nutrients before it digs away at its reserves.  Fat gives 13.5 times more ATP per gram than carbs do! That’s right, eating good fats also help lower cholesterol levels. Once your carbs are down to a minimum, then your body will start to burn its fat storage to enable you to perform at a longer, albeit usually slower, endurance level. Eating animal foods like milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, egg yolks and meat (fish and chicken preferable over red meat) will help you build up your fat.

      Now that you’ve got amazing stamina, you need to have the muscles to expend that energy. Proteins support your body in its repair of damaged muscle tissue that has been broken down during physical activity. Protein is a nutrient that is not stored in your body so a regular intake is necessary to aid your body in muscular strength and endurance. The great thing about eating protein is that it can be found easily in a lot of healthy foods already listed like animal meats, cheese, yogurt and eggs. And for those of you who prefer a more vegetarian diet, you can fulfill some of your protein needs by consuming incomplete protein foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and legumes.

      The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone is wired differently. An ample amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat intake for one person might be overwhelming or inadequate for another. Every individual person requires a specific amount of energy and burns that energy in a very specific way. That’s why our program at New Performance is different than any other nutritional or training program because we recognize that energy expenditure is not uniform across the board. So, whether you’re a potential marathon athlete or a treadmill-frequenter, we can design a nutrition and athletic program that will fit your individualized needs and get you up to your most optimal performance levels using your whole blood and lipid profile to determine exactly what your body needs. Find out more at http://www.newpfc.com/main/default.aspx

 

 

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