Archive for the ‘race training’ Category

What do you eat before you run?


What do you eat after you run?


Do you have a tried and true method for race day eating success or do you just wing it?


What I love about my dietetic program is that I’m learning the science of food.  Now eating isn’t so much guess work, but the result of a scientific equation to provide my body the energy it needs in different circumstances.
I wasn’t always this sure in my food choices.  When training for my first marathon in 2008 I gained 8 pounds.  I also ate peanut butter M & M’s and Gatorade for a pre-race meal.  Good stuff! 🙂

Yeah- I was a little bigger in 08. That’s the difference high intensity weight training and good nutrition makes! And avoiding bags of peanut M&M’s! And yes that really was my race number.


Here’s the science and the generally accepted pre/post workout food recommendations. Just in case you’re a nerd like me and wanted to know!


– Carbohydrates

  • They’re good. Mr. Atkins kinda cast them in a bad light, but in terms of performance they are your bestest friend!  
  • Your body uses carbs for energy during prolonged exercise and carbs require less oxygen to burn than protein or fat.  Less oxygen to burn = more oxygen to breathe! 

– Pre-exercise

  • A high carb meal pre-exercise will maintain blood glucose and maximize glycogen stores in your muscles.
  • The meal should be moderate in protein, low in fat, and low in fiber. Why? Well the fiber one should be easy to figure out (hello port-a-potty)…for the fat…fat  takes longer to digest.  If you’re digesting fat, your body can’t commit all it’s resources/energy to helping you run better.
  • The amount (in grams) of carbs you should eat depends on how far out you are from the start of your event.  I like to use the hour rule:
    • If you event is in 1 hour: 1 gram of carbs per kilogram of body weight.  To determine your weight in kg divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 For me that’s 130/2.2 = 59.1kg. So that’s 59.1g or carbs or 236 calories from carbs. 1.25 cups of cereal has about 27g and a banana has 19g. Add a swig of Gatorade and I should be good to go!
    • If your event is in 2 hours: 2g of carbs per kg
    • If your event is in 3 hours: 3g of carbs per kg
    • If you event is in 4 hours: 4g of carbs per kg
  • Test your pre-run meal.  Everyone’s stomach is different so find what works for you.
Kyle’s pre race meal

– During the race

  • If your event is over an hour your body will need not only water but food to fuel you!  
  • A good rule of thumb is 30-60g of carbohydrates during exercise.  This can easily come from sports drinks, chews, or gu’s.
  • Be aware that fruit alone might not be your best mid-race choice.  Fructose (the sugar in fruit) isn’t as quickly absorbed.
– Post- race
  • You did it!  Now eat!  If it’s a race you finished I’m sure you’re off to celebrate with a “cheat” meal…I know I do! 
    • If it’s a training run, however you might want to me more strict with your post race meal.  Post run/workout meals are vital, because that’s what helps refuel and repair your muscles for your next workout.
  • 30-45 minutes is the window in which you need to eat!
  • Aim to repair with 0.5g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.  For me that’s about 30g of carbs.  A little more then a banana.
  • Protein is also key here to muscle recovery so aim for 10-20g after endurance training.
  • It’s often said to recover in a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein and chocolate milk is a great example of a perfect post workout food.
Would we call that a good post race food? It has carbs!

– Fatigue

  • If you’re feeling exhausted during training/races here are some nutrition related causes of fatigue to look into:  insufficient calories, insufficient carbs, iron-deficiency, or dehydration.
For my race on Sunday I had my traditional race breakfast of a whole wheat bagel with 1T of peanut butter, coffee, and a banana.  I could also have had 1 cup of Kashi + 1/2 cup of chex + raisins. Both set well with my stomach. I’ll also have some honey and a sports drink 30 minutes before the event.


Once you’re fueled then it’s all on your and your training to have a great race!


What’s your favorite pre-race meal?

Kyle’s typical post race cheat meal



Love and glucose, 
Carissa & Kyle

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But I CAN run

Posted: January 19, 2012 in race training

I have a half marathon on Sunday. Win.
I sprained my ankle 3 weeks ago and have only ran 8 miles since then. Fail.
I was training hard to PR. Win.
My endurance and speed dropped since my injury. Fail.


I went out on a 5 mile run on Tuesday to lightly test my ankle and give my legs some energy for the race on Sunday.  My ankle didn’t hurt except for a little bit at mile 4.  That’s a good thing.  

The bad thing was that my endurance just wasn’t there.  I was trying to push and “go fast” but 3 out of the 5 miles were above the pace I would need to reach my half marathon goal time.
When I run my thoughts are all over the place.  I’m in my head counting pace and calculating speeds.  I’d be thrilled on the fast miles and then feel defeated on the long ones.  
By the end mile 5 the reality that I probably wouldn’t make my goal time set in.  I know there’s race day adrenaline, but the race has 4 steep bridge climbs people. FOUR!
Truly I was bummed for about a half mile, but then I found a new perspective.  I may not run as fast as I wanted to on Sunday, but I CAN run! I can physically power myself over 13.1+ miles with my legs.  My injury helped me see what a beautiful thing that was.  It was so frustrating to be sitting in the airport in a wheelchair waiting for someone to come push me.  It felt so helpless…but today I can run.  And I think that’s a gift.

Kyle and some of his clients after a 5k

The injury was definitely disappointing and it’s the first one I’ve had in many years (besides my neck which is more chronic then acute). There are other races. Do I want to have to re-do all those nasty repeat 800’s I did?  No. But I will.  And I’ll hate them all over again. But then I’ll remember how good it feels to run and that I can run. 

Kyle’s client Rafael finishing another half marathon!

Mark my words – someday I’ll finish a half marathon with a 1 in front of my time instead of a 2.  

2011 Half – 2:06

Will it be Sunday? Will it be this year? Who knows. But as long as I can run I’ll be fighting and that is something worth feeling good about.


Love and inclines,
Carissa & Kyle

Today I have a challenge for all of you.  A physical challenge (a la Double Dare!) And there may even be a great prize for one lucky reader who completes it.  It’s not hard. And I know you can do it!
Are you ready?
I want you to get up and get moving for 30 minutes of physical activity before Christmas!
Can you do it?
You can walk, jog, run, bike, rollerblade, lift weights, take a group exercise class, throw the football…just get MOVING!
So many of us wait until January 1st to attack our New Year’s Resolutions, many of which include weight loss and working out.  
Why wait?  START TODAY!

Sign up for a 2012 race to get motivated.

You will feel so much better and better about yourself if you do.
That’s my challenge: 
         30 minutes of physical activity before Christmas.  Comment here on the blog or on my Twitter @CarissaAnneB and tell me what you did.  If I can get 25 people moving then I will give away a Target giftcard to one lucky reader.
I also want to encourage you to get your family moving.  Most of us are together with relatives right now.  Maybe you are someone who commits to fitness, but your family doesn’t.  Take Mom or Dad on a walk to look at Christmas lights.  Sit down with your cousins and plan out a fun 5k you can walk together in the coming year, then go for a jog.

Fitness is more fun in a group!

Wouldn’t that be fun? Sharing your love of fitness with your family and making them healthier in the process?
Get MOVING! Get them moving! And you could win big!


Can you tell I’m motivated today?  Could be my endorphins.  I just finished a 10 mile run as part of my half marathon training.  Long runs come much easier when you’re training for a race.  You simply know that you HAVE to get those miles in.

While I ran Kyle lifted high-intensity style in the garage.  Check us off for our 30 minutes of activity!
I have a heavy-duty full body workout scheduled tomorrow and 20 minutes of high intensity sprints for Christmas Eve.


I encourage you to take on our challenge and share with us how you got active.  Don’t wait until 2012 to get moving…do it today!

Would we call that good form?

To enter my Get Moving Giveaway just do physical activity for 30 minutes any day before Christmas.  Then:
– Comment here on what you did
– Tweet ” @CarissaAnneB got me moving before Christmas and I could win a giftcard! Can you get moving before xmas?”
– Comment on our facebook what exercise you did.
– Email me what exercise you did.


Let’s celebrate Christmas by burning calories!
Love and seasonal sweat, 
Carissa & Kyle

Haha! When I first typed that title it said, “9 miles or busty”! Well – that’s not true!  
Today I had a nine mile long run on my half marathon training agenda.  I have missed a few key runs due to a busy schedule so I was a little nervous about this one…
If you were wondering I made my 9 miles and I didn’t bust…nor was it busty, blustery, busy, or any other typo I could come up with!
My goal pace was over 10 minute miles.  I just told myself to stay slow and keep running at a comfortable pace so I could make my mileage.  

I kept having to fight nagging thoughts that I was “too slow”.  I’ve never tried to train to make a goal pace in a half marathon and it is playing some head games with me.  I just keep telling myself to being able to run 9+ miles in any time is a blessing and a great achievement and I’ll just give it my all on race day.  How does that sound?  I’m aiming for positive yet realistic? 🙂
Here are my splits:
Mile 1- 10:07 (I never feel warm until about 1.5)
Mile 2- 9:41
Mile 3- 9:36
Mile 4- 9:52
Mile 5- 9:44
Mile 6- 10:18
Mile 7- 9:46
Mile 8- 9:27
Mile 9- 9:20


I fueled up with cereal before the run and some sport beans at miles 6 and 7.  

Since I just finished my nutrition for exercise class I’ve been very aware of the need to get adequate carbs before and after my runs.  
If you are someone out there who watches your calories, but runs make sure you are getting enough carbs.  I wasn’t at all so I’m actively working on that. Basically it’s 5g of carbs a day per kg of body weight on a training day and 1.5g of carbs per kg of body weight after the workout.  Post workout meals are SO IMPORTANT!  Your body is craving food in the form of carbs and a little protein.  Give your body what it needs!

After the run I had a Gatorade Recovery drink.  It’s 130 calories, 14g of carbs, and 16g of protein. I also added a banana for more carbs.

I’m thinking a sweet potato smoothie will be a good lunch.  Did you know sweet potatoes have WAY more potassium then bananas? True story!
I’m in a great mood today…not just because of my endorphins but Kyle’s clients are taking us to a DALLAS COWBOY game tonight!  Excited and nervous all at once!


How do you fuel up after long runs?


Love and Romo-licious,

Carissa & Kyle

Ice at Gaylord Palms

Posted: December 3, 2011 in family, holidays, race training

Looking for something fun to do this holiday season?
How about pay $20+ to walk around in 9 degree temperatures? 
Any takers?
Sounds crazy, but that’s what we did last night.  And it was fun!
My mom is visiting from Virginia and to get in the holiday spirit we went to Gaylord Palms “Shrek the Halls” ICE exhibit. According to their website:
ICE! is Florida’s favorite frigid Christmas tradition, with over 20,000 square-feet of frosty 9-degree bliss played out in a winter wonderland of exciting hand-carved sculptures. And this year it’s really all that it’s cracked up to be, featuring five 30-foot ice slides and an all-new, awe inspiring tribute to the unforgettable DreamWorks’ Animation TV classic Shrek the Halls™.

The tickets are a little pricey ($27 per adult for a peak time), however it is a breathtaking experience.  Literally, it’s COLD!  I was a snotty faced little kid by the time we were done, but I was filled with holiday cheer!  

The ice exhibits are breathtaking.  It’s amazing what someone can create out of a block of ice.  The 30-ft slide was a favorite too…..I went fast!  And then I went down again because it was so darn fun!
Gaylord Palms gives you a parka to keep warm, but I suggest bringing gloves, a hat, and a sweatshirt.  9 degrees is cold!  

Our hands were so numb that we were wondering how football players catch or throw a ball in Green Bay?  Seriously, how do they?

It was a beautiful exhibit that we really enjoyed.  Have you been to ICE?

After our frigid frolic we walked around Gaylord Palms.  What a gorgeous hotel! Stunning!

There was even a Christmas themed show that we watched called, “Luminescence.”  It featured holiday songs (although obscure ones) and awesome aerial acts.  It made the steep ticket price seem like a better value seeing a show too.
You also have to pay $13 to park.  Buzz kill.  But my mom bought a glass of wine and they validated her parking.  Score! 🙂
This morning I was up early to announce the OUC Half Marathon.  Anybody run it? It was such a nice morning weather wise here in Central Florida.  A picture perfect day.
I hurried home after the race to do some running of my own.  With my half marathon training I had a 6 mile tempo run on the horizon.  Here’s what it looked like:
– 1.5 mile warm-up 10:00 pace
– 4 miles at a 9:09 pace (I had a hard time “finding” my pace.  Any tips? I was mainly under that time which I was happy about but I know for my longer runs I’ll need to stay closer to my pace)
– .5 mile cool down

I have some baking on the horizon for our cooking party tomorrow!
Happy Holidays!


Love and frostbite, 
Carissa & Kyle

Half Marathon Training Begins

Posted: November 21, 2011 in cardio, race training

First of all…there’s a lizard in my house.  Under my fridge.  I am not amused.
I came back from my run and I had let my cat onto the screened porch.  Came home and there was a new, black, eeewwwweeeie friend in my kitchen.  Again…not amused.  Hopefully it will stay behind my state of the art trap until Kyle gets home.

Yuck.
Today I began my half-marathon training officially.  I had been upping my mileage slowly, however because I actually have a goal for this race I decided to put a little more focus into my training. I am running the Clearwater Half Marathon in January and I really, really, really, really want to finish with a “1” in front of my time. 
According to the Clearwater Half’s website it is, “the most challenging half marathon in Florida with 4 bridge climbs.” Oh joy.  

But I knew that.  I ran the race in 2008 in 2:14 and at one point I remember running up a windy bridge and not moving.

Pre “lived” in 2008

Not one to balk at an impossible goal here I am again.  Bridge climbs and all. 
After doing some research and having one awful training run where I decided to try to increase my mileage, in the sun, at my race pace…I have a training plan. It’s modeled loosely after Marathon Madman’s blog.  You can read his plan here.
I say “loosely” because I am only doing 2 runs a week.  Yes, that’s bad, but I have a crooked spine and neck and that is what I know my body can give me.  I’m also stubborn and won’t give up my butt-whooping’s with Kyle in the gym.
Each week I’m doing one long run and one either tempo or interval run.  This week it’s 6 x 1:50 400’s and 7-10 miles with an over 10min pace.

After the Holiday Halfathon 2010

I just finished the 400’s and they went very well. 
I did a 1 mile warm-up at a 10 minute pace.  Then I did 6 400’s and I basically went as fast as I could.  The workout was supposed to be done on a treadmill, but I was already home.  So I just figured “as fast as I could go” would do.  After each 400, I walked for 1:50.  That was great to get my energy back up.
On Saturday morning I’ll do my long run and I need everyone to collectively tweet, facebook, and call me to make sure I do it!  I’m notorious for not wanting to get out of bed…bad, bad runner!
This will be my 5th half marathon and the only one I’ve ever planned out my training for.  Let’s do this!


How do you plan out your race training?


Love and inclines,
Carissa & Kyle