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Nutrition for the Gate River Run

It’s almost time for the 40th Gate River Run. I hope everyone that plans on participating’s training is going as planned. There’s several components to preparing for a 15k ,especially one that brings some of the challenges that the Gate River Run brings. As 904 natives, we prepare for potential harsh climate and of course- the green monster. That being said, I wanted to provide some key nutrition points that you may want to consider as you gear up for the 40th Gate River Run.

Days Leading up to the GRR

While it is not imperative that we supply the body with the amount of carbohydrates and energy that a marathon demands, it is important to get carbs within balanced meals in the days leading up to the race. Particularly, you want to focus on your dinner before race night. Stick with easy to digest carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, pastas, and breads. Also, you may want to limit fibrous foods such as large quantities of raw vegetables. Fiber is resistant to the digestion in our bodies and therefore could potentially cause GI distress the next morning. Go easy on fatty foods that have the tendency to make us feel sluggish in the morning. Lastly, do not forget about hydrating before bed. 

Morning of GRR

Pre race nutrition is entirely individual. That being said, if you have a pre race regimen that you are confident in, I encourage you to continue it. For those that need suggestions, I recommend a light breakfast 3-4 hours prior to the race. Again, you want to chose easy to digest carbohydrates ( toasts, english muffins, bagel, bananas, dry cereal). Remember to drink water when you first wake up, as you will only be able to tolerate so much fluid in your stomach as you get closer to race time.

An hour out, if you are still hungry you can consider very light, small options such as sports chews ( I prefer PowerBar Energy Blasts), pretzels, sips of sports drinks, or even gels. Be careful of how much liquid you drink here, as you do not want any fluid being unsettled in stomach. Usually, 4-8 ounces an hour out is tolerable.

During GRR

While you are racing, it is important you consider your hydration and fueling needs in relationship to how long it will take you to complete the race.If you have practiced your during race nutrition strategy, and are comfortable with that, I recommend that you continue your regimen. On the other side, if you have not yet developed your plan, there are some general guidelines about fueling strategies.  If you will be done around an hour or less, you may not need to take additional fueling during the race. Personally, if I feel the weather is causing my body to work a little harder, I like to take half of a gel around 30-35 minutes in to ensure I have energy for that green monster. However, I know several great runners who do not find that necessary. If your race will take you 65-80 minutes, usually 30 grams of carbohydrates ( 1 gel= around 30 grams) will prevent “crashing”. If it will take you 80 minutes to two hours, it is recommended to aim for 60 grams ( 2 gels), making sure to get at least 30 grams every 45 minutes. Some people tolerate the gels better by taking portions of gels every 15-20 minutes. For times above two hours, consider 1.5-2 gels for every additional hour you will be on the course. 

For hydrating, it is recommended taking in 3-4 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes. Fortunately, the course is lined with official hydration stations at just about every mile. Here is a link of the course map and hydration stations here. 

http://www.1stplacesports.com/grr_eventinfo.html

After GRR

Immediately after the race, I recommend grabbing a sports drink to replace fluid, electrolytes, and carbohydrates lost during the race. Typically there are options provided at the race such as bagels and bananas which will allow your body to begin the restoration process. If you wish to pack your own recovery vices, options such as chocolate milk, granola bars (optimally that contain carbs and protein), or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easily packable and will also expedite your recovery. Make sure to get a wholesome, balanced meal within the following two hours of finishing the race.

Best wishes to everyone racing in the 40th Gate River Run! Hope to see you out there!

The Perfect, Simple GRR recipe:Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes

The Perfect, Simple Gate River Run recipe:Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes from 904Fitness on Vimeo.

  • 1 package gnocchi
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 links cooked chicken sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 to 2 ounces fresh basil, julienned (1/2 to 1 cup loosely packed)

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling; cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.

Heat a 10-inch or larger cast iron skillet over medium heat with a light drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Push the sausage into a pile at the edge of the skillet and turn the heat up to high.

When the skillet is quite hot, add the tomatoes, skin down, crowding them in if necessary. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are blistered, then stir in with the sausage. Cook for 2 more minutes, until both tomatoes and sausage are slightly browned. Stir in gnocchi and cook just until all is combined, but the tomatoes have not broken down into sauce.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Enjoy!

Kelsey Beckmann RD, LDN

Kelsey Beckmann RD, LDN

Kelsey Beckmann is a registered dietitian and local runner from
Jacksonville. Her interest in dietetics was sparked by her own experiences of the impact of nutrition on the human body in motion. Kelsey grew up playing competitive soccer, and eventually ended her career as a D1 soccer player to transform into a distance runner. Since then, she has enjoyed several opportunities to race at the top level of running across the United States. As both a soccer player and a runner, she has felt the ebbs and flows of nutrition on performance. Kelsey knew she was destined to help other athletes benefit from the implementation of optimal nutrition. When Kelsey is not working with ambitious athletes, she works as a clinical dietitian at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. She enjoys the challenges that both arenas bring, and looks forward to developing herself as a well rounded registered dietitian. Kelsey is grateful for the opportunity to promote healthy and active lifestyles within the Jacksonville community.

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