Turkey Trotting Tips

There are many products promising to help you win big during your next race but it’s hard to determine which direction to turn given the variety of options.  Some products claim to make you faster, give you more energy, help you win the race, etc.  The truth isn’t quite that clear.  In this case, each individual is different and what works well for one may not work for another.  Here are some tips on how to pump up during your next athletic event - including the infamous Turkey Trot. 


To begin with, you need to have a good amount of energy on board before you even begin your race.  About an hour before the start make sure you eat or drink anywhere between 30-60 grams of carbohydrates.  This ensures that you have enough energy on board to fuel your first hour of exercise.


Stay well hydrated by consuming adequate fluids before and during your race.  In order to determine how much you need to drink to replenish fluids lost, weigh yourself before and after a training run.  For every pound lost, consume 16 ounces of water.  If your training distance is shorter than your actual race you can estimate your fluid needs by utilizing time and a few calculations.  Weigh yourself before and after one hour of exercise.  If the actual race lasts two hours, double your fluid needs based on what you calculated from your one hour of exercise.


You need approximately 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate every 60 minutes of exercise.  No extra nutrients are needed during your race if it is less than sixty minutes.  Endurance exercise greater than 60 minutes should be supplemented with carbohydrates.  Begin fueling early so you don’t deplete your energy supply in the first phases of the race. You can get your carbohydrates from beverages, such as Gatorade and juice, or food, such as gels, fruit, or other snacks.


Determining the best source of carbohydrates takes practice and should be included in your training.  For some athletes, gels, chews, and tabs work best but other athletes may prefer “real” food.  Supplementing a race with dried fruit, fruit pouches, crackers and other carbohydrate rich snacks works perfectly well.  Test your preferred choice before the big day.  On occasion, some foods don’t sit well and may cause stomach upset.  For this reason, and the fact that they don’t supply quick energy, it’s also best to stay clear of high fat or high protein foods during an athletic event.  


So next time you venture out for your next big training session be sure to train your body to receive optimum nutrition in order to get optimum performance.  Determine what works best for you so you can power up to win big.

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