Monthly Archives: May 2012

Heat Warning from Dr. Bright! Please read

All Cap City Runners.  Please read the following from Dr. Bright, medical director of the Cap City Half Marathon.  It’s going to be warmer than we have been used to running in lately and it is important that you both take precautions such as hydrating properly and slowing down and also know the signs of heat related illness.  PLEASE READ BELOW from Dr. Bright.

It’s gonna be warm

We are looking very closely at the weather situation predicted for race morning. The forecast for race morning is calling for higher than normal temperatures on the course. is forecasting a high temperature of 78° while other forecasts have predicted temperatures as high as 83°.

Proper Hydration

Staying properly hydrated can help to prevent heat related problems from becoming a life threatening problem. Hydrating properly is very important. We have secured additional water at all aid stations as well as the finish line. Thirst is a good indication that you are under hydrated. You should maintain hydration levels slightly greater than your hydration program in training, but not excessively so. Over-hydration can lead to other serious medical conditions.

Heat Related Illness Symptoms and Ways to Avoid It!

Elevated temperatures and high humidity can cause heat related illnesses.  The faster you are running the higher your risk for heat-related illnesses will be. Slowing down can significantly decrease your risk for heat illness.

Choosing proper clothing is also very important. Wear loosefitting lightweight clothing. Saturday will not be the day to wear running tights, long sleeve shirts, or compression socks/garments.

It is also very important that you complete the emergency medical contact information on the back of your race number.

Recognizing symptoms of heat illness is important. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms stop running immediately and if symptoms persist seek medical attention.

Stay safe out there and see you at the finish!  – Coach Aimee

Race Plans – Pre-Race Plan, Pacing, Drinking on the Run, Barack Obama, and PARTY!

This is it!  The Cap City Half Marathon is just days away and the Expo is tomorrow and Friday!  You should all be resting up and thinking about what your race day will bring.  A little planning and visualizing now will make your race morning much more enjoyable and less stressful.  Coach Julie just posted some great advice on pre/during/post race nutrition, hydration, and support crew here.  I want to give you last minute info on logistics for race morning, the race itself, and of course The Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line PARTY!  A lot of the people worry about getting to the right place at the right time in the morning and having a plan will certainly help.

The Night Before The Night Before

This is the night to try and get to bed a little early.  Have a nice dinner, maybe visit the expo and pick up your packet, get home and get to bed.  The nerves have not settled in yet and the best thing you can do for yourself is get some good quality sleep on Thursday night!  You might be a little bit nervous tomorrow and getting the rest you need Thursday, will make it so that it is not a big deal if you have a bit of insomnia/pre-race jitters Friday night.

The Night Before

First, if you haven’t already – pick up your packet.  Take the time to confirm your registration and print the confirmation before you go so that you can head right to your bib table and pick up your packet.  Make sure everything is right including the event you are doing, the corral you are in, everything.  If you have any problems or need to make changes, there will be a solutions desk that will be happy to help you!  Stop in and say hello to the M3S folks and Coach Julie and I.  I will be at the Expo Thurs from 5-8 and Fri from 2-8 and I’d love to meet you and answer any last minute questions.  Once you get everything that you need, get some good carbs for dinner and set up your race gear.  Set out your race gear, including pre-race warmups and post-race dry clothes.  Make sure you remember to pack any nutrition you plan to bring with you!  Take a look at the parking options and plan your attack.  Relax and try to get some sleep.  If the jitters keep your mind racing, don’t worry.  Just relax and do something soothing, you got your good sleep last night!

Race Morning

Try to arrive early enough to give yourself time to get parked, get your gear to gear check, hit the restrooms, and get to your corral.  Note that the corrals will load by 7:40am.  You don’t want to be fighting your way in so get there ahead of time and don’t stress.  There will be plenty of awesome volunteers to guide you as you go.  Once you are in the corral, enjoy the moment.  There will be others like you getting ready and most runners are friendly folks, so don’t be afraid to talk to each other!  David has put together an awesome starting line and each of the champions will be starting a different corral.  Jerry DePizzo will be playing the National Anthem which is not to be missed!  Then it’s race time.  There will be about 60-90 seconds between each corral start, so remember that when you pass by the official race clocks out on the course.  Your time will not start until you cross the start line though! Relax and take the first couple miles to settle in.  Don’t let the adrenaline of the awesome start get you moving more quickly than your plan!

Race Plan and Pacing

First and foremost enjoy it.  Take in the moment and enjoy what you have already accomplished by getting the training done.  You are already a champion.  In the first few miles you will most likely feel great and you should!  You are trained, tapered, and ready to go.  Hold yourself back.  The two best ways to run an endurance event are to 1) Run an even paced race or 2) Run negative splits.  Running an even pace is great for folks with a time goal and those who are good at knowing their pace.  It is an awesome thing to tune into your body and hit a pace, then hold it for the race.  An even more fun approach is to run negative splits, that is to start out slower than your eventual goal pace.  One of the best things about doing that is that you will still be feeling great at mile 10 or so and you can run strong, when many others unfortunately will be wishing that they had started off a bit slower.  As you pass them enjoy, pat yourself on the back (in your mind) for being smart and not blowing the first two miles out of the water.  DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST.  This is the best way to have a terrible day.  If by chance you run the first mile or two much faster than your plan, fix it immediately.  Don’t think “oh cool I’m doing great” and stay too fast.  You will regret it in the last few miles.  Start out slower than you want and work towards your pace.

If you choose to run with the MIT pacers, great choice.  They will be running an even paced race.  Most of them will be slightly faster (only a few seconds) than their posted pace while running in order to account for a little bit of slow down during the aid stations.  A great plan is to keep an eye on them.  They will be running with balloons of different colors signifying the quarter and the half.  You don’t have to be right next to them to stay on pace, just keep an eye on where they are and you will stay on track.  If you want to run alongside them though, they will be more than happy to have you!  They are full of motivation and happy running vibes so take advantage of this terrific group of runners.

Drinking on the Run and Actually Getting it in Your Mouth

This is a skill learned only by doing it.  If you haven’t already perfected this, join the crowd.  I ran the Scioto Mile 15k a few weeks ago and got orange Gatorade mostly on my sleeve and my Garmin and NOT in my mouth.  So I took my own advice at the next one which is … 1) Make eye contact with the volunteer and call out what you want “water” or “sports drink” 2) Grab the cup and move to the side before you slow down 3) Slow down a little or slow to a walk when you are sure no one is going to run into you from behind 4 ) Pinch the cup to make it flat and easier to get into your mouth 5) Get a good swig and try to hit the trashcan with the empty cup 6) Pick your run back up.  Sounds easy enough, don’t worry if it goes a little bit less than perfectly.  My best advice for this is to take a throw away bottle, like the mini Gatorade bottles or kids water bottles filled with sports drink for the first few miles.  This way you can take your hydration when you want and don’t get stuck in the early aid stations which can be crowded.  You can toss it in a trashcan at one of the aid stations when you are done with it.

Aid stations will only be on one side of the road.  There will be signs that say “Aid Station Ahead” on the same side of the road that the aid station is actually on.  Please make note of that and start moving that way before you get there and you won’t have any problem.  Water will be first and Gu Brew (like Gatorade or Powerade) will be second.  Call out what you want and the volunteers will be listening!

President Obama

The President will be in town on May 5th at the Schottenstein Center.  In addition, State Science Day will be going on at French Field House.  Lane Avenue will be closed at that point for you all running so no worries.  You should have no trouble with traffic on the way into the race, but it may be a little slow going home.  So why not hang around and party with us!

Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line Party

Get your medal and take a finisher photo!  After you get cooled down a bit and grab some recovery fuel, make your way through runner recovery to the Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line Party.  There will be much celebrating!  Toast your accomplishments with some bubbly, beer, and chocolate.  Then enjoy what the party has to offer including a concert by SWAGG.
Congrats and Enjoy YOUR Moment

Congratulations to each and every one of you who chose to take on this journey with us.  We are all so excited for race day to just hurry up and get here!  This is your victory lap.  The race is the celebration of the accomplishment of all of your hard work.  YOU alone earned this and YOU deserve the celebration of your life.  Enjoy!

See you at the finish line on May 5th!

Getting Ready for the Big Day!

Wow!  We are ALMOST there!  A few days away from the Cap City Half Marathon!

Our training programs are just about complete and now it is time to focus on our final ‘details’ to ensure a great race day performance!

  • PRE/DURING RACE DAY: Make sure to eat/drink easily absorbable carbs 45-60 minutes before race time – this includes bagels, orange juice, power bars, Gu, etc..  Please do not eat anything that you have never eaten before – (don’t try a new flavor or product – you need to make sure what you put into your body is something your body will welcome!).  Make sure to take some GU Bars with you (tri shirt pockets or pin to your shorts or shirt), or take advantage of the various refueling stations (there is 1 Gu station as well).  (A good rule of thumb is to take in an additional 300-400 calories every hour you are working)
  • POST RACE DAY:  Make sure to refuel quickly – with readily absorbable carbs (bananas, oranges, juice, bagels) and then make sure to get a good meal with protein within a few hours of your race.  Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day; stretch and celebrate yourself!
  • FRIDAY NIGHT NUTRITION: Eat a good meal, with carbs (traditionally known as a ‘pasta night’) – to put glycogen into your muscles. Adding a little salt to your pasta may help to hold water into your cells – but don’t over do it.  Drink water throughout the day on Friday!
  • FRIDAY WATER:  Also – make sure to get as much sleep as possible the night before!  Prepare yourself so that you can be your best!  (Coach Aimee has a great blog about water consumption -check out her post!)
  • SUPPORT SYSTEM:  Let your friends know that you are doing the Cap City Half, Quarter or 5K – and give them opportunities to support you – either by asking them to come out and cheer you on, make signs, follow your tweets on Twitter, and/or updates on Facebook!  Your support system is a great way to add an extra push to your step!

Take care of your mind, body and spirit to prepare for the big day!  Spend some time relaxing/breathing/stretching and focusing on Friday and make sure to remind yourself just how far you have come along the journey.  If you are looking for a stretching routine for runners, click here: 

Once you cross that finish line, we will be there to celebrate with you!  Remember – life is about the journey, not the destination – so enjoy every step of the course!

See you at the finish line!

Hydration – The Right Way for YOU!

Race week is upon us.  As I type this, I am sweating.  It’s hot.  It’s the last day of April in Columbus.  Two days ago I ran 22 miles in the sleet, now it’s 80+ degrees.  Race day looks promising, but a little on the warm side if you ask me.  It will probably change 5 times before Saturday, so be prepared for anything.  The biggest question that I have left unanswered so far, in my mind at least, is that of proper hydration.  We’ve talked about nutrition and hydration was mentioned in that blog.  I want you to hit the “water” stops and grab the sports drink for the carbohydrates and also the electrolytes.  This is the first time I’ve mentioned that.  Your body really likes balance.  It wants and needs water but it also needs the other stuff that comes out when you sweat, which are electrolytes (mostly salt NaCl).  The question of how much to drink and what exactly to drink has been going round and round in the running community for several years.  Since I cannot do this topic justice I’ve asked Professor Steven Devor at Ohio State Exercise Physiology to help.  Below is a great discussion from Professor Devor about hydrating the proper way, which is to be very specific to EACH one of YOU.  Hydration is not a one size fits all thing and he gives a really easy way to figure out how much you need to put in to keep up with what is going out when you run.  Thanks so much to Dr. Devor for this awesome message about hydration.

Can you Drink Too Much?  In Short – Yes

If you want to be successful and complete longer training sessions and races you must avoid or delay dehydration caused by fluid losses from the body.  Fluids are primarily lost through sweating, breathing and using the toilet.  Years ago the advice was “drink, drink, drink,” and we assumed there was no downside to consuming as much fluid as possible. Unfortunately, consuming large amounts of water without electrolytes can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Hyponatremia, also known as low sodium concentration or water intoxication, occurs due to prolonged sweating coupled with the dilution of extracellular sodium caused by consuming large amounts of fluid with low or no sodium.

Balance is Key

Sodium, chloride and potassium are electrolytes, and these electrolytes remain dissolved in the body fluids as electrically charged particles called ions.  Electrolytes help to modulate fluid exchanges between the different body fluid compartments and promote the exchange of nutrients and waste products between cells and the external fluid environment.  There is actually an electrical gradient across cell membranes. The difference in the electrical balance between the interior and exterior of cells facilitates nerve-impulse transmission, stimulation and action of skeletal muscles during running and other activities, and proper gland functioning.  If you consume too much water and not enough electrolytes, your body pulls electrolytes from its cells in order to create the right balance for absorption. If you consume too many electrolytes and not enough fluid, your body pulls fluids from within to create the right balance for absorption.  The bottom line is your body likes balance. Keeping your body in electrolyte and water balance, or very close to balanced, is part of the challenge as an endurance athlete.

Individualized Hydration

The easiest way to measure your sweat rate is to weigh yourself without clothes on before you do a one hour exercise session. After the hour session, return home, strip down, wipe of any excess sweat from your skin, and weigh yourself again. Assuming you did not use the toilet or consume any fluids during exercise, your weight loss is your sweat rate. For each kilogram of lost weight, you lost one liter of fluid.  To convert it to pounds, for each pound lost, you lost 15.4 oz. of fluid.  If you drink any fluids or used the rest room between the two weight samples, you will need to include both of these estimated weights in your calculations. Add fluid consumed to the amount of weight lost. Subtract estimated bodily void weight from the total weight lost.  I would be sure to record the heat and humidity conditions in your sweat test. Repeat the test in cool and hot conditions. If you are a triathlete, repeat the test for swimming, running and cycling because sweat rates will vary for each sport and vary with environmental conditions.

Through the years I have been able to come up with the following guidelines based on weight and different environmental temperatures.  They are only guidelines, so it would still still be best to do the individual tests  in a lab. None the less, I believe these are good averages.

Weight 100 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 3.0  60°F: 3.2  70°F: 3.3  80°F: 3.6  90°F: 4.1  100°F: 4.7

Weight 120 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 3.6  60°F: 3.8  70°F: 4.0  80°F: 4.3  90°F: 4.9  100°F: 5.6

Weight 140 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 4.2  60°F: 4.4  70°F: 4.6  80°F: 5.0  90°F: 5.7  100°F: 6.5

Weight 160 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 4.8  60°F: 5.0  70°F: 5.3  80°F: 5.8  90°F: 6.5  100°F: 7.4

Weight 180 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 5.4  60°F: 5.7  70°F: 5.9  80°F: 6.5  90°F: 7.3  100°F: 8.4

Weight 200 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 6.0  60°F: 6.3  70°F: 6.6  80°F: 7.2  90°F: 8.1  100°F: 9.3

Weight 220 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 6.6  60°F: 6.9  70°F: 7.3  80°F: 7.9  90°F: 8.9  100°F: 10.2

Weight 240 pounds
Fluid Ounces Per Mile Depending On The Temperature: 50°F: 7.2  60°F: 7.6  70°F: 7.9  80°F: 8.6  90°F: 9.7  100°F: 11.2