T Nation

Racing and Nutritition

Hey Guys,

This is pretty much my first post here (been reading for a while and like it) and I think I have a fairly legit question.

First off, some quick info about me. I just turned fifteen at the end of August(sophmore), I weigh around 125-130lbs and I run cross-country for my high school. (For those of you who don’t know, a cross country race is a 5K, which is 3.1 miles.) I also run track during the spring. (Primarily the mile and 2 mile.)

I consider myself fairly decent, and hope to hit around 16:30(roughly 5:19 a mile) at a district meet in
2 weeks and hope to get under 4:40 in the mile in spring.

I was wondering as to what some of the people on here thought on nutrition before racing to maximize performance. What types of food should I be eating and when? Would eating protein in the morning and carbs later on before the race be advisable? What about protein and carb drinks?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
(I realize this doesn’t have a lot to do with body building, but a lot of the folks here seem to be pretty knowledgeable about nutrition)

This is a very thoughfully constructed post from an obviously bright young man who also obviously realizes he’s in a bodybuilding forum asking track and field questions. Somebody here may know, but my guesses, beyond the very basics, may do you more harm than good.

I’m in my 5th year of running competitively (started sophomore in HS). The best thing I’ve found to do is actually have a lower protein amount (100- 150g), higher carbs (300 or so), and lower fat (60 g). As you can see, I fluctuate from 175 to 195/200 in a year at 6’1".

I wouldn’t try to split up carb and fat meals, I just don’t know a runner that does it and has it work for them. I can lift/bike really well off a lower carb, higher protein diet, but to be good at solid aerobic running (7 to 16 mile runs), I definitely need the carbs. I’m also a little more predisposed than most runners to putting on some mass, obviously, by looking at my weight.

So basically, get your caloric balances that you should take in and do that throughout the day evenly. The only time I’d ignor this is right after a workout with a carb+protein only drink/bar (I like to go roughly 25 g protein, 35-40 g of carbs).

This cross season, I wouldn’t try to tweak anything, but indoor is usually the time you can work something out as the meets are a little less important.

By the way, you said districts in 2 weeks, are you from PA?

It sounds like you are on your way to some great times. I’m don’t really have any knowledge about what kind of nutrition cross country runners need, but don’t be afraid of carbs. Especially at 15, you are still growing and running many miles a week burning thousands of calories. I think you should be eating a well-balanced diet with many calories.

[quote]itsthetimman wrote:
As you can see, I fluctuate from 175 to 195/200 in a year at 6’1".[/quote]

I’m just curious…Why would your weight go up 25 lbs. out of season? If you are competitively running I imagine you are running all-year round and not taking any time off. And what school do you run for?

As far as a supplement I would try BETA-7 it will make a difference. My son ran Cross Country in Jr High but quit in High School because he felt like it was too much with football, plus he bulked up quite a bit. He is a Junior this year and has been using BETA-7 and realized he could go all day when they did conditioning running in football so he decided to run with cross country at a couple meets, he didn’t post times close to yours, but for no distance training and being fairly muscular he ran somewhere in the high 17 min. range, which I guess was pretty decent according to the cc coach.

I don’t think he’s gonna get serious about it but he says the BETA-7 made a big difference, it also made a huge difference in the weight room. I gave all the kids on the CC team a packet of Advocare rehydrate for their last race and now they all want some for every meet, you might give that a try as well.

Yeah, actually I am.
I go to Pennridge and we’re shooting for winning our league this Friday and then qualifing for states at the District meet the week after.

And the reason I was wondering about the protein/carb thing was because I remember reading a article about protein/carb drinks during workouts and supposedly it helped with endurance in cyclists, but with running I would imagine it could lead to stomach cramps, something I’d like to advoid.

Thanks for the responses, I appreciate it.

[quote]Kreal7 wrote:
itsthetimman wrote:
As you can see, I fluctuate from 175 to 195/200 in a year at 6’1".

I’m just curious…Why would your weight go up 25 lbs. out of season? If you are competitively running I imagine you are running all-year round and not taking any time off. And what school do you run for?[/quote]

Well, competitively means about 3/4 or so of the year, actually 2/3. I haven’t been able to run over the summer the past couple years due to illnesses and injuries. Therefore, my weight will Spike up due to only lifting and not running.

Also, if I’m not racing, I’m loose with nutrition, so that’s about 10 lbs in itself, even with running some higher mileage.