Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. I am a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition,I teach spinning and I am CPR certified. I have finished the 2006 Boston marathon, 2006 IMFL, 2007 Ironman world Championship and I am qualified for the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I write for Triathlete magazine and I love writing for BT.com!
May 2010 Nutrition Chat with Coach Marni Rakes
Discussions on losing weight during half Ironman training, high sugar fruits to avoid, and the Paleo diet.
Sign-up to chat with the coaches!
[Gregkl] Hi Marni! How are you tonight/today?
[mrakes1] Hi! How are you? How's the training going?
[Gregkl] Good. I lost some days last week, but it's okay. I did well this weekend. I feel good. Working on my fueling, etc.
[mrakes1] It's all about quality...don't let the volume make you feel as if you aren't doing enough. Working on fueling is great!
[Gregkl] I did a two hour ride with a two hour bottle of Infinit and one plain water bottle. Probably should have taken a little more water, yes?
[mrakes1] I think two bottles of fluid is just fine. Try to space it out every 15-20ish minutes.
[Gregkl] I have my bike computer alert me every 15 minutes. I took a couple sips of the Infinit and then a couple sips of the water to chase it down.
[Gregkl] It was hot here today - 88 with high humidity.
[mrakes1] That's a good idea. I think it is good to have water so you can cool yourself as well. When you get into the 3 hr zone you may want two bottles Infinit and then one bottle water for cooling/sipping.
[Gregkl] Yeah, I so wanted to pour some water on my head. My eyes kept stinging from the sweat running into them. I will have to keep that in mind when racing.
[mrakes1] I think that is great that you are using your own fuel source. My suggestion is to take advantage of every aid station for cooling (water) and for sipping (ex. taking gels/pieces of bar, etc.). I always say that training is harder than racing because in a race you have aid stations. Training perfectly with your nutrition (ex. drinking every 15 min, etc. ) can be tough but you do your best to train your body to be as efficient as possible.
[Gregkl] How do I keep from losing weight or should I not worry if it's not too much?
[mrakes1] What's too much? Are we talking body fat, muscle or water?
[Gregkl] I put on eight lbs this winter weight training. Lost it all to date, but my gut is smaller! Probably mostly fat.
[mrakes1] Excellent! Well, it sounds like you built muscle and increased lean muscle mass (thus decreasing fat mass). Based on our last few chats, I have a feeling you are becoming more efficient with your training, thus burning fat for fuel (which is typically used in long distance training, 65-75ish% max HR). As long as you are keeping your blood sugar balanced (avoiding symptoms of low blood sugar - shaky, lightheaded, fatigue, extreme hunger, chills, etc.) and not feeling as if you are starving all day, I'd say you are fine where you are at your leaner weight.
[Gregkl] Yeah, I eat little bits of food all day, fruit mostly, then standard breakfast, lunch, dinner. Very little sweets. A Dove Chocolate square for dessert, yogurt, etc.
[mrakes1] That is good to reduce your intake of added sugars. Read ingredients and you should be good at minimizing them. Having portioned controlled sweets, especially dark chocolate are perfect in the diet. Lots of fruits and veggies, since they are the key to providing the body with essential vitamins and minerals. In my opinion, whole grains, lean/low fat protein and healthy fats should be built off a plant-based diet.
[Gregkl] My HR average for all workouts YTD except for swimming is 87% of LT.
[mrakes1] Sounds like you are in the middle of burning fats and carbs since this is an average. You probably push the hard part on the intervals and recover quickly. Try to push a bit harder with the intervals (while still keeping in that 85-95%HR zone) and shorten recovery so that you can increase your lactate threshold. When you get to your longer workouts over 90 min, you will find that you can perform faster at a lower HR (70%ish). However, the heat will throw off the HR.
[Chaderbox] In your opinion, are there fruits to avoid because of high sugar content?
[mrakes1] I wouldn't avoid any fruit or veggies since they provide the body with a wonderful supply of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. however, fruits that tend to have a higher sugar content shouldn't be eliminated but rather combined with protein. Ex. a ripe banana after a workout compare to before, combined with milk or yogurt. Ex. grapes with almonds in the evening instead of grapes as an afternoon snack. Here's a description of high and low sugar fruits http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/
I don't like saying "good or bad" foods however, as far as carbs go, I always recommend combing carbs w/ protein/fiber to minimize shifts in blood sugar.
[Chaderbox] And also, is it advisable to attempt to lose weight and HIM train? I've heard some conflicting advice, but no expert opinion.
[mrakes1] I wouldn't trying to lose weight intentionally (ex. increasing exercise volume/intensity to "burn" calories or decreasing calories.) Rather, focus on the timing of your foods so that you can properly recover, increase lean muscle mass and gain strength to push harder in future workouts. It can be done without the cost of losing energy which tends to happen when people lose sight of training goals in an effort to meet weight loss goals. I would try to minimize eating as a reward for training which many athletes tend to do. Also late night snacking in anticipation for morning workouts or because of evening workouts tends to sabotage a lot of athletes. Try to prevent overeating, especially.
[Chaderbox] I have plenty of weight to lose, but I don't want to hamper my workouts by "trying" to lose.
[mrakes1] I would try to minimize eating as a reward for training which many athletes tend to do. Also late night snacking in anticipation for morning workouts or because of evening workouts tends to sabotage a lot of athletes. Try to prevent overeating, especially after a workout by focusing on the post workout snack (I recommend quick digesting protein like whey, milk or yogurt) as well as a pre-meal snack such as veggies, high fiber fruit or protein (50-100 calories).
[Chaderbox] Yet, at ~240, any weight I drop will just help me finish. I have read the Paleo book, and admit it makes sense, and has worked for me in the short term. However it's cost prohibitive really, since Mrs. Chad doesn't dig that eating style and I need to make two different meals for us to eat. I've not read the Paleo for athletes however. Do you have any feelings either way on that for endurance training?
[mrakes1] I can understand people having different ways of eating however foods should be heart healthy for all, regardless of activity and diet. I know it can seem overwhelming but it can be done with a little extra effort. (you can check my blog trimarni.blogspot.com for my vegetarian creations....although my hubby is not a vegetarian)
[Chaderbox] Rice, beans, and pasta are staples for my wife, but all excluded on Paleo, so that's what makes it more difficult.
[mrakes1] I think the Paleo diet has it's pro's and con's. I encourage a plant-based diet, supported by whole grains, lean/low fat protein and healthy fats. I believe that low fat protein is necessary in the diet and plays a great role in recovery and stabilizing blood sugar. I do not feel as if people should abide by a diet in a book (although that can be a template) but rather focus on foods which are beneficial to your activity and lifestyle routine. I would suggest to keep the rice, beans and pasta (whole grains are my recommendation for grains) but as with everything, portion control is key.
[Chaderbox] Yes, that's what we've done, recently. Initially I got into triathlons for weight loss. I'm down ~60 pounds since Jan 09.
[mrakes1] That is how many people get started but tri's can be addicting..not because of the sport but because of the great lifestyle. That is great for your weight loss!!
[Chaderbox] I'm close to weighing less than I did as a Sophomore in HS now, which is shocking.
[mrakes1] It is tricky but once you find what works for your individual needs, life seems much more balanced.
Sign-up to chat with the coaches!
Click on star to vote