Krista DuChene ran a spectacular race at the 2018 Canadian Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon. She came away with a Canadian bronze medal, World Masters gold medal and 10th overall place. Krista is also a fellow Registered Dietitian and a co-worker of mine. We can learn a lot from her fuelling strategies. Read on for 5 nutrition tips from one of Canada’s top marathoners
- She carbohydrate loaded
Krista aimed for the recommended 10 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight that is recommended in the two days leading up to the race, not just the night before. Rather than filling up her plate with a salad, she fuelled up with carbohydrate rich foods like bread and pasta. As a result, this increased her body’s storage of carbohydrates that can then be used as a fuel source on race day.
- She fuelled properly during the race
Krista fuelled during her race by alternating Endurance Tap gels and Eload fluid every 2.5 km to hit a total of 104 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This steady carbohydrate consumption and alternating between fuel sources helped to optimize carbohydrate intake and decrease GI intolerance. These carbohydrates, in addition to the extra carbohydrates stored in her body from carbohydrate loading, helped to prevent her from hitting the wall or “bonking,” so she could run strong to the finish.
- She practices race day strategies
She stuck to the old age advice and didn’t try anything new on the race. She stuck to her regular pre-race meal of a plain bagel with honey and coffee. Her in-race fuelling plan has been practiced over years of marathon training, which trained her gut to handle the amount of carbohydrates mentioned above on race day. Following a consistent routine that has been trialed and tested in training helps to increase confidence on race day and stave off the worry of the dreaded GI distress that can sabotage race day.
- She doesn’t maintain race weight all year round
Rather than trying to stay at her preferred racing weight all year round, she aims to just sit at this weight for a small period of time. Krista knows that trying to maintain this weight all year round would put her at an increased risk of injury and illness.
- She indulges post-race
Krista allows herself to have her favourite treats, such as the famous pecan squares, to celebrate post-marathon. However, like a true dietitian, she certainly doesn’t try to restrict her diet year-round, but rather, allows herself to have her favourite treats.
With Krista’s amazing running accomplishments, who wouldn’t want to learn from her nutrition strategies? What I like best is that the nutrition strategies that she implements are based on scientific evidence. Who else is excited to see what Krista will accomplish in the coming years?
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