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Oklahoma Sports and Fitness March/April 2012 : Page 21

are also good sources of nutrients. Spinach contains a high amount of iron, which aids muscles during long periods of endurance. Hydration Staying hydrated is crucial to running performance and in preventing heat-related illnesses. Pre-run Before the race, the goal is to make sure your body is strong enough to sustain a long period of endurance. It’s important to make sure you are well hydrated in the days leading up to the race. Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is not a good idea, due to the fact that it dehydrates you and prevents you from sleeping well at night. An hour before the race, try to drink about 6 ounces of water or other non-caffeinated fluids. Stop drinking at that point, so you can prevent frequent bathroom breaks while racing. Be sure to drink 4 to 8 ounces of water 10 to 20 minutes before the race to avoid dehydration. Don’t forget to be mindful of your intake. Too much water can result in fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Also use caution when consuming sports drinks and water during the marathon. It’s possible to end up with a dilute solution in your gastrointes-tinal system that will cause slow absorption of carbohydrates and leave you short of energy in the later stages of the race. Post-Run Hydration After the race, rehydrate with water or a sports drink. You should also drink 20 to 24 fl. ounces of water for every pound lost. If your urine is dark yellow after your run, you need to keep rehydrating. It should be a light yellow color. Don’t forget to reward your body for all of its hard work! Remember that sweet craving you’ve been having? Go for it! Just be sure not to over indulge. Eating in moderation is key and eating smaller portions will save you calories and allow you to feel more satisfied in the long run. Vegetarians A vegetarian diet isn’t much different from a normal healthy diet, except of course the absence of meat. There are plenty of alternative ways to get those missing nutrients, including nuts, beans and tofu. These foods will restore the protein that has been lost from not consuming meat. Eat a low-fat, low-protein breakfast that's high in complex carbohy-drates. Use your runs as a chance to experiment and find the best breakfast, so you eat something that’s appealing to you and good in taste for race day. A vegetarian’s diet doesn’t have to be boring. Do some research and take a trip to your local Whole Foods or grocery store. Check out chick-peas, a legume that is high in protein. Like Mexican food? Try Mexican beans for protein or Indian dal. Last but not least, don’t forget to mix things up. Try to avoid getting into the habit of eating the same foods everyday. Pasta is a food that becomes overly used in a runner’s diet. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your com-fort zone and look at other carb choices, because there are plenty out there. Focusing on restoring your energy and muscles is important. It can take up to three days for the body to fully recover. A balanced meal is recom-mended 2 to 4 hours after you have finished the race. Jenny Dixon is a licensed and registered dietician at Sky Fitness & Wellbeing with a degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. With more than a decade of health and nutrition experience, Dixon has worked as a clinical dietitian at a major medical center and as a diabetes specialist for a pharmaceutical company. ( Personal Best , continued from page 19 ) Others to consider in October: 4. Steamtown Marathon , Scranton, PA 5. Mowhawk-Hudson River Marathon , Albany, NY 6. Bay State Marathon , Lowell, MA NOVEMBER 1. North Central Trail Mountain , Sparks, MD The race is an out and back course primarily along the Northern Central Railroad Trail. Some of the course is on a combination of compact dirt and fine stone. Peak to trough about 200 feet. Limited to 550 runners. 21.9% of the runners qualified for Boston in 2011. 2 Marshall University Marathon , Huntington, WV T he course is two loops, 20.7% in 2010 qualified for Boston. It has 3 miles of compact limestone trail. Many rolling hills, but peak to trough is only 50 feet. 3. Space Coast Marathon , Cocoa, FL Florida’s oldest marathon. An out and back, waterfront course within the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center. Peak to trough for the entire course is just 25 feet and is a few feet above sea level. 20% in 2009 qualified for Boston. DECEMBER 1. Tucson Marathon , Tucson, AZ Some hills around mile 2 and 11, but mostly downhill on this point-to-point course with a total elevation drop of 2,200 feet. 23.7% qualified for Boston in 2011. 2. Jacksonville Bank Marathon , Jacksonville, FL 2 4.8% of the runners qualified for Boston in 2011. This out and back course is extremely flat with a peak to trough of 34 feet. Run -ner’s World Magazine named this as one of the top ten marathons to run a PR. 3. California International Marathon , Sacramento, CA A point-to-point course with about a 325 foot net drop. In 2011, 25.6% of the runners qualified for Boston. The race begins at the Folsom Dam, passes through semi-rural suburbs into midtown Sac-ramento, and has a finish in front of the California State Capitol. Happy Running! OKSPORTSANDFITNESS.COM | MARCH / APRIL 2012 21

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