That means it is a disadvantage to eat most of the day’s calories at one time — at night, for example. But athletes should make dietary changes gradually so their bodies can adapt to more frequent fueling, he said. Those who try sudden changes sometimes pay a price.
Dr. Benardot tells the story of a distance runner who was doing well and felt great the morning of a big marathon. Before the race began, she saw her chief competitor put packs of a sugary gel into her running bra to eat during the race.
The distance runner did the same, even though she had never before eaten during races or long runs. It was a disaster: She had diarrhea during the event.
The gels “were anything but a competitive advantage,” Dr. Benardot said.
This is excerpted from a post Kolata recently wrote for the Times’s Well blog on how much people eat while running or participating in any kind of endurance training. The way she describes things, you’d think a marathon (or even a long run) was just a trip down one long buffet table: an endless (and long) graze! I run with a lot of people, and I see a lot of people while I’m running. I have never once seen (or heard about) people eating this much during a training run or a race. Maybe I’m just surrounded by the wrong people?
To focus just on this excerpt, though, I feel compelled to channel Amy Poehler and counter with a “really? Really?!” I just don’t believe that this story is true. Sure, a lot of runners make the mistake of trying something new on race day with disastrous results. But a successful distance runner who is confident about her performance and has a “chief competitor”? I’m sorry, but a runner in that position is going to know better than to do something like that on the morning of a race just because the competition is doing it too. That has got to be as apocryphal as the story about the guy who gouged his eyes out with bottle caps while going through a bad acid trip (as much as I’ve always wanted that story to be true. You know, just because).
I mean, look. You think people are eating too much while running. You have some weird hang-up about it or whatever. Fine. Just don’t start printing made-up stories to validate your opinion. You’re better than that, Gina.