Damian Stoy is a professional ultra marathon runner, biomechanics specialist, respected coach and nutritional consultant.
You may believe that you need to train harder and very often to perform well. However, I train infrequently and perform very well (see my race results) because I run smarter not harder and I use these tips I am sharing with you now. Eating well and an efficient running technique can greatly reduce fatigue, improve your performance and make for a more enjoyable running experience.
What causes fatigue when you run?
Energy inefficiency: The most effective way to have a less fatigue when you run is to reduce energy expenditure. If we can run more efficiently, we can run faster and farther with less effort and more joy. Running can literally be easier. An efficient running technique reduces energy expenditure and increases performance. Damian teaches efficient running technique for runners of all levels. He also offers online coaching and online video analysis with individualized technique guidance plans..
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Oxygen debt: Muscles require maximum oxygen to function optimally. How do we increase our oxygen capacity? One way is consuming adequate iron. Iron, a component of hemoglobin, is what transports oxygen throughout the body.
Foods to consume daily for optimal iron levels in the blood: chlorella, blackstrap molasses, dark leafy greens
Metabolic waste buildup: Waste products build up in the muscles causing fatigue (i.e. lactic acid). Having a healthy body pH is crucial for overall health but also to handle the excessive waste products accumulated during running. An alkaline body will feel much less fatigued during a race than an acidic body.
- Alkalizing foods: Fruits and vegetables, wheatgrass
- Acidifying foods: Meat, excess protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee
Impact and stress on muscles: Impact causes injury and fatigue during races. Reducing impact is crucial for increased performance especially for longer distances but is helpful for all races. The best way to minimize impact is an efficient, low impact running technique.
Inflammation: Excessive inflammation also causes fatigue. We can reduce inflammation by going into a race with a ‘healthy’ inflammation response. Consuming omega-3’s and other natural anti-inflammatories daily helps decrease inflammation during races. I recommend flax oil and Tissue Rejuvenator daily. High daily antioxidant levels as well as during a race reduces muscle damage and fatigue. Incorporate goji berries, wheatgrass, fresh juices and lots of fruits and veggies for high levels of natural antioxidants.
Pre-Race: I taper/rest 7-21 days before a race, depending on the specific race. You can rarely rest too much but you can train too much before a race. As I taper for a race, I also make sure I’m eating plenty of alkalizing foods including fruits and veggies. I make sure to have sufficient electrolytes in my body by consuming Endurolytes for a few days before a race.
Race: The morning of the race, I eat very little. People are surprised to hear I eat a banana or two and that’s it before a 50 mile race. I don’t want my digestive system taxed during the race. If prepared properly, my body should have plenty of stored glycogen already. Please be advised, I am pushing myself harder than the average runner and therefore am very picky. Also, do not try any new food right before a race.