Author Topic: eating before a race  (Read 8116 times)

Offline Kyle McGowan

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eating before a race
« on: September 20, 2008, 11:09:16 AM »
To start off, the paleollithic diet has just blown my mind.  :-\
I love so many carby foods such as italian food and rice (love that sushi) and they never gave me a problem as far as feeling tired or whatever, and now they are apparently bad for me.  :o

Now, im on track for most of the school year and i always ate carb rich foods the night before and the morning of a meet because i was under the impression that it was good to carb up before a race, i also took a box of cheez-its to snack on in between races (i think that i am addicted), but NEVER right before a race.

So can someone please give me some advice on if these truly are good for pre-race or if i should change. and what should i take in place of cheez-its. note that i have little room to carry things and almost no means of keeping things cool.

i guess that this would also apply to those who are getting ready to be chased (david in b13 and sebastian vs the chicken) :)
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Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 02:25:05 PM »
I am not a runner so the runners on this board probably know better than I, but eating carbs the night before a race only helps if you have been eating low-carb for at least a week before the race. Also I have read that "carb-loading" is really only necessary/useful/beneficial for long-distance runs.

Carbs themselves aren't blanket "bad" for you. It's just that people eat them in such huge quantities, beyond what is necessary, that the body stores the excess as fat, the up-and-down of the sugars is hard on the organs, etc.

If you eat a lot of carbs you are probably functioning on way lower energy than you could be, but you are so used to that being your baseline that you don't feel tired. It feels normal to you.

If you are doing track at school my guess is that you're doing shorter races/sprints, and you're eating Cheez-Its between those events. IMO you are not running enough distance to justify the snacking between races (or at least no the snacking of that type), if you're thinking it's "carbing you up" to help with your races.

I'm wondering what your track coach has to say about diet. He/she would be a good person to ask, to get starting information, and then put that together with what you hear from other sources.

I would suggest getting your diet together overall (Chris Salvato is the man to ask for this... read the threads on this forum about constructing a proper training diet as a starting point), and then seeing what tweaks you need to fuel your track season.

I am not a runner, but my diet during my performance season is a combination of Zone and Paleo. On performance days I usually have sushi for dinner, actually; although it is usually only one or two rolls and the rest are sashimi. I always have a tomago (egg) too, for extra protein. During long rehearsal days I keep some Greek-style plain yogurt, or a whey protein shake handy to sip on when my energy flags, and also some fruit if I need a quick "zap."

I'm certain track runners have different dietary needs from ballet dancers but I wouldn't be too surprised if they weren't that far off. Both types of athletes tend to work in spurts of quick, focused energy rather than heavy work or sustained movement.

I suggest the following for you to have handy on race days for snacks, but again, check with your coach and if others reply to this thread, their advice is probably better taken than mine, as they are more experienced with running than I am:

--yogurt (Greek-style has the most protein, plain or low-sugar varieties are far better for you)
--string cheese sticks
--whey protein shake made with water or milk
--beef jerky
--fresh fruit
--tomato or vegetable juice
--boiled eggs

...hmmm, I'm trying to think of what else I have posted for people in "snack" threads that have come up.

Essentially any snack you eat should have a combination of protein, carbs, and fats. If you are eating between races, make sure it is something small and easily digested, and also make sure you are eating only when you are hungry. If your body is busy trying to digest it can't focus wholly on your running. Unless you are eating pure sugar (which is a dumb idea), it's really not possible for the energy in the food you've eaten to be accessible enough to your body to give you a "speed/energy boost" during the race. And in all honesty I don't think it would make that much difference anyhow.

You're better off having a clean, appropriate training diet overall for your season, which will enable your body to use its fuel more efficiently so you can run better. It's not like certain foods work like hitting the "Nos" on a car (or whatever you kids call it these days) ;)

Anyway, that's my untrained opinion as someone who loves food and is passionate about wellness/healthy living. I hope someone with more education and expertise than I comes along to debunk any of this that could mislead you.

In the meantime I hope it's helpful/useful.

Oh, PS: cheese and yogurt need far less refrigeration than people think, so those items should be fine for you on race days. As to the eggs (or even the cheese and yogurt), if you keep them in a lunch bag with a cold pack, they should be fine, so no need to worry overly much with refrigeration.
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Offline Steve Low

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2008, 05:06:15 PM »
Experiment and find out what works best for you.

There are going to be a few minority of people who operate on high carbs effectively and better than low carbs. If it's you that's great; but it takes very little effort to try it the other way around and see it that works even better for you. Also, when trying something like Zone ratios 40/30/30 C/P/F, the farther you eat from it on a regular basis the longer you will have to be on it to see the adaptations. So if you regularly eat like 70/20/10 then you might have to be on Zone-ish proportions for a month or so to figure out if it works better for you.

As for eating before a race: don't. Diverts blood away from your muscles to your digestive system. I find I workout/compete MUCH worse if I eat anything within about 1-2 hours before I do exercise. Most people are like this. Figure it out for yourself though.. you might operate better eating before a race. Try 15 minute increments such as 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hrs, etc. up to like 2-4+ hrs before a race multiple times and LOG your progress. You should be able to determine which one where there is a sweet spot for performance.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 05:07:48 PM by Steve Low »
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 05:52:01 AM »
3 hours is the average time it will take to digest food completely.  Anything after three hours (besides a little fruit) til' your race is completely pointless.  It will only drain energy you need for digestion for energy that you will get after the race.

Offline Lacedup

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 07:35:53 AM »
*Honey
*Peanut Butter
Apples
Teddy Grahams work good as a snack
good trail mix, without chocolate chips or m&ms.
Bananas to avoid cramps.
Lots of
Water the day before,
and keep your electrolytes up the day of with SMALL SIPS of Gatorade.
"The  only time success comes before work, is in the dictionary."-Unknown

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 08:36:58 AM »
*Honey
*Peanut Butter
Apples
Teddy Grahams work good as a snack
good trail mix, without chocolate chips or m&ms.
Bananas to avoid cramps.
Lots of
Water the day before,
and keep your electrolytes up the day of with SMALL SIPS of Gatorade.

tbh, im not quite sure what the intent of this post was.

Offline Lacedup

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 08:54:39 AM »
I was giving him ideas for what to eat for energy. Can you read?
"The  only time success comes before work, is in the dictionary."-Unknown

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2008, 09:00:00 AM »
I was giving him ideas for what to eat for energy. Can you read?

Oh, thats where I misunderstood, because none of those on their own are going to be good to give you energy....actually, most of them will make you crash.

Thanks for getting nasty though, that was mature :P

Offline Lacedup

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2008, 09:06:03 AM »
So are you some kind of dietician now?
None of those foods will make you crash, the all have great sources of calories and protein. Just because your a Mandrill, doesn't mean that your posts are always correct, when have you actually had to diet for anything?
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Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2008, 09:38:37 AM »
So are you some kind of dietician now?
None of those foods will make you crash, the all have great sources of calories and protein. Just because your a Mandrill, doesn't mean that your posts are always correct, when have you actually had to diet for anything?

I think you both need to seriously tone down. You posted some suggestions that another member disagrees with. This gives you an opportunity to explain your thoughts and methodology in a polite way to clarify. Chris has been wrong in the past and when those situations happened he has retracted his statements.  But yes, he is highly knowledgeable and convincing evidence is highly encouraged for the betterment of all those who frequent these boards.

With that said, Chris it would probably be wise to use a little more discretion when posting especially to newer members.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 09:40:27 AM by Charles Moreland »

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 09:44:25 AM »
So are you some kind of dietician now?
None of those foods will make you crash, the all have great sources of calories and protein. Just because your a Mandrill, doesn't mean that your posts are always correct, when have you actually had to diet for anything?

Wow #1  :o

I had to diet on many occasions.

I have coached several people's diets as well from people concerned with weight loss to people concerned with performance.

Great sources of calories? Yes. 
Protein? No. 
High in sugar? Yes. 
Good for energy? No

So are you some kind of dietician now?
None of those foods will make you crash, the all have great sources of calories and protein. Just because your a Mandrill, doesn't mean that your posts are always correct, when have you actually had to diet for anything?

I think you both need to seriously tone down. You posted some suggestions that another member disagrees with. This gives you an opportunity to explain your thoughts and methodology in a polite way to clarify. Chris has been wrong in the past and when those situations happened he has retracted his statements.  But yes, he is highly knowledgeable and convincing evidence is highly encouraged for the betterment of all those who frequent these boards.

With that said, Chris it would probably be wise to use a little more discretion when posting especially to newer members.

Wow #2 lol

How do I need to tone down?

Discretion?  I am very confused about your opinion here.

Nothing I said was out of line.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 10:02:48 AM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Lacedup

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2008, 10:11:37 AM »
Do you have some kind of diploma that shows that you're a certified dietician, or are you just making things up as you go? I have been wrestling for 14 years, which is more than most people have been practicing the art of parkour. Wrestling is a sport that is highly based on diet. Every food that I posted in my first post were all things that worked awesomely for me in the past and present, and I am positive that they will benefit me in the future. I would like you to name one of the foods that I posted that aren't good sources of energy or protein, and i will come back with a "slap in your face" article that will prove you wrong. And before you start declaring people's diet suggestions as obsolete, why don't you post a few of your own, with some facts to back them up

peanut Butter- may be high in fat, but they are good nutty fats, with a lot of energy, and good sources of protein and calories.
Honey- an excellent source of energy. may be sugary, but it is still great for you.
Apples- almost any fruit is a good source of energy energy, and good for keeping a strong immune system.
teddy grahams- Good calories, and sticks good to you're ribs, so you don't feel full while running, a good source of grain.
trail mix- nuts and raisins are excellent sources of energy, just like peanut butter.
bananas- prevent cramps
water- helps your body carry oxygen better.
SMALL SIPS OF GATORADE- small sips keep you from getting waterlogged, and electrolytes in Gatorade are energizing.
"The  only time success comes before work, is in the dictionary."-Unknown

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2008, 10:42:42 AM »
In response to Chris, another look at the thread does suggest otherwise so I apologize for any confusion against you in my last post. With that said...

Do you have some kind of diploma that shows that you're a certified dietician, or are you just making things up as you go?
He doesn't have to be certified or hold a degree to know as much as he knows about nutrition. Me being a certified personal trainer doesn't mean I know more than Steve Low about Physiology.

I have been wrestling for 14 years, which is more than most people have been practicing the art of parkour. Wrestling is a sport that is highly based on diet.
This is a faulty assumption. I clearly remember you posting that one of your "diet plans" was not having one. At no point in time is eating nothing ever beneficial to you or your body and makes me question your knowledge.

Every food that I posted in my first post were all things that worked awesomely for me in the past and present, and I am positive that they will benefit me in the future.
Fallacy here. They may work for you, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will work for others. Everyone is different.

I would like you to name one of the foods that I posted that aren't good sources of energy or protein, and i will come back with a "slap in your face" article that will prove you wrong. And before you start declaring people's diet suggestions as obsolete, why don't you post a few of your own, with some facts to back them up
This is what I meant by toning down. These words could have been said in a more mature and polite manner and definitely less aggressive. Why not avoid heavy argument and just post your views along with that article so we can understand where you and your views come from? Also, Chris has posted numerous times over the past year nutritional information always accompanied with very intelligible sources. You are new to the forum.

I'll let Chris handle the rest of your post as he loves to debate and has initiated such in a rather polite manner. I encourage you to participate but in a more polite manner please. The more we talk, the more we learn.




Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2008, 10:54:43 AM »
Do you have some kind of diploma that shows that you're a certified dietician, or are you just making things up as you go? I have been wrestling for 14 years, which is more than most people have been practicing the art of parkour. Wrestling is a sport that is highly based on diet. Every food that I posted in my first post were all things that worked awesomely for me in the past and present, and I am positive that they will benefit me in the future. I would like you to name one of the foods that I posted that aren't good sources of energy or protein, and i will come back with a "slap in your face" article that will prove you wrong. And before you start declaring people's diet suggestions as obsolete, why don't you post a few of your own, with some facts to back them up


You are lucky I am responding.  I usually don't respond to people who are overaggressive or hypersensitive...

As a sidenote, people with experience playing or participating in a sport does not mean you know what you are talking about.  Example #1 of this is Arnold Schwarzenegger's books where he clearly shows he has no grasp of physiology at all, but had great success in bodybuilding.

BTW, you are 17 years old according to your profile, you have been wrestling since you are 3?

Also, if you are going to post articles, that is fine, but expect them to be critiqued as well...I read tons of articles by "professionals" that have no idea what they are talking about and can counter their awful points with solid data.

peanut Butter- may be high in fat, but they are good nutty fats, with a lot of energy, and good sources of protein and calories.
Honey- an excellent source of energy. may be sugary, but it is still great for you.
Apples- almost any fruit is a good source of energy energy, and good for keeping a strong immune system.
teddy grahams- Good calories, and sticks good to you're ribs, so you don't feel full while running, a good source of grain.
trail mix- nuts and raisins are excellent sources of energy, just like peanut butter.
bananas- prevent cramps
water- helps your body carry oxygen better.
SMALL SIPS OF GATORADE- small sips keep you from getting waterlogged, and electrolytes in Gatorade are energizing.

Peanut butter - Good source of energy as it is calorically dense, low in carb and does have protein.  However, not a good source of protein.  I can't find a better link right now, and I don't feel like investing more time in finding another source when I know this table is accurate:
http://www.myfit.ca/archives/viewanarticle.asp?table=nutrition&id=24&subject=Protein+Absorption

From this outline that is about halfway down the article you can see proteins from peanuts are only absorbed into your blood at a rate of ~43%.  That means the small amount of protein in peanuts isn't even absorbed and therefore useless.

Honey - Honey is pretty much pure glucose.  While it is better than table sugar, it still causes massive inulin spikes.  Eating this even by the teaspoon will cause your insulin to surge, blood sugar to decrease and the bioavailability of sugar in the blood stream will be minimized causing a crash and a decrease in performance.  In terms of mass, 80% of honey is pure sugar, the rest is water.
http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/sweets/5568/2


Apples- High in sugar and net carbs. 1 Apple has 14g net carbs (about 15% of the net weight of your average apple.) with the rest of the volume due to water.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

This is a good source of carb, but in mass quantities without fats or proteins you will have sugar uptake that is lending itself to a high insulin response.  Apples are a great food if part of a balanced meal, not eaten as a "carb loader"

Teddy Grahams - Grains are awful for you.  So is High Fructose corn syrup.  Both cause high insulin and cortisol levels that will 1) make you fat, 2) make you crash 3) cause muscle and connective tissue breakdown.  Here is our sticky on grains:
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?topic=9301.0

Lets also look at the nutrition info for these Teddy Grahams: http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/teddy-grahams-graham-snacks-chocolate-flavor-3857.htm

As you can see, low in protein, which will also not be absorbed very well, high in carb which will cause the crash due to low sugar bioavailability because your insulin will surge when you eat them.

Trail Mix - Depends on the mix.  Nuts with raisins is actually pretty good for "energy" - though i would recommend a source of protein for good measure.  Some of those trail mixes actually just pour brown sugar on top of everything because it is good for "energy" but pure sugar makes you crash as explained above.

Bananas - Should be getting your vitamins and minerals from a complete diet that includes foods like bananas.  Eating these to carb load will yield the same results as all the above foods

Water - Well.  Not really.  Will help regulate your blood volume and tissue hydration -- but not directly a cause of oxygen delivery.  Any athlete needs very much water to facilitate biological processes of performance and recovery...you won't ever really see me deny this.

Gatorade - Also all sugar.  Better to dilute the gatorade by half, 2/3 or even 3/4....if not, will cause insulin spiking unless consumed during exercise -- even then, the sugar content is so high it usually causes crashing.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 12:49:56 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2008, 11:01:13 AM »
btw u can't get "waterlogged"

unless u drink like a gallon of water in an hour, your body is phenominal at regulating its water supply...and you will just excrete any extra you have...

Offline Lacedup

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2008, 12:19:31 PM »
Yes i have been wrestling since i was three thank you very much, all year round since i was 8 years old. And all of those sugars you are talking about are easily broken down into energy, especially the honey. What i meant by waterlogged is the feeling where your stomach sloshes around, and it isn't very comfortable when you're running.You know, you could have taken the things that i was wrong about, and just corrected me, instead of getting rude and claiming that all of my remedies are obsolete, because even you agreed with most of my suggestions.That might have been a better approach to this situation. But instead you just wanted to seem powerful, and wanted to be the only one who could give out nutritional advice. I am sorry if i came off as aggressive, but seeing as you didn't post any advice before me on this forum, and seeing as I have never met you, there was no reason for you to be rude to me in the first place, and if you weren't trying to be rude, well you sure came off as rude. I was posting my opinion, I was posting things that worked for me. Michael Phelps' 15,000 calorie a day diet may not work for everyone, but it sure as hell works for him, and if this is what works for me, and if this is all I know, then I am going to try to help someone by posting it, because who knows, maybe it will work for him.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2008, 12:39:54 PM »
Yes i have been wrestling since i was three thank you very much, all year round since i was 8 years old.

Wow, i would love to see a 3 year old vs. 3 year old wrestling match.  I didn't even know that existed.

And all of those sugars you are talking about are easily broken down into energy, especially the honey.

No, but if you choose not to believe me that is your prerogative.

I presented the facts and all you did was tell me I was wrong...which makes no sense.  But que sera sera.

What i meant by waterlogged is the feeling where your stomach sloshes around, and it isn't very comfortable when you're running.

OK, i guess....

You know, you could have taken the things that i was wrong about, and just corrected me, instead of getting rude and claiming that all of my remedies are obsolete, because even you agreed with most of my suggestions.That might have been a better approach to this situation.

First off, I was not rude.  I said I did not understand you and when you clarified I said that what you said was not true.  Then you started calling me out and getting aggressive.

I could have just corrected you, but even after I just did, you still don't beleve me, so whats the sense.

I have been around these boards for a bit...not to mention been around several other boards for even longer.  People like you come and go.  Post up crap that makes no sense and don't back it up and other people think it is true...

Sometimes it is better for me to just say you are wrong and see if you really want to hear my POV -- which you didn't...you just wanted me to waste my time and get annoyed with me.

But instead you just wanted to seem powerful, and wanted to be the only one who could give out nutritional advice.

You clearly know nothing about me

I am sorry if i came off as aggressive, but seeing as you didn't post any advice before me on this forum, and seeing as I have never met you, there was no reason for you to be rude to me in the first place, and if you weren't trying to be rude, well you sure came off as rude.

Uhm, I post up here all the time.  Not in this particular thread but I have posted in pretty much every diet thread in the past 6 months.

I was not rude.  You read my benign text as rude because you think I am out to get you are something.  Re-read my posts...all i said was that I did not understand the intent of your post and then I said i disagreed with it....after you asked if i knew how to read.  You were rude, my friend...not me.

I was posting my opinion, I was posting things that worked for me.

I didn't see anything that stated that was your opinion.  I saw you making claims.  The words "in my opinion" or "in my experience" would have been more appropriate -- but I am not here to teach you how to talk to people.

Michael Phelps' 15,000 calorie a day diet may not work for everyone, but it sure as hell works for him, and if this is what works for me, and if this is all I know, then I am going to try to help someone by posting it, because who knows, maybe it will work for him.

Michael Phelps is a world class elite athlete that spends days in the pool.  It pretty much doesn't matter what he eats since he is going to be burning incredible amounts of calories daily.  For him to get a caloric surplus is ridiculously hard so he can pretty much eat whatever the hell he wants.

If it works for you great, then say "this works for me", but i doubt you experimented with other options just to see how it would improve your performance.  Trying different alternatives would allow you to make those claims.

I am basing my advice off my experience with several different diet schemes that I experimented and logged over the past 3 years not to mention reading on the detailed experiences of others.

I think we can end this here, though, as now the OP is probably turned off to this thread all together.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 12:44:25 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline David Wuffey Haimes

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2008, 01:21:36 PM »
This is slightly off-topic, but I've been meaning to ask you Chris.
Have you seen the commercials that are pro- high fructose corn syrup? They seem pretty ridiculous to me. (not to mention the commercials seem really awkward as a
whole)

And slightly more on-topic, I found I was able to run a lot better if I ate a larger, healthier breakfast (yogurt, apple juice, milk, scrambled eggs, half a slice of toast [changed depending on the day]) and something like a salad with some chicken and maybe half a packet of ranch with apple juice and water/lemonade for lunch.
Before practice I would always get hungry, so I ate a granola bar and had some water.

That's what worked for me having school all day, then track afterwards
Anyways I'd trust what Chris Salvato and Steve Low suggest thekman, they're extremely knowledgeable about this kinda stuff
-David

(3 year old vs 3 year old wrestling exists? I don't think I could even tie my shoes at that age, let alone wrestle lol)

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2008, 02:02:07 PM »

Wow, i would love to see a 3 year old vs. 3 year old wrestling match.  I didn't even know that existed.


Then clearly you have never been to a School of Madison Ballet Creative Movement class when the scarves are being handed out! (There is only one purple one, and boy do those little squeakers get vicious! It's like bridesmaids at a bouquet toss).

:P
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Dan Elric

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Re: eating before a race
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2008, 02:56:18 PM »
Quote
Have you seen the commercials that are pro- high fructose corn syrup? They seem pretty ridiculous to me. (not to mention the commercials seem really awkward as a
whole)
My friend told me about them.  I was like wtf.

I agree with Chris on the food stance, but try not to get out of hand.

I have something to add for teddy grams.  Teddy grams don't fill you up because NOT ALL CARBS ARE THE SAME!  Teddy grams have the type of carbs that burn fast and don't fill you up.  Fruits and veggies have carbs that burn slowly and do fill you up.
And it just so happens fast burning carbs are horrible!