2020 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner Jaliaya Molett

2020 marks the fifth year in a row that Indy Runners has awarded the Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship. Traditionally two $500 scholarships are given to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This year we added an additional $500 scholarship to a deserving candidate thanks to a gift from Dr. Michael Helms and the support of Indy Runners members. The three winners are Jane Hirschman from North Central High School, Jaliaya Molett from Charles A Tindley Accelerated High School, and William Hackler from Franklin Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who exemplify these characteristics.

Jaliaya Molett (Charles A Tindley Accelerated)

Jaliaya Molett was a four year varsity member of Charles A. Tindley’s track and field team, and several other athletic teams. She was also a National Honor Society Member and highly active in other school clubs and activities. She graduated with a 3.5 GPA and is currently attending Prairie View A&M University.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share Jaliaya’s essay below.

My name is Jaliaya Molett I am a Senior at Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School located in Indianapolis,Indiana. I hold a GPA of 3.5, ranked 3 of 56 for the Class of 2020. I am a 5 sport athlete; Track and Field, Cross Country, Basketball, Cheer leading, and Soccer but Track and Field is where my heart is. I just play other sports to stay in shape on my off season and I just happen to be good at them too.

I have been running track since I was 7 years old. I currently run the 300 Hurdles during my High School season and the 400 Hurdles during the summertime for Indiana Storm Track Club. I also run the 100 Hurdles, the open 400 meters, and Long Jump. I have an all-around good experience with all the sprints and mid-distance since I started running but these are my main events. I have a goal to one day run in college at the collegiate level hopeful for Prairie View A&M University.

I came to love running because it is the most natural way in which I could clear my mind. I feel at peace knowing that my only task is to get to that finish line and have fun doing it. It wasn’t always about winning too me. I adored the way in which we as athletes are brought together. Running in different meets to me is just a way to bring people closer and to unity different skills from different athletes together along with bringing different cultures together. It’s not all about competing against one another but being able to better your skills along with helping others do the same. I do believe that running has the ability to create a global community by being blind to discrimination which can cause a huge impact on anyone’s future along with mine. Where every athlete feels comfortable competing against one another and not having to worry about being judged on where they come from. Only because running has the ability to blinding people to other regions, races, and sexual preferences do to the fact that we are not here on the race of what ethnic group is better than another but here to enjoy are selves and showcase are talents.

Remember, if you know a deserving young candidate for the 2021 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring. To be notified when applications open, please email GivingBack@IndyRunners.org.

2020 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner William Hackler

2020 marks the fifth year in a row that Indy Runners has awarded the Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship. Traditionally two $500 scholarships are given to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This year we added an additional $500 scholarship to a deserving candidate thanks to a gift from Dr. Michael Helms and the support of Indy Runners members. The three winners are Jane Hirschman from North Central High School, Jaliaya Molett from Charles A Tindley Accelerated High School, and William Hackler from Franklin Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Scholarship is awarded to high school graduates who exemplify these characteristics.

William Hackler (Franklin Central High School)

William Hackler was a varsity member of both the Franklin Central cross country and track and field teams. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and was involved in several other school activities. He graduated with a GPA of 4.203 and is currently attending Purdue University.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to write and submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share William’s essay below.

I started running my junior year of high school. I was a soccer player at heart, having played it for more than ten years, so leaving the sport that I knew like the back of my hand was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made.I knew that I have always had a talent for running. With a lot of hard thought, I decided to join the cross country and track teams at Franklin Central. I was very shy and found it hard to connect with some of the runners on the team. I had joined the cross country team just two days before the soccer tryouts, so I missed almost all of the summer conditioning for cross country. The team was very connected and I felt out of place. It took me a couple of weeks to feel comfortable with the team and to really start buying in to what it had to offer. Once I did, I instantly fell in love with the sport. I was always working as hard as I could to improve my times and work my way up the food chain.

In a little over a year, I dropped my time from a 17:52 down to a 16:18 for the 5k. While doing this I helped our team claim Sectional and Regional titles in 2019, while also receiving All-Sectional and Regional Honors for both my Junior and Senior years. In addition, I received All-Marion County Honors and helped our team win the first Marion County Championship in school history in 2019. Deciding to run was one of the best decisions that I have ever made and it has taught me many life lessons, as well as provided me with amazing role models and friends that I can call my brothers. The biggest lesson that I have learned is no matter what, you can always do better than your best. This lesson has helped me become a much better runner and student. This lesson has allowed me to stay focused in school and allowed me to achieve a 4.203 GPA out of 4.0 and receive First Team Academic All-State Honors.

Running will always be a part of me now. Unfortunately, my senior track season got canceled due to the coronavirus, but I have been doing additional training and participating in online time trials. I will continue to try to improve my times in hopes of walking on at Purdue University in the fall. This has been a goal of mine ever since I started running and I plan to do everything in my power to achieve this goal. No matter what happens, I will never lose my passion for running and will continue to train everyday like it is my last.

In addition to William’s essay, here is a short thank you video he sent us!

Remember, if you know a deserving young candidate for the 2021 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring. To be notified when applications open, please email GivingBack@IndyRunners.org.

2020 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner Jane Hirschman

2020 marks the fifth year in a row that Indy Runners has awarded the Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship. Traditionally two $500 scholarships are given to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This year we added an additional $500 scholarship to a deserving candidate thanks to the support of Indy Runners members and a gift from Dr. Michael Helms. The three winners are Jane Hirschman from North Central High School, Jaliaya Molett from Charles A Tindley Accelerated High School, and William Hackler from Franklin Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who exemplify these characteristics.

Jane Hirschman (North Central High School)

Jane Hirschman was a varsity member of the North Central Panthers cross country and track and field teams. She was also a National Honor Society member and highly active in several school clubs and activities. She graduated with a 5.26 GPA and is currently attending Bowdoin College.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share Jane’s essay below.

When my parents gave me the options of running or swimming to get in exercise after third grade, I begrudgingly chose running, only because swimming seemed too difficult. Little did I know what I was in for. I joined the middle school cross country team in fourth grade, by far the slowest on the team. Yet I kept showing up. Somehow as the years ticked by, I became faster and soon ran the school record for the
2400.

Due to my success in middle school, I felt encouraged me to run cross country my freshman year of high school. However, I was mainly running to earn a gym credit. This decision was one of the greatest decisions I have made so far in my life. High school is where I have fallen in love with running. I have come to appreciate every aspect of the sport. The long runs before the sun rises when you only can hear your
breathing. The cross country camp hill repeats where every time you get to the top you think you can’t do another and yet somehow you do. Endless laps on the track where with each lap you feel increasingly more accomplished. I love it all: the good, bad, and ugly. Every single bit of it.

Not only have I fallen in love with the running, it has also given me a second family, a second home. I could never have accomplished what I have done without my team and coaches. Running has a unique ability to be both an individual and team sport. Because of this, I have celebrated both the highs and the lows with my team. We’ve seen each other at both our bests and worsts. Through it all, my team and
coaches have been there for me. I could not have imagined my high school years without the dedication and support I have received from my running community.

Running has led me down paths I never thought I would have experienced. I have found myself doing 400 meter repeats in a hotel hallway when I was unable to go outside. I’ve spent my summers waking up at 5:30 am to go to cross country practice when all I’ve wanted to do is sleep. I’ve gotten covered in mud from races and had to tape my spikes on to make sure that they wouldn’t get pulled off. And yet in spite, or maybe even because of all the crazy things I’ve done, running is where my heart is. Never did my 9 year old self think that I would be going on to run in college, yet somehow here I am. More excited than ever to put in the miles and miles that will be full of joy. Through it all, all the adversity, joy, and challenges I face in my life, I know that running will always be there for me.

Remember, if you know a deserving young candidate for the 2021 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring. To be notified when applications open, please email GivingBack@IndyRunners.org.

Virtual Courses of the Week: 5k & 10k

Recently, if you are an avid road racer, you’ve probably had to scramble to come up with a virtual race course (or two) due to the pandemic. And if you have run a few already, you might be getting bored of the same old route. If that sounds like you – or if you are just looking for a fun new course to run – here are my 5k and 10k course recommendations this week. I really like both courses. I hope that going somewhere different with a set course might help you feel like your run was a little bit closer to the “real” race experience.

Indy Runners Rocky Ripple 5k (Segment available on Strava & Garmin Connect)

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1110709?units=miles

This is an extended version of a tempo loop that my friend Jordan Kyle showed me a while back. The first mile is really fast and will get you into a good rhythm. There is a little hill that you have to deal with twice before you make your way onto the Canal Towpath, but overall it’s a really fast and fun course. To get a detailed course profile, click on the link provided under the map above.

Indy Runners Bulldog 10k (Segment available on Strava & Garmin Connect)

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1110906?units=miles

This course includes the Rocky Ripple 5k – so if you use Strava and Garmin Connect you can get extra segment credit. This is a nice run on Butler’s campus where you will love me on mile 2 and hate me on mile 5. I’ve only jogged this course but plan on racing it as a fitness check this Friday. Quick note: the finish listed on the map above is slightly different than the segments on Strava and Garmin Connect. Click on the link under the map to get more detailed information on the route.

I’m hoping to make this a regular thing, so if you have any route suggestions send them my way in the comments and they might make it into the next blog post. If you end up running one of my routes let me know what you think!

How to Dress for Winter Training Success

Deciding what to wear while running and walking in an Indianapolis winter isn’t an easy task. Negative wind chills at the beginning of the week can easily shift to sixty degrees and sunny by the end of the week. One thing that won’t shift, however, is the date of that Spring race you signed up for in November. I mean, who wants to train on a treadmill every day until the end of March? This blog post is going to help you make sure you have the perfect running or walking outfit to tackle the fickle Indiana weather all season.

Dress for “Adjusted” Temperature.

The first thing you want to think about when deciding what to wear before a run or walk is the “adjusted” workout temperature. When you run or walk, your body is going to heat up, and your outfit needs to be suited to deal with this change comfortably. Try to dress for a temperature that is 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside. I look at the “Feels like” temperature on my weather app (which takes factors like windchill and humidity into account) and go from there. Everyone responds to temperature changes differently, so it may take multiple trials to figure out what is right for you. Start out by making the 15-20 degree adjustment, which is pretty reliable, and then make further changes as you see fit. Also, keep in mind how strenuous your run or walk will be. A leisurely jog or walk may not require as extreme an adjustment to the actual outside temperature as a fast-paced interval workout will.

Base Layers

Choose the right Base Layer.

A good base layer uses special synthetic fabric (and not cotton) and weaving technology to help wick (pull away) moisture away from your skin to aid in the evaporation of sweat. These are durable shirts that will never fade and will benefit you in hot or cold conditions. The most underrated winter base layer in my opinion is the wind boxer shown above. It’s a great piece for men and women, but to the guys out there: if it’s cold enough, you will wish you had a pair, trust me. 😉

Mid Layer

The Mid Layer helps regulate body temperature.

The mid layer helps regulate your body temperature by directing body heat back into your body and by stopping cold air from passing through to your body. They often feature specially placed vents, fleece-lined panels, and, in some cases, protective wind and rain shields. Many thermal layers contain special pockets to hold personal items like phones and keys. For the majority of the winter season, you can easily get by with just a base layer and a mid layer.

Shells

Top it off with an Outer Protection Shell.

The outer protection shell is most beneficial in poor winter conditions. Its function is to protect you from rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, and more. There are a variety of options available depending on the level of protection you require. There is a variety of apparel items, from vests to jackets, available to provide you with the protection you need on any given day.

Neck Gaiter, Balaclava, Hat, Gloves

Don’t forget your head and hands.

Having a good running hat and pair of gloves is crucial for making it through the winter. There are a variety of different options and thicknesses to fit what you are looking for. If your hands are super cold all the time, then I suggest a mitten. If being able to use your phone is important, there are now a lot of options that allow you to use a touch screen without taking off your gloves. I personally run with a glove-mitten hybrid so that I have the option of a mitten but can switch to a glove when my hands get warm. On the really cold days a balaclava or neck gaiter are crucial to protect your face against the elements. It’s best to try on different options and think about when you will use them. A good hat and pair of gloves can get you through several winters.

Hopefully this blog post gave you a good idea of how to tackle difficult winter training days. Investing in a good winter wardrobe will not only help you train like a champ this winter, but for several winters to come. Best of luck with your training. If you liked this post next time you see me say balaclava and I will take that as a thank you!

Five Mental Tips for Race Day Success

Ever hear the phrase, “running/walking is 90% mental”? While that may be a bit of hyperbole, there is a lot of truth to the saying. Having a strong mental game on race day can be the difference between cashing in and crapping out on months of hard work and preparation.

Sport psychologists encourage relaxation and visualization during an event. Physiologically relaxed muscles are more fluid, react more quickly, and burn less energy. Relaxed bodies have lower blood lactate levels and allow for greater mental concentration. On the opposite end, when you are experiencing fear and stress, the body becomes tense and tight. Blood flow is directed to the brain, making it harder for the body to perform. Referenced from “Running Within” Jerry Lynch

The following five tips will help you relax and visualize your way to Race Day success!

Tip 1: Breath

There is no consensus on what the best breathing pattern is. I have personally found it helpful to keep my breathing under control as much as possible. If you can be thoughtful about each breathe, it will go a long way; staying relaxed will bring in enough oxygen while also relaxing your mind and body. You can even take this a step further by visualizing clean air circulating through the body with each inhalation, and toxins, stress, and negativity being released with each exhalation.

Tip 2: Body & Face

Remember: staying relaxed and under control is the name of the game. To do that you need to identify and eliminate areas of tension in the body and face. Aim for having loosely cupped hands, relaxed arms, dropped and relaxed shoulders, and a gentle anterior tilt of the head. You also want to relax your face. I typically visualize one of Salvador Dali’s clocks and try to make my face as close to that as possible.

Tip 3: Words

Develop positive mantras and be relentlessly optimistic. I remind myself over and over about all the hard work I have put in and how ready I am. But that is just me. Everyone runs or walks a race for different reasons. Whatever your reason, lean into that! And give yourself plenty of reminders when things are getting tough. I have also found that putting a smile on my face from time to time really helps a lot. After all, this is supposed to be fun!

Tip 4: Images

Using visual images can really help during challenging parts of a race. I typically like to think back to a time when a workout or race went really well and how great I felt. Putting my mind into that positive space helps me will it into existence again. I also like to imagine myself at the moment I cross the finish line and the joy I will feel when I’m done running and my goals have been met. Again, this is just me; mantras should be personal. Find what images motivate you and use them.

Tip 5: Handling Bad Patches

There are several coping strategies that help with handling bad patches during a race. I personally like to break the race into small, manageable chunks – the next mile marker, the next street corner, etc. Focus all your efforts on making it to whatever spot you have picked out in your mind. When you reach the spot you targeted, then choose another and repeat. Other successful tactics include quickening your pace for short bouts of 50-100 meters to change things up, or focusing on your running form to make sure you are maintaining good running posture.

Now that you have the keys to the castle, you should be ready to crush it on race day! If you think I missed anything feel free to share in the comments any strategies that work for you. I also love hearing success stories, so let me know if any of these tips work out for you. Fare well! I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming events!

CNO Financial Group Indianapolis Monumental Marathon & Half Marathon Course Changes 2019

The 12th annual CNO Financial Group Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K is less than three weeks away! Since the marathon was first run in 2008, it has grown to be one of the 15 largest in the country. It is popular in part because it consistently offers great running weather and a fast course. As both the Half and Full marathon races have grown in size, small tweaks have been made to the courses to make sure participants continue to have experiences matching the high standards that they expect. The 2019 race features four such changes: two each to the Half and Full marathon courses. Without further ado, here is a breakdown of the new CNO Financial Group Indianapolis Monumental Marathon & Half Marathon courses.

Half AND Full Marathon Change:

The first course change affects both the Half and Full marathons between miles 3 and 4. As participants head north on Alabama from New York, instead of turning right on Michigan Street, as was done last year, runners will now pass Michigan and go 1 block farther to North Street, turn right, and head towards Mass Ave. I doubt anyone will really notice this minor change. My impression is that this change adds a little more of a straight away and a slightly easier transition onto Mass Ave.–all good things for fast running!

Half Marathon Change Only:

For the Half Marathon ONLY, between miles 9 and 10, participants heading south on Talbott Street will reach 30th Street and, instead of turning right like in previous years, continue south to turn right on Mapleton Trace toward Meridian. This appears to be a pretty minor change to the course. If anything, it avoids the new Red Line for an extra block and a half. I anticipate this change will be inconsequential.

Full Marathon Change Only:

On the Full marathon course ONLY, as participants approach mile 13, instead of continuing north on College to 66th Street and turning left, they will turn left onto 64th Street and take that to Park Avenue. When marathoners reach Park, they will turn right and head north one block to Riverview Dr. where they will rejoin the traditional course route. This is also a minor change to the previous course. Turning off of College a couple blocks earlier than in previous years will help avoid any potential conflicts with the Red Line turn-around point on 66th Street. I actually run this section pretty frequently and think that, considering the Red Line, this is a very good change and will not negatively impact anyone’s performance.

These are all the course changes for the 2019 CNO Financial Group Indianapolis Monumental Marathon & Half Marathon. If you’ve run or walked either race in the past, the rest of the course is going to be just as fantastic as you remember! If this is your first time participating, then you can view both the entire Half and Full marathon course maps by clicking on this link: Be Monumental Course Map. Good luck to everyone! And make sure to come by the Indy Runners cheer tent post-race. Rumor has it we will be serving breakfast burritos! 😉

Why the Long Run (or Walk)? Or a distance athlete walks into a bar…

For as long as I have been a distance athlete, I’ve done a long run once a week. My first long runs were six grueling miles on the country roads of Bloomington, Indiana as a high school cross country athlete. Nowadays, I can log up to 30 miles during a long run if I’m training for an ultra event. And although it’s practically a distance running cliche, I believe the long run is the most important run of the week.

What is a long run? Why is it so important? What’s going on under the hood, so to speak? And what is up with this bar and where is the bartender? I will try to shed some light on the former three questions, but you’re on your own with the last one. What exactly is a long run and what you are getting out of it?

Author’s note: While I am using the term “long run” throughout this post, please note that the same training guidelines and physiological concepts apply if you are a distance walker and not a runner! Get after it!

What is a “long run”?

The short answer: it’s the longest run of the week. Shocking, I know. The distance and duration will vary depending on the race you’re training for. If you are training for a half marathon, your long run will be less than someone’s who is training for a marathon. In order to facilitate the necessary physiological changes for performing well at longer distances (i.e. full- and half-marathons), the total time of a long run should be more than 90-105 minutes regardless of pace.

Why are “long runs” important? And what’s going on under the hood?

  • Energy Efficiency: Running long distances improves your body’s ability to store glycogen (energy in the form of stored carbohydrates), handle glycogen depletion (when your body starts to run low on fuel), manage muscle fatigue, and use fat in conjunction with glycogen as energy.
  • Muscle Adaptation: During your long run, the cells that make up your muscles increase in size by adding more fibers (the parts that contract) and mitochondria (the parts of the cells that use oxygen to generate energy). There is also an increase in enzymes–which ultimately increases the rate at which delivered oxygen can be used to create energy. And finally, more capillaries become active within exercising muscles, delivering oxygen to and removing waste from them more efficiently.
  • Running Economy: Simply put, running long increases your body’s ability to utilize oxygen more efficiently.
  • Aerobic Capacity: Most runners, especially new runners, are greatly held back by their lack of aerobic capacity (a measure of efficiency, as described above). The biggest gains you can make in overall performance come with increasing aerobic capacity, and running long is one of the best ways to do that.
  • Mental Toughness: News Flash — When running long distances, there is likely some amount of discomfort that you have to manage. If this hasn’t been your experience, I would suggest maybe running farther or faster. Anyway, the more you run long the better you will be at handling the discomfort–emotionally and physically.
  • Specificity of Training: This means that the system you stress is the system that improves. So basically, if you are training for a long distance race, you are going to get the most benefit from running long distances. Micheal Jordan didn’t become a great basketball player by riding a bike!

Final Thoughts and A Word of Warning

So now that I’ve unlocked all the mysteries behind the long run (or walk), you’re ready to get out there and go for as long as you can the next chance you get, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. To minimize your risk of injury, you need to build up your long run over time and in a responsible manner. That means that if the longest you’ve ever run is 6 miles, it’s probably not a good idea to go out for 16 miles tomorrow. A good training program (especially for newer runners) will increase your long run duration over the course of a training cycle (e.g. 12-16 weeks for a half- or full-marathon) and typically have 1 recovery week per month where the distance of your long run is decreased.

I hope that this information has helped you better understand why it is beneficial to incorporate a long run or walk into your training and what you are getting out of it. If you think I got something wrong or left something out, be sure to let me know in the comments. Also, if you liked this blog post, next time you see me out in the real world shout “Mitochondria!” so I know you read the whole thing!

Running & Walking Nutrition Basics

I vividly remember the moment I started to appreciate the relationship between food and running. It was my freshman year of high school (Go Panthers!) when I discovered both distance running and gyros at the exact same time. I thought gyros were the perfect lunch–until I ate one on the same day as a track workout. Let’s just say that after that day my relationship with gyros changed forever. And my understanding of how to properly eat before a workout (and why) got a little better.

My next big revelation about nutrition and its impact on running came after college when I started running longer and longer distances (marathons and ultra marathons). Luckily, I had an experienced distance-running coach who explained the importance of in-race nutrition and its impact on performance. Even after 26 marathons and a half dozen or so ultra marathons in just over a decade, I am still playing with what works best for my body during long running events.

While I am not claiming to be a Sports Nutritionist, I do have a lot of experience when it comes to seeking out and finding the right fuel for my endurance events of choice. This is probably the topic that gets brought up the most when I talk with new half- and full-marathon runners.

If you are planning to run a race of ninety minutes or more and you are not thinking about a nutrition plan, you might want to start!

Below are some basic rules of thumb that I follow. Keep in mind that everyone is different and it is important to experiment and figure out what works best for you.

Nutrition Pre-Exercise or Pre-Race: (Source: Cassie Dimmick)

  • Shorter weekday workouts: eat 30-60 min before
  • Longer weekend workouts or competition: eat 2-3 hours before (Don’t worry about waking up that early before the long run unless you are simulating race day. Eat well the night before and snack 30-45 minutes before running.)
  • Choose a meal or snack that is low in fat, contains complex carbohydrates, and has a little protein.
  • Rule of Half: half a bagel, half a banana, half a cup of coffee, etc
  • Eat familiar foods that you know you can tolerate
  • Practice leading up to a long distance race
  • Drink 10-16 oz of fluid 1-2 hours before exercise and another 4-8 oz right before you start.

Pre-Exercise food examples:

  • Granola bar and a banana
  • English muffin or bagel with peanut butter and a piece of fruit
  • Smoothie
  • Nutrition Bar
  • Gel or Sports Chews
  • Pretzels

Nutrition During Exercise or Race: (Source: Cassie Dimmick)

  • Muscles use glycogen (the stored energy form of carbohydrates) and fat for fuel. Both fat and glycogen are used in most activities. Fat can be used as a fuel during aerobic exercise (long, low intensity exercise), but glycogen is the main fuel during strenuous exercise (running a half or full marathon) and anaerobic exercise (short bursts of all-out running).
  • For exercise over 90 minutes, you need additional carbs from gels, bars, or other well-tolerated foods.
  • For runs up to 120 minutes, 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour of exercise is helpful.
  • For runs over 120 minutes, aim for 60-90 grams per hour as tolerated.

Examples of approximately 30 Grams of carbohydrate:

  • 1 banana
  • 10 pretzels
  • 2 Fig Newtons
  • 1/4 bagel
  • Gels and Sports Chews (Note: Gels and chews have roughly 22 to 29 grams of carbs per serving along with electrolytes. Take these with water to speed delivery of energy into your system.)

Nutrition Post Exercise or Race:

To become a better runner or walker you need to recover from running or walking. For proper recovery, it is recommended that you eat something with both carbohydrates and protein within 45 minutes to an hour after exercise. Failing to do so will most likely effect recovery time and limit the the improvements you can gain from your workout. Failing to recover not only can hinder potential benefits from exercise, but also can lead to injury over time. Read more about the science behind post-exercise recovery in this report by the American Council on Exercise.

I hope this article helps you answer some of your basic sports nutrition questions. At the very least, I hope it gets you thinking about the subject if you have not been already. If this is something you are really fascinated by and think it is the edge you need, I would recommend going to see a Sports Nutritionist to learn more. And remember, we are all different, so it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for your body.

2019 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner Katie Manion

For four years in a row, Indy Runners has awarded two $500 scholarships to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This years’ winners are Jada Coleman from Ben Davis High School and Katie Manion from North Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Scholarship is awarded to high school graduates who exemplify these characteristics.

Katie Manion (North Central High School)

Katie was a member of the North Central Panthers cross country team all four years and a team captain for the 2018-19 season. She also ran track her freshman and sophomore years of high school and competed in the Mini Marathon in 2016. She graduated with a 4.379 grade point average and will be attending Saint Louis University in the fall.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to write and submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share Katie’s essay below.

At the age of seven, my parents signed me up for my elementary school’s running club. At the age of eight, I ran my first 5k. By the time I was nine, my neighbor and I were running around our neighborhood together on a daily basis. When I was 11, I completed my first cross country season at Eastwood Middle School, and I loved every minute of it. At this point in my life, running kept me going. It gave me something to look forward to after school, a way to release my negative emotions, and a way to keep my growing body strong.

Right before my 12th birthday, I found myself in the hospital at Riley. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. While sitting in my bed, my doctors rattled off the dangers of running and the precautions that I would need to take in order to be able to continue to practice the sport I love. I was told that running would become incredibly challenging and that I would have to wear monitors while on the move to ensure my safety. I would have to take lengthy breaks between reps and space out my workouts to keep my glucose levels stable. They told me it would be hard to get faster. I made varsity the next year. And the year after that. I did not let myself become defined by my diagnosis and I refused to let it slow me down.

As I went into high school, my body began to slow down as my disease became harder to control. It became evident that maintaining the speed that I had known for so long would be nearly impossible. Freshmen year was the most difficult. Not only was I trying to find my place on the team socially, but I was watching myself fall behind my peers in practice. By the time the first meet rolled around, I was nowhere close to making varsity. I was having to sit out of practice two or three times a week, and it was honestly humiliating. I always felt like people thought I was a slacker or uncommitted, but in reality, I was just sick.

Before this point, I loved running for the competition. I loved collecting my ribbons and hanging up medals in my room. However, I was no longer able to compete at the level that I had in the past. I began to receive less and less medals, and my bulletin board full of ribbons did not become any more impressive. But during this time, I began to love running more and more. It reminded me that I was still strong, and it still does. Though I cannot run everyday, I feel unstoppable when I am able to. It has taught me that I do not need to be the fastest to be the happiest, and that is all that matters.

Remember, if you think you know a deserving young candidate for the 2020 Erika Wells Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring!