How Sports Nutrition Improved One Runner’s Race Times

Sandra shares firsthand how her expertise with UPMC Sports Medicine’s sports nutrition program and dietitian Jeff Lucchino, MS, RDN, CSSD helped put her on the quick monitor to a more healthy way of life and improved race occasions.

I’m a spouse, a stay-at-home mom of two boys, and an avid runner. My operating adventures began again in 2006 once I ran my first half marathon. I used to be instantly in love with distance operating, because it crammed a gap in my coronary heart that school athletics had as soon as occupied.

Since then, I’ve run a lot of half marathons and the Chicago marathon in 2016. I walked away from that race figuring out I might do higher. I knew I wanted to lose the weight I had gained from having youngsters and study extra about correct sports activities nutrition, particularly since I used to be breastfeeding my youngest son and training for my second marathon in early 2017.

I came upon about Jeff Lucchino and UPMC Sports Medicine whereas attending a marathon seminar held on the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. I had simply turned 40 and run my first marathon. I needed some issues to vary for the higher in my life, and Jeff and UPMC Sports Medicine helped make that occur.

Learn more about the services at UPMC Sports Medicine. 

The First Steps

After assembly Jeff and discovering the help I wanted to develop into accountable for what I used to be placing in my physique, I used to be capable of give attention to correct nutrition and training for my second marathon.

We determined that I might share my MyFitnessPal account info with him so he might actually verify in on what I used to be consuming. I misplaced six to eight kilos in my first month! I used to be dropping weight by following my training plan, logging my food, and consuming what felt like a very good quantity of food. It was superb!

We set calorie and macronutrient objectives based mostly on whether or not it was a training or nontraining day, which was a game-changer for me. I wasn’t weight-reduction plan; I used to be studying to gasoline my physique so I had sufficient power for my training runs and for correct restoration.

I discovered to make healthy substitutions for unhealthy snacking. I discovered about portion management, as snacking mindlessly was an enormous weak spot of mine. With two little boys, I used to be drained and felt like I had little or no time to concentrate on myself. I used all of my power to ensure the boys have been all the time consuming healthy, clear food, however my snacking and portion management have been huge obstacles in my weight-loss journey.

Small Changes, Big Payoff

Jeff helped me discover sensible options to my challenges. Every week we touched base by way of e mail, and the kilos stored coming off. I didn’t all the time have good days, and Jeff was the primary individual to let me know that was OK. This was what I wanted to listen to from knowledgeable: To achieve success, lose weight, and gasoline my physique correctly, I needed to have objectives but in addition be lifelike.

By my second marathon, 4 months later, I used to be down virtually 20 kilos! We had created a hydration and fueling plan that helped me to enhance my marathon time by 29 minutes, and I felt superb through the race. I truly acquired quicker on the finish of the marathon. I used to be ecstatic!

I met with Jeff after the race, and we set some new objectives as a result of engaged on small objectives was serving to me accomplish some actually huge issues. I misplaced one other 4 kilos in April and ran a course greatest on the UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon. I used to be virtually again to the tempo I used to be operating once I was in my 20s and 30s.

The largest factor I’ve discovered is that various things work for various individuals. What has labored for me is having the help and accountability Jeff supplies by checking in by way of e-mail or being obtainable for follow-up appointments. I now take pleasure in what I’m placing in my physique, and I can see what my physique and thoughts accomplish when fueled correctly and never disadvantaged.

Bringing It All Home

A healthy life is a piece in progress. When you do one thing good for your self, it trickles down and the constructive outcomes are countless. I run to be mentally and bodily healthy, and to encourage my youngsters to be healthy. Now that I’ve Jeff and the Sports Nutrition Program at UPMC Sports Medicine by my aspect, I actually really feel like I can train my youngsters about correct nutrition and exercise.

Jeff has been greater than a nutrition coach. He has been somebody who I might be trustworthy with about food, exercise, and life. I look ahead to all of the issues I’ll proceed to study nutrition and sports activities efficiency. With the appropriate assist and instruments, I’ve discovered that baby steps can turn into huge strides and that so many issues are attainable. My weight loss, marathon, and general health objectives all now appear to be inside my attain.


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