ATC 353: Nausea at the Finish (Outside-The-Box Remedies), Combining Marathon Training and Yoga, Nutrition and Training For Multi-Day Bikepacking, and More!

June 2, 2023


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Laura asks:

Puking at the Finish Line

I throw up at the end of nearly every running race I do, REGARDLESS of the distance — it can be 5k, 10k, HM or marathon, and it’s always the same, also regardless of weather. It usually happens in last 100-200 meters where I get so nauseous and next thing you know I am literally throwing up. I have tried everything from hydration strategies, nutrition, pacing, training at appropriate intensities, and so on… Of course, racing is always going to be different than training and you can’t perfectly replicate race day in a training sesh, but still, it is getting so annoying that this happens to me. What do you think it could be? What can I do to prevent this?

What the coaches say:

  • First look at the obvious potential offenders: hydration, nutrition, weather conditions (e.g. extreme heat, etc.).
  • Consider: Intensity, lactic acidosis, hydrogen ion concentrations.
  • Training at appropriate intensities to properly prepare for race conditions and that final push.
  • If that has all been addressed then go deeper…
  • Nervous system dysregulation, hormonal imbalance.
  • Address HPA axis function and health markers.
  • Try breathwork and calming exercises pre-race; breathing during racing.
  • Not all issues are obvious or easy to solve… keep digging, find that root cause and the imbalance leading to this outcome in racing.

Eddie asks:

Racing the Colorado Trail Race – Bikepacking and MAF

I have been an endurance mountain bike athlete for a very long time, 30+ years. Multiple 24 hour solos (single speed) and many 100+ mile races.  I have been following the MAF method for many years now.  This method has worked well for me.  I recently started bikepacking and have completed the Colorado Trail Race.  On my first attempt I had to quit after 300 miles due to complete loss of energy and fatigue.  Going into this race I was following the MAF method both in training and in diet. High fat, low carb.  This did not seem to fare well with the Colorado trail race.  On my second attempt I introduced carbs during training and during the race.  I also included more anaerobic training. I completed the race in 8 days and 15hours.  My goal was to finish in 7 days but just to finish was a personal accomplishment for me.  I want to attempt this race again this year in Aug.

I’m back on the MAF method for both training and diet.  I’m feeling great on the bike and the energy is good.  What do you guys feel about an event like this, 540miles, fully packed bike, self supported a lot of miles of Hike a bike (I estimated 100+) 76K feet of elevation.  Avg elevation is at 10,500ft.  I really would like to  attempt this again and have my aerobic training and low carb nutrition work for me.  What are your thoughts on the MAF method and an event like this?  This race is really about recovery.  Riding/hiking 17+ hours a day, 4-5 hours of sleep per night, constant calorie replenishment.  I’m 60 years old now but never figure this into the equation other than recovery.  I’m curious to hear your opinion.

What the coaches say:

  • MAF focus for training is definitely appropriate here, but we advise doing so in more of a polarized training format so you are preparing for that percentage of time that will be high-intensity work, e.g. hike-a-bike sections, hills, etc.
  • Low carb is relative! So for an event like this 200-300g/CHO day could still be on the lower-carb side of things and defiinitely appropriate. Any lower could run risks and especially if he’s tried LCHF and had a DNF why go back a format that didn’t work?
  • Meanwhile, can periodize nutrition over the season to have periods of low carb during appropriate training loads, and build strong metabolic flexibility for health AND performance benefits.
  • Metabolic function at altitude shifts especially that high up. Lucho mentions taking in 100g/CHO first hour of Leadville to get ahead.

JW asks:

Ashtanga Yoga & Marathon Newbie

Hey Guys, Hope all is well.  Thx as always for everything you guys do. I’ve been listening since the start to ATC and have loved every minute of the journey.


I just began working with an athlete who is a devoted practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga for over a decade. They also enjoy running, want to do more, and signed up for a marathon in the fall(Marine Corps-Oct).(side note we live in FL and it’s already  hot and humid and will be up to Oct)

I know you guys are familiar with Ashtanga Yoga, obviously very difficult and advanced and this person’s sessions are typically 90 to 120 minutes, two times a week (Mondays and Wednesdays).   I’m not a yogi and can’t even imagine.

With the Yoga practice and other life responsibilities, they can do three to four days of running per week but are very busy(long days of work) on Saturdays and Sundays.

Their totally “free day” is Tuesday, which they had been using for their “long runs” of 6-8 miles to maintain fitness.  (Obviously in the marathon build up we will be going much longer than that for long runs.)

I definitely have my own ideas on how to fit in the running, especially the long runs, around the yoga and even use the yoga/running as compliments to each other, but I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions and what a typical week might look like if you were setting it up for someone in this situation.

Any other suggestions or ideas you would have throughout the buildup/program or even the taper for this athlete?

Keep the long run on Tuesdays?  Carve out time on a different day for long runs?

Run after/before a yoga session on the same day?

Etc etc?

Thanks and looking forward to hearing your thoughts/ideas.

What the coaches say:

  • Someone this experienced at yoga may not be as impacted as a yoga newbie, i.e. not a huge energy toll or source of DOMS/soreness/fatigue.
  • Experienced yogis also may be more in tune with their bodies and honor their limits on any given day.
  • We still agree that the Tuesday long run is likely the best bet for this person’s schedule—BUT be willing to adjust on a weekly basis, i.e. skip the Wednesday yoga if really fatigued from the prior day run.
  • Get used to working on microcycle (weekly) shifts not just the big picture. Flexibility and communication between coach and athlete!

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