Here is a start…many more to come


What do you eat before a workout?

Morning workouts I tend to not be very hungry when I wake up, so I just go straight to the gym and I am fine. Especially when I run, I actually like to feel empty, not hungry, just empty.  .  I have read several times in Runner’s World that your body has enough fuel to get through an hour of exercise in the morning. If I know I will be running longer than that or I wake up hungry, I have piece of fruit or half a kashi bar to get going. And I bring gus or granola bars or clif shot blocks to eat about an hour into my run. I keep it light, so my food is purely fuel and my body isn’t using energy for digestion while I am running.  I am always ready for a full meal after a long run, and I never go more than an hour before eating to aid muscle tissue repair.

What do you eat on long runs?

While it varies depending on height and body weight, a good rule is 100 calories after the first hour and an additional 100 calories every 45 minutes thereafter.  You can get these calories anyway you like, Gatorade (preferable diluted), gus, gels, sports bars, sports jelly beans or clif shot blocks (my fav) or even granola bars, pretzels, or bananas—if this is comfortable for your digestions.  Water is also very important.  You must drink water with gus, gels, and clif blocks.  I aim for 6 oz of water every 15 minutes. More when it is hot, less when it is cold.

Tips for Eating and Drinking While Running

This is definitely a learned skill, not innate at all!  However, it can be necessary when running for several hours, actually most coaches say to refuel after one hour if you are going to be going a few more miles.  So here are a few tips.


try different things, gus, gels, blocks, granola bars, sports drinks, sportz beans and find out what your body likes best.  Your body, not your taste buds!  Hopefully at least one option will be gentle on your tummy.

Have water handy-

you must must must drink water with any type of concentrated sports fuel.  Your body needs it to digest. 

Get it over with-

this is not brunch folks.  While you have spent years teaching yourself to not eat mindlessly and savour your food, forget all this while running.  Don’t worry you won’t start eating mindlessly just because you do it by training.  Squeeze the whole gu in your mouth, chug water and keep it moving.

I found drinking water from cups during races very difficult.  Luckily I had lots of practice before the big M day.  I got it in my eyes, up my nose, all over myself, and lots of choking occurred before I mastered the art of drinking while running.  So here is how I do it.  Grab one or two cups, pour a little out, squeeze the top completely in half so you have a slit. Now you can sip slowly through one small opening on the folded edge at either end of the cup. I highly encourage wearing a fuel belt when possible, that way you don’t waste cups or litter, plus the little water bottles are really easy to drink from.


I have always read that it is important to eat before exercising, especially if you exercise in the morning because your body has been fasting. I noticed that you did not. Do you not get hungry or shaky mid workout?  I wake up hungry, but I don’t do intense enough workouts to burn enough calories to eat two breakfasts.

First off, this is a great article on eating before and after workouts http://food.yahoo.com/blog/beautyeats/18848/eat-to-lose-before-and-after-workouts

I’ll admit it, I eat late at night. Not a great habit, but I get home really late and so I eat dinner really late. Sometimes I even have a (gasp) snack in bed right before I go to sleep. I am trying to watch this, and since I started eating breakfast, I am not so hungry at night. But typically I can easily get through a 45 minute workout without eating breakfast first.  If I am hungry or working out for longer, I like a light serving or carbs, like a big handful or cereal or granola bar.

I would say that a mini meal is good for those who wake up hungry, like toast and pb or fruit and pb or a packet of oatmeal.  Try splitting your breakfast into two parts, one for before and one for after. Another idea is to have your normal breakfast and then just have a mid morning snack of high fiber crackers and a wedge of low fat cheese to hold you to lunch.


Should I use sports drinks or power bars.

It depends on the intensity of your workouts.

For a light workout (30 minutes or less), you probably don’t need anything after because you haven’t gotten your body to the point that it needs protein and carbs to rebuild the muscle tissue, this really only happens if after 45 minutes of moderately intense activity. It’s the same for sports drinks, you really don’t need them unless you are working out for sustained periods of time.  I actually never use sports drinks because at 5ft tall, I don’t burn as many calories as others.

How do you get omega 3s as a vegetarian?

I do eat fish a few times a month, usually salmon. I don’t worry too much about getting in omega-3’s. I once tried taking a fish oil supplement, but it made me kind of sick. There is also a vegetarian omega 3 supplement you could try. I do eat edammame and nori (seaweed) on a semi-regular basis.
Here are some great sources of omega-3’s if you feel you need to get more into your diet:
chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut oil,omega-3 fortified eggs, ground flaxseed and flax oil, walnuts, seaweed, canola oil and soybeans. Here are other fish sources, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, pacific oysters.


Based on the list above several of these items unintentionally weave their way into my diet throughout the month, so I am pretty sure I get enough.

What are your favorite salad dressings?

Maple Grove Farms of Vermont All Natural Salad Dressings. I have had the strawberry balsamic, delish. I just bought the All Natural Maple Fig, but haven’t tried it yet.

Plain balasamic

Newman’s Own Light Honey Dijon and Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

And sometimes just a mix of Dijon mustard and agave nectar with Himalayan sea salt, thinned out with h20. 

I don’t like fage!

Well there is no need to force yourself to like it, but here are ways to jazz it up
add cinnamon
add all natural fruit jam
add fruit, warmed frozen berries rock
add cereal


How do you fit in aerobics, strength training and ab work? I find strength training takes so long! And quite frankly weight lifting is not that enjoyable. How do you balance it all?


I also find strength training incredibly boring after 5 minutes. So I try to combine upper and lower body movements together to save time and raise the heart rate. So lunges with overhead presses, squats with bicep curls. Working smaller and larger muscle groups at the same time seems to be the trend, plus it’s fast and effective.
I fit exercise in where I can, but I don’t beat myself up if I miss a day or two! I walk in the subway tunnels when I wait for the train, take the stairs a lot and walk around the city on days where I can’t get to the gym.
My other suggestion would be to get videos that combine cardio interval strength training. It’s very effective to keep lowering and raising the heart rate. My favorites are the shape bikini boot camp series and Jillian Michaels Frontside backside 2 disc workout.

Quick question that many runners may have. Can you help me understand what the difference between my speeds should be. I just realized yesterday during my run that I run every run at the same speed which is crazy… Assuming that 9:45 or so is my current race pace, what should I set the treadmill to during tempo run days? 

This is a great question, first of all a lot of runners only have one speed, so don’t feel crazy.  A lot of my TNT friends, who have done multiple marathons and half iron mans, joke that when the coach says run at your 5k pace, they are like, dude I only have one pace.  However, if you are looking to improve your speed, it helps to break out of your comfort pace.  Tempo paces are best described as comfortably hard.  Meaning you can say a few workds, maybe a sentence, but you aren’t really in the position to have a conversation.  Basically, you want to run at the fastest pace you can sustain consistantly for the given distance.  So if you are doing a 3 mile tempo run, you will be running faster than if you are doing a 5 mile tempo run.   For example if you are doing a 3 mile tempo run and 6.5 miles per hour is the fastest you speed you can maintain without slowing down for the entire workout but you feel very happy to stop when you hit 3 miles, your 5 miles tempo pace should be slower.

To be more specific the Runner’s World Book has a chart to explain tempo paces based on your 5K time–they have it for every 5 seconds, but I will just give a few examples:

5k time     short tempo  mid tempo    long tempo    easy

22:30          7:32MPH        7:47MPH       8:02           9:07

26:15           8:44                    8:59                9:14          10:19

30:00         9:56                  10:11                  10:26         11:31

5 responses to “FAQs

  1. Pingback: HMC Day 8: Week 1 winner and more! « Fitness NYC

  2. I would also recommend adding walnuts or almonds to your Fage yogurt. It’s great with or without the cinnamon.

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  4. Oh snap, thanks very much for posting this! It is gonna help me when I get Hemp Seed online! Beautiful!

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