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Marathon Running Before/after Going gluten-free
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Hi all,

 

I was diagnosed this summer while training for my first marathon (it was stomach trouble on long runs, which persisted into the evening that put the warning flags up!) and put my not brilliant race time down in part to coeliac.

I just wondered if there are any coeliacs here who also do distance running and how it is affected by (or affects) coeliac. I'm pretty sure it was the strain my body was under during training (and all that bread and pasta *shudders*) that made mine noticeable enough to get tested.

I'm particularly keen to hear from anyone who's run pre- and post-diagnosis and what changes you found. Is tapering off training while I'm first off gluten (and my guts are hopefully repairing!) necessary? Also, any nutritional supplements/gels/chewies to stay away from or that people recommend?

Finally (I'm also a vegetarian) this website has some brilliant training recipes, a lot of which are gluten-free or easily adapted. www.nomeatathlete.com
 

Happy running :)

 

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Ohh my gosh!! I cannot imagine being a runner and having Celiac!! Kudo's to you!! I am just now starting to walk a mile!! sometimes it makes me feel wonderful sometimes it makes me feel like I ran a 100 mile marathon .. Like I said Kudos to you! 

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Aha thankyou! I've gone from hating running at school to being really 'grateful' to it, because it was excessive runner's tummy trouble and decreasing performance that alerted me to something being wrong - I'd no noticeable symptoms before so who knows if/when I'd have been diagnosed otherwise. It also gives me a real incentive (because like I say, my symptoms don't really affect me day to day) to stick to gluten-free and stay healthy because I want to improve my running. 
Well done on the walking - it's a mile further than the guy on the couch (most of whom don't have coeliac to worry about!)

 

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I've only run a 1/2 marathon a year ago,  but I've done Century Rides for years.  I was training for a ride when I fractured my vertebrae doing nothing (complications from Celiac Disease).  As a result, I had to stop running and riding and was left with water aerobics and walking.  I've now started up with running and am up to 3.4 miles each time.  I am not going to do a Century ride this fall but will hopefully get back on track this spring.  

 

You didn't let us know if you have any other complications from celiac disease (e.g. iron deficiency, bone issues, other deficiencies), so it's hard to give sound advice.  If your doctor clears you for intense exercise, then go for it.  If you decide to be patient and give your body time to heal, you might prevent injuries.   The good news is that you are young and should heal fast!  Remember, there will always be a marathon to participate in.  

 

Good luck.  

 

P.S.  I like Gu, bananas, cookies, and Gatoraide for my rides, but I'm a meat/fish eater and ate copious amounts of protein while training, plus complex carbs.   I saved simple carbs for energy during my rides.  

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I went from barely able to drag myself out of bed exhausted to completing a marathon a year later -- that's the difference going gluten-free made in my life. Granted I walked that marathon (after the husband's knee surgery and extensive recovery, I decided my knee tendons didn't need the misery of running). Since then, I've done several half marathons with friends, and am training for another right now.

 

As far as training went, there were no issues with being gluten-free (except making sure I had the right kind of energy bars on hand -- there are lots of great gluten-free options). For my pre-race (or pre-long walk) carbo loading, I went with rice instead of wheat-based pasta, rice being easier to locate for out-of-town events. During the races, I made sure I had Gatorade on hand; yes, some water stations also had Gatorade, but not always. And there are some companies that hand out various gels and whatnot during the event. I avoid those because I don't find them tasty...and unless it's a brand I know well, I'm not going to try a new food mid-race.

 

Good luck!

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Welcome KCG!

 

You have had excellent advice...just wanted to say be sure to listen to your body while you heal.  Once you have some time under your belt, there is no reason you will not be able to complete anything you set your mind on and likely feel very strong while doing so :)

 

We use Gu Gels:

 

Gu = Gluten Free

 

Cliff Shots and Bars ARE NOT.

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Wow, thanks guys :)

 

cyclinglady, no other problems other than marginal anaemia (which I suspect is villi related and will clear up as I heal). The vertebrae sounds painful...another complication I haven't swotted up on yet. I think I'm going to go easy until Christmas then begin training properly again.
 

Kassia and GottaSki, thanks for the tips on gels. I get on OK with Gu gels but really like Clif bloks so that's a real disappointment! Not impressed with their labelling though - it isn't anywhere on the packaging or easy to find on their website. Gu chomps it is then!

GottaSki, funny you should mention 'listening' to my body...at mile 18 EVERYONE running around me was listening to my stomach roaring. Funny to look back on now!

 

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Wow, thanks guys :)

 

 

Kassia and GottaSki, thanks for the tips on gels. I get on OK with Gu gels but really like Clif bloks so that's a real disappointment! Not impressed with their labelling though - it isn't anywhere on the packaging or easy to find on their website. Gu chomps it is then!

GottaSki, funny you should mention 'listening' to my body...at mile 18 EVERYONE running around me was listening to my stomach roaring. Funny to look back on now!

 

 

I'd imagine things will be much quieter out there now ;)

 

we've been using Gu for a long time...got a lot of Clif Shot freebies during bike races...bummed they are not safe...more bummed that Gu doesn't have the great little package with the leash for when you have torn it open. 

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GottaSki, yeah Clif sponsored my marathon so they were handing out Bloks throughout. And selling them cheap at the sports expo... my boyfriend's happy though, he's just obtained a lot for free! And yeah I hope it's quieter - I don't have another race til the end of March so fingers crossed!

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I use GU chomps and GU gel with no issues. I prefer the chomps vs the gel and they even say gluten free and diary free on the packet. I have not been able to verify if the Peanut Butter GU gel is gluten free as it isn't on the packet and I am too lazy to call.

 

I also use NUUN for hydration especially during the summer months.

 

Being diagnosed and going gluten free has really helped my training as I don't feel so tired all the time (anemia) and my pace has gotten faster.

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Was just diagnosed a month ago, and was glad to have some answers to all the symptoms I've been having.  I have been running multiple half-marathons over the last few years, but not well.  I haven't had any energy to train.  It's all I could do to get out of bed to go to work and sit through a day there. I had 3 broken bones in two years, and couldn't put the pieces together.  But now that I know what the culprit was...it all makes a lot more sense.  

 

Still getting energy back to run like I used to, but I'm hoping that will come.   And still figuring out what to eat now to get all the protein/carbs I need.  I did learn that the Power Bar Energy Blasts have gluten in them (but the gus don't).  

 

I ran a half this past weekend, wasn't fast, but was more to get out and enjoy the weather and the crowds and just enjoy the day.  Never seen life through the eyes of someone with Celiac before.  All the post race foods at this race (with the exception of a half of a banana) had gluten in them - the beer garden, slices of difference kinds of bread, pizza, chicken noodle soup cups.  Learned to put snacks in my car (or checked bag I can eat after the race).  

 

Best of luck to you!  

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