In this episode of the Art and Science of Running Podcast we speak with Dr. Carla Rodriguez Dimitrescu about nutrition for endurance events, particularly long-distance running. Carla is a national champion ultrarunner who has competed internationally in running and swimming. She recently returned from the 24 Hour World Running Championships in France and shares some of the lessons she learned. Carla studied Nutrition and Metabolism in Mexico, the USA, and Canada and eventually earned a PhD in Nutrition and shares some of her insight in experience with us to help maximize training, racing, and recovery.
Carla’s athletic career started early while still a young girl in Mexico. Eventually, she found running while warming up and for dry land training for swimming. After a 12 minute running test with her swimming teammates, Calra realized that she was actually quite good at running and began taking it a bit more seriously.
As a teenager, Carla participated in modern pentathlon while also specializing in the 200m Butterfly in the pool.. When she began studying formally in university, Carla took a break from competitive swimming. She decided at a young age to be nutritionist and ultimately earned a PhD in clinical nutrition while concurrently working in Sports Nutrition. Carla is also a Certified Sports Nutritionist.
The underlying theme of Carla’s message is that “we need to learn to listen to our bodies.”
Are night shades inflammatory or anti-inflammatory?
“Everyone is different. If we perform a study of 15-20 people we’ll get results, but that doesn’t mean it is applicable to everyone. The more we study. The more we realize how different we are. The more we study the more questions we have. We are extremely complex. “
“Try to eat local. That’s how you can better control the quality of the foods that you eat.”
“Keep a journal about the foods that you eat and how they impact you.”
24 Hour World Championships in Albi, France
Calra recently competed in the 24 Hour World Championships in Albi, France. We discuss the challenges of travel, time change, foreign foods, different types of water, thirst, and language barriers.
Training and fitness felt good, but ultimately Carla had challenges with the water. There were so many water options that she inadvertently purchased and consumed the wrong type of water. The kind that she purchased and used in the race had a higher calcium content that she was accustomed to so it didn’t sit well with the family.
Carla fuelled with a combo of gels and electrolyte drinks as well as Fanta or Orange Crush.
When travelling it can be hard to find food that sit well and that you are familiar with. To further complicate things, restroom facilities can be different as well.
Carla felt a great sense of pride running and representing her home country of Mexico.
Omar, her spouse, crewed for her and helped her take care of her nutritional needs.
The championship event in France was a looped course so she could see family, friends, and team every 1.5 km.
One thing that stood out to Carla was how animated the French fans were.
For the first 6 hours Carla was on personal record pace, but then she began feeling the stabbing pain in her stomach caused by the calcium in the water. Despite a fast first 80K,