Kira Sutherland 2017 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Interview

Kira Sutherland 2017 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Interview

Kira Sutherland 2017 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Interview

Blackmores, Australia's No.1 vitamins and supplement brand*, has been a major sponsor of the Sydney Running Festival for 13 years. The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival started in 2001 to promote fitness and health for the NSW community and to position Sydney as an international tourist destination.

The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival is one of the most spectacular courses in the world, taking in all of the Sydney iconic landmarks and providing all runners with a unique opportunity to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge traffic-free. The event boasts 33,000 participants from over 66 countries each year.

With four events to choose from, the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival has a run that is fun for everyone. Serious runners take part in the Blackmores Sydney Marathon (42km) and Blackmores Half Marathon (21km), whilst fun runners and families can take part in Blackmores Family Fun Run/Walk (3.5km) and Blackmores Bridge Run (10km).

Post-race, all participants and their family and friends are invited to celebrate in the Blackmores Recovery Village.

To get involved in the iconic Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on Sunday 17 September 2017, register now at the Blackmores Run Hub –

For more than 85 years, Blackmores has been enriching people's lives by delivering trusted natural health solutions. The company is committed to discovery and innovation through their dedicated research arm, the Blackmores Institute. They continue to minimise their impact on the environment with award-winning improvements to packaging and sustainability and support the community through numerous social activities and philanthropic contributions. Blackmores is Australia's Most Trusted Vitamin and Supplement Brand, as voted by the Australian Readers Digest Most Trusted Survey, for the ninth year running.

Interview with Kira Sutherland, Sports Nutritionist, Naturopath and Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Expert

Question: Will you be participating in the 2017 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival?

Kira Sutherland: I usually run the Full Marathon but due to the flu last month I will be running the Family Fun Run with my 11 year old daughter Sierra. It's a great way to exercise together and have a fun time.

Question: What role do supplements have in assisting running training?

Kira Sutherland: Proper nutrition and good sports performance go hand in hand, so while following a balanced diet will help prepare your body for race day, your increased nutritional requirements may call for additional supplementation. These supplements can be particularly helpful in the lead up to race day.

B Vitamins: Known as the stress-easing vitamin group, B vitamins help support energy production during exercise and support the nervous system. They're also used by our immune system and for processing fats, proteins and carbohydrates as essential fuels for the body.1 B vitamins can be found in meat, whole grains and legumes. On race day you may benefit from taking a vitamin B supplement, such as Blackmores B12 Rapi Melt, to further support energy production.

Magnesium: In sport, magnesium is specifically used for the burning of glucose as fuel for the body, and for muscle contraction. It should be a mineral of focus for athletes as they can easily become deficient with poor food choices and heavy training loads. To get enough magnesium in your diet look to foods such as: dark chocolate, kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, figs, dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Glutamine: L-Glutamine is an amino acid found in abundance in the body. It is a building block of protein and is commonly used as a supplement by athletes, who are looking to preserve muscle tissue. Research shows it may have positive effects on reduction of fatigue factors and could be helpful in supporting immune function . Glutamine can be found in both animal and plant protein, including beef, pork, milk, ricotta cheese beans and raw spinach. Small amounts can also be found in fermented foods, such as miso and yoghurt .

Question: What should we eat before and after a long distance run?

Kira Sutherland: The morning of race day can be a nervous time, so here are my top tips heading into the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on Sunday 17 September:

Race day nutrition
Don't feel you have to eat a big meal the night before as for longer runs, eating carbohydrates (CHO) during the race will compensate for a smaller meal eaten the night before.

The timing of your pre-race meal will depend on the start time of your event. If the marathon starts at 7am you should aim to eat a light, high carbohydrate-based breakfast about two hours before the race. Minimise fibre, fat and protein intake at this time to decrease the chance of gastrointestinal upset. Good food choices are white bread, crumpets, honey, jam, bananas and smoothies. Avoid oats as they contain fibre and may cause gastrointestinal upsets, especially when you're nervous! Aim for 1-2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. So, if you weigh 70 kilos, have a light meal of approximately 70 to 140 grams of carbs.

Eat a smaller portion of food if you only have a short window before the race and a larger portion if you have a few hours.

To help prevent dehydration, begin the event well hydrated and aim to consume approximately 200mL of water every 15-20 minutes. Longer sessions (or shorter sessions in high heat) usually call for an electrolyte replacement.

Meal replacement drinks, sports bars and sports drinks can be useful when nerves or time are a factor.

Question: What mistakes do many runners make in their kitchens?

Kira Sutherland: Some people tend to under fuel and they don't have an appropriate race plan in place where they know how much food and energy they should be consuming per hour. When running a long event under-fuelling can make many runners slowdown because they run out of fuel.

In retrospect, there are people who over-focus on their fuel plan and don't listen to their bodies when they may need to pull back on how much food they are consuming. Another misconception some runners have is around how much fluid you should drink when training or racing. Sometimes people make the mistake when doing their first marathon thinking they need to drink a lot more water, without figuring out their sweat drink. This causes them to overdrink and as they are not necessarily sweating copious amounts, can lead to dangerous outcomes such as over-hydration.

Question: What inspired your passion for Sports Nutrition and Naturopathy?

Kira Sutherland: I have always played an enormous amount of sport. Once I became a nutritionist and a naturopath it was a natural progression that I worked with athletes. I love working with people to help them achieve optimum health – it is inspiring. I work with a range of people – those who are trying to run their first 10 kms all the way to Olympic medalists and world champions.

Question: Do you have a motto? Share it with us!

Kira Sutherland: Work hard. Play hard and have a fun journey along the way.

Question: What advice do you have for someone who has just began running?

Kira Sutherland: Go slow and find the love for it. It takes time to feel like you have become a runner.

Question: What's a typical day like, for you?

Kira Sutherland: These five foods are some of my kitchen staples and what I recommend my clients eat during their training, in the lead up to the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.

Considered nature's power bar, bananas are loaded with potassium, which is lost in sweat during exercise. They're also rich in vitaminB6 and antioxidants , which gives them an edge over sports drinks when it comes to boosting performance and balancing electrolytes. Bananas are a good fuel before exercise or as recovery afterwards.

Not only does it provide vegetarian protein, it's loaded with calcium . Yoghurt's biggest benefit for runners, however, is the live 'good" bacteria – probiotics – that promote good gut health. Opt for plain or Greek yoghurt and add your own healthy toppings, like fresh fruit and a little honey. If you struggle to consume adequate amounts of probiotics in your diet, it's worth considering a daily probiotic supplement, such as Probiotics + Daily Health to support a healthy immune system.

A great source of protein and also omega-3 essential fatty acids, which we don't often get from other foods. Canned salmon, which you can easily add to salads, is a convenient choice if you don't have time to cook fresh salmon. If you're struggling to reach the minimum recommended intake of 2-3 servings of fish per week, an omega-3 supplement, such as Blackmores Omega Daily, can help you increase your levels of omega-3s for general health and wellbeing.

It contains folate antioxidants and vitamin K2– all for very minimal calories. It's also a good source of fibre. Use it as a salad base, which you can then add other colourful vegetables to, for a healthier boost.

Whole grain pasta
Before a race, a high-carb meal fills up your glycogen stores (your stored carbohydrate), which provides you with the energy you need during a marathon. Make sure to choose the whole grain pasta variety, as it'll keep you full for longer.

For more information on your journey to Be a Well Being or to register for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on 17 September 2017, visit

Speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about choosing the right supplements for you. When taking supplements, make sure to always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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