First of all, I want to thank everyone for their positive comments and support of this blog. I really appreciate your support. Without your following and feedback none of this would be possible.
In a way to hopefully add something constructive to the running community I’ve started up doing more “Training Talks” on my YouTube channel. Here’s the latest video where I rant about considering changing my diet and training habits to utilize fat as a fuel more efficiently:
NOTE: I’ve read some more studies and heard back from PhD students as well as other fellow ultra runners that have been tested in the lab. The conclusion seems to be that changes in one’s diet (ie eating a higher percent of calories from fat and less from carbohydrates) will allow the body to tap more into fat stores while competing in ultra endurance events and even most low intensity physical activities). However, the higher intensities (ie over 85% max HR) at which the athlete competes or trains at can be at risk for being compromised due to this shift. Furthermore, the training effect of running at a moderate “fat burning” zone intensity in the 65 to 75% max HR range (or 60 to 70% of Vo2max) will also significantly improve fat utilization for both a trained and untrained individual. Obviously there are a lot of variables with timing both periodized bouts of training with your changing eating habits, but I think even doing some lower intensity long runs on minimal carbohydrate (before and during) will allow one to capitalize on this training effect. Being a vegetarian who loves carbs (ie Pizza and Avery Beer) I probably will not shift my diet to 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs – however, I do make sure to ingest plenty of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of Flora’s products, through nuts and avocados).
It is also interesting to note that when I ran my 2:16:52 marathon best while training at Hansons I deliberately used to not eat breakfast before any morning run (long run and harder tempo workouts included) with the goal of tapping into more fat stores for energy instead and ideally creating a “glycogen sparing” effect. Due to the fact that I had essentially fasted for 8-9 hours while sleeping, I think this strategy (and I would not recommend it to everyone!) helped, as well as taking very minimal calories in during a 20-mile effort. Come race day though I will pop Vfuel 5 gels during a marathon and one every 20min during an ultra! (NOTE: VFuel gels are the best gels i’ve used as they are easy to digest, thanks to them using Dextrose which is easier for the body to breakdown on the run. Also, VFuel gels have fractionated coconut oil in them – lending themselves to being a fat fuel source as well!)
So in conclusion, due to individual variation (in genetics, diet, training history, etc.), I can’t advise doing anything too drastic with your diet. Certainly there are a lot of “fads” out there as the diet industry is pretty big business in this country…so be leery! However, I do think there is some truth to complementing your training and race goals with a healthy diet – and that can involve some reduction in carbohydrate. Whether I go 2 weeks on a low-carb diet (that short a time period has been shown to be effective) or continue on with my high-carb diet while limiting simple sugars immediately before during most long runs (which I also need to lower the intensity on) is something I’m still deciding on. This is an experiment of one!
Any feedback would be much appreciated (keep in mind I don’t check comments on this blog every day so it may take a while for me to get back to you!)
Finally in closing, here is my 2014 Racing Schedule (tentative now, since I might have to pull-out of some races and/or add some races as well!)
January: Carlsbad Marathon (2nd place, 2:22)
March: Tarawera 100km
April: Lake Sonoma 50
June: Teva Games Uphill half marathon
Mont Blanc Marathon (SkyRunning World Championships)
July: Speedgoat 50km
September: The RUT 50km
October: Chicago Marathon
November: JFK 50
Of course I’m very tempted to try my hand at a 100-mile distance ultra. With the Ultra-Trail-World tour out there is a pull to do longer races internationally, but the SkyRunning Series is something I’m more interested in and enjoy. Also, the though of running multiple 100-mile races in a year scares the crap out of me and I will move up when I’m ready. My top goal this year is to qualify for my 3rd Olympic Trials in the marathon and I don’t think racing a brutal 100-miler on the trails is conducive to that goal. Has any guy runner (I know a couple women have!) successfully transitioned down from nailing 100-miles on the trails to running an Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon? Did Matt Carpenter still throw down another sub 2:20 marathon after Leadville? Anyone?!
Thanks for reading and I wish you the best of luck in 2014.
Oh yeah, and I’m proud to annouce that I was finally able to afford a smartphone so now I’ve joined Instagram and have been posting pictures with filters on the Interwebz.
Thank you again for all the support!
See you on the trails and roads,
About the Author (Author Profile)2-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, Mountain runner, Author of "Running For The Hansons," trail runner, videos for Vo2max Productioins, LLC.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Daily News, Fri, Jan 31 | January 31, 2014
- Fat as a Fuel in Marathons and Ultra Marathons ... | February 1, 2014
- MARATHON JAPAN 2014 News | February 3, 2014
- 2014 WASHINGTON STATE MARATHONS | February 3, 2014
- 2014 HALF MARATHONS KANSAS CITY | February 3, 2014
- MARATHONS WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2014 | February 5, 2014
- Experiment of One – Part I | Running Adventures of a Trail Brat | March 20, 2014