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Question about refueling during training... (Read 873 times)


Prophet!

    now that I'm benched with injuries and colds i have more time to ask questions... i started using gels in my last two long runs (13, 16miles) and felt significantly better during the run than previous shorter distances..my question is does using gels, somewhat inhibits your body's learning process of becoming more efficient in energy storage and expenditure ? will it train your body to expect some sort of refueling when doing extended amount of exercises...


    You'll ruin your knees!

      I guess that is a good question, and I'll defer to those more nutritionally-minded than me. My first reaction, however, is so what? I fuel on the run A LOT! I suppose I could get through a marathon without fueling (gels/food), especially if I were racing it (blinding speed of a slug, mind you), but I guess that unless you were really interested in being competitive in a race, why worry about it. If our bodies wants fuel, who are we to stand in the way of a milkshake or a turkey leg? I say, fuel up! Keep in mind that you should do plenty of this in training and not experiment in races! Lynn B

      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

        I know as a diabetic runner, refueling during long runs and races is essential. http://www.runningahead.com/groups/diabetic_runners I will often take a little fruit or even add some carbs to my water bottle when my runs exceed 45 minutes. Over the years there has been lots written about the importance or taking in carbs during long work outs, diabetic or not. It is very common for marathoners to take in carbs during the race and guaranteed for ultra runners. Why deprive what we need just because we are on a long run or in a race. I agree with the previous post however, test what works for you before you race. There is nothing like an upset stomach because of what you ate at mile 10 or a foaming water bottle that leaves your front a sticky mess because of a little fruit juice mixed with the water...experiences I've had...once.

        Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end. (RF)

          I have started using GU on my longer runs with great success. A friend just ran Chicago and took in GU every three miles and ran her first non stop, personal best marathon. So, I am thinking fuel while running is a good thing!
          If you go as far as you can see, you will then see enough to go even farther. - John Wooden
            I agree with what's already been said here--the best advice I ever got on the subject was that the most important thing is completing the workout and finishing strongly. If you need to fuel on the run in order to do that, then by all means fuel on the run. Most of us (those who are not 135 lbs and finishing in under 2:10) will need to fuel during the marathon anyway--no matter what. So its a good idea to get in some practice during training.

            Runners run.

            Scout7


            CPT Curmudgeon

              No, it does not affect your body's efficiency in terms of using fuel. You become more efficient by running, not by taking on fuel. Also, gels and sports drinks contain more than just fuel, they contain the catalysts that you lose by sweating that allow you to burn the fuel (potassium, sodium, etc.). In terms of efficiency, your body becomes more efficient in terms of other systems. You're pretty limited for the amount of energy you store, and you are going to have to bring stuff along for longer runs. Another possibility is pre-run nutrition as well. For long runs, I always try to get a gel or a bottle of Gatorade or whatever in right before. I've found that I can do about 10 miles without having to worry about fuel during if I do that.
                i started using gels in my last two long runs (13, 16miles) and felt significantly better during the run than previous shorter distances..my question is does using gels, somewhat inhibits your body's learning process of becoming more efficient in energy storage and expenditure ? will it train your body to expect some sort of refueling when doing extended amount of exercises...
                Really good question, something I've always wondered. Especially this part: "does using gels, somewhat inhibits your body's learning process of becoming more efficient in energy storage and expenditure ? I've gone out a couple times lately and done 15 miles with no fuel or water (partly to test this - partly because Nashville Parks & Rec doesn't maintain their water fountains well enough!). It's not a lot of fun. I did a 20-miler last week and took a bottle of water and a couple of Gu's along, and by the end felt a lot better than the 15-milers. So am I training my body to be dependent on plentiful hydration and fluid? Is there any benefit to intentionally training without it sometimes? Or do you just hurt yourself? It's kind of like this: you're supposed to be careful about running in high temperatures, right? And yet ... lots of ultra-runners (especially the BadWater nut jobs) tell stories about running in July wearing sweaters and parkas. Some of them even run in saunas. Shocked So when I read that kind of thing ... I do wonder. If running in high heat makes you adapt - would running purposely without much fuel/hydration make your body more efficent with fuel/water? I dunno. I *know* that it feels better to use Gu/water/whatever; I know I feel better the next day, and recover better, and I sure run faster. But it almost seems that if you intentionally skip the Gu, you might train your body to function more efficiently with less hydration/fuel ... ? But as counter-intuitive as it is, I don't think that's right. I'm totally guessing here, but I think that my theoretical wondering has it backwards; I'd guess that rather than "inhibiting" your body's adaptation to efficiency, it's actually proper hydration and replenishment - and proper training - that trains you to be more efficient. About the only time I'd think it might make sense to intentionally train without gels/fuel would be if you were training for some event in which, for some reason, you knew you wouldn't be getting enough fuel. There's probably a lot of research on this out there.
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                  I fuel on the run A LOT! Lynn B
                  Well, sure ... but most people eat a full meal or two in the amount of time you spend on some of your training runs, and all they're doing is hanging out at home ... if you didn't fuel up a lot, you'd starve! That's not fueling - that's called "having lunch." Cool
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                  Mile Collector


                  Abs of Flabs

                    I don't think there's an absolute answer to this excellent question. I like to think that what you eat during the run does not affect your running economy because the calories you take in during the (long) run is miniscule compared to the amount of calories you burn (unless you down a GU every mile). Another school of thought is that you should refuel your body as soon as possible. You should definitely eat something immediately after your runs. Some have taken this idea a step further. They believe that refueling starts during the run. If you're not running to lose weight, then give it what it needs to run well.


                    You'll ruin your knees!

                      That's not fueling - that's called "having lunch." Cool
                      "chuckle" 8 Ball Undecided

                      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                        Yeah. Good line, there. Big grin

                        Roads were made for journeys...

                        Scout7


                        CPT Curmudgeon

                          OK, I was bored and did some research on this.... Technically, yes, the consumption of gels or sports drinks can cause your body to burn more carbohydrates than fat, which can cause earlier onset of fatigue, since your stores of glycogen are much lower than your stores of fat. That being said, you need to ingest something, especially on longer runs, to prevent your blood sugar from dipping too low. Remember, there are certain parts of your body (i.e. the brain) that run only on glycogen, and are unable to store it itself. So low blood sugar affects your brain activity, hence one really good reason for food intake on long runs. The other is that it does generally give you a sudden boost, so to speak, because gels and sports drink are designed to be absorbed and utilized by the body quickly. For an interesting (yet slightly technical) read on the subject, look at this article: http://www.marathonguide.com/training/articles/MandBFuelOnFat.cfm