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ON2VICTORY's Photo ON2VICTORY SparkPoints: (47,159)
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4/8/13 1:00 P

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I second Coach Nancy on the icky runs.... The Icky runs is where I learn to cope with things that go wrong which translated into a better race overall. If I only had "good" runs, then how would I deal with the mental and physical issues when things go wrong during a race where there is no reset button, no do-overs?

keep plugging along...



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4/6/13 4:17 P

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Anika,

You are doing awesome--just to let you in on a little secret--even after 7 plus years of running I still find running to be such a challenge, but the older I get (will be 52 in Sept) the more I love getting past these obstacles--I have yet to have a month were I did not have at least 4-5 ICKY runs, but when I have them, I truly appreciate the great ones when I do...and as my own running coach tells me---TRUST YOUR TRAINING, Nancy--AND know that the ICKY runs count just as much, if not more so (more mental fortitude goes into them) than the really GREAT RUNS!

Coach Nancy

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HENRYNOLAN's Photo HENRYNOLAN Posts: 866
4/6/13 3:54 P

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nancy - thank you so much for the fantastically detailed reply... i absorbed every word, and look forward to implementing your suggestions (and trying not to be too demotivated by my recent weight plateau as well!). my favourite after run snack is greek yogurt with 1/4 c. of homemade granola and berries :)
anika

PB races:
5K ~ 11/25/12 ~ 31'58
10K ~ 4/28/13 ~ 67'55
Half Marathon ~ 10/20/13 ~ 2:29:52


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4/6/13 3:38 P

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Hi HENRYNOLAN,

There could be several factors and the first one that comes to mind would be that your body has not yet adapted to running these higher mileage runs. This can take some time so make sure your nutrition is on par (getting in some carbs--fruits and veggies are carbs) as well as making sure you are getting plenty of sleep.

For most people, they have enough glycogen to fuel them through a good 2 hour run without the need to refuel--remember your fueling that you are consuming during your run is not restoring your glycogen stores but keeping your blood sugar stabilized without dipping into your glycogen stores.

The problem is with refueling too soon or too frequently during your training runs (races are a different scenario and I'll touch on that in a bit), is that if you do not drain your glycogen stores your body does not have the need to make the tanks bigger (think of it like you topping off your gas tank every time you pass a gas station). This is why you are training--this is why you need to go through some uncomfortable runs (Last week's runs for me STUNK big time--and today I ran my third fastest half).

So what are some possibilities for your issues--as I mentioned earlier it could be that you body has not adapted to your new distances so you are going to feel some fatigue. It could also be that you are running the first couple of miles too fast--you want to slowly and progressively build your pace--even if the first several miles are way below your training pace (during my LSD runs my pace is easily 2 minutes SLOWER than my finishing time)--the reason you want to run slower in the beginning is to conserve the glycogen in your muscles and liver BUT also to teach your body to burn fat for much of your fuel. Once again this is why we train.

The more you run, remember you are also building a nice network of capillaries which will supply your muscles with the nutrients and oxygen your muscles will need to keep you going...Once again this is why we train.

Lastly, if you are not refueling IMMEDIATELY after your run with some carbs and protein--I have fruit and Greek Yogurt after my run--you are missing out on a prime opportunity to replenish your glycogen stores (that you just trained to empty) because your insulin sensitivity is at an all-time high the first 15-30 minutes after your run and it is eager to shuttle in some carbs into those glycogen storage tanks. And the protein you just ate will begin to help the repair process to those damaged muscles.

So what about racing and why do runners refuel? When you get to your longer training runs (more than 2 hours) than you may then want to start experimenting with refueling sources--while some people like the gus and stingers and shot blocks, the reality is, that any form of sugar (StarBurst, skittles, even pretzels) can do the trick--the only thing that gives the gus, blocks and stingers an advantage is the convenience factor--but remember you MUST have access to water when you take them to help usher them out of the gut.

When you race, the goal is to run at a slightly faster pace than you did when you were training--you should not be training all your long runs at race pace (that is why progressive runs work well--it teaches your body to feel the speed of race pace without running the whole distance at race pace which can leave you with a potential injury or overtraining issues). The faster we run, the more dependent we are on glycogen to support our race pace--in other words our body is going to start using some of the stored glycogen. When our body's blood sugar level begins to fall, it will start turning to the glycogen stores (that's what you were training to do--making those storage tanks bigger) to stabilize your blood sugar level. The trick is refuel early on--about 45 minutes into your run and then every 15 minutes thereafter and also take water with it.

Now I do want to caution you that it is NOT, I repeat NOT unusual for you to gain a little weight as your mileage goes up--the reason--for each gram of stored carbohydrate your muscle and liver has, your body will ALSO store about 3 grams of water along with it. The reason, your body hangs on to more water to help with the cooling off process for exercise and for helping process energy. Your muscles will also have an increase in blood volume in order to have better availability to oxygen and removing waste, especially lactic acid.

Now, the longer (year-wise and month wise) you have been running, the less dependent your body will be on refueling during your training runs and races--the reason, you have taught your body to handle the blood sugar stabilization through your consistent training. I have not refueled for the last 10 half-marathons (I do drink water though and will take some Gatorade from time to time--mainly for the electrolytes) and have done just fine.

I hope this helps!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Coach Nancy

Edited by: SP_COACH_NANCY at: 4/6/2013 (15:45)
HENRYNOLAN's Photo HENRYNOLAN Posts: 866
4/6/13 3:06 P

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coach nancy - i have been running regularly (at least 3 times a week) for almost a year now. i was averaging 3-4 miles until 6 weeks ago when i started a half marathon training program. now i am upping my mileage regularly, with my weekday runs around 5 miles and my long run at 7 miles. i have been struggling with feeling like i just don't have the energy to speed up around the 4 1/2 mile mark - i'm not at all winded, and i don't have muscle or joint soreness, it just feels like my brain is telling my legs to turnover faster and they aren't able to respond. my pace seems to slow dramatically, even though i am not having any difficulty breathing. i'm not sure if this is just related to fitness level, or if i don't have adequate glycogen stores, or if i just need to work on greater muscular-skeletal endurance

PB races:
5K ~ 11/25/12 ~ 31'58
10K ~ 4/28/13 ~ 67'55
Half Marathon ~ 10/20/13 ~ 2:29:52


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
4/4/13 7:17 P

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I agree that it is always a good idea to check with a health care provider who is knowledgeable about diet and exercise before making significant dietary changes.
I also understand the concern for someone in your position to recommend any dietary changes that contradict conventional wisdom.
Further, it is definitely very advisable to consider one's medical history for any diet one chooses to see if it is indeed compatible.
I have done exactly that, talked to my physician who is also a bariatric (weight loss) specialist and found her in full support of a low-carb lifestyle to improve overall health and athletic performance.
And of course I agree that we are all individuals and need to find slightly different answers to achieve optimum health. Having said that, I believe that for someone who encounters difficulties of any kind in this journey as well as for those who are in the helping profession as personal trainers, dieticians, physicians etc. it may be necessary to question conventional wisdom and search deeply and with an open mind for answers that may indeed be much older than the current diet fashion. Only if we truly understand the difference between different types of diets and their effects on health and athletic performance can we make an informed choice as a consumer and as the most important advocate for our own health. For professionals in the health care and fitness field I see it as essential to broaden one's education to include approaches that are very different from one's own. By the way, I am not implying in the least bit that you do not do this, I am just very aware that many physicians and dieticians do not keep up with recent research in the fields of nutrition and exercise but regularly advise patients on these issues.
I am not a professional in any of those fields so can only offer my personal experience, share the sources that I get my information from and encourage everyone to learn more. emoticon

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 4/4/2013 (19:18)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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4/4/13 6:26 P

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Hi,

I have not, nor would I, but I am glad it works for youI. That said, it is outside the scope of practice for me to make specific dietary recommendations outside what is deemed common practice for an activity. And while I understand low carb diets are on the rise, I can't with good faith recommend an endurance runner try these WITHOUT discussing their medical history with his/her diet. Just like there is not a one-size fits all approach to training, same is true with diets. I would NOT advise any diet that a runner has not passed by his/her doctor or a Licensed Registered Dietitian first I recommend they try it.

Coach Nancy

HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
4/4/13 6:02 P

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Coach Nancy,
I am curious if you have read either of the books I have linked. They were written by serious researchers on the subject and there are a lot of references for scientific articles on the topic in the books. There is a reason that more and more runners switch to low-carb diets, they work extremely well, because people who are keto-adapted will burn mostly ketones, not carbohydrates. It takes a few weeks for the body to switch to burning ketones as fuel but once this process is finished endurance runners frequently improve their times significantly.
Please take a look at this link:
www.meandmydiabetes.com/2012/08/11/w
es
tern-states-100-low-carber-wins-ultrR>amarathon-steve-phinney-and-jeff-vol
ek-study/

The transition to low-carb is not difficult after the first week and it sure makes weight loss and weight maintenance a whole lot easier since most food cravings will disappear.

Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 4/4/2013 (18:04)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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4/4/13 5:44 P

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Hi,

I would NOT recommend following a low carb diet as an endurance runner---the reason, your body needs carbs to run and following a diet such as this without medical supervision or not under the care of a registered dietitian can lead to issues. The reason, carbs are the primary fuel for those who exercise, specifically those who run or participate in endurance activities.

The reason I asked how long you have been running is most people can run a half marathon without the need to refuel---HOWEVER, if you have not been running for a long time (month and year wise) your body may not have developed the necessary glycogen stores to run a race of this duration without the need for refueling. And you must take into account your training---the more you train the better you train your body's energy stores to run longer. Hydration on the other hand is necessary.

Coach Nancy

PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 1,867
4/4/13 5:32 P

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The sensation you report ("running out of gas around the 4.5 mile mark") has nothing to do with actually running out of energy - at least, not the type of energy you're going to get from consuming gels during a race. I'll skip the long explanation and posit that you're trying to do your long runs too fast for your current conditioning. Can you find a coach or training program in your area that can give you more personal attention?

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
4/4/13 2:29 P

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Anika,
I have found a different way rather than carb-loading which will help your body burn body fat very well while still putting you in a position to have lots of energy for running. It takes a little while for your body to get used to but once I was there, after about 2 weeks, my energy levels were much higher than they had ever been before.
I'm speaking of a ketogenic diet which switches your body from carb-burning to fat (ketone) burning. Common diets of this type are Atkins and Paleo other low-carb/high-fat diets.
I can now easily run a HM without any eating before or during and afterwards I just eat protein and fat, no carbs necessary at all. emoticon
A great resource on the topic is this book
www.amazon.com/Art-Science-Low-Carbo
hy
drate-Performance/dp/0983490716

To learn more about this way of eating read the companion book:
www.amazon.com/Art-Science-Low-Carbo
hy
drate-Living/dp/0983490708

My weight has been relatively stable but my body fat percentage has gone down to 21% from almost 30% a year ago.

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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4/4/13 2:11 P

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Hi Anika,

How long have you been running? How many miles are you running? What is your longest run? How is your hydration?

Coach Nancy

HENRYNOLAN's Photo HENRYNOLAN Posts: 866
4/4/13 1:24 P

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when i started running, it was purely running for weight loss, so the thought of sucking back 100 empty calories seemed inconceivable and counterproductive... however, now that i'm building up my distance training for a HM, i find that i am running out of gas around the 4.5 mile mark every time, regardless of what i eat before i run. so the more i read, the more i feel like it might be time to start trying out some of the gels or chews 'real' runners use... but i'm still having such a hard time wrapping my head around the notion of eating so many calories when i still have so much weight to lose. any thoughts/experiences with running fuel would be appreciated!
thanks,
anika

PB races:
5K ~ 11/25/12 ~ 31'58
10K ~ 4/28/13 ~ 67'55
Half Marathon ~ 10/20/13 ~ 2:29:52


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