When it comes to running, I read pretty much anything I can lay my eyes on. Books, magazines, web sites. I'm drawn to new research and studies, intrigued by elite training plans. I take it all in and hope to digest it, work it over, and use it to improve my running.
Recently, I've been making an effort to improve my body's ability to burn fat as fuel and to run well in a low-glycogen state. I've read about ways to do this, and the benefits of training your body this way, in several books and articles including this article on the McMillan web site and this article from Running Times. (I've also read about it in Advanced Marathoning and Brain Training for Runners -- two excellent books for runners.)
Here's some interesting information from the Running Times article:
At the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism in Denmark, Bente Klarlund Pedersen, M.D., DMSc, had subjects exercise one leg once daily, and the other leg twice every other day, but in a glycogen-depleted state. The total amount of training was equal for both legs, but after 10 weeks, the glycogen-denied leg increased its endurance by 90 percent.
I could certainly go for some of that increased endurance!
So, yesterday, I applied what I've learned. Instead of eating an English muffin with peanut butter an hour before my run and then a handful jelly beans right before, I had an English muffin with just a little regular butter. No peanut butter, no jelly beans. And, instead of taking a gel during the run, I carried watered-down Gatorade.
This is me weaning myself off the carbs.
I did, however, carry a gel with me -- just in case I started to feel off or if we made a wrong turn (it happens!) and had to add some unexpected miles to our run. I didn't need it.
I felt absolutely fine and full of (enough) energy. That run was a good test for lower carb consumption because it was a) hot b) super-humid and c) a really hilly course. If I can handle a hot, humid, hilly run with lower carbs, I can continue to reduce my consumption and reap the benefits come race day!
At least, that's the plan.
I'll keep you posted on Operation Un-fueling over the course of my half-marathon training!
Hope everyone had a good weekend!