Sunday, November 20, 2011

Long Sunday Run

Today, I took a study break and ran 12.6miles was a much needed break!

I have a test on Tuesday in my Advanced Nutrition class. This is, by far, my favorite class this semester. I have learned so much more regarding nutrition and metabolism - it has really helped me put some more of the human puzzle pieces together!

So on this test, I need to explain my knowledge on the integration of metabolism - when your body uses carbs, protein or fats as energy. Trying to understand when we use fat as a source of energy, I stumbled upon an interesting fact about eating and competing. I have read, and blogged about drinking water, or some kind of isotonic beverage like watered down Gatorade, and that it should be consumed about an hour before a race. I just assumed that rule was the same for food. 
I was wrong!
"The timing of the final meal before intense exercise is crucial!" 
Eating too close in time to the start of an event will stimulate the release of insulin - this means you will have a reduction in blood glucose. You need that glucose to travel around in your blood to feed your muscles. This rise in insulin also prevents your liver from sending out glucose and free fatty acids(FFA), both of which are energy sources for muscles

In response to the low blood glucose and your liver's denial of sending out glucose or FFA, your body will use its muscle glycogen (sugar) stores -this could lead to early muscle fatigue. I think this is what happened to me at the Boca Raton PAL Half Marathon! I was dragging!

That final meal should be eaten 3-4hours before intense exercise so your stomach is empty. For long endurance runs, this meal should be high in complex carbs and low in fat. And if you take a couple of sips of some kind of drink, about 15-20 minutes before a race, make sure it is an isotonic or hypotonic drink - like water with a splash of gatorade (avoid fruit juice because it slows down absorption). This drink will provide you with a little extra glucose without stimulating the release of insulin!

So, today, before my long run, I followed this advice. I was a little nervous because I thought I might get dizzy or light headed from waiting so long after I ate to run ...but, I actually felt better, stronger and I was not dizzy! Half-crazed, but not dizzy! 

I was though very, very hungry after my
1/2mile cool-down and stretches!

Happy training and competing!

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