Fasting and Running

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by theo7272, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. theo7272

    theo7272 Barefooters
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    I'm sure there is already a topic on this but I thought I would share my thoughts on intermittant fasting and running. I fast for about 20 hours and then run anywhere from 5-15 miles. Here is my full write up on the topic http://obsessiverunner.blogspot.com/2011/06/fasting-for-running.html

    Thoughts? Am I crazy for doing this or could this make me a better runner?
     
  2. buzzie

    buzzie Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    Runs of the length you are

    Runs of the length you are doing should not be much affected by IF. And, depending on level of intensity, might not be affected at all.

    I imagine you should have enough stored glycogen to complete a 4-mile run - say, 400 calories (give or take, depending on weight).

    So, crazy. No.

    Better runner, probably not - but, depends on your goals. If you want to train your body to burn more fat, less glycogen, you'll have to train at a fairly low heart rate (75% of max or less).

    Also, keep in mind, that at a point (distance and/or intensity), running glycogen-depleted will stress the body - leading to an increase in cortisol and the related cascade of negative effects (which have been widely discussed by others much more knowledgeable than I). IMO, you're not doing yourself any favors training in such a "stressed" condition. (Which is not the same as saying it's a bad thing to push yourself - occasionally.)

    I noticed that you reference Jason as a model in support of your fasting... not sure that I've seen follow-up on how that experiment worked out for him and whether he's continuing to pursue that route. I think one should take his POV and experiences - as well as those of most others - with a grain of salt while gathering as much information as possible on a subject before drawing conclusions. (Does the rest of your training match his? Are your goals similar?)

    And, it should go without saying, but... the information presented here is simply my take on the matter; and, I know nothing about anything.

    (MTA clarity, I hope)
     

  3. theo7272

    theo7272 Barefooters
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    buzzie wrote: Better

    The idea is that I can train my body to burn fat more efficiently. Typically you have to run slow and long to tap into your bodies fat storage With this method I am able to burn through my glycogen store quicker because I have less stored. Therefore, I can tap into my fat storage after far fewer miles and don't always have to run super long or slow. I also train with normal or high glycogen levels and typically do my tempo or interval runs in this condition.

    The point is that no matter how much you eat doing a run, you can never compensate for the calories and carbs you burn. You would need to eat a gel every mile, as gels contain only about 100 calories. Therefore, if you run long distances regularly you are going to end up running out of glycogen eventually and end up burning a much higher percentage of fat but you may have to run 20+ miles to do so. We all know that running 20+ miles can take its tole on the body but if I can get my body to switch and burn fat at 10 miles or so then I can train my body to become more efficient at burning fat with out having to do such long runs. I still do longer runs as they have other benefits but I hope to make my more intermediate runs more "meaningful".
     
  4. Barefoot Gentile

    Barefoot Gentile Barefooters
    1. Connecticut

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    This method of training has

    This method of training has been around forever. Is it crazy? no. I did experiment with this method for my second marathon only for the long runs. If I wasn't training for something I don't see the benefit of fasting.
     
  5. buzzie

    buzzie Barefooters
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    theo7272 wrote:The idea is



    Are you really burning through your glycogen store? (I seem to recall that one would be in dire straits if they were out of glycogen.)

    And, do you really have to run out before you start burning fat? (I thought it was more a matter of intensity of activity - beyond a certain transition period between "rest" and activity.)



    (Serious questions... I've yet to read anything that would lead me to these conclusions. So, if you have citations, I'd be interested in reading them.)
     

  6. theo7272

    theo7272 Barefooters
    1. Iowa

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    No citations but this

    No citations but this interview Amby Burfoot with a nutruitionist somes up my thoughts well. Especially this portion:



    RW: There’s an endurance-training technique sometimes called “Train low. Race high.” It suggests that athletes should sometimes do their long training runs while glyocogen-depleted, rather than glycogen-loaded, which is what they would do in a race. So far the results of studies have shown changes in certain physiological measures, like more fat burning, but not so much in actual performance. Your take?[/b]

    AJ: [/b]I think if the physiological changes are there, the performance must ultimately follow. I think the studies thus far have not been well-enough designed to show the performance improvement, and that includes studies from my lab. I think none of us have tested our subjects in a long-enough trial after they have gone through the protocol.

    RW: So you're saying that you think the "train low" approach might work?[/b]

    AJ:[/b] Yes, but I would take it even farther. I would say you should train low and long perhaps once a week, and also train high and fast once a week. In other words, do one long run a week in a low-glycogen condition and don't take any carbohydrates. But also do one fast workout where you are glycogen-loaded and take carbohydrates during the workout. That way you are doing one workout to improve your fat-burning and one workout to improve your carbohydrate-burning. You are training both systems.
     
  7. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    look into phil maffetone. he

    look into phil maffetone. he talks about running slow in your aerobic zone to train your body to run on fat. warming up you burn through some glycogen but then it completely turns to fat burning after a while. i don't remember how long but i can tell you with my runs only being between 3-6 miles i'm noticing the fat coming off my belly and i'm not the only one who has noticed it.

    i myself will wake and run before bfast and love it. it's not something i do all the time and don't force myself to do. if i wake up, have the time and energy to run before i eat and start my day, then i do it. experimenting is the only way to figure out what works for you so have fun.
     

  8. buzzie

    buzzie Barefooters
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    I run in the mornings, always

    I run in the mornings, always on an empty stomach.

    Typical daily run is 1.5 hours. Semi-long 2.5 hours. Long 4.0-10.0 hours. No calories on anything under 3 hours - unless I'm coming up on a marathon and doing race-pace training longer than 2 hours.
     

  9. Chaserwilliams

    Chaserwilliams Barefooters
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    I run fasted quite often. Ive

    I run fasted quite often. Ive ran up to 26.23 miles (5.5 hours) after fasting for 18ish hours, and then didnt eat for several hours afterwards. I never felt a crash or a low and felt perfectly fine afterwards! I do run under the Maffetone method, so I understand what your thinking in refrence to this idea. My thoughts are along the same lines. A good idea is to try taking in some type of calories in liquid form. I have started mixing in Honey with my water on longer runs so that I have a steady stream of Glycol to fuel the fire to burn the fat. Just my thoughts on it. I do think it will make you a "better" runner by becoming more efficient. If you can train your body to run off of stored fats then you will be able to run a lot longer than if you were running on eaten sugars.
     
  10. Skyalmian

    Skyalmian Barefooters
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    I've done this several times.

    I've done this several times. In June 2011 on 36 hours (starting, that is) of sleep deprivation, nothing ingested for 3 or so days (and most prior "cleared out"), and wearing a 20 pound backpack on a sunny 85 degree F day, I traveled 22 miles (7 of them run) in 8 hours. In the end, it was the severe sleep deprivation that brought me down (I didn't make it home), as I surprisingly had tons of energy otherwise.

    I recommend trying that. :p
     
  11. Chaserwilliams

    Chaserwilliams Barefooters
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    ^I dig it! What was your

    ^I dig it! What was your reasoning behind doing such?
     
  12. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
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    Skyalmian wrote: I've done



    Wait seriously? I originally thought this was sarcasm, sort of a, "if you are going to starve yourself just do this" ha ha sort of thing? Why in the world would you do this to yourself?
     
  13. Skyalmian

    Skyalmian Barefooters
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    "^I dig it! What was your

    "^I dig it! What was your reasoning behind doing such?"

    Research, of course. :) Sleep deprivation aside it was actually a lot of fun for such a nice day.



    "Why in the world would you do this to yourself?"

    That statement suggests I was in pain? I wasn't...

    The point is, the body is not made of weaksauce, and that's what this self-experimentation research has been about. It is far more capable than what "modern" humanity has allowed it to degrade to and allowing it to be and/or training for such is what needs to be done to get it back to its "not normal" (as currently viewed) potential. Case in point: Wim Hof ("The Iceman"). :)
     
  14. Chaserwilliams

    Chaserwilliams Barefooters
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    So... Any other amazing feats

    So... Any other amazing feats of primordial status?
     
  15. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
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    I would be in pain if I

    I would be in pain if I stayed up for 36 hours regardless of what I was doing. The rest of it I can sort of get, but why the sleeping, or lack thereof? I have some odd sleeping habits and thanks to splitting it into two segments can get by on pretty little when I have to, but less than about 4.5 hours a day and nothing works anymore. And if I do that for more than a week I have to do some serious catch up afterwards. I can't imagine our ancestors had to stay awake for 36 hours really ever. Evolution wants us to sleep, we use less energy that way and can conserve it for hunting and gathering and all that good stuff. Not that anyone really understands exactly why we sleep, but still it appears that for whatever reason we need it.

    Also I am sort of asking this for legit asking purposes not rhetorically or argumentatively. I have done a bit of reading into sleeping habits and what we as people need or don't need. I just can't fathom not sleeping for 36 hours and still having energy left to go run 22 miles. Did you do some sort of stay awake training to get to where you could live sleep deprived?
     

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