Monday, April 24, 2006

Like Night and Day

Mmmm. Multi-grain pancakes with blueberries after a long run. But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

After Wednesday's tempo run debacle, I was looking forward to a couple of well-prepared-for and carefully monitored medium to long runs. Thursday was a recovery day and I just did an ab workout and a little cycling. Things got interesting on Friday.

I've been reading some articles on performance and nutrition and decided to follow a particular prescribed method "by the book". I had a 12 mile run planned for Friday noon (same total distance as Wednesday's tempo run). I had a breakfast with some good complex carbs and a little protein (very low fat). Then, I ate nothing for 3 hours until I went out on the run. During the run I took in 16 ounces of energy drink (I was hoping to use Heed but my order hadn't arrived and so I used the closest thing I could find -- Cytomax) with NO sucrose, only complex carbohydrates (160 calories). Ideally I would have taken in more than the one bottle during a run this far, but I just divided it up along my first 10 miles (starting at mile #2). It was much cooler than Wednesday (high 50's to low 60's) and the results were striking: even pace all the way (9:04 for 12 miles) and several minutes faster overall than Wednesday.

OK, so this is looking really good. But what about the really long runs? Sunday would tell. Saturday was an easy recovery run - 5 miles (twice around Fresh Pond).

Sunday was a 20 miler. In keeping with the suggestions of the articles I've been reading, I got up around 6:30 to stretch and had NO breakfast. The idea is that your muscle glycogen stores are already topped off - you don't really need to add to them. Why not eat within 3 hours of a workout or race? Blood sugar elevation causes excess insulin release. This inhibits the burning of fats. It also increases the rate of carbohydrate metabolism (you burn your stored carbs faster). This disruption lasts about 3 hours. So I could have gotten up at 4:00 a.m. to eat, but the sleep was doing me more good than a small meal would have (though I may experiment with this in the future as a small meal would top off your liver [not muscle] glycogen stores). Anyway, I was out the door before 7:30.

The only problem with Sunday's run was the weather. Well, not actually the weather itself, but the weather forecast. Temperatures were in the 40's, but the forecast called for rain all day. So I put on my rain jacket (over a lightweight long-sleeve technical shirt). And did it rain? By the time I felt a couple little sprinkles, over two hours into the run, I was already drenched in sweat. So, no, I didn't need the rain jacket. Plus it just added weight and made me sweat more. Not good.

I took my 16oz bottle filled with Cytomax, and another packet of Cytomax to mix up another bottle on the run. I also took one Hammer-gel. I drank at about the same rate as I did on Friday's 12-miler. But because of my extra sweating due to the jacket, my cummulative fluid loss added up over the run and by the time I finished I had slowed somewhat (at least 30 seconds per mile slower by the end). I also definitely hit the wall on my last mile. Just ran out of energy. But I pushed on as best I could. The 20 miles took almost 3:15 to finish.

Next time? I need to consume at least 16oz of energy drink (plus 8 - 12oz of additional water, depending upon the temperature) every hour. I'll also try some electrolyte replacements on the run. Oh, I did also have the Hammer-gel around mile 16. I like that it doesn't taste as sickly sweet as some of the other gels (no sucrose), but I won't be using espresso flavor on my next run! Bleh.

And then, after a blueberries, milk and whey protein mix shake, there were pancakes. Mmmm.

Oh, one other thing. 55 miles for the week (new max for me). Racing 10K next Sunday!



Blogger Anne said...

I love the new header.

And I'm wondering if I should try a similar method of waiting to eat if I wake within a couple of hours of my long run. I'm tired of pitstops, but I don't want to bonk. Keep us posted on how this nutrition plan plays out.

4/24/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

you had me at blueberries. Mmmmm.

4/24/2006 9:06 PM  
Blogger runninturnip said...

ooh, now I need to get multigrain blueberry waffles! I am interested to see how this nutrition experiment works. I can't imagine not eating before a 20 mile run...also, still try to have fun with running - don't let over-analysis/micromanaging take away from the joy of running.

4/25/2006 10:00 AM  
Blogger E-Speed said...

good job on the weeks mileage!

I think I may finally be swaying towards upping my run mileage.

4/25/2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger D said...

I love your new header. That is the problem with bloglines - I don't get to see these things! What book are you reading? This nutrition info sounds good.

Congrats on your mileage! ..and to answer your question - I will probably be doing some racing soon - I've had some issues to work through first. Trolley run is this Sunday - but I will be running 20 miles on Saturday so I haven't decided if I will run it or not.....I would hate to run it over 30 minutes and not be in the red wave due to fatigued legs.....

4/26/2006 9:10 AM  

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