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Thread: I don't get why you would need carbs for endurance running (except) page

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    samiamm's Avatar
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    I don't get why you would need carbs for endurance running (except)

    Primal Fuel
    for avoiding a bonk. Endurance running is a long, moderate, dragged out type of cardio right? So wouldnt sprinters and people training in HIIT need carbs more than marathon runners, EXCLUDING the whole bonking part?

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    Anaerobic endurance is the length of time muscle contractions can be supported by glycolysis and existing energy reserves of ATP and CP. Ex_ 50 yard dash, pole vault, weight lifting.

    Aerobic endurance is the length of time a muscle can continue to contract while being supported by mitochondrial activities. Aerobic endurance is determined by the availability of substrates for aerobic metabolism from the breakdown of CARBOHYDRATES, LIPIDS, or AMINO ACIDS.


    I guess that explains why lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by samiamm View Post
    for avoiding a bonk. Endurance running is a long, moderate, dragged out type of cardio right? So wouldnt sprinters and people training in HIIT need carbs more than marathon runners, EXCLUDING the whole bonking part?

    Well, "moderate" is quite relative. If you're me doing a long training run at 12:00 to 13:00 pace, yes, I can (and have) gotten by on water and maybe a tablespoon of coconut oil or two during the run. I've run for marathon distance like this at a training pace w/o much trouble. However, if you're Ryan Hall and you're racing Boston at sub-5:00 pace, you sure as hell are going to be burning something besides fat!

    The big difference is whether you are going slowly enough to burn mostly fat, as in training, or if you're racing, which by definition is going to be at the upper end of your abilities. Fat simply cannot be mobilized fast enough to provide all or most of the energy required for a race pace, even a relatively "slow" pace such as marathon pace, and carbs are necessary to make up the difference.

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    I agree with honeypig it definitely depends on what you define as endurance. I wasn't paleo/primal when I trained for marathons, but since I only had about one long run a week and 3-4 short runs (under an hour) I would guess I could have gotten by on a lowish carb approach, and that I might have had some pretty good racing benefits from it. But a serious competer piles on quite a few more miles than I ever did, and in order to get the best restitution I am pretty sure they would need a lot more carbs. At the moment I have a 3-4 days where I train both in the morning and evening, and I can definitely feel a big difference if I don't eat a good post workout meal in the morning.

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    Ideally, if you are training like Mark describes in his pair of articles about training for a Marathon:

    How to Train for a Marathon | Mark's Daily Apple
    How to Fuel a Marathon | Mark's Daily Apple

    Both excellent articles, btw.

    In *theory* you do most of your runs at a "low level" such that you are primarily burning fat and not getting into your glycogen stores. However, when you are putting that much mileage down it's hard to not end up doing a mix of some fat/some glycogen no matter how careful you are with pacing. Also, at some point you have to do some "race pace" runs and Mark recommends go win one a week -- enough so that you learn to run at the pace, but not so much that you don't reap the benefits of "train low, race high" -- so you will definitely be getting into glycogen there.

    The first thing in the "fueling" article that Mark says is to up your carbs overall. It also recommends hitting yourself with carbs in the immediate post-run window as this is when your body will refill glycogen stores most efficiently. Mark also recommends that as the race approaches, you taper your training along with further upping your carb intake to completely top off glycogen stores.

    These two articles are the framework for how I'm training for a half-marathon race in April. If this goes well, I think I'm going to try to do a similar plan to train for a full marathon in the fall -- I've always wanted to run one.

    Right now, I'm doing Long Runs on Sundays, a paced run every week, then I'm mixing in LHT or Sprints every 3rd or 4th day and also giving myself one rest day a week. The rest of the runs are all the "Low level" stuff that Mark advocates to just round the mileage to where it needs to be. For that matter the Long runs are done "Low level" as well.

    For me, "Low level" means about a 12:00 mile pace. I did some experimenting and found that at that pace I'm pretty much hitting 65% MHR, which is right in the middle of the "low level zone" of 55%-75% MHR that Mark always talks about. It would probably be better to wear a monitor and go by that, but I don't have one and I've experimented here and there with taking my neck pulse during runs and sticking to a 12:00 mile pace works for keeping things where they need to be.

    So, for example, this week on Sunday I ran my long run of 10 miles (low level -- took right at 2 hours), then Monday a low-level 4 mile run, Today is a rest day, followed by a "Race Pace" run of 4 miles. That's the one run this week I won't do super-slow -- I'll be shooting for 9:00 mile pace. Then Thursday is a LHT workout and then I round out the week with "low level" runs of 4 miles on both Friday and Saturday. At this point I'm 9 weeks into the training, so my mileage is about to peak and then I'll taper down to race day.

    At first I was taking in a potato/sweet potato after only my longest runs (which were only 3 or 4 miles) and then as my mileage built I would be taking in a potato/sweet potato after every run (once all runs were 4 miles or longer) and then when my long runs hit 8 miles I started taking in TWO potatoes after those runs. I will probably take in THREE after I run 12 miles next Sunday.

    As you know, I also recently started adding in a potato/sweet potato separate from my runs in order to continue to up my carb intake and keep glycogen stores topped off. I was noticing soreness in my legs and feeling more fatigue than usual. This adjustment seems to be helping.

    Oh, and I'm also experimenting with a couple of rolls of Smarties on my Long Runs now. Turns out they are mainly dextrose (which is an industry name for Glucose) -- one roll has 6g of Glucose.

    Ideally, if I do everything right, I'll be training my body to burn fat preferentially with my "low level" work but then also having a full supply of glycogen when I head to the start line. Ideally, I'll run the first 10 miles or so right on the edge of crossing over from aerobic to anaerobic, keep my glycogen supplies topped off and then with about three miles to go -- hit it hard and then switch over to glycogen stores as the race winds down with (ideally) said stores being completely exhausted as I cross the finish line. I probably won't hit that ideal -- but that's what I'm going for.
    Last edited by tim_1522; 03-06-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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    I've always wondered this same thing, people always told me "consume carbs after weight lifting and HIIT to refill glycogen stores" but how much does it REALLY take to empty them. I don't see my self emptying my glycogen stores from a 1-2 hour lifting session, or 20 minutes of HIIT. So I would think logically to just eat the carbs PRE workout, that way they burn off, and keep my glycogen stores as wherever they're at. Eventually, if they start running low or empty out, my body will tell me. Hopefully it won't tell me through a bonk though lol

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    After reading about Mark Allen's training, I started training at my max fat-burning heart rate about a month-and-a-half ago. I'd been out of endurance training for a while, but I could still pull an 8 minute miles pace over 5 miles with a heart rate around 175. Now, I'm training at a heart rate of 135-8. With that in mind, my five miles runs now average 7:42 per mile with a heart rate 40 bpm lower - and I do it in a fasted state. I know alot of you run farther than that and don't think it would hold up, but my sport isn't running, its paddling. My weekly distance workout is a 50 mile paddle. With the same heart rate and using the smaller upper-body muscles (which burn through glycogen stores more quickly than larger leg muscles), I'm nearing a 5 1/2 hour pace. I eat pemmican during those (32g fat, 20g protein, 4g carb per serving) and I haven't bonked since starting the heart rate training.
    I know some of you don't think a race pace will work on that style of eating/training, but the guy I got it from won THE ironman in Hawaii multiple times this way. Take it up with him! ;-)

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    That sounds great creek!!
    You must be in pretty good shape, however, I think most people on here, even the "slow pace endurance runners" succeed a heart rate of 135-138. What do you think about your glycogen stores emptying if you're doing HIIT at about 90-95% of your heart rate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by samiamm View Post
    I've always wondered this same thing, people always told me "consume carbs after weight lifting and HIIT to refill glycogen stores" but how much does it REALLY take to empty them. I don't see my self emptying my glycogen stores from a 1-2 hour lifting session, or 20 minutes of HIIT. So I would think logically to just eat the carbs PRE workout, that way they burn off, and keep my glycogen stores as wherever they're at. Eventually, if they start running low or empty out, my body will tell me. Hopefully it won't tell me through a bonk though lol
    How much does it really take to empty them? The short answer is there's know way to know. Differences in fitness, genetics, age, gender, and host of other factors mean that it's almost certain that "What it takes" is going to vary pretty widely from person to person.

    20 minutes of HIIT done right would zap my Glycogen big time and I would definitely be hitting the "safe starches" to the tune of about 25-50g of carbs. But, maybe for you, it's not. I think the best way to go about it is listen to your bodies signals/cues and then adjust what you are doing and monitor to see what's going on.

    This is kind of what I was doing. First I did PWO carbs after only my longest runs. Then, as the runs got longer, I added them after all the runs. Lately, I've been feeling sore/lethargic, so I'm pretty much doing PWO carbs after every workout (even Sprints and LHT) and also scaled the amount of carbs I'm taking in (so if I was taking in 25g after a 4 mile run, I'm taking in 50g after an 8 mile run, etc.) also adding in some more carbs at other times of the day. I'm feeling a bit more perked up lately and the soreness had gone way down, so I'm thinking I'll keep doing what I'm doing unless I notice my body giving me a different cue.

    If I were to all the sudden notice a dramatic unexplained weight gain that I *knew* was a fat gain (as opposed to up and down normal fluctuations of body weight) I would scale back my carb consumption gradually. But, I think by making slow adjustments there's not a whole lot of risk in that as long as you keep an eye on your body's cues.

    Bottom line -- experiment with what works for YOU, make small/incremental changes and observe what happens. I think between what I've seen on your various threads, a plan to slowly up carb intake is a very plausible one.

    Another thing to remember is that the PB talks about daily carb intake of 150-200g as perfectly acceptable for healthy individuals not pursuing fat loss. That seems to fit you to a tee. Mark also has articles that speak to if you are doing MORE than the PBF recommendations (that is 1x week sprint, 2x week LHT, and 5+ hours of moving slowly) that you will need to increase carb intake (over and above the 150-200g) to properly fuel your body and suggests amounts/rates based on how much more activity/intensity. Those are just "shot in the dark" guidelines IMO and should probably just be used to get you started on find the right level of intake that works for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samiamm View Post
    So I would think logically to just eat the carbs PRE workout, that way they burn off, and keep my glycogen stores as wherever they're at. Eventually, if they start running low or empty out, my body will tell me. Hopefully it won't tell me through a bonk though lol
    Here's another of Mark's articles that I found while searching for the first one I posted.

    Post Workout Carb Loading and Muscle Building | Mark's Daily Apple

    High carb meals that are not consumed directly after workouts will generate lots of insulin. That insulin will promote fat storage once glycogen stores are full, and it will serve to lock fat inside the fat cells.
    This probably speaks to why it's encouraged to take in carbs post workout and not pre workout. Ideally you want the body to use fat as much as possible while working out (with the knowledge that SOME glycogen will be burned) and raising Insulin pre-workout would discourage fat being burned during the workout as the body is in fat storage mode not fat burning more due to the Insulin.
    Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

    Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
    Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35679.html

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