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Thread: Jelly babies

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    So my question to those who are saying they generally don't eat. My limited understanding of sport science says that the body starts to run out of glycogen stores after 90ish minutes. WHy wouldn't you keep this topped up? What benefit is there to not eating?
    A lot depends on how well you are able to use your fat stores as fuel - in theory if you are well enough adapted you have enough fat to fuel you for many hours.
    Personally by trial and error, and at a steady endurance training pace (for me around aerobic threshold) I've found a little over 2 hrs to be a reasonable time. I suspect I could go longer but I try to be pre-emptive and start fuelling early rather than bonk at 3hrs plus.

  2. #12
    So I suppose one of the possible benefits of not eating is training your body to use its fat stores. Like during a fasted run.

  3. #13
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    My thoughts are very similar to MarkG's...

    Training your body to burn fat.
    Weight control.
    Getting yourself used to psychologically running on empty stomach.
    Similarly a psychological boost when you do a similar distance race but fully fuelled, you feel you have energy to burn.

    My overriding thoughts are that your fuelling and hydration benefits generally come from the days/weeks beforehand, not what you can squeeze in on the morning of a race/session.

    But as AnthonyKay alluded to in his post somewhere above, everyone is different and has different needs... i've been training this way in various sports for almost a decade now and i wouldn't go back.

    I went out on a 14 mile XC run on sunday morning... for breakfast had a swig of milk with some protein powder, and took a 500ml bottle of water, of which i drank approx half.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    So my question to those who are saying they generally don't eat. My limited understanding of sport science says that the body starts to run out of glycogen stores after 90ish minutes. WHy wouldn't you keep this topped up? What benefit is there to not eating?
    I guess the benefit is to condition your body to make the most of the energy reserves it has rather than relying on topping that up with food. In my experience the conditioning it takes to do that isn't worth the effort, so I'll eat if I'm out for more than 90mins or so, though might go longer if it's easy and shorter if it's a harder effort where I'm bothered about performance.

    There's also a personal element to it. I'm pretty light and my body doesn't naturally carry much in the way of reserves, so I've accepted that I run better for longer if I eat. Also, my preference is for longer/ultra stuff, so getting good at fueling on the move is a necessary skill. If I were focusing on say HMs or medium fell races, I might think differently.
    Geoff Clarke
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  5. #15
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    Whether to eat in training runs or not depends what you're training for. And remember that not eating doesn't make you more manly! Eating on a 2h run may seem unnecessary but it will still have a cost on the body that eating during can limit.
    If you're training for <1.5h race times then you can maybe get away without eating/a token handful of sweets.
    If you're training for longer races/events, you need to train your gut to be able to take in fuel on the go at race pace, so eating on training runs would help with that.

    Of course Carl Bell can get round Wasdale etc. without any food. It's horses for courses.

    Too much of the Aldi pressed fruit/nut bars left me with degradation of my mouth which was pretty sore. This was on the HPM though, so nearly 9h of race effort.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  6. #16
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    As I've got older I have found that I can still get around a 2 hr run, not that I'm doing that at the moment, or a 4/5hr bike ride without food, although I always drink on the bike.

    However, what I have found is that if I do not eat I am much more tired the day(s) after than if I had nibbled on something.

    Apart from ripe bananas two of my favourites, which I can digest on the hoof, are cooked Charlotte salad potatoes and hard boiled eggs, both wrapped in a bit of foil which is easier to undo than clingfilm.

    They also make a nice change from the sweet stuff.
    Visibility good except in Hill Fog

  7. #17
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    To be honest i'm currently not eating a jot on anything 4hrs and below, except some electrolyte drink.

    I'm hardly in the league of ba-ba though, so i'd take that electrolyte drink with a hearty pinch of extra salt...

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    So my question to those who are saying they generally don't eat. My limited understanding of sport science says that the body starts to run out of glycogen stores after 90ish minutes. WHy wouldn't you keep this topped up? What benefit is there to not eating?
    Horses for courses, but as far as I am concerned the benefits of not eating are numerous - you don't have to carry the food, get it out of your bumbag and out of its wrapper; you don't risk inhaling it because of heavy breathing, nor do you need to worry that it will make feel nauseated or need to open your bowels, and in the longterm, that you will risk losing dental enamel if the food contains sugar.
    The 90 minute limit for glycogen stores is overstated - stores reduce, but they don't run out. That does not mean low glycogen stores cannot cause problems, of course it can, but fell running involves periods of lesser exertion where the main fuel by far would be fat, so that 90 minute limit is unhelpful.
    I ran my last 2 road marathons on no food or fluids - and it did not adversely affect my times compared to previous marathons - 3 hours 15 odd.
    Ultras - all the rules change....

  9. #19
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    Hi thanks again for the replies. It's made interesting reading. I'd also posted this on UKC and it was much more civilised on here.

    I think for the time being I'm going to keep eating my jelly babies. They are tasty and don't seem to be negatively effecting me. If I get clear evidence not to eat them, I'll stop.

    Now if I can just figure out the correct pace to run at for each of my sessions I'll be well away!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew View Post
    Hi thanks again for the replies. It's made interesting reading. I'd also posted this on UKC and it was much more civilised on here.

    I think for the time being I'm going to keep eating my jelly babies. They are tasty and don't seem to be negatively effecting me. If I get clear evidence not to eat them, I'll stop.

    Now if I can just figure out the correct pace to run at for each of my sessions I'll be well away!

    Do a 2 mile (or 3km) time trial as fast as possible. Work out your pace per mile/km

    Do your steady runs around 60-70% of that pace
    Do your tempo runs around 85-90%
    Do your "reps" faster than that pace (20% faster if you can)

    That is a very rough guide, but you won't be far off.

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