Eating Is Not Cheating!

January 21, 2019

Health & Wellbeing

Eating Is Not Cheating

When it comes to distance running - one thing regardless of how fast, slow, good or bad you are.... your going to need fuel, and fuel I mean energy, and by energy I mean a way restoring and creating ATP which our muscles need, in order to work. 

So what does that mean for me ? 

It means simply that after approx 45 mins of exercise our bodies simply need to find a readily available energy source, and if were not sub- human like Sir Mo F, then were going to have to get these sources of energy from something we either drink or eat. 

Types

Simply put, we need to find something that will be easily disgestable, easy to get into the blood stream and therefore used by the body quickly, and not give us a side affect like needing the toilet or bowel discomfort. 

The other issue is this form of energy mid run will have to either be carried around by the runner, or be given to us at exactly the right timings we need. So it has to be small in size, or able to be issued out to runners at water stations. 

Gels are carried by many runners, I regularly see at events runners with ammo style belts, loaded down with gels of all different flavours and mixtures. Persoanally I cant stabnd gels - a sticky, oozy glupe like paste that you have to squuuueze down your throat whilst trying to run. 

The good thing about gels is that they tend to be isotonic, which in simple terms means they are absorbed easily into our blood stream and can be used fairly quickly to replensih and use as our source of energy. 

Your body, and more importantyl the human gut can only cope with about 30g of carbs per serving and anymore than this will just sit in your stomach waiting to be processed. This is why it's good to take a gel down in two sittings, or try consuming it over the distance of a kilometre rathen than doing the whole thing and feeling sick. 

I find things like jelly babies - which contain somehere between 5-10g carb each are much easier to palette, are less sticky and easily carried around in a runners shorts. 

The important thing is not to let it get too late, and by the time you feel your energy waining or your feeling you've hit "the wall" it's too late. 

Try this analogy - "never let the tank go less than half full, always keep topping it up"

So dont be afraid to "pop a baby" or "suck at a gel" slightyl before you start gping down hill.

There is a whole market of other alternitives out there instead of the two I've talked about, and you can get your carbs from natural things too, but just practice at what your body and gut prefer and whats easy to carry around on your longer runs. 

The problem I find with events now days, is that they will get a corporate sponser from a sports drink company and this will become what your handed at the drink stations whether you like it or not. 

Our advice is to always consume your form of energy be it gels or other with some dilution from water only, the isotonic drinks will give you that glycogen kick you need but also have the tendendcy to make you feel poorly as they slosh around inside you. 

Hope this has been useful!

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