• Helen Phillips

Let's Try Low Carb


I've been looking into energy pathways and nutrition to support marathon training.

I'm a "carbs girl" and always make sure that I've eaten before a run, or any exercise.

Just love food, so that's not usually a problem. I've had bad runs in the past, last year marathon training, when I really couldn't go on, and in hindsight that was because I'd run out of glycogen. An odd feeling, even a walk break and you still can't get going.

But with marathon running you have to train your body to be fat adapted so it's "normal" to run on empty for the crucial last part of the race. I'm planning to blast Dublin, so I'm taking every little bit of advice.

So thought I'd give some fat adaptation work a go.

Last week I took a week out from marathon training to run 10k every day (it was actually 10x) to get to my 1010k this year (half way to 2017k for the year). And decided to run a few of those 10k's very slow (LSR pace) fasted first thing in the morning. So making my 10x10 a bit of marathon training. All fine! I made sure I ate well and loaded those carbs at breakfast with my porridge, egg, seeds & blueberries.

So yesterday back on plan I decided not to fuel mid run my LSR, but see how my body did in a glycogen depleted state and how the running felt. I went out for slow 15 miles which took about 2 hours 20, so I was well into the "used up all glycogen" mode towards the end.

I'd done something similar the week before (2 hours and about 12.5 miles) and it felt tough the final 20 mins.

But yesterdays run I felt strong and fresh even after 2 hours running. Not a hint of running low. WOW I was thinking ... this bloody works!

Yesterday afternoon, no soreness, tiredness or anything. I ate well, carbs & protein after in a ham sandwich, and steak, sweet potato with loads of veggies for dinner, plus fruit.

But this morning ... Jeapers! Do I feel tired. Completely cream cracker shattered. In my legs but more importantly my general energy and mood!

Flipping' crikey heck!

As a scientist I'm fascinated by what's going on in my body. I'd read that fat adaptation workouts recovery is tough. I can confirm that indeed it is!

Today I will be mainly stuffing my face with pasta! joking!

If you’re interested in learning more about preparing for, running and recovering from LONG RUNS, check out Courses for Top Tips.