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So, sometimes when I run a long training run (upwards of 12 miles or so) at the end, I feel like I can "taste" or "smell" ammonia. I've always assumed that this is caused by my body depleting all my glycogen stores and going into ketosis. I've never tested my pee with a keto-stick, though I do have some, left over from an Atkins stint several years ago.
Last week I ran a 16 miler in San Francisco [[p-8767]] and then wrapped my clothes up in a hotel plastic bag and packed them for the trip home. The next morning, back at home (Annapolis), when I opened the bag, the running clothes reeked of ammonia. First time I've ever noticed that. I didn't eat anything prior to that run and had two gels during it (breakfast of champions). So the question is, am I going into ketosis? And, more importantly, is that a bad thing. I think I am and that it's bad because it indicates consumption of muscle tissue to supply energy. But I'm no physiologist or nutritionist. So I may be dead wrong.
Well, question is partly if this is a bad thing. I've read some coaches that indicate we do not need fuel during runs. And certainly the atkins folks seem to say that ketosis is not a bad thing for weight loss. But it certainly seems contrary to me to get into a mode where we're consuming muscle tissue.
Certainly there are exceptions to rules but the last two people that went on ketosis runs for their weight loss plans ended in the hospital with kidney issues. Don't do it. Listen to Dave...Eat more carbs.
"during runs" is too general. Runs over 16 or 17 miles use up most of your glycogen stores. Consuming simple carbs slows this depletion. Under 15 miles, I doubt supplementation is anything more than psychological help.
Some protein metabolism is unavoidable. But you want to minimize it.
Well, by "during runs", I am refering to long training runs of, say, 15
miles or more. I'm inclined to agree -- it seems wrong to put my body
into ketosis, especially when there are so many additional stresses
already on it during a long run. I was surprised when I read that some
coaches believe that fueling (gels) during a marathon was merely a
psychological boost and not necessary. I generally eat a gel every 30-45 minutes (I prefer Carboom, easier on my tummy) and a salt tab (Succeed) every hour.
Pete Pfitzinger wrote an article on "depletion" runs in Running Times some time ago. They are runs >= to 17 miles purposely done on low carb reserves. The idea is to push the body to manage fat/glycogen consumption more efficiently. I've experimented with them and believe them useful. As a result of the article, I generally no longer usually supplement during my long runs except for Gatorade. But I could have never completed my long runs in my first first 3 years of marathon training.
I believe your body's metabolism continues to adapt if you keep up with the long runs all year long.
I had heard of depletion runs before but never knew what they were. Thanks for that explanation. One of the coaches of the group I run with says he uses marathons for depletion training for 50-100 mile runs. I personally have no real interest in that kind of runnin, so I'll stick to the carbs, perhaps loading them up more in the beginning of the runs to be stored for later use. What do you think about mixed carb and protein gels/drinks?
I've read that roughly 10% of the calories consumed running come from amino acids. If that's the case, some protein replacement is in order. I try to stick with independent studies, rather than one's you see in advertisements for products. In that case, I've not seen any on the benefits of mixing protein in with your carb and electrolyte replacement supplements. But I've not really investigated the topic.
A good study on carb replacement: Jason Carp, A Matter of Survival - Training to Combat Fatigue, Running Times, 12/2007, citing his work published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2006: to maximize glycogen replenishment after an LSD or LT/LSD workout, consume 0.7 gm of simple carbohydrates per lb of body weight within 30 minutes of running. Continue to consume 0.7gm/lb every 2 hours for 4 to 6 hours afterwards.
He doesn't mention protein.
Interesting. I'm guessing that the early consumption is to load the glycogen stores up for later use? What is LSD or LT/LSD?
Currently, I consume a gel (I use Carboom, seems to be easy on my tummy) every 30-45 minutes. If I'm reading the label correctly, this is 22-25 grams of carbs per gel, so (at 210 pounds) I would need to consume 6 gels at 30 minutes and then another 6 at 2 hours? Or perhaps the bagel and banana I tend to eat before a long run contributes to that initial boost? These would seem to add about 50gm of Carbs (dunno if they are simple). So perhaps I need to carbo load more in the first 30 minutes of the long run? The numbers from the Carp work suggest significantly more carbs that I currently consume!
Lactate Threshold. See http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/training2.htm under "Stamina Training" for a good description.
The carb replacement study I mentioned above is meant for after the run, not during.