Marc Laithwaite’s Article on Nutrition

All Glasgow schools were closed today due to the ‘adverse weather’ but we were encouraged to get into work. I don’t have much excuse as I only live 6miles from where I’m based. So I walked into Paisley and caught the bus.

I took my running gear so I could run home and then I’ll run back in tomorrow morning. The paths are getting slippier but I made it without falling over. I just made sure I ran a bit slower.

I’ve order some Yaktrak Pro’s and will let you know how I manage with them when they arrive. I think I’ll get them just in time as this snow and ice doesn’t look like thawing any time soon though the forecast for the weekend is better.

Andy Cole left a comment on one of my posts last week recommending an article by Marc Laithwaite (below) who is an endurance coach linked with the Ultra Tour of the Lake District.

It is by far the best thing I have ever read about nutrition and what happens in a 50/100mile race. It makes so much sense and is written in a way that anyone, even me, can understand.

I’ve understood the whole concept of the fact that when we run we burn fat or carbohydrates and that we have far more fat reserves than carbohydrates and that at some point in a long race we will switch from the more efficient carbohydrates to the less efficient fat.

But I’ve never quite understood what we can do about it until I read Marc’s article.

Marc writes about ‘4 star’ carbohydrate fuel and ‘1 star’ fat fuel. He says we can try and stuff ourselves with ‘4 star’ fuel but the problem is we can’t absorb it quick enough to fuel a 100mile race.

The better option according to Marc is to train ourselves to be more efficient at using the ‘1 star’ fat fuel that we have loads of.

I remember when I did my fitness test at Hampden that Stephen said that my body was good at burning fat. So I need to try and use that advantage and train myself to be even more efficient.

I’m quite excited about this and will be putting Marc’s advice into practise on all my long runs. In the short term it means that my long runs are going to be more sluggish and harder but hopefully the long term benefits will mean that I’ll train my body to use my fat reserves more efficiently.

Marc gives some good tips on how to do this. I spent my run home today thinking about how I can train more efficiently especially on my long runs to help my body utilise fat more efficiently.

I would encourage you to read the article and I’d be interested in what you think of it.

Wed 8th Dec Run Details

6.04miles in 50mins 15secs (8.20pace)
This entry was posted in advice on race nutrition, Easy run. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Marc Laithwaite’s Article on Nutrition

  1. allybea says:

    Very interesting article and easy to read. I've always said that carbo loading for an endurance event wasn't the best idea but since I'm not an endurance runner my opinion wasn't considered valid.

    Don't know how practical skipping breakfast before a long slow run is for those used to eating a full Scottish!!

    Ali x

  2. Ali says:

    One year when I was training for the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon I would do two or three 2+ hour hill runs early in the morning without having any breakfast first. The first few were tough but I soon was able to do three hours or so at a decent pace with no food beforehand – that year was my best performance in the LAMM. Last year I found the Cateran Trail race much better than I expected, and I think the fish supper I had for my lunch the day before was a lot to do with it. So in short the article makes total sense to me – I'm going to get back into the habit of long runs before breakfast.

    Ali (another one)

  3. Dave Morrow says:

    Fantastic article John. Thanks for blogging it. Training for fat burning makes perfect sense now.

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