Thursday, June 29, 2006

Retraction: Oops, I Did It Again.

Mike has been experimenting with his body again. Let's pull our minds out of the gutter for a second, shall we? That's better. He's been experimenting with not eating before running, trying to improve his marathon endurance by doing so.

I thought the idea sounded like something some kind of idiotic, stupid, moronic caveman would do. Like a runner growing a beard in the summer or something dopey like that. I was not on board with the idea to put it mildly.

Then I did some reading, and realized that Mike may just be a genius. An art-loving, song-singing, cheerleader-loving genius.

So, I am making public my most heartfelt apologies to Mike via my blog as requested by his lawyers. As a condition of the settlement, I was also required to try the whole fasting thing out for myself, and, honestly, I am a fan of the concept now. I took nothing more than two ounces of water, and was out the door for a 90 minute run. I ended up feeling great, completing a seemingly effortless 15 miles in 1:32:30. And as a final gesture of good faith, In Mike's name, I will attending running camps this summer, distributing false beards to children who cannot grow their own. Boys and girls alike. Other than apologizing directly to Mike, his family, all of the members of his extended family living in the contiguous 48 states, any of his pets, either living or deceased, his podiatrist, dentist, hair stylists (yes, there are several), groupies, and Lucas, it's the least I can do.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Fatboy

For the sake of science, and since being a pain in the ass comes naturally, I'm curious enough to ask the following question(s).

Does the single data point which appears to serve as validation of your theorem account for the fact that your extended period of rest allowed you to retain higher than normal levels of muscle glycogen?

Is the theory that training in an energy depleted state forces more efficient energy utilization to the point that such benefits offset repeated compromised training performance and metabolization of protein?

Just curious.

6/29/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mike

I wish Eric had posted this article as long as he was going all "hyper" with the hyperlinks. Here's a snippet-"Writing in the online journal Peak Performance, (University of Capetown physiologist Tim) Noakes has pointed to a host of other evidence that glycogen depletion has had a bum rap. In one study, athletes were driven to the point of exhaustion after four hours. Their muscle glycogen concentrations and carbohydrate burn rates were the same as at three hours. 'The tradition in the science is, you hit the wall when you run out of muscle glycogen,' says (Dan) Benardot (, author of "Nutrition for Serious Athletes"). But he maintains that the carbs stored in the muscles and bloodstream, along with the energy coming from fat, should supply the 100 extra calories per mile that a runner needs and then some, provided he stays aerobic. 'When you do the math, there should be plenty of glycogen left in those muscles,' Benardot says."

So is Eric (or am I) really running in a depleted state or not?

On a sidenote, Eric's brain is definitely running in a depleted state when he decides 2 ounces of water is sufficient in the summer for a 15 mile run. Drink some more, don't go all "Salazar" on us now that you're running well! I put in 30-40 ounces before going out for 90 minutes plus, but then I have an iron gut and can put up with some sloshing at first.

6/29/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Zeke

Come on, you couldn't come up with a better cheerleader picture than that one?

I'm planning on posting this link tomorrow.

6/29/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous dezmo

15 miles in 90 min and change ... glad to see you're easing back into it.

6/29/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mike

Don't you think Dezmo needs to start his own blog? I have some spare sarcasm available for comments, how about you Eric?

6/29/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Fatboy

Thanks for the article, Mike. It was interesting enough to kill my productivity at work. What I found interesting what the impact of glycogen depletion on the brain and the resulting impact of the depleted brain's impact on performance.

To me, the issue comes down to two things: first, is training performance impacted negatively by fasting? second, what is beneficial about fasting?

Old-school runners used to think training with heavy shoes or many many layers of clothing were helpful to training ("just think how easy it will be to race with light shoes") when in reality, they drastically limited the productivity of their workouts. This seems to me to be the same kind of thing.

It's just my opinion and hell, I'm just a fat guy.

6/29/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

First of all, don't you people have jobs? I've always wanted to make that comment.

Fatboy, don't be a guy. Be a man! Don't hide behind your wishy-washy opinions. Tell us how you really feel. And if you want to say something about the way I am metabolizing protein, say it my face. Motherfu**er.

That was harsh. I apologize. I'm still high as a kite from my run this morning. Amazing what injecting heroin directly into your neck will do for performance.

One thing that I found interesting in the articles is that the recommendation isn't to fast DURING the run, but PRIOR TO the run. The idea was to prevent that surge of insulin, which interferes with fat metabolism if you consume carbs right before heading out the door. This is like the supply chain metaphor I mentioned a week or so ago. From what I read, I understood that consuming carbs during the run rather than two hours or less prior to the run would prevent the insulin spike, thereby preventing the shutdown of the fat burning processes.

One thing I find specious is whether this kind of 'metabolic training' is more effective than doing the kind of training that is already proven to improve fat metabolism, i.e 2+ hour runs. I can guarantee that if you go out and do a 2+ hour run three times a week you will soon be burning fat like Anna Nicole Smith on crystal meth. Eat all the carbs you want, you're going to burn fat and become more efficient at doing so. I think this is what Fatboy is getting at with his 'most effective mechanism' argument. Not eating breakfast may improve your fat metabolism, but if you bonk at 90 minutes because of it, you lose the more substantial benefits of improved fat metabolism, capillary branching, mitochondrial growth and efficiency, etc. provided by running for another 30-60 minutes.

As far as your hoity-toity 'I drink a bunch of water and I was the lead singer for Iron Maiden' comment, I don't have time for all that water. It's not a drinking contest, Mike.

Zeke, I'm running a SFWFFB(tm) here. Besides, if people want to look at hot cheerleaders in underwear, they already know where to go.

Great article, also, Zeke. Where do you guys find this stuff?!

Dezmo, I am all out of sarcasm, but I think can find some apathy in here somewh...oh, screw it. I give up. Fifteen miles in just over 90 minutes is easy running for me now. Now that I am completely rested, that is.

Where is scooter? I thought I could draw him in with some beard talk. Like an elk.

Run well, everyone.

6/29/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mike

For the record we were called "Iron MAYHEM", we were an Iron Maiden cover band, and the other three guys were midgets.

From Zeke's link: "...Athletes are able to perform at a higher level when they consume carbohydrate during training. Going five percent faster or farther in carbohydrate-fueled workouts will itself trigger greater training adaptations of certain kinds than going five percent slower or shorter in under-fueled workouts."

This supports your cause Fatboy, depending on the purpose of the workout of course. Nobby Hashizume still suggests wearing heavy sweats for some runs, but for the purpose of slowing down for a true recovery run. For a 90 minute slog at 60-70% of my max steady state, last night's can of Bush's beans will do. When I do a marathon pace race simulation, bet on my standard 5-600 calorie breakfast and a topped off fuel belt.

OK, no fuel belt, that's just sick and wrong. I will bring a gel though.

I think we agree more on this than we realize Fatboy. And Eric, I'm glad to hear you are starting to do a two hour run daily. It's about time you stopped being such a wuss.

6/29/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous dezmo

Eric, I wasn't trying to make you mad. Sub 2:30 is not going to be a problem for you. Staying healthy might be. The cross training is fine (even great) for aerobic conditioning. However, you know there is no substitute for running. I don't want to see you re-injured when you are in such good shape. As I've said before, you know your stuff. Good luck.

6/29/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Eric

The only way you can make me mad is to call me a dope and criticize my beard. Everything else is well within my tolerances. Just having a bit of fun. Besides, I invited you over to criticize me. If you want to stick around, you'd better keep it up!

I think I've learned my lesson now after ten weeks of dealing with the same injury, but I appreciate the voice of reason. I've actually become more gun shy of the 7 minute pace run the day after. Those seem to give me more problems.

As far as breaking 2:30, maybe next spring. I just don't see it happening in October. Given the course, my inexperience, and the valleys in my log, at this point I'll be really happy with a 2:35. I don't have a sense of how much fitness I can gain in 12 weeks, but the idea of a marathon at 5:43 pace in October is intimidating.

6/30/2006 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Greg

Looks like I'm a little late to the party (who'd have thought Eric would post two entries in less than 48 hours), but I'll throw my two cents in on the fasting controversy.

I've always been a faster before a run. It has nothing to do with the articles that Mike has linked too, although that's good stuff to know. I've just found that I seem to run better on an empty stomach than on a full one.

Usually, I wake up in the morning, take care of some morning business, and then go. No water, no food. I know when I first switched to morning running, I had all sorts of problems with the adjustment, and one of the things that eventually seemed to help, was to go on an empty stomach. Now that I'm more adjusted to the morning, I could probably eat beforehand, but that's just one more thing I would have to worry about, and at 5 in the morning, the less I have to worry about, the better.

To each his own I guess.

6/30/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Mark

so Eric's post, hyper hyperlinking sloowwed my computer way down...maybe a tactic of his to keep the rest of us in from running by reading his blog over putting in the miles to bring us to his level...hmmm

Eric, good to see you are back on the roads. Injuries can be absolutely horrid, it's something all of us monitor on a daily basis and probably write about more than anything else.

I like Mike's recap of the article he posted to and can see the jury is till out on this subject.

7/01/2006 10:18:00 AM  

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