Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Running Experiment

Marathon is 3 weeks off and there's enough time left to attempt to emulate the Department of Human Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Western Australia Carbohydrate Loading experiment.

Cut a long story short, endurance athletes taper off exercise as the event gets closer, ending with 3 days heavy on carbohydrates to put more glycogen into the muscle and avoid "hitting the wall" after glycogen stores run out.

The Department of Human Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Western Australia tested athletes as in a different way: "On the morning the one-day high-carb diet commenced, the athletes had muscle biopsies performed on their quadriceps muscles (to assess glycogen levels), carried out a five-minute warm-up on a cycle ergometer, and then blasted through a sustained 150-second sprint on the ergometer at a very high intensity of 130% VO2max. At the end of this sprint, the athletes - without a second of hesitation - embarked on an all-out 30s sprint. Lactate levels at the end of this three-minute period of intense work soared to 21.9 mM/litre!

When carbo windows are open widest:Following a cool-down, each subject began the 24-hour high-carb eating plan, during which they ingested 12g of relatively high-glycaemic-index carbs per kg of lean body mass (e.g. 5.45g per pound of lean body mass and 4.6g per pound of body weight, just above the RRN recommendation). Crucially, the ingestion of carbohydrate was initiated within 20 minutes of the end of the exercise. (Remember that your muscles' carbo ‘windows' are open widest shortly after a bout of exercise ends; by two hours-or-so after exercise, they are open just a crack.) The participants ate high-carb foods they liked, including pasta, bread and rice but they also poured in extra carbohydrate in the form of the maltodextrose-rich drink Polycose, produced by Ross Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio. Indeed, about 80% of the carbs ingested over the 24-hour period came from this drink. The energy ingested as fat and protein, by contrast, was marginal - less than 10% of the caloric total for the day."


(http://coachnelson.com/index.php?page=carbo-loading)


In my attempt to emulate this I spent the first 2 days of this week trying to keep carbs to a minimum, with a high fat, high protein diet.
NOTE: Calorie maintenance is 2200

Monday
5 hours sleep
Fasted 6AM workout: 3x5 backsquats, 50m sprints between kettle bell swings
Protein 200g
Fat 30g
Carbohydrate 130g
Calories 1720

Tuesday
8 hours sleep
Fasted 6AM workout: 3x5 pushpress, 50m sprints between burpees
Protein 170g
Fat 90g
Carbohydrate 190g
Calories 2213

On the day before the run, the diet changed to high carb and low everything else.

Wednesday
8 hours sleep
Weighed in at 76.5kg
Fasted 6AM workout: 3x5 deadlift, 30sec on 30sec off thrusters, burpees, pullups, sumo deadlift to high hangs. (in Australia they did only 3 minutes of rowing and sprinting, this was somewhat longer)

Protein 225g (ingesting this much carbohydrate you can't help protein getting in)
Fat 62g
Carbohydrate 760g
(400g of carbs come from 8 "Vitargo Carb Loader" drinks, 2 of which were taken 5 minutes after work out.)
Calories 4500

Thursday
8 hours sleep
Weighed in at 77.9kg (making previous day's carb load a total of 1.4kg)

Drink 50g of carbs and go running
4AM workout: 28km jog taking one sachet of "Shotz" every 30 minutes.
Weighed in at 76.4kg

Expected Result
Compared to the Jan 29 fasted 19km run that ended on a subway train exhausted, I am expecting to jog all the way home at 28km feeling like there's a lot left in the tank.

Actual Result
Woke up feeling hot and sweaty, that's with a temperature of zero outside and no heater on.
Serious sore muscles in the back from previous days dead-lifts but I spent all day yesterday eating carbs and this experiment had to go on.
Few back stretches and out the door.
Warmed up faster than usual, felt fine all the way through.
I was looking forward to uphill sections that I used to dread to open up the legs a bit.
Around 24km I felt the right side groin but when I would have usually been cardiovascularly spent I was fine.
Jogged all the way home, could have gone on.
Weighed in at 76.4kg meaning the 28km cost 1.5kg.
Due to the ingestion of glycogen every 30 minutes I assume that all weight lost was water.
Therefore during the marathon I should drink 42ml/km or a pet bottle every 10km.
Will stick to BCAA drinks to avoid any possible gluconeogenesis.
Experiment was a success and I will be using this technique for the marathon.
Runkeeper link.





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