/ Fueling an early morning run

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Loughan - on 11 Mar 2013
I am moving my running slot from 8pm to 6am.
The distance is 5-10km depending on what i'm working towards.

What do you fuel up with at that time in the morning?

I believe you need something after an 8hr-ish fast but what will be quick to take on and sit easy in the belly when going from sleep to run in 10-15min?

Any suggestions?
The New NickB - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:

You shouldn't really need anything for that kind of distance, but a banana might work or half a slice of toast.
Andypandyroo - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:

Glass of water is all I need
JayPee630 - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Andypandyroo:

Mug of green tea, nowt else for that distance at that time.
yorkshireman - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Loughan)
>
> You shouldn't really need anything for that kind of distance, but a banana might work or half a slice of toast.

Second this.

I've always run early morning for years and regularly would run 12km to work when I lived in London. The most I would have is a glass of water.

Now I live in the country and the terrain is a bit tougher, I sometimes find myself bonking a bit, so I make home-made energy bars ( http://chamoisbotherer.blogspot.fr/2012/09/home-made-energy-bars.html ). I grab one (or a banana) when I'm feeling particularly hungry, or I know its going to be a longer/tougher run and it helps.

I usually have my large meal of the day at about 7pm, so that probably helps. If you only have a light dinner and have something more substantial at lunchtime then you've obviously got less stored up*

The same with water - I never drink on a 60-90 minute morning run as experience tells me I'm not going to die if I don't and the hassle of carrying something is not worth it (plus in the morning its not too hot). I remember running with a friend who came to visit - she was just getting into running so we were going to do a gentle 5km, and she was horrified that I wasn't bringing a full bottle of water. I think we read too much 'advice' but don't listen to our bodies enough.

*completely unscientific and backed up by nothing but personal experience.
IainRUK - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: Either get up at 5 am and have some toast.. but I'd just wake up, grab a coffee then go...

for 5-10k your body won't need anything.

It also depends why you are running?

If you really want something as said a banana would be about spot on, light and readily available.
Loughan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:
I've found myself suffering from 'jambes lourdes' when running on empty.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_legs

This results in running through the pavement rathaer than along it.

I'd always take a glass of water before heading out but a bit of fueling should help.

Although it could all be in my head...
Steff - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:

I think it depends on what you have for dinner and a t what time. When I have a very early and light dinner I feel very weak on my morning run without breakfast. If I have had a late or heavy dinner then I don't need anything before the run (but might need a toilet stop during the run....).
mikekeswick - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:
> (In reply to Loughan)
> I've found myself suffering from 'jambes lourdes' when running on empty.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_legs
>
Commonly known as weakness!!Hehe!
For that distance a drink of water and a nana.
Having a meal less than 2 hours before running ain't the best idea. Much better to eat straight after, ideally within 30 mins max.

martinph78 on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: A sachet of instant porridge isn't a bad idea, only takes 2 minutes and doesn't sit heavy (I find).

If you are not pushing your strength/endurance then you could get away with nothing though.

If you want to get the best out of your session then restoring your liver glycogen levels (which are lowest in the morning) might not be a bad idea to fuel you run. As above though, depends what you want to acheive/how hard you are going. You'll not beat any personal bests but if that's not the goal then there is a case for running on empty. It's thought that your body will be burning fat stores overnight and primed to continue using fat as fuel if you don't eat, so not a bad idea for steady runs if you want to lose some weight.

Personally I need to eat something as I just feel rubbish otherwise. All depends on the individual. I would get up 30mins earlier and make time for food myself, but as others point out, they don't need to.

Ridge - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to mikekeswick:
I'd agree with that. I'd be very wary of eating anything before an early morning run. The sort of distance the OPs talking about really shouldn't need any fuelling other than last nights meal.
Liam M - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: Unlike most on this thread, I find it pretty much essential to eat before a morning run. On the handful of occasions I've tried running pre breakfast I've found myself barely able to coordinate my muscles and with the narrowing vision indicative of an impending faint.

If you're like me then it's worth finding out what you can stomach. I'll normally try and take in a bowl of cereal, or if rushed a couple of brioche. Though I rarely run particularly early and if forced to will get up much earlier to allow it.
SteveRi - on 11 Mar 2013
I quite like confusing my digestion by doing both. Run on nothing and you encourage your body to tap into fat reserves earlier. Useful for longer distance stuff. Run too soon after eating and you get used to running with something in your stomach. Also useful for longer stuff. I couldn't run hard soon after eating, but something dull like toast or a teacake slips down without too much fuss.

Honourable exception for a quick espresso.
Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:

I'd say you need something in your stomach that is light and easy to digest.

Try a small piece of chocolate cake.

Don't forget to stretch before leaving the house.

M
staceyjg - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Loughan)
>
> I'd say you need something in your stomach that is light and easy to digest.
>
> Try a small piece of chocolate cake.
>
> Don't forget to stretch before leaving the house.
>
> M

I've always been told that you're not supposed to stretch before exercise because your muscles are not yet warm enough to stretch and you can damage them by stretching prematurely, are you saying this is incorrect info?

(In response to the poster, I will usually eat half a banana whilst getting dressed and a glass of water, this usually suffices)

JamButty - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: Usually for a local 5k ish run first thing I don't bother with food, works ok for me.

Re stretching - I don't stretch but start off walking then slowly into a slow run, only reach my usual (slow!) pace after 2k+

wbo - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: I do a lot of running then, and don't bother eating anything as it causes more problems than it fixes.
1. Expect to suffer at first - this takes some getting used to, and get used to early nights.
2. Also if you're going to use this as your main training expect to get worse, at least at first as very few people can do things like hills, intervals effectively at that time.
DancingOnRock - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: I can't see how eating anything 15mins before running then only running for 30-60mins is going to benefit you at all. It's not going to even start to be digested.

Get up. Run. Eat.

Depending on weather I'll run 13-15miles on empty with no water. Your body adapts, but only if you make it.

Stretching? Only on warm muscles.
JayPee630 - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to staceyjg:

He's taking the piss re: stretching and cake!
yorkshireman - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to Loughan) I can't see how eating anything 15mins before running then only running for 30-60mins is going to benefit you at all. It's not going to even start to be digested.

Depends on what it is. Bananas and sugary stuff will be absorbed quite quickly - enough to make a difference an hour later when you need a bit of a boost.

I agree with your sentiment though - the body can manage a lot more than you think, and running an hour or so in the morning with no food isn't anything amazing in terms of human physical feats over the last few hundred millenia.

Just get on with it and see what works.
IainRUK - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to yorkshireman: I think it depends on what I want...


In Philly the local club used to train 8:30 am on a sunday, it was always a hard 14-16 miler finishing with the last 6 miles or so at marathon pace.. so a hard workout..

For that i'd be up at 6 am and eat, then back to bed and then up and to the run at 8..

A few days a week I do 5-10k but just as a light run, weight loss etc, so just run off a glass of water..
Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to staceyjg:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> [...]
>
> I've always been told that you're not supposed to stretch before exercise because your muscles are not yet warm enough to stretch and you can damage them by stretching prematurely, are you saying this is incorrect info?

Ha! Talk to a physio.

Gentle stretching, not full on.

And make sure your running posture is correct to save your knees and hips for when older.

Progess slowly, correct posture, hydrate, rest

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/perfect-form

http://www.saveyourknees.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00132



http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/how-to-save-your-knees-20121206

Loads stuff out there...
Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to staceyjg)
>
> He's taking the piss re: stretching and cake!


No he isn't. I can't run on an empty stomach, it maybe down to personal preference.

Warm up: yes, essential I find: some gentle stretches and a brief jog, then I start.
JayPee630 - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

OK, my mistake, just thought the stretching was firmly disproved nowadays and when combined with suggesting chocolate cake assumed you were being funny.

So you jog slowly, then stop, then stretch, then start? I just start slow, but never stretch before a run, rarely afterwards. Only eat if planning a run of an hour fifteen or so plus.
Mark Torrance on 11 Mar 2013
> Ha! Talk to a physio.

No, no. Talk to four physios. All of whom will give different answers.

As I understand it, there's no evidence (averaging effects across a number of studies) that stretching before running reduces probability of injury. Half-asleep static stretching before early morning running would, I think, damage me.

Running early in the morning: For me, it has very little to do with food. I can go out at 8:30 and do a big intervals session on an empty stomach (like 14 miles - though I can feel a bit faint at the very end). If I try and run before I normally get up I feel faint straight away. If I run early and have half a piece of toast I feel even worse. I think my body is saying "So, quit with the running: Where' the rest of breakfast."




IainRUK - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to JayPee630: Stretching is still much argued about..

Very little evidence either way.. I find a stretch helps, especially if doing a hard run..
Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> OK, my mistake, just thought the stretching was firmly disproved nowadays and when combined with suggesting chocolate cake assumed you were being funny.

A small piece of chocolate cake. It's comforting, easy to eat and digest and gets rid of that gnawing hollow feeling.


> So you jog slowly, then stop, then stretch, then start?

No: light stretch, then slow jog, then run: I want to increase circulation and movement in my joints before running. Increasing circulation increases oxygen and nutrient flow to your joints; I think that may be beneficial. Before a race I always jog.

Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to JayPee630) Stretching is still much argued about..
>
> Very little evidence either way.. I find a stretch helps, especially if doing a hard run..

Iain...how about some advice on running posture and reducing stress on knee and hip joints please.

martinph78 on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Agree with dynamic stretching before exercise (usually after a 5min gentle warm-up though). Most recommendations are NOT to use static stretching for cold muscles though.

Dynamic stretches can be incorporated into a warm-up to get the synovial fluid in the joints warmed, increase blood flow to muscles, let the bodies receptors know you're going to be exercising etc.

I usually do a few kick throughs, windmills, twists etc before heading out the door.
IainRUK - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: I've not done much of that..

All I did was with an old coach and it was 50 yard drills walking through the running gait.. going through the basics.. head up.. knee lift.. arms pumping etc..

I think track, short fast intervals helps posture as much as anything as it forces you into a proper running gait..

One thing I found helped was when you get tired.. lose pace.. your form is almost always attrocious, if you forget the speed and just focus on your form again, concentrating on your gait you speed up..things like relaxed hands, breathing, not reaching during your stride, relaxed facial muscles..

re strain no idea..

Re posture I think some core does help, but would have thought most climbers have good cores anyway. You see some runners with attrocious form and who really need core strength to straighten up.
FrankBooth - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:
physio advised to stretch at regular intervals throughout the day and certainly before running. Doesn't need to be strenuous, just enough to keep supple. If it hurts, stop.

I also need to eat before running - doesn't need to be loads, a bit of fruit or a couple of mouthfuls of muesli, but if I don't I get pretty weak after around 20 minutes. It might just be conditioning, I guess...
Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH) I've not done much of that..

> I think track, short fast intervals helps posture as much as anything as it forces you into a proper running gait..

Been doing them 4 times a week lately: 3 or 4 miles a track session indoors. You are right, I can feel the improvement in my running posture.

Doing some hill reps this afternoon: my physio (well actually physical therapist as I am in US) has told me to concentrate on aligning my knee with my hip and clenching my buttocks......and to WALK back down the hill!

Doesn't Rin Columbi of Kendal do coaching on running posture?
Loughan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan: Thanks everyone, it's stretching for cake that got me in to this mess in the first place.

Would anyone suggest a drink that's not water?
Doesn't have to be a super formulated pantene pro-V sports drink but just some squash?



SteveRi - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
I'd second that, thinking about your form and cadence when you start to get tired and sloppy and the pace almost comes back as a secondary, without really thinking about it. One thing I picked up from the Julian Goater book was pulling your upper arm back, rather than pumping the other arm forward, to start the leg movement. I got the wrong idea about using your arms when I started and let them get really lazy.
IainRUK - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Lots of people don't engage their gluts when running.. No idea, never heard of Rin?

A coach in the states was good, he'd really get on top of you in track sessions, monitoring your form and when you needed to drop the intensity..
Michael Ryan - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Loughan:
> (In reply to Loughan) Thanks everyone, it's stretching for cake that got me in to this mess in the first place.

ha-ha; good one





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