Friday, December 10, 2010

The tank is full

Lately I've been trying something new. I have been attempting to train myself to run about two hours after eating breakfast. It actually has been going rather well for the most part.

In the past I had always been a morning runner. First thing in the am hours I would head out for my workout on an empty stomach. While training for the marathon this past summer, I realized what a crazy and illogical idea this was. Why would I expect my body to be able to have high performance levels when it is low on fuel? Logic tells me that you cant get a car to make a long-distance trip on an empty tank of gas so why would the human body then be able to physically keep its self going with no input of energy?

The logic of this completely basic concept took me years to figure out. It is amazing to feel the difference of doing physical work when the body is properly fueled.

The difference of this wasn't even completely apparent to me until this morning. Today is cold, just like every other December day in Chicago. I woke up early to go out for an easy 8 miler before heading off to a hair appointment. From the time I rose to the time I found myself in the cold pounding the pavement was no more then 15 minutes. My body felt stiff and rigid. My legs felt as if they were filled with led, and no matter how hard I tried to push myself, my entire run required more energy then usual. I did not have a drop of water before I left, nor did I consume anything to ignite the fire in my body.

It is amazing how we have the ability to manipulate situations so that we can have the best return of our investments. Without trying to make generalizations about crazy things that may go far beyond my level of education and knowledge...I do believe that it is safe to say that before expelling any type of energy, it is good to fuel our bodies. Whether it be a bowl of cereal, an apple, or a protein bar, some type of carb/protein intake before exercise is definitely helpful in boosting energy levels.

Everyones body is different, and we all just have to find out what works best for ourselves.

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