Nutrition & Weight Loss

Energy Expenditure While Running

Energy Expenditure While Running

When it comes to energy expenditure, our body is designed to utilize three different sources of fuel; carbohydrates (glucose & glycogen), fats, and ATP/CP. For those of you doing a great deal of distance running, pay attention to the last three rows of this chart as it will be the most important while logging all those miles. The longer you are on your feet, fat becomes a major source of energy, and your body will become more efficient at using it for fuel.

While this does sound rather enticing if you’re trying to lose body fat, not eating enough carbohydrates will hinder the body’s ability to utilize fat for fuel. This means fueling up on carbs before, during, and after your runs! First, and most importantly, we need carbohydrates to function optimally. Then fat becomes our ally for long distance running or any other endurance sport. As you see, it’s not until you run for at least 45 minutes or longer when your body starts tapping into fat as an energy source.

Distance running is an incredibly catabolic activity. What does that mean? Well, when we run out of fuel, our body starts cannibalizing itself, otherwise known as muscle wasting. That can’t be good for performance, right? It’s not. How can we help prevent this from happening? The answer is eating enough carbohydrates to support our activity. Research by Dr. Asker Jeukendrup suggests endurance athletes consume 90 grams of carbohydrates every hour in a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose.

Activity
Carbohydrate
ATP/CP
Fat
Sprinting (0-3 sec)
0
100%
0
100M Dash (10-12 Sec)
50%
50%
0
1500M Race (4-6 Min)
94%
6%
0
10K Race (35-45 Min)
100%
0
0
Marathon (2.5-3 Hours)
75%
0
25%
Marathon (3-5 Hours)
50-60%
0
40-50%
Running/Hiking (5-7 Hours)
20-35%
0
65-80%



Boone A Ebel
Specialist in Performance Nutrition
Certified Fitness Trainer
Endurance Athlete


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This post was written by:

- who has written 7 posts on Trail Running Club.


After graduating from Western Illinois University in 2004, Boone furthered his career in the health & fitness industry, and currently works full time as a fitness specialist at the University of Phoenix. A lifetime runner and outdoor enthusiast, Boone enjoys competing in endurance events on both road and trails. Moving to Arizona in 2008 opened the door to endless opportunities for exploration, adventure, and even ultra-running. When Boone is not training clients, odds are you can find him on the trail somewhere around the Southwest.

Since 2009, Boone has 19 Top Ten finishes including:

• 2nd Overall 2012 Mesquite Canyon Trail 50K
• 4th Overall 2012 Lost Dutchman Marathon
• 2nd Overall 2012 XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 mile run
• 6th Overall 2011 Zane Grey Highline Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run
• 4th Overall 2011 Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run
• 1st Overall 2010 Sedona 50K
• 1st Overall 2010 Flagstaff 50K

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