Train your body to use fats efficiently
Running early on in the morning, and fasted, is an effective way to help train your body to become more efficient at utilising fats as a fuel.
See, if you run first thing (6am, for example), you are in a fasted state and can workout before hunger cravings really set in.
Indeed, at this point, your glycogen stores (carbs) are low and you may only take on a small amount of hydration – basically forcing your body to use its fat reserves and become more savvy at how to deploy the energy available.
A knock on effect of this, according to scientific evidence, is that it can also improve your glycogen energy stores and usage over time.
The body learns and adapts how to implement fat better during fasted runs and it replicates how your body will most likely feel during the end segment of a marathon, in which, by then, you would have burned through the bulk of your carb reserves.
Importantly, however, it should be noted that fasted runs need to take place for slower, lower intensity activities and recovery runs – essentially, easier training days. For example, if you are about to undertake your weekly long run – you will want plenty of ammunition to play with.
The same can be said for race day, as you will want to fuel up and add to the energy stores that you have built up through carb-loading prior to competition.
You should indeed practice, during your training programme, trying out which breakfast and pre-race foods work for you, before you embark on a run. It is an element of trial and error, and comes down to the individual.
So, now, having completed your fasted run – what should you have for breakfast?
Refuelling with the right nutrients and ingredients are essential for speeding up your recovery and thanking your body for its efforts!
Here are some options that will replenish your energy stores:
Carbs – Try oats, porridge, cereal, waffles and a banana.
Protein – Semi-skinned or soy milk, yoghurt, eggs and nuts are all good options.
Fats (healthy) – Avocados on toast with butter are tasty – and even add in some coconut oil with whatever option you go for.
Fresh fruit and vegetables – Greens, such as kale, rocket and spinach, can compliment rather more appealing alternatives like berries.