Jeff Galloway recently came into the Maine Running Company to share his experiences with us. All of my notes from the clinic will be linked at the bottom of this article as they are available.
This morning’s notes are about what Jeff had to say about nutrition and how to eat to fuel your training.
Food & Training
“People tend to over-record their exercise and under-record their calorie intake…Imagine that!”
Fat is a very efficient source of fuel, but it can be a little too abundant of a fuel source that involves carrying around extra weight, which means that you will require more fuel to begin with.
At it’s very core, fat is a survival mechanism. We are programmed to add a little fat every year from age 25 on. This set-point mechanism allows us to more easily survive a famine, but in the modern age if you can avoid adding fat weight as you age then you are ahead of the game. The average person should be adding around 3 or 4 pounds of fat per year to their frame.
If you don’t believe in the the set-point mechanism, Jeff suggests that you just go to Disney World or your local Wal-Mart and look around.
You will not burn any fat for the first 15 minutes of your run. As you run between 15 and 45 minutes, your body slowly transitions into using fat as its principle source of fuel, until at about 45 minutes when it begins using almost exclusively fat.
If you are consistent in your training and you do multiple 60-70 minute runs every week then you will become very efficient at burning fat around the clock. If you stop for a few weeks then your body will stop burning fat so efficiently because it will no longer need to.
Jeff recommends that you use FitDay.com to get a regular report about your calorie intake, nutrient deficits, etc. It will give you a good reality check about whether or not you are working as hard as you think that you are and whether you are eating too much or too little food given your level of exercise.
Jeff also recommends that you use a step counter or a pedometer to count the number of steps that you walk every day. Your goal should for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, and the distance doesn’t matter. His clients see more of a benefit to losing weight by adding walking steps rather than running steps as they are less likely to become as hungry as a result of the extra exercise.
After you finish running, you should always try to eat something within 20 to 30 minutes. The latest research that Jeff has seen suggests eating about 200-300 calories immediately following your long run that is made up of 80% simple carbs and 20% protein. This will best aid you in recovering your spent muscle glycogen. You should also continue to eat throughout the day to restore most of the calories that you burned, but that 200-300 calories will do the most good within half an hour of your workout.