My job often brings me to some challenging cities for running. Vegas. Orlando. Orlando. Vegas. Orlando has some great places to run, to be sure. The problem is that I’m often staying on the Disney World property which is not runner friedly. The resorts are often accessed only by 55 mph roads populated by drivers whose years on the planet have not helped their ability to navigate their gas-guzzling rental cars. Leaping out of the way of a gentile grandfather is not the kind of anaerobic workout many runners seek.
This week at I’m the Coronado Springs, which is on the eastern end of the resort area. I discovered a nice quiet road leading off the property (past the Disney landfill. hmmmm, smelly), and did a great 11 or 12 miler yesterday. This is my first long run in preparation for Boston, and it was a joy. Sunny but cool. As a New Yorker, I’m happy with anything that isn’t 12° and icy this time of year.
I’m following a custom training plan from McMillian — he’s got some great stuff on his web site about long runs. I didn’t read it until AFTER my run, but it’s interesting to note that he recommends not taking carbs during the shorter long runs. You should read his article and decide for yourself, but his arguments are persuasive:
Finally, (and this is optional) a great way to ensure that you will deplete your carbohydrate stores on these long, steady runs is to not eat any carbohydrates immediately before or during the run. Any carbohydrates ingested will be used by the body for fuel, and we don’t want this. We want to deny the body carbohydrates in these runs so that the muscles will become better at sparing the carbohydrate stores, more efficient at burning fat and used to running with lowered blood glucose levels. Now, many people think I’m crazy when I say this, but it works. It takes time to get adjusted to it if you have always been carbing up before and during your long runs, but with time and practice you can do it. I will note, however, that it is important to drink water and electrolytes throughout these runs so that you don’t get dehydrated.
I have to think more about this, I wonder what a non-carbohydrate electrolyte food source would be. It would be one of those 0 calories powders I imagine. Must research.