Is it beneficial (or safe) to workout on an empty stomach?

Watch this.

Would fasting before a workout help Fat Bastard?So, for as long as I can remember, I have always been advised that in order to have a good workout, you must eat before and after. However, this morning when I accidentally caught some of the Marilyn Denis Show (usually boring; don’t really like it), I happened to catch this segment that focused on not gaining weight during the holidays.

First, it annoyed me given my post the other day about enjoying the holidays and not stressing about it. Seriously? 17% more fat? Who cares. And besides, I already know how miserable I feel if I haven’t had enough before a long run or workout – HEADACHE city! But second, it contradicted everything I knew to be true on fuelling up before a workout. So obviously, it prompted me to start the research from both perspectives. I checked out the Livestrong site because they usually have pretty good info. Here is what they said:

“Exercising on an empty stomach may not appeal to everyone, but it seems to have some positive effects on fat burning. If you don’t load up on carbohydrates for quick energy before a workout, it makes sense that you would be pulling energy from your fat stores. Still, the approach is a little controversial and the jury is still out on whether it actually benefits athletic performance.” That’s good enough for me and I could have stopped there but I thought I might as well keep going to see ALL sides.

The site also touched on training low, competing high, which refers to the idea of doing some workouts in a carbohydrate-depleted state, then racing or competing with a full supply of carbohydrates. Initial research claims that this technique enhances fat-burning and other metabolic responses. 

Here are the advantages and disadvantages as I’ve found online:

ADVANTAGES:

  • It can prevent weight gain
  • It can maintain insulin sensitivity
  • A study published in the November 2010 “Journal of Physiology” found that exercising before breakfast has a protective effect on a bad diet.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • You can’t train as hard or fast without having more fuel to rely on.
  • It’s possible that you could increase your risk of illness or injury by exercising in a depleted state.
  • Exercise on an empty stomach can increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue.
  • If you don’t have enough energy to make it through the work out, what’s the point?

Finally, after consulting the crazy body building forums to see what the real muscly people have to say, it seems that they’ve tried both and haven’t seen much of a difference in either.

What do you think?

YES – This is a great idea! Fast, fast, fast and feel the burn. vs. NO! Are you high? This is a terrible idea!

Personally, I’d be willing to try it but I feel confident in saying that since running is a real mental game for me, I’d probably convince myself that I don’t have enough fuel to run, and then quit – which would defeat the purpose!

Day 33: REST day! YAHOO! Cold advice?

Today is a rest day and thank goodness for that! This cold is hanging on and despite my best efforts to get rid of it, doesn’t seem to be moving on any time soon. I’ve tried cold medicine, the old honey + water + lemon concoction, soup, water, tea – everything and no luck! Any other old school remedies out there that I’m missing? Anyway, I am glad that we don’t have to run today because I don’t know if I would be able to do it from a mental standpoint!

I plan on watching terrible TV and hydrating with my “TGIF” glass. I also plan on pretty much being useless for the rest of the day (I already have a head start.)

Tomorrow is a 4 mile run – still trying to decide if I’ll be taking my running buddy or not (he’s under the weather too.)

So, with that, hope everyone has a terrific Friday!!

 

 

Le fuel belt or backpack: which is cooler?

Alright, so I have run with a backpack before and it wasn’t too bad. It’s been a while, but when I was like 18 and super-ambitious I would sometimes run 8km to work and haul my work clothes/shower stuff in my bag. I never really minded it because it generally only took me around forty minutes or so to complete the run. But of course, doing a half-marathon the distance and time would be a considerable difference. And, needless to say, those days are long, long, long gone! More recently a friend and I hiked with our babes in carriers to the Ink Pots in Banff, Alberta (11.5 km). Of course, this was when I was completely out of shape…I mean, full-on sore for almost a whole week. Recovery involved me bracing myself before walking down and up stairs; sitting on chairs; getting in and out of the truck – it was ridiculous. With that said, the bottom line is that I know I can survive long treks with something on my back, but I’m wondering which is better for runs: fuel belt or pack?

First up, let me be really honest: I can’t stand how packs move from side-to-side; I’m one of those people who try to wear tight jackets while running to avoid this issue as well. And secondly, when I think of the belt, I think of fanny-packs (and Danny Tanner.) And it also brings me back to a few years ago when I was a little sick and had to use a fanny pack to hide my IV crap. At the time I flat-out REFUSED to wear the fanny-pack on my waist (the nurses would roll their eyes), so wore it on my shoulder like a purse.Yeah. I know. That didn’t look much better, but seriously?! A freaking fanny-pack? What decade is this? And sincere apologies to people who continue to wear fanny-packs, but I hate them and don’t want to look like a dork with a belt. (Please note: if I still had my New Kids on the Block fanny pack I would darn-well use that without question).

But back to some serious questions: does the belt flop around? Does it move at all? I would love to know what everyone else uses to transport their run goodies during a long-distance run/race. Any feedback is much appreciated!

If you’ve given a dollar you’re part of the marathon of hope: let’s find a cure for Cancer because I don’t want my kid to grow up with this bullshit.

Most of you know by now that Terry Fox was and still is one of my idols. When I was younger, I raised so much money that Betty Fox wrote me a letter thanking me. I don’t know if she actually wrote the letter but it was pretty special to me and encouraged me to keep going & working to raise money. And when there are days that I feel I’ve been given the short straw or that life sucks that day, I often think of him and snap back to reality. Life’s pretty damn good. I’ve been healthy almost 365 days straight. YAHOO!

Did you know that Terry’s goal was to raise $1 for every Canadian in his Marathon of Hope? Did you also know that the year after he started it, he raised that and more? This was at a time where communication wasn’t what it is today. It wasn’t like people hopped on twitter, Facebook or even wordpress to ask for support – it was word-of-mouth and traditional media. Pretty amazing, eh?

Anyway, like many people, cancer hits very close to home. On September 16 my son and I will be running in our second Terry Fox Run together (and I’ve lost count of how many I’ve done to date.) And like Terry says:

“We have 25 million people who live in Canada, each one of us 25 million can get cancer. None of us are immune. And each of us has a dollar to give. Each one of us. And more. Most of us have more. Don’t tell me that we can’t raise $25 million dollars. Don’t tell me that.”

Donate to help find a cure today!

THANK YOU!

Friends, countrymen, runners lend me your playlists!

If you nip over to my music section, you’ll see my current August playlist. As you know, August is coming to a quick close so I’ll need a new playlist for September. I still love most of the songs on my list, but I would love to freshen it up with some new tunes.

What music do you like listening to? Who’s your favourite artist?

Lately I’ve also been listening to podcasts (dorky, eh?) However, I find it’s a good time to listen to them because I will actually focus on what they’re saying, rather than trying to do a million things – multitasking at its finest! Right now I listen to Penny Sansevieri’s podcast: Powerful Book Promotion. This is likely not interesting to everyone, but I love learning new marketing techniques, so I enjoy this immensely.

Anyway – shoot me your playlists! Would love to see what my fellow-runners are listening to!