One of the most interesting developments in the sports nutrition world the past few years has been the “train low-compete high” concept. Low and high, referring to a glycogen-depleted or glycogen-loaded state, respectively, not “high” as in Urbandictionary definition! For decades, it has been known that glycogen (the principal storage form of carbohydrates) loading increases endurance performance, and thus why a lot of advice for runners has been to train in a glycogen-loaded state. However, recent evidence has brought up a counterpoint; it may actually be beneficial to train in a glycogen-depleted state. The rationale? Lower glycogen during training alters whole body substrate metabolism and stimulates the activation of cellular signaling pathways that might be involved in the muscular adaptation to training. Aka – our bodies will become more effective at burning fat as a fuel, thus sparing glycogen use, increasing time to fatigue, and potentially increasing performance….
To find out more about who should try it, how often to train low, and practical application of this nutritional intervention in to training methodology – head on over to the iRunnerBlog for my NutritionNerd Column!
Have a great weekend – get outside – break a sweat – eat a good meal! 🙂
P.S. – Have been wearing a walking boot to immobilize my injured ankle this week, but it is still sore. Will be a Saturday morning decision if I complete the 10K trail race or not!