Glycogen. What Is It and Why Do I Need it?

Well your guess is as good as mine and if you thought I had the answer, you’ve come to the wrong blog:)

I’ve been running now for about 3 years, yet sometimes I still feel like such a newbie.    I have been running, but I have really only started learning in the last year.  I realize that I’m so much a newbie.  When I started running, I thought the whole point was just about getting faster and running further which technically it still is.   That is only a small part of the equation though.   Also there is only so fast and far that my short legs will be able to go.    There is also soooooo much more to this running thing than speed and distance.

Per my coach, I’ve been doing some of my runs without fuel (ie -gels and such).   She has said, “The aim with ‘no fuel runs’ is to maintain an aerobic pace in the zone where you are relying more on fat and sparing glycogen.”  I’m not even sure that I total understand this sentence.  I will say that science is not my forte and this is one of the reasons that I’ve never really dived into this area of my training.   To me it all sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher and looks like this

glcyogenNow my very proficient soon to be 10th grader who takes advanced science might be able to decipher this picture. I’m actually going to ask him later.  Me not so much.    I can also be a great avoided of things that I don’t like and this has been one of the many reasons that I may have been burying my head in the sand when it comes to this aspect of my training.   With most things in life, it is time to put my big girl panties on and face it.   No, I may never fully understand how this all works; but I do need to get a handle on it.

I’m always telling my kids that education is the key to their success.   It might be time for me to take my own advice.    By learning how to master this aspect of my training, I might have a better understanding of what my body needs and when.   Then just maybe if someone hands me a rose at the end of my next marathon it won’t feel like they are handing me a 25 pound weight.  (So whose bring the roses this time?)

Yup, there is more to this running thing than just running.

Who knew?

I guess school isn’t out for summer:)

Do you understand how this all works?

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