Energy Source When Running a Marathon

Should what you eat after a run change on a simple day versus a workout day? How about after a speed exercise versus a tempo run? It’s a very common question and a crucial element to optimal recovery.

While I will compose particularly about dietary requirements after different types of runs and exercises next week, to get ready for that conversation, it is essential that I first present the physiology of basal metabolism during various levels of workout. Knowing the primary energy system you are using during your workouts will help you determine your recovery requires for nutrition and rest.

Where from Energy Deriving Source When Running a Marathon?

Energy is saved in the body in various forms of carbs, fats, and proteins as well as in the particle creatine phosphate. Carbohydrate and fat are the primary sources of energy, with protein contributing a minimal quantity under typical conditions. Adenosine triphospate (ATP) is the body’s useful form of energy. The body uses 3 various systems of metabolic process to move stored energy to form ATP.

First Energy Source When Running a Marathon: The Phosphagen System

The phosphagen system of energy transfer does not require oxygen (anaerobic) and is hired when there is an unexpected boost in energy demand such as starting an exercise, putting in a fast surge, or throwing a discus. It is the most direct and quickest type of energy production however can only supply enough energy for a brief burst extreme activity like a maximum weight lift or a 5 2nd sprint. This system relies on the availability of creatine phosphate, which is in limited supply and is diminished rapidly. When creatine phosphate is consumed, the body must contact other systems of energy transfer to sustain ongoing activity.

Second Energy Source When Running a Marathon: Glycolysis (anaerobic) System

Another system that does not need oxygen is glycolysis, likewise known as the lactate system. This system provides enough ATP to sustain 1 to 3 minutes of extreme activity when sufficient oxygen isn’t really available for aerobic metabolic process. Lactate or lactic acid is something that the majority of runners have actually heard of and may even fear because of its connection with sore muscles and tiredness. Ideally the following description of glycolysis will assist you visualize what is going on.

when running a marathon energy
running a marathon and energy delivery system

Glucose is the only fuel that can be used during glycolysis, which actually suggests the breakdown of glucose. This breakdown develops ATP as glucose is converted into 2 particles of pyruvate. Hydrogen is likewise produced during this procedure and if oxygen is present, the aerobic system (explained next) can use hydrogen and pyruvate to produce more ATP. Nevertheless, oftentimes the aerobic system can not stay up to date with the excess hydrogen being produced so rather the hydrogen combines with pyruvate to form lactic acid.

Lactic acid then gets in the bloodstream and is cleared by the liver. The point at which the production of lactate is much faster than lactate clearance is called the lactate threshold, also referred to as the anaerobic threshold, when lactic acid begins to collect in the blood. The increased acidity of the blood inhibits the use of fatty acids for energy production through aerobic metabolic process and hence enhances the body’s dependence on carb and glycolysis. As blood lactate levels remain to increase and carbohydrate shops end up being diminished, the muscles start to tiredness and performance is reduced.

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An athlete can enhance their lactate threshold through adjustments made during appropriate endurance training. This is where my knowledge of the lactate limit ends and I leave it to the specialist coaches to determine the best method to do that! I will state though that a person of those adjustments is the increasing the efficiency of the aerobic system.

Third Energy Source When Running a Marathon: The Aerobic System

The aerobic system can use carbs, fats, or proteins to produce energy. Energy production is slower, however more efficient than the other two systems. As you can inform by the name, the aerobic system requires that there be adequate oxygen offered to the working muscles. Therefore this system is used more heavily during low-intensity activity.

One key emphasize of aerobic metabolic process is the ability to burn fat as fuel. Our bodies have a relatively unrestricted capability for storing fat and fat provides over two times as much energy per gram than protein or carb, making it a really attractive choice for energy production. In extended activities where strength is low, the body will use fat as a primary energy source and spare using muscle glycogen and blood glucose so that it is offered for use if exercise intensity increases and oxygen accessibility is reduced. Remember that aerobic metabolic process does not use one substrate exclusively. Although you may be burning primarily fat, a steady supply of carb is still needed for the breakdown of fat into an energy source.

Just like the aerobic system isn’t special to one substrate, basal metabolism isn’t unique to one system. All 3 systems are working at the same time to sustain the body during exercise. However, certain characteristics such as exercise duration and strength will identify the predominate system and therefore for how long the activity can be carried out at that level. Other elements that influence what substrates and systems are being used include the fuels that are available, the fitness level of the athlete, and the nutritional status of the athlete. These factors may change gradually and through training so similar to total nutrition, basal metabolism is very individualized and vibrant.

Final Notes

Recently I talked about arguments for and against eating before a run or exercise. One big reason for having appropriate fuel prior to an exercise, as well as every day, is to avoid making use of protein as a fuel source.

Protein is normally spared from being used as an energy source and is used predominately by the body for tissue maintenance, growth, and repair work. Nevertheless, when glycogen stores are depleted, amino acids from muscle protein can be used to produce glucose. As we found out before, glycogen shops can be diminished through extreme and long term exercise, a chronic low carbohydrate diet, or a general low-energy diet that can not stay up to date with the body’s demands. If the body regularly relies on protein for fuel, muscle protein stores will start to reduce in addition to lean body mass, which can be harmful to performance.

This highlights the significance of fully renewing glycogen stores after extreme workouts, along with each day. Next week I will talk about the different types of workouts you might experience on a weekly basis and how you ought to be fueling yourself after these workouts to prevent further breakdown and get ready for the next day.


Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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