Can’t understand this hungry feeling…

  • Creator
  • #51000

    Hi all,

    For at least 2+ years I have run 60-120mins in the early morning before breakfast without any issue – it’s just some good z1, sometimes z2 distance. For a long time I would eat banana on toast or porridge w/ peanut butter, banana etc. post run.

    Well… since a few months ago I have started to get a really hungry feeling during the morning runs. Sometimes I might even feel dizzy for a split second! After a while I begrudgling started to eat something small like a Clif bar pre-run, but the feeling still occurs. I know I’m not under fueling for the day, as I eat probably more than my fair share of good quality food. Eating usually stops around 9pm, and I get up at 5:30 to train before work.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    I’m 42 with a 15 year background mountian running. On average I train 20-25hrs per week, with 12-16 of that running. I eat a healthy european diet with a standard macro split – probably 50% carb and an even split with protein & fats.

    Thanks all,

Posted In: Nutrition

  • Participant
    Brett on #51016

    I do all of my morning runs fasted. I sometimes get a similar feeling to what you’ve described, where suddenly I get an intense hunger feeling and even sometimes a brief moment of light headedness. It usually doesn’t last longer than a few seconds and doesn’t effect my energy levels or effort. I don’t take any calories for any runs shorter than 3 hours, and this always happens within the first 30 minutes of my run. In my case, I think it’s related to me starting too quickly before my aerobic system is fully online. It only happens maybe 1 out of 10 runs for me. How often are you experiencing this?

    TerryLui on #51027

    On average I train 20-25hrs per week, with 12-16 of that running

    Some questions:
    1) How much recovery time do you have in your week?
    2) Can you describe the nature/quality of your recovery time?
    3) What else are you doing in your training volume?

    irunovermountains on #51050

    Hi Brett, thanks for your reply.
    For a long time black coffee (no sugar etc.) has been the only thing I’ve consumed pre-run, and having training with Uphill Athlete going back to 2019 (shout out to Alison Naney ?), I know my correct HR zones – most of my runs are zone 1. This can happen on these runs or others. This morning I ran 90min zone 2 Steady effort and it didn’t happen! I’m baffled as to what’s causing this. For longer runs, I do normally consume calories after 2hrs, and for long mountain days I usually start fueled (porridge usually). This only started early December and increased to almost every run – it doesn’t last for the duration of the run. More recently it happens less often. It’s a beard scratcher this one! In terms of warm-up, I do 30-40min mobility and warm-up drills before every runs – I’ve been religious about this for years.

    irunovermountains on #51051

    Hi Terri, thanks for chipping in. Appreciated.
    Recovery time – I normally treat Monday as a recovery day. That might mean a recovery pace 30-60min run, epsom salt bath, the usualy mobility routine (yoga stuff, hips etc.) If Sunday is a big day, then I usually take Monday off running completely, but don’t like to prescribe Mondays off during winter when the focus is more on base building, strength, and shorter long runs.

    Typical week:
    5 x Core (approx 15min)
    1 x Legs Muscuylar Endurance (step-ups, lunges etc. typical UA work)
    1 x Hip mobility & strength
    5-7 days running (E.g. 5 easy, 1 steady, 1 workout)

    I took a full 7 days off running a few weeks ago, as it was the end of a 16 week training block and wanted a running break before the next block.

    irunovermountains on #51466

    Do any other members have ideas on this?


    Anonymous on #52366

    1. Have your evening meals changed?

    With that amount of volume, you’ll be somewhat depleted most of the time. What you eat the night before could have an impact. To experiment, try a supper with a cup or two of rice included, and see how the morning run feels. Next, try a supper with almost no carbs. I suspect you’ll notice a difference.

    2. Has your pace changed?

    If you’re measuring your runs by HR, then if your pace increases, the muscular and glycogen demands will increase even though your heart rate won’t. That can interact with #1.

    owenewitt21 on #59817

    I always feel that way too. Every time I go training or on a run, I feel hungry… I guess a good meal plan can help us? Or maybe you guys have any ideas to help my problem too?

    Anonymous on #59825

    I would offer the following observation. This is very high volume of both overall training and running. You are going to be somewhat glycogen depletion most of the time. As a consequence you have become very fat adapted. Many of the pros I have coached have similar training volumes.

    While I don’t have an answer as to why you are feeling hungry, my suggestion is to eat when you have this feeling. With this much volume you will not decrease your fat adaptation. You could probably eat a box of sugary cereal every day and still be quite fat adapted.

    I have gone through similar periods where I am hungry in the morning. Normally I can co for a long run in the morning without eating before with no hunger. But when I feel hungry in the morning I east a small bit of carbs like a piece of toast. I figure my body is telling me to eat and I should listen.

    I hope this helps or at least makes you feel like it is of to eat something before these morning runs.

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