Fasted training vs training longer with fuel

  • Creator
  • #48745

    Hey guys. I’ve been lurking here for a while, using the forums as a supplement for TFTUA. By using low intensity training and a heart rate monitor, I brought my AeT all the way from 138 to 150 over the course of about six months (no longer ADS) after coming back from some nasty injuries.

    My question is on fasted training. I routinely use it for morning workouts which are typically under two hours. I have noticed a huge improvement, going from being super hungry after 20 minutes to not really needing food at all. However, three hours is about the limit for me, and performance drops off noticeably and quickly.

    Obviously I can start fueling at this point to train longer and get more miles in. But I have another thought. My question is this: if the benefit of fasted training is simply depleting your carb stores, what’s the difference whether you start the workout fasted or not? Can’t I just start the workout fueled and it will take longer to deplete? Will that not provide the same benefit?

    A lot of times I can’t train when I wake up and sitting around for several hours getting hungry until I can train isn’t ideal for me. Wondering how important being fasted really is for endurance benefits.

    Thanks for the help!

  • Participant
    OwenFW on #48747

    My understanding has been that fasted training past about 90 minutes is unlikely to yield any real additional benefits. Probably just make you slower.

    AshRick on #48854

    I’ve been morning running on an empty stomach for years. I didn’t know it was a “thing” until recently.

    That said, I go no longer than 2 hours without calories. 2 hour run … no food.

    Planning 3 hours or longer? I start calories at 90 minutes and eat one serving (bar, pouch of gummies, etc.) per hour.

    This fall I did a 3.5 hour hilly run with no calories. I got through it fine and felt good about myself.

    Then slept all day and took two days to recover properly. Not a good idea.

    Anonymous on #49354

    I agree with Owen and Richard. Once you can go a couple of hours without food, I think you’ve harvested the low-hanging fruit. Pushing further will have less benefit (IMO), and it will definitely extend recovery and compromise immunity.

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