Fasted Workout(s)

  • Creator
  • #60009

    Greetings coach(s) and all,

    Discuss UphillAthlete’s position/datum on (a) fasted workouts, in general, and, more specifically, (b) regular, sustained, intermittent fasting protocol (5-7 days/wk; 16-18 hr/day) while formally following a mountaineering training program like ours.

    See weighted pack hike for reference:

    – 1:10 up. :50 down ‘under’ chair 15, Mammoth Lakes, CA
    – 30# pack (body weight = 1755)
    – last 2 hrs of 18 hr fast
    – took it SLOWer than normal by 1-2 min/mile, and not quite as steep of a line, because of fast duration relative to workout time.

    Thank you.


  • Participant
    Nate Emerson on #60105

    That’s a great topic Don. There’s a lot to consider here. We can certainly touch on this in the next Zoom call. Rebecca Dent will be on the 12/22 Zoom call, and she’ll be a great resource.

    Your experience of needing to go slower in a fasted state is an example of why we need to strike a balance between fasting and desired training volume. This is really a personalized decision.

    Rebecca has already contributed articles, forum responses, and has been featured on our podcasts:

    Talking Fasted Training With Staff Performance Dietitian Rebecca Dent

    The Uphill Athlete Podcast: Nutrition and the Aging Athlete

    This collection of articles can give more background on fat adaptation, how fasting could be employed, and what liabilities you need to consider with these strategies.

    Main Home

    While we encourage most athletes to tend to nutrition and consider fasted workouts, it’s important to consider nutrition periodization – certain workouts need caloric support to train to the workouts intention, and high training volumes simply require higher weekly caloric intake. Nutrition periodization can be considered on different time scales and applied differently during the phases of a training program. There is individual variance to consider in this process.
    Placing a large emphasis on fasting may create great conditions for fat adaptation and long fasts are associated with many health benefits, but regular intermittent fasting will likely interfere with reaching an effectively high training load, not to mention it likely wouldn’t resemble how you would take care of yourself on an expedition.
    High endurance-oriented training volume will put athletes in a general state of lower glycogen reserves, which is what you would be striving for in fat adaptation. So you can manipulate your glycogen reserves through training and through nutrition, and it’s important to consider the individual variance when combining these two approaches. This is why most elite/pro athletes won’t need to follow a severe fasted diet (or even be fully compliant on a nutrition plan) during their high volume training phases.

    Again, we can expand upon this topic during the next Zoom Call and Rebecca could elaborate in the 12/22 Zoom Call.

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