This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
This week, I have an interesting roundup post on the benefits of massage and adapting to burn fat as fuel.
Benefits of massage
We all know massage feels good, right? But does it do anything physiologically to actually make us better runners?
We’ve already known that inflammation is reduced and mitochondria (the "power plants" of the muscles) growth is increased when muscle is massaged after exercise.
Now, there is evidence of more benefits. More blood vessels, less scar tissue and more muscle fiber regeneration.
Also noted is that massage immediately after exercise is better than 24 or 48 hours later. Timing matters.
Adapting to burn fat as fuel
A few months ago, I wrote about the idea of the low carb/high fat diet in relation to runners. I noted in there that we simply can’t burn fat quickly enough, even after adapting to burn fat as fuel, to support 5K or even marathon pace. I received a couple emails from LCHF advocates in which they called me a liar and one said a few other things. Such is life on the Internet, right?
Well, I directed them to some evidence that you indeed can’t burn fat quickly enough to support even marathon pace. Now, I have more evidence I can direct them to.
As noted in the image there, you’re pretty much out of luck on burning enough fat to power yourself through a 5K or 10K if you’re focused on racing. As for the marathon, if you’re a 176 pound marathoner you could train yourself to burn enough fat to get you to the finish line in 4.5 hours. If you’re a 132 pound runner, you can train yourself to burn enough fat to get you to the finish line in 3.1 hours. Any faster and you’re going to need glycogen (carbs).