Running on Empty

June 6, 2012

Billy and I are always wanting to research more about little things we can try in our training to help us to be better runners. Runners World (July 2012) has an article about a way that they believe may help you to step up your game (**note don’t worry mom and my doctor brother, I will not be trying anything crazy while pregnant…this is for when I am back to racing again.  I have to include warnings like that or else 1/2 my family will be calling worried I have gone crazy 5 minutes after the post goes up).

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The idea behind running on ‘E’

-Your body uses carbs as its main source of energy for fuel.

-You can store enough carbs/fuel for your body to use for 90 minutes of intense exercise.

-”Training in a carb-depleted state helps the muscles adapt to burning more fat and boosts your body’s capacity for stored carbohydrates by as much as 50%.”

How to ‘drain the tank’

-Run before you eat breakfast in the morning after a 10 hour fast.

-Do a hard workout in the morning and then run in the afternoon too without eating in between.

Make sure to refuel as soon as you finish your run and this is not something to do all of the time.

To me this makes sense.  Maybe not something I would do often but every now and then why not?  I love it when I have runs throughout my training cycle that are WAY HARDER than what the race conditions are going to be (i.e. hills, crazy weather, not the ideal week of sleep etc) because then when race day comes you feel like it is SO much easier.  You know that you got through harder training sessions and so mentally you are rearing to go.  If this trains your body to use fuel more efficiently then why not?!

If you have trained your body to get through a workout with less than ideal situations (running on fumes) just imagine what you can do when you are fully carb loaded.  “Train Low, Race High”

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****I just wanted to post and talk about this in terms of helping you train to be a better more efficient runner, this method is not for weight loss.  You are still eating the same amount of calories with this training idea but just at different times:)

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During the NBA Playoffs my parents get the wonderful pleasure and honor to have us over even more often than normally to watch the games.  The first thing I do when I get there is check out the fridge contents.  It was meant to be that we went over last night because I was the first to open the fridge after her trip to Costco just a few hours earlier.

I almost cried when I saw this.

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I cannot justify the $8 price tag for their perfectly cut up pineapple because it would be gone in less than 20 hours but my parents can (as long as I am not counted into this equation) because this could last them a WEEK?!?!

I haven’t stopped thinking about the pizza from Monday night and so I had the exact same thing last night too.

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And now as I am typing this I am writing down a pros and cons list of each different dessert option in my parent’s freezer.  So far I can’t come up with any cons so I guess that means one of everything.

PS Utahns….get excited:)

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How much money do you spend a week or month on produce?

-Probably $12 a week.

Do you ever run on empty?  What do you think of this theory of training when your body is low on carbs?

Just wondering… Any readers FROM or LIVING IN UTAH?  What part?

What was your dessert last night?

Megan @ Run Like a Grl June 6, 2012 at 5:49 am

I think I’d be nervous not to fuel before I run, especially on longer runs! I don’t think my body would be so good with that, its picky. Haha. But maybe trying it once just to see might be good? Interesting concept!

I spend maybe $10-20 a week on produce, depending on the week. Sometimes I feel like making more smoothies or something and its on the higher end! Just depends :) But I love some fresh produce, especially mangos and avocados. Yummm.

My dessert last night was choco covered almonds with sea salt from TJs. HEAVEN!

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Alex @ Healthy Life Happy Wife June 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Omigosh – those almonds are ADDICTING!! But sooo good!

My dessert last night was Frozen Yogurt from TJ’S – tart and tasty!! Gotta love Trader Joe’s!

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Heather @ Run Eat Play June 6, 2012 at 6:00 am

I understand the whole idea behind the running on empty thing, but Idon’t think I could do it. I usually need to eat something small before I run or workout even if it’s just an apple.

Last night we went to Baskin Robbins for dessert and I had strawberry lemonade sherbet. We were celebrating my son getting a Presidential award at school and his last day of 5th grade!!

I usually splurge on Whole Foods pineapple and mango because it’s so good!

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Becky Przy June 6, 2012 at 6:02 am

I bet your parents are always so happy to see you!

We probably spend about $15-20 on produce (?) During the summer it goes down to $0 because we have a huge garden. My sister buys a pint of blackberries and it will last her a week?!?! I have it gone in a day.

I used to do all of my runs on ‘empty’ because I would get up early and just head out the door to run. It worked for me. I typically start on my long runs on empty (start fueling an hour in). However, on race day my gut is used to being empty, but I need to eat something because I am up 2-3 hours prior to the race (not just 15 minutes like at home) and this year I have been having gut issues due to eating prior to the race:-(

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sarah June 6, 2012 at 6:10 am

I really wish I could send you some Thai fruit. The pineapples and mangoes are, basically, out of this world. And I mean this in a literal, outer space, past Neptune sort of way.

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Khushboo June 6, 2012 at 6:16 am

Great post and I personally think it works! For the longest time I used to run without fueling beforehand and the minute I started eating before my runs , there was a HUGE difference in my speeds and the way I felt during my runs! I’m sure most people would eat before a race so training on empty would definitely benefit them.

I’ve never been to Trader Joes but from what I’ve heard about it, getting one in your hometown is definitely something to be excited about :)!

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated June 6, 2012 at 6:17 am

My dessert last night was a delicious sugar cookie. And a small glass of wine. :)

I’m not exactly sure how much is spent specifically on produce. But I do know that now that Brandon isn’t traveling for work anymore, our grocery bills have skyrocketed! When he was gone Monday-Thursday for most weeks, it was easy to keep the bills down! ;)

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Brooke June 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

I went to a fitness convention in Sydney last month, and they had a guest speaker: Jason Karp, he is a really good running coach – I kept all his notes- anyway , he also said in one of this lectures to NOT fuel every second weekend of your big runs so your body gets used using fat. All the pro marathon runners don’t refuel Carbs at all, they have trained there body to use fat straight away as a source . Pretty cool huh? Great post ! Love reading about different ways of training & manipulating the body to run quicker & better :)

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Heidi @ Idlehide June 6, 2012 at 6:28 am

I had 2 of those old lady cookies- the yellow cookies with the creme in between and the bit of jelly on the top. they’re so good though! ;)

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Katie @ Msfitrunner June 6, 2012 at 6:33 am

I just read this article yesterday, and did a lot of this training last fall. I started looking into it more when I was training for the spring marathons I did. I found it kind of easy for me to incorporate, because I generally don’t eat before a morning run. Then I started doing my 20 milers without fuel and it was great. I think it makes complete sense. Even the leanest runner has plenty of fat stores to fuel a run. You just have to teach your body to use it more efficiently. I feel the same as you – making the training conditions much harder than race day is a great way to prepare for a race.

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Emma June 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

I used to do all my week-day runs on empty, up to 12k’s but no more; but always fuel before Saturday long runs. Now I run in the late afternoon more than the morning because of work changes. I’m not sure if it’s because of previously always running on empty, but I’m much more sluggish in the afternoon!

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Jaren@Kiwi Fit Blog June 6, 2012 at 6:40 am

We are getting a Trader Joes in Texas too, first one and its about 30 minutes away. This girl is excited!

I love pineapple too, I just buy the whole thing and slice it myself.

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Phebe June 6, 2012 at 6:41 am

I spend about $10-15 on just myself. I love me some fresh veggies!

I used to run without eating first just because I had class and no time to digest. Now that I eat before runs I have a ton more energy, so I definitely believe in the science!

Last night my dessert didn’t happen :( I had to run right from work to watch the playoffs with my boyfriend. Can I ask who you guys are rooting for??

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Erica June 6, 2012 at 6:43 am

Running on empty believer here! So much so, I wanted to write a book or at least an article on it. (shoot this guy beat me to it.)

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Kari @ Running Ricig June 6, 2012 at 6:46 am

I wanted cherries so much this week, but couldn’t justify $14 for a bag. I can’t wait until they’re cheap and I’ll go crazy!

I run on E when I run in the mornings, but my legs always feel so awful in the morning, so I rarely do it.

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Angie June 6, 2012 at 6:58 am

Yeah for pineapple! I justify buying it because it’s for me and baby!

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Britt @ Chicago Runner Girl June 6, 2012 at 7:03 am

Just went to the store yesterday where I only purchased produce for the week and spent about $45…I eat a lot of fruit.

I used to run on an empty stomach almost every day, but these days I always eat breakfast before heading out the door and personally I don’t agree with this article. Speed work when you are on a “fast” is terribly difficult and I never ever think it’s a good idea to routinely force your body into starvation mode. Maybe this method would work after a long adjustment period, but the process to get there sounds rather unenjoyable. After seeing the difference in my own training of fueled vs. non fueled runs, I think I’ll stick with the fueled. But if you try this I’m very curious to see how it goes.

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Kayla @ kpLovingit June 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

I work out on empty every now and then, only because I’m short on time.

I had a couple of bites of chocolate caramel brownie with strawberries, blackberries and a special dipping sauce I made (philly cream cheese, cool whip, stevia, powder sugar, vanilla extract).

I think I spent like a million dollars a month on produce. It’s expensive to eat healthy!

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

How exciting that you’re getting a TJ’s! Very dangerous, too!

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Lindsey June 6, 2012 at 7:06 am

I am not entirely sure how much we spend a week on produce but my guess $40? Yeah its a lot I know that much.
Typically if I am doing a morning workout I only have a banana first and do find I run or workout better when I eat less before. And I always eat more than enough food and carbs after to make up for it. I can see their theory there for sure.
No dessert last night :( Had a late supper and early bedtime.

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Erica @ Love the Leap June 6, 2012 at 7:11 am

I actually find that running on an empty stomach is easier for me in the mornings! I like to just get up and run and don’t like to wait around– I’m very impatient– so waiting to digest food isn’t my favorite thing haha

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 6, 2012 at 7:11 am

I hope that means Colorado will be getting a TJ soon!

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Cindi B June 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

There is one coming to Boulder within the year! I heard that they are using an old Applebee’s location. With luck, we’ll be moved back there in a year or so…just in time! =)

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Sarah June 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

It also sounds like one may be coming to Colorado Blvd in Denver around the same time as the Boulder location!

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Natalie June 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

Get a pineapple cutter asap!! I use mine all the time and it is so so easy!!

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Gracie (Complicated Day) June 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

I think I would starve to death between my morning hard workout and my afternoon run! I don’t eat before I run in the morning, but around 10 am I become so famished I could eat my arm.

I spend SO much money on produce…in fact my cart is usually all produce with the occasional box of pasta or bag of beans! We snack on fruit a lot and have salad twice a day. I feel bleah without it. Produce can be expensive here because not much can grow well in our very hot climate, so most is trucked in.

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Marissa June 6, 2012 at 7:21 am

I have been reading your blog for a long time! You are so cute and funny and and an awesome runner! And guess what? I just moved to Provo!! We lived in North Carolina before so I am excited. Where are the best places to run here?!

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Lindsey June 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

We had left over cake after my sister’s bridal shower this past Saturday. It’s probably the best cake I’ve ever had. Every day this week I have been day dreaming of eating a piece when I get home. Then I have to make myself wait until after dinner to eat it!

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Leyna June 6, 2012 at 7:26 am

I’m not sure if I could run on “E”. Maybe I’ll have to try it once to see if I could. Usually during my races I’m STARVING – which probably means I’m depleting my energy stores too early on. Gotta work on that.

We’re getting ready to move and I was cleaning out my deep freezer and discovered a loaf of chocolate zuchini bread that my mom had made for Easter. The kids and I devoured the entire loaf! It had nuts and raisins in it so it was really filling. So delicious! My daughter woke up this morning and asked for cupcakes for breakfast (that’s what I get for putting her to sleep in pj’s with cupcakes on them!).

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries June 6, 2012 at 7:26 am

i LOVE pineapple too! i rarely buy it because it’s a pain to cut up, but i love when it’s already cut up for me. :)
and you better believe i’m here in utah! eagle mountain! i’m SO excited for the trader joe’s! woot!

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Rachel June 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

I’m not in Utah, but close! We’re getting Colorado’s first Trader Joe’s in Boulder next year!!! I CAN’T WAIT. I’ll probably just bring a tent and start living in the cheese section.

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Ellie June 6, 2012 at 7:37 am

I have been a long time reader but I HAVE to comment. I am moving to UTAH in August (from DC to live with my sister!) I got so pumped thinking I may have a running partner right away but looks like you will be in cali…hopefully the move will be good for both of us! your positivity and running tips make my day!!! and omg i couldnt live without trader joes- i guess salt lake got word i was coming!

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Theresa June 6, 2012 at 7:39 am

i probably spend around 10-15 a week on produce, depending on what i’m in the mood for, or what we decide to make for dinner during the week.

i’m not sure how I feel about the whole “running on empty” thing…i dont tend to really eat anything before my morning runs, but thats usually bc i’m still full from the night before, lol. all i know is that my runs feel so much more amazing when i’m properly fueled.

dessert last night was slow-churned drumstick ice cream nomnom :) that pineapple would last probably 5 minutes in my posession…i def never buy it pre-sliced bc its so expensive and i eat fruit like no one’s business, lol

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Lauren June 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

I get up at 4:30 to train because of my toddler’s schedule so I rarely eat beforehand. I definitely notice how much more energy I have when I eat first but I’m barely awake at 4:30 am and it’s hard enough to get the right shoes on much less make and eat breakfast :)

My dessert last night was Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt and their low fat granola. Soooo good.

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Megan D June 6, 2012 at 7:47 am

I seriously almost peed my pants with excitement when I read the Trader Joes new yesterday. Yippee!

I workout on empty every morning. But just because I wake up early and if I ate something right before I worked out, I might barf. I think it makes sense though. Except the one where you don’t eat, run still don’t eat and then run again later. Did I read that right? I would probably pass out sometime in between if I hadn’t eaten. lol.

We spend probably close to $50 a week on produce. Seriously. Slghtly less in the Summer because of our garden…but not really because it’s mostly veggies and that is when all the yummy fruit is in season and I buy A LOT of fruit. The kids and I eat it. all. day. long. My kids were cheering with each item I placed in my cart yesterday at Costco. lol. We planted apple, pear and peach trees last year so I am REALLY looking forward to the next couple of years when I can just sit my in back yard and eat straight from the trees.

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Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner June 6, 2012 at 7:50 am

THANK you for posting this, I had JUST been having a discussion about running on empty last week. You did a great job of explaining it. I’ll have to share this info with my friends!

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Sidney Lawson June 6, 2012 at 7:51 am

I’m from bountifu!! I don’t comment very often, but read your blog daily! I love running and I love when other people love running too!! And I’m sooo excited for trader joes! Yippee!!

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Yo Momma Runs June 6, 2012 at 7:51 am

We spend about $40/week on produce. Maybe. I’m not sure exactly, so I made that up. But it’s probably at least that. Do y’all have Aldis there? They sell some pretty cheap produce.

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Kelsey June 6, 2012 at 8:02 am

that’s a really interesting article thanks for sharing!

i spend so much on produce probably like 50 a week?

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Shauna @ Balancing Bites June 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

I read that article last week and thought about incorporating it into my training. It makes sense to me. I probably won’t try it for every run, but maybe a couple a week.

My dessert last night was oatmeal. It was delicious and hit the spot.

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Kaitlyn June 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

My desert last night was watermelon. We spend about $30-$40 a week on produce. Our local co-op is pretty amazing when it comes to local, organic, affordable produce. I agree with science and philosophy behind the empty belly thing, but you should practice it carefully. You don’t want to be bonking in the middle of runs. I think it is easiest to do this in the morning.

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Laura June 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

I run on empty every morning. I can’t eat before a morning run or it makes me sick!
I spend at least $30 a week on fruit. I have two babies who eat fruit for finger food as a part of lunch and dinner plus I eat a ton of fruit.

South Jordan, Utah here! Why does trader Joel’s have to be all the way downtown? They should have consulted with me first!

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emily June 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

I spend a ton on fresh produce, as it’s basically what I live on (usually quite high raw, always very vegetable-centric).

I actually prefer my runs when I haven’t fueled for them as such. I feel lighter and as though it’s easier on my body. Maybe because my body isn’t having to concentrate on digesting as well as moving. The times I lag or feel like it’s more of an effort is when I’ve eaten in the immediate hours preceding it. Having said that, I am no marathon runner!

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Holly June 6, 2012 at 8:08 am

I 100% agree with the running on empty idea. Actually that is how I got to be SO strong & built up my endurance in high school when I was training at an elite level- like 4+ hours a day running. It taught my body to become STRONGER because it had to pull energy from other sources, instead of fat supply. I LOVE this article!!! I seriously CANNOT wait to get back into racing once my little girl gets here…I already have her running stroller picked out :D Did you guys pick one out yet…I’m 95% sure we are going to go with a BOB, I’ve only heard GREAT things about it for runners.
Oh, and I totally think you spend more than $12 a week on produce, I’ve seen your monster salads ;)
Love ya! Xo

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jessie June 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

I always run on empty. Only time with a job and two small kids is to get up when it’s dark outside and get going. If I had to eat before, I’d never get out of the house! I make sure and hydrate before I go to bed though. Before long runs on saturdays, I’ll eat a cereal bar or something, not much though and I guess I’ve done it so long now my body is used to it.

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Becca L. June 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

I live in South Jordan! I was going to ask you to be my new b.f.f. But then you announced you’re moving to ca so thanks a lot! :) I am awful and never buy produce! Being a full time working mom makes it hard to get to the store every week and it seems that when I do buy produce, it just rots in the fridge. I am awful.

My running buddy just mentioned running on empty so I’ve been doing it on my shorter runs in the morning (3 to 5 miles) and I love it! Tried it first on an 8 mile and that was a mistake. I was almost crawling at the end! But now I think I could do it, since my body is more used to it!

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Laura @ LauraLikesDesign June 6, 2012 at 8:31 am

I love all of the bright colors in your dinner! So summery!

We probably spend about 15 dollars in produce each week…spinach, lettuce, bananas, apples, berries, potatoes, etc.

Last night’s dessert = about 5 mini chocolate chip cookies that my MIL made for us. Oh, and a bowl of chocolate pudding before bed….it’s that time of the month!

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Katie June 6, 2012 at 8:32 am

I live in Utah! I moved to West Jordan from the California bay area to be with my hubby. Im really excited for you to move to Cali I’m sure you’ll love it there. I try to spend a lot of money each week on produce because fresh fruit is amazing!! But I have to stick to the budget lol.
I do all of my runs on empty because I run as soon as I wake up, if I eat first I usually get a cramp but I’m usually only running 3 to 4 miles.
My desert last night was fresh apricots they hit the spot yumm!

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Jordan foster June 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

I live in provo! I’m originally from Georgia so I cannot wait for a trader joes to open! :)

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Lucy June 6, 2012 at 8:40 am

TRADER JOES IS LOVE. I was at BYU and that’s definitely one of my most missed things while there. But now I’m back home preparing for a mission! WHOOPWHOOP! I guess I better get my TJs fill.

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Kirby June 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

Besides any run longer than 6 miles, I almost always run on empty! I will occasionally have some PB toast or a banana before a morning run, but I prefer to run without something in my stomach. I think it stems from a lifetime of soccer… I’d have 3-4 hour practices right after school and didn’t eat much in between class and practice, so my body is accustomed to it!
PS I have never had pineapple in my life and the smell of it makes me want to die… But I always wonder if I will crave it if/when I get pregnant some day! Fun fact of the day ;)

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Katie June 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

I live in salt lake, not too far from where the trader joes will be and I am SO excited. I’m sure it will be way crowded but I’ll deal with that to get all the amazing stuff I see on other blogs :).

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Alicia June 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

I live in Provo too! And actually on Saturday I saw your sister running up the river trail. I didn’t stop her to say I recognized her from your blog because that would be weird. Haha! I’m running the Utah Valley Half this weekend too!! Hopefully I run into you there!

And is it blasphemy if I have never been to Trader Joes? Even though I’m from AZ and they have one there? For this reason I am super excited to try it for the first time.

Your blog is definitely one of my favorites, you never fail to crack me up!!

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Jake June 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

I definitely run in a “fasted” state a lot – pretty much every morning! That’s why its important to eat plenty of ice cream right before you go to sleep :-)

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IDK My BFF Jes June 6, 2012 at 8:57 am

Thanks for sharing the running tips!

I’ve been doing short runs on E for the last couple of weeks because my stomach has been extra sensitive. It’s nice to know that it is harder because of that and it will help me in my races!

Not sure. My total weekly grocery bill is usually around $30 (It’s just for me).

Not me. I’m in the dirty south – Houston Texas.

Cookies and milk. I had to pick up a few things at Walmart and just couldn’t resist the generic brand chocolate & vanilla assorted cookies. They are my fave. I had some chocolate ones alone, and then dipped some of the vanilla in milk. Yumm! I’d say that yesterday I failed at monitoring my sweets intake, but I did good on Monday and have high hopes for today!

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Yellow Haired Girl June 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

My dessert last night was greek yogurt, with fruit on the bottom. I think there was mango and papaya? Delicious!

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Kay June 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

What a pretty dinner plate – so many colors!

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Jerilee @ Mom's Gone Running June 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

We spend about $15-20 a week on produce (we do Bountiful Baskets and it saves us a ton of money). However, that whole budget plus a bunch more may be gone once that Trader Joe’s is done! My wish has been granted!! My husband is less than thrilled ;).
I am in Utah- West, west, west Jordan.

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Melissa @ Get Fit and Sweat Trying June 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

Love your thoughts on this! I haven’t seen this article yet, but I am going to read it right away! My favorite time to run is in the dark, in the morning on only a few sips of coffee. I feel the best then. I can feel such a huge difference when I run after school or later in the evening. Sometimes, when I can’t run in the morning, I’ll skip out on lunch, and wait to eat until after my run. Great to know that I’m normal after all!
Thanks, Jenae!

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Chelsa June 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

Happy National Running Day!!

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Allison @ Running Through Red Lights June 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

Depending on how far I’m going to run, I may or may not choose to fuel. In general, I don’t eat much before a run–usually just a Clif Bar before a long run, and nothing before short runs. I always carb load prior to a race, and I feel like I run stronger.

My husband and I usually spend around $20/week on produce, but that number will probably sky-rocket now that our local farmer’s market is open!

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RunningISMyDiet June 6, 2012 at 10:00 am

As soon as I read that article in RW yesterday, I knew you would post about it!! :) Interesting concept…just not sure I can have the will power!! I might be able to swing the morning one if I can get out the door while I’m still half asleep and haven’t realized I missed breakfast yet…

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Dani @ Run Daniella Run June 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

I read that article too, I like the idea behind it. Its something I would try, but for one of my shorter/easier runs to start off with. I like the idea of having training runs in less than stellar conditions because it does make race day seem to be nothing! LOL!

My dessert was one bite of ice cream…because *gasp* it just wasn’t good at all! I think I need another trip down to Polar Bear yogurt for some Fro-Yo!

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Grace June 6, 2012 at 10:08 am

I ran on empty this morning, I think it’s okay for short runs but I don’t know about long ones. I felt exhausted but it might have been my extremely strenuous 8 mile hike from Sunday sticking around as well. Last night I had mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert and it was heavenly! I keep trying to give up dairy but failing I really need to find a nondairy ice cream like snack and maybe I won’t give up so easily!

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CatieB June 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

I didn’t have any dessert at my apartment so I made hot chocolate. It helped with my dessert craving… but isn’t the same as ice cream!
I need to start buying MORE produce! I’ve been really bad at eating vegetables lately! not good!

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Rachelle June 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

Very, very interesting topic about the train low, race high! I read that in RW too and wondered why in the heck I never though of such a thing. My brain is not very smart. Here is another article on it that I thought was great: http://nutritionsuccess.org/blog/2012/06/train-low-compete-high-food-for-thought/ The writer of this blog is the dietician for Camille Herron and several other elite runners. She knows her stuff!

Yay for TJ’s!!! Best news ever.

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Jess @ Blonde Ponytail June 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

I have talked to EMZ about this training method and I agree with it on occasion. If training is harder for your body, the race is the reward. Thank you for clarifying this is NOT for weight loss but running efficiency!

Mmmmm. Fresh pineapple. Can’t beat it this time of year!

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Cindi B June 6, 2012 at 10:55 am

I have been reading Matt Fitzgerald’s “Racing Weight” books where he advocates this, too, about once a week. I have just started doing it, too, for my longer runs to try and burn off some of my ‘winter fat,’ lol. I did 11 miles last week and, though I was more drained at the end, it was still totally do-able. I did a 5 mile hill workout fasted, too, with no problems. I do think it helps to have good fuel for dinner the night before (more carb-centric than protein). It’s something my husband has advocated for a long time, too, as an XC ski racer. For hard-effort, quality workouts (or races), a little carb before hand helps, though!

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Michelle (Better with Berries) June 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

So excited for my Utah friends that you’re getting a Trader Joes!

I can definitely see how the running on empty strategy can help improve racing. I even think that the fact that I run before eating in the morning (mostly just because I feel sick if I eat right before running) makes it easier for me when I’m running much longer distances.

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Lauren June 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

I read this article this morning and really enjoyed it! I have done some early morning runs without fuel before and I think it really helps improve race performance.

I would imagine that training while pregnant is going to make you even faster than you were before (if that is even possible!).

My dessert last night was a homemade milkshake :)

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Amy June 6, 2012 at 11:11 am

We live in Syracuse utah and I am beyond excited for trader joes. Am I crazy that I am thrilled to drive 40 minutes to grocery shop?

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Laura is Undeterrable June 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

I CrossFit at 5:30 AM, so I do that on empty. I tried eating before and almost threw up every time. I’ve tried eating a couple shot blocks before class but decided to just keep doing it on empty.

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Stephanie June 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

I do almost all of my short runs on empty because I like to go running as soon as I wake up.

TJ’s is the best! :)

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Kristine @ Running on Hungry June 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

I completely agree with this article and read it on the treadmill yesterday! When I run in the morning it’s usually right when I wake up – before any coffee or food. It’s definitely harder than if I have some food/caffeine in my belly, but I think it works to help with races when you are fueled/fueling!

Also – TJs is AMAZING and you will have more TJ’s than you can count when you move to CA!!!

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Jill June 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I usually run “on empty” in the morning because I don’t eat before my early morning runs. But the article mentioned that this would work better if your workouts were long enough, and usually before a long run I have some fuel. I don’t usually run more than an hour with no fuel beforehand. I do not live in Utah (I live in Southwestern WY, so only about 2 1/2 hours from Provo), but I am from there, and I am a BYU alum. Go Cougars! :) Dessert last night was some REALLY good chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Yes, that is supposed to be two “chocolates”.

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Kailey June 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I actually enjoy running on empty. I usually have dinner around 10 (crazy schedule) and get up to run at 7. I eat nothing before hand and run for about 2 hours. I noticed when I do eat before my pace is slower and i have stomach issues. Although, if I don’t get enough carbs the day before then my runs are miserable.

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LeeAnn June 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I have run on empty…but never on purpose!!

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Andra Enoiu June 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I used to run on empty every single morning and while it did work as soon as I started eating before my workouts I felt so much better and ran so much faster! I think you get more out of your workout when you eat before. However, running on empty isn’t too bad for shorter easier runs… I would never attempt anything over 12 miles though without some sort of fuel! Also, a track workout without breakfast before is awful….at least for me…my legs feel like logs!

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Jenn @ Running, Our Way June 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I don’t know if it is the same thing, but I do better on runs when I don’t eat before. I do most of my runs (besides halfs) without eating anything. I have noticed in the morning I don’t have the sprint to the bathroom issue like I do when I run at night. I guess I could have just said digestive issues, but anyways. Before a half, I will eat a set of gummies and then every few miles. I just cant risk the sudden onset that happens during runs, when I do eat.

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Michelle June 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm

When I saw the news I thought oh Janae will be so excited about Trader Joes! Too bad you are moving. Born and raised in Utah. Have a great Wednesday!

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Liz @ Southern Charm June 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I have been spending a redic amount of money on produce these last few months and am working on fixing that! I was averaging about 40 a week, but have gotten it down to 20 or less!!

And I run on empty most mornings. I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten before a morning workout. I will say though one random time I scheduled a 10am class on a Saturday, so I ate a huge bowl of oats before … I saw a difference!!

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Lisa June 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

BYU alum by way of Seattle now living in Davis Co! Any other runpeeps out there in D. Co? Excited about TJ’s. I grew up with it and have missed it sorely. Thanks for sharing the interesting article. I rarely eat before a run unless it’s 10+ miles. As soon as I eat something, my GI system wakes up= not-o good-o combo for me and running. Glad to know my ‘technique’ has additional value. You are the cutest!

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More June 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Not sure how much I spend on produce a week. I like to have lots of it in the house. Usually 3-4 types of fruit at least at a time. And about the same number of veggies.

I usually run on empty. I like to get up and go. I tend to lay everything out the night before so I can just operate on autopilot. It works for me.

We are getting a Trader Joe’s this fall! I can’t wait to try one of everything!!

No dessert for me last night. What was I thinking?!

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Jana (Running Vegetarian) June 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm

We probably spend 15-20 on produce every week.

When I started running I would always run on empty. I’d never eat before hand. Once I started eating before runs i’d perform much better.

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Sarah June 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I think I spend about $15 a week on produce, it’s a large majority of our budget. We love fruit and vegetables.

Running on empty…when I can get myself out of bed in the morning before work I never have time for breakfast. Yesterday I ran 7.5 miles at 6:00 am with no food. It was great.

I love TJ’s. I live in DC and they are everywhere her.

I am from UTAH! Salt Lake City, but I live in the DC area. My husband and I are hoping to be back in Utah!

No dessert. Sad day for me.

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Karina Powell June 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Janae! YOU are so darling! I crave pineapple like no other. I would down that if I saw it… haha can’t wait to see your beautiful little girl!! xoxo

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penny@herworldlypleasures June 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I’ve just received my July copy of Runner’s World but haven’t read it yet, too busy watching the Queen’s Jubilee on tv. I like your attitude towards harder training runs , that’s such a good point. I will try not to whine when my running conditions gets rough next time.

I spend lots of money on produce because they are crazily expensive in NZ. Costs me about $40 a week for 2 person.

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mary @ minutespermile June 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I used to run on empty, every morning. But then, I discovered the best pre-morning run fuel EVER, which is 1 cup of coffee (with cream) and a handful of animal crackers. For some reason this is a magical boost of caffeine and calories that keeps me going but definitely not at full capacity. I’m addicted!

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Nicole June 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I can’t run on empty.. I’ve tried, but get nauseated. I spend WAY too much money on fruit when I’m able.. And all that pineapple looks AMAZING! Freakin LOVE pineapple! And with it being summer, nothing makes me more happy than eating GRILLED pineapple!!

Last nights dessert was Nutella and animal crackers! THA BOMB.

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Allison @ The Life and Loves of Allison Fay June 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I did an “unintentional fasted run” this morning- woke up too late to eat breakfast and wait 30 minutes to run, so I just ran before breakfast, which I NEVER do. It went ok though- and that was before I even read this post or that article! I will try it more often now :)

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Irina @ Chocolatea Time June 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm

How interesting! I run on empty when I run first thing in the morning (I get heartburn if I run too soon after eating) and I found that I am not severely affected by hunger.

I refuse to announce how much my fam and I spend a week on groceries. Two words: Whole.Foods.

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Chris June 7, 2012 at 5:38 am

Hmm, you’ve got me thinking. I get up early to run before work, and so never eat before a run. But lately I’ve been finding it really hard…maybe I should try eating first?

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natalie@ southern fit foodie June 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

I don’t even want to add up what we spend on produce each week…but I know it’s a lot, especially if I’m juicing!

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Life's a Bowl June 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

My go-to desserts lately: popcorn, dark chocolate PB cups, orrr ice cream +rice krispies :D

P.S. I am amazed by your produce budget if it’s really only $12- at least half of our weekly grocery spending is on produce and it’d def at least three times $12!

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Ashley Glazier August 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

I live in Utah! I go to BYU right now and I’ve been running ever since I was 15. I love it! It’s a life time sport for me, and right now my hubby and I are training for our first half marathon coming up soon!
I love your blog. I found it yesterday and I can’t stop reading. Recently, I’ve been learning SO much more about running than I ever have before! I had no idea before that cross- training was so important for runners wanting to get better!

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