Nutrition & Weight Loss

Energy Expenditure While Running

Energy Expenditure While Running

When it comes to energy expenditure, our body is designed to utilize three different sources of fuel; carbohydrates (glucose & glycogen), fats, and ATP/CP.  For those of you doing a great deal of distance running, pay attention to the last three rows of this chart as it will be the most important while logging all those miles.  The longer you are on your feet, fat becomes a major source of energy, and your body will become more efficient at using it for fuel.

While this does sound rather enticing if you’re trying to lose body fat, not eating enough carbohydrates will hinder the body’s ability to utilize fat for fuel.  This means fueling up on carbs before, during, and after your runs!  First, and most importantly, we need carbohydrates to function optimally.  Then fat becomes our ally for long distance running or any other endurance sport.  As you see, it’s not until you run for at least 45 minutes or longer when your body starts tapping into fat as an energy source.

Distance running is an incredibly catabolic activity.  What does that mean?  Well, when we run out of fuel, our body starts cannibalizing itself, otherwise known as muscle wasting.  That can’t be good for performance, right?  It’s not.  How can we help prevent this from happening?  The answer is eating enough carbohydrates to support our activity. Research by Dr. Asker Jeukendrup suggests endurance athletes consume 90 grams of carbohydrates every hour in a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose.



Sprinting (0-3 sec)
100M Dash (10-12 Sec)
1500M Race (4-6 Min)
10K Race (35-45 Min)
Marathon (2.5-3 Hours)
Marathon (3-5 Hours)
Running/Hiking (5-7 Hours)

Boone A Ebel
Specialist in Performance Nutrition
Certified Fitness Trainer
Endurance Athlete

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This post was written by:

- who has written 8 posts on Trail Running Club.

After graduating from Western Illinois University in 2004, Boone furthered his career in the health & fitness industry and owns a training and coaching business in Arizona. A lifetime runner and outdoor enthusiast, Boone enjoys competing in endurance events on both road and trails. When he is not training clients, odds are you can find him on the trail somewhere around the Southwest.

Since 2009, Boone has 33 Top Ten finishes including: -1st Overall 2014 San Pedro Park 10K -3rd Overall 2014 San Luis Obispo Marathon -4th Overall 2014 Oakland Marathon -2nd Overall 2013 Tucson Half Marathon -1st Overall 2013 Pass Mountain 12K (CR) -3rd Overall 2013 Canyon de Chelly 55K -4th Overall 2013 Santa Rosa Marathon -7th Overall 2013 Phoenix Marathon -2nd Overall 2013 Desert Classic Marathon -1st Overall 2013 Rose Bowl 10K -2nd Overall 2012 Mesquite Canyon Trail 50K -4th Overall 2012 Lost Dutchman Marathon -2nd Overall 2012 XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 mile run -6th Overall 2011 Zane Grey Highline Trail 50 Mile Endurance Run -4th Overall 2011 Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run -1st Overall 2010 Sedona 50K -1st Overall 2010 Flagstaff 50K

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