Here's how I understand the typical solution for not hitting the wall:
- muscles can only store about 20 miles worth of glycogen to fuel them.
- any body has essentially an unlimited supply of fat to fuel muscles, but the body has to be adapted to burn fat.
- muscles can be trained to burn fat by running a lot of mileage (glycogen depleted) at a slow aerobic pace (fat metabolism preferred).
Another potential solution for not hitting the wall is to carbo-load. I've tried this solution. I've eaten spaghetti the night before the marathon, drank Gatorades and consumed Gu during the marathon. The most positive effect that all these carbs seems to have on me is that they positively make me nauseated.
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