The average body may have upwards of 120 hours of fat stored and approximately 20 minutes of glycogen (for prolonged high intensity exercise). The human body preferentially uses what it has most of, fat. However, in an 'alarm' state (anaerobic training/high heart rate) it cannot convert fat to sugar quickly so it utilizes its' glycogen stores (which has nothing to do with the fat around your midsection). Chronically training anaerobically decreases the number of aerobic muscles fibers and fat burning potential. It is is important to build a aerobic base and (re)teach the body to use fat for energy during workouts. In order to do this, you will have to slow down and do some LSD.
I recomend that you get a heart rate monitor and follow the "Maffetone Method"
Step 1: 180 - your age
Step 2: Change this number by selecting one of these categories:
Challenge: Find your max aerobic heart rate and run a mile while keeping your heart rate as close to that number (but not above) as possible. Write down your mile time - it will be slow. Do your normal amount of runs for the next 4 weeks but don't train above your max aerobic heart rate. These runs will be very slow, I urge you to leave your ego at home and take your time, the results are worth it. At the end of this period re-test your mile and see how much faster you are. It is not uncommon to observe a 10% enhancement in your time. I've had some clients improve by 30% in 1 month! In other words, the heart gets stronger and generates more speed with the same effort.
After you build your aerobic base, training LSD for at least 4 weeks under your max aerobic heart rate, it may be time to add intervals (if you would like to burn more calories). Without sacrificing your aerobic base and fat burning metabolism slowly add 1 minute of anerobic work in every 6 or 7 minutes. This means, go hard (on a intensity scale of 1-10: train 1 minute at a 7 or 8) depending on your goals. Here is a sample workout (for the same 40 yr. above)
Slow 5 minute warm up at a heart rate of 110-120
Aerobic training 6 minutes at 145 HR
Anaerobic training for 1 minute at 165-175 HR
Then repeat two step cycle until the end of the workout
Interval training is hard and some just don't like it. If LSD motivates you to run, than so be it. You can still be fit and healthy by training the LSD Maffetone Method. A well rounded and planned routine with lots of rest and a healthy diet will produce the best results.
1. www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/ : LSD Hallucinations: From Ergot to Electric Kool-Aid
2. Gaitanos, G.C., Williams, C., Boobis, L.H., and Brooks, S. Human muscle metabolism during intermittent maximal exercise. J Appl Physiol 1993;75:712-719.
3. Hargreaves, M., Finn, J.P., Withers, R.T., Halbert, J.A., Scroop, G.C., Mackay, M., Snow, R.J., Carey, M.F. Effect on muscle glycogen availability on maximal exercise performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 1997;75:188-192.
4. Maffetone, P; Training for Endurance; David Barmore Productions; 1996.
Doug Joachim - NYC www.JoachimsTraining.com