The Fasted Long Run (Recipe: Allspice Crumb Muffins)

Today was sort of like a fasted long run.  I ran 16 miles with my running buddy Shawn having eaten only a banana beforehand.  I was still hungry when we started.  And then of course we took nutrition twice while on the run.

My body is still exhausted FYI.  It has been telling me to take a nap since about 11AM.

The reason runners experience the infamous “wall” is that your body only stores enough fuel (carbohydrate in the form of glycogen) for roughly 20 miles of running.  One strategy to overcome the “wall” during training is the fasted long run.

Teaching your body to use less carbohydrate while running requires practice. And fasted long runs accomplish this goal, forcing your body to rely more on fat as a fuel source rather than the body’s preferred “rocket fuel”—carbohydrate.

Execute a fasted long run by skipping breakfast before starting the run. Let your dinner the night before be your last meal. You’ll still have a good amount of carbohydrate in your muscles and liver, but the levels won’t be as high as they could be.

And with a run of at least 90 to 120 minutes, your body will likely experience a minor bonk during the final miles of the long run. Don’t worry; this is a good thing. Just like the stress you experience from a hard interval workout, a minor bonk teaches your body to use fuel more efficiently so the next time you go for a fasted long run, you’ll be able to run slightly longer before hitting that wall.

Fasted long runs are best run during the early stages of your marathon training when the goal is simply to complete the distance. Later in the training cycle, when the goal of the run is on performance (running a desired pace for the whole run), it’s best to properly fuel with enough carbohydrate.

So, our 16-miler is done!  12 miles next weekend is going to feel easy!

Fun Fact:  The next time you do a bench press, keep your feet on the floor.  Researchers found that raising them (or resting them on the bench) shifts as much as 30% of the load off your upper body, significantly weakening your lift.

Quote of the Day:

“Bad weather always looks worse through a window.” -Tom Lehrer

1 year ago: It’s Official! I Have Signed Up for Team In Training with LLS!

2 years ago: What is the soleus? (Recipe: Garlic Chicken)

This weekend we have a flyball tournament.  Flyball tournaments = baking.  I made two baked goods for this tournament:  Allspice Crumb Muffins and Pumpkin Crumb Cake.  I was totally into “the crumb” for this weekend.  The Allspice Crumb Muffins are just okay.  The crumb topping on them is AMAZING!  But the actual muffin itself isn’t out of this world.

Allspice Crumb Muffin

Allspice Crumb Muffin


For the Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground allspice
5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or line with paper cups.  (I actually used a mini-muffin tin so I could make 24 muffins, and there was still enough batter to make one large muffin for me!)

2. To make the streusel, put the flour, brown sugar, and allspice in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the bits of cold butter and toss, pinching the mixture between your fingers, until you have pea-sized crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator. (The streusel can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.)

3. To make the muffins, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, allspice, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. The batter will be lumpy; that is how it should be.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin. Cool completely on the wire rack. Muffins can be stored, in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Courtesy of Brown-Eyed Baker

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1 Response to The Fasted Long Run (Recipe: Allspice Crumb Muffins)

  1. Pingback: Prevent Running Injuries (Recipe: Pumpkin Crumb Cake) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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