running on empty. I was a little surprised to see it. Apparently, runners are starting to experiment with not eating before a run, which after about an hour of running will have you dipping into your fat reserves for energy.
Why was I surprised? Because I have always run without eating before hand. Anytime I've tried to run after eating anything, I felt sick. Especially if it's hot out. So, for about 4 years I never ate anything before a run, no matter the length. I just felt too scared to eat something.
Then during a long training run for Philly last fall I crashed. I went out for (I think) a 12 mile run and when I came home I felt like death. I couldn't eat. I wasn't hungry. My stomach hurt. I think I messed with my electrolytes or some such. I didn't feel well for three days. It was after that run I figured I needed to eat something before a run...even though I had never needed to before. (I wonder to this day why I need to eat something before a long run now when I never did before...)
So, I started eating half a peanut butter sandwich before a long run. I didn't eat anything before Philly and I felt just as bad as I did after that training run. Dumb mistake.
I haven't made it since. Long runs (8+ miles) have me eating that half a slice of bread with peanut butter before heading out. I freaked before the Shamrock Half Marathon because I forgot to pack it. I grabbed crackers with peanut butter and had that. Completely worked.
So, while I still don't eat anything before going out for a run of under 8 miles, I think it all depends on the person in question. What about you? Do you eat before a run? Only before long runs? Never eat before a run?