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I run 12km into work two or three times a week. I don't eat beforehand. I finish at 9am and shower and immediately eat about 30g of cheese and 80g of chicken breast (and two crackerbreads). I then eat a fairly significant lunch at midday (rice, meat, vegetables and feel full afterwards.)

My question is simply: is not getting carbs for three hours having a negative impact on my recovery and conditioning improvement?

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It sounds like you are adequately recovering for each run. You'd progressively get worse over time and not able to sustain the running if you were not recovering. You'd also probably start getting injured more often and/or slight aches start becoming big aches.

Eating 3 hours after running while in a fasted state may be considered "sub-optimal", but that doesn't mean it's not working. It sounds like it's just fine for your case. Continue doing what you're doing if that's the easiest way for you to get about your day.


The refeeding window or anabolic window is the time after an intense workout in which you eat carbs and protein to optimize recovery. It is a lot wider than people used to believe. It can extend to as much as 6+ hours after working out, although this period narrows if you train in a fasted state like you. I'm not aware of any studies that dictate how narrow it can get, but I imagine it's determined by how long you've been fasting. However the body is smart enough to know what it needs, so if you're not chomping at the bit to eat after your run then it's probably not something to worry about.

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