Scheele, K., Herzog, W., Ritthaler, G. et al. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. (1979) 41: 101. doi:10.1007/BF00421657
A study was undertaken to evaluate and to examine the role of substrate supply in 50 healthy subjects after long distance events, such as 10 km, 25 km, and marathon races. The metabolic, variables of carbohydrate metabolism were greatest in 10-km runners, with the highest increase in glucose, lactate, and pyruvate, while in marathon runners only moderate changes were observed. Marathon competitors gave the greatest decrease in insulin concentration whereas glucagon and cortisol showed a contrary tendency. As for lipid concentrations, the most remarkable point was that after the marathon competition the best runners had the highest increase in free fatty acids; the longer the race, the higher were the Β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate levels after the competition.
It is important to emphasize that the limiting factor up to 90 min duration is the competitor's ability to deplete the stores of glycogen. Beyond 90 min (or 25 km) the decrease in insulin, the rise in cortisol and the higher concentration of ketnne bodies found indicate a change in metabnlic response.