So last month we went madder than the hatter and ran a 20-mile race starting at midnight. Then last night we ran our first back-to-back morning then midnight 15k’s. As Trex has already given you his Race report, I suppose I should give my take since it was a tad bit different.
Having been on a Keto diet for month it was a preparing for races and long runs are different in many ways.
First no carb loading the days before the race and long runs. I have to say, while I am honestly not really craving carbs I did miss our pre-race ritual meals, Thai or Indian for dinner two nights before the race, and Honeynut Cheerios and bananas for breakfast (dinner in this case). Instead I eat more veggies, avocados, fatty meats and fat bombs, drink lots of water and electrolyte drinks (Propel so far is my favorite from a flavor standpoint).
My vest isn’t laden with gels and treats, instead I bring Lyteshow, salt sticks, hammer electrolyte extreme endurance, Nuun Energy tablets, run gum and Rx Nut Butter, Ucan and Propel server drink pouches.
Fueling for long runs is a bit different as we can’t depend on carbs. So I did some reading and found a few recipes for alternative fuels for Keto running. I bought some reusable squeeze pouches on Amazon and made up a few batches. One of pb, ghee, avocado oil and salt. The other was pb, Lilly chocolate chips, and coconut oil. Lastly I fill a pouch or small water bottle with Gut Shot garlic and dill. Since I started Keto I crave pickle juice. This has really been a life saver and has helped with leg cramps, which I experienced around mile 13 during the Midnight Madness. I also made lemon keto fat bombs (made with Coconut butter, which I don’t’ recommend) and usually have a couple in my ice chest. Other snacks I pack for pit stops now usually include pickles, pickled okra, Moon cheese, Parmesan crisps, macadamia nuts and pork-rinds for crunchy salty.
With our race routes and long runs being on the same city trails we normally run, we park our vehicles to serve as our own aid stations. For Midnight Madness we parked right next to the race aid station, in the lower lot of Turkey Mountain, which stocked foods and drinks we can’t consume on this diet, so no aid there for us really. It has worked out perfect and has ensured we have the right fuel and plenty of cold water at critical times during our runs. Like most trail races I will grazed a bit when we stop, taking in little bit of the variety of goodies. And so far, by the time I do feel a bit tired and low on energy we are able to refuel and go.
Midnight Madness, being my first really long run on Keto I would still give it high praise for sustainable energy. During my 10-mile run through the Santa Cruz mountains and yesterday’s back-to-back 15k’s I didn’t bonk out. I feel like Keto has been way more of a help than a hindrance, at least for that distance/pace. On the other hand I have definitely noticed an impact to my HIIT runs and distances. My HR runs higher and I still find it harder to catch my breath, this is also impart due to the heat of the summer but I encountered this in San Jose so I am confident it is the greater amount of blood oxygen it takes to burn fat that is the cause of this particular issue. Overall in terms of running condition I have felt really good for my long distance runs having started Keto and plan to continue to stick with this at least through our fall races, unless something drastically changes between now and then.