Bunny and I, mostly me because she can’t afford to lose much, are going ‘keto’. I’ve done this before back when it was called Atkin’s Diet. I had good success with weight loss during the 10-11 months I did it, then my twins were born, I started having a heart arrhythmia and it fell by the wayside. Plus, no offense or fault for all the restrictive diet folks but cutting out a significant sized source of calories isn’t enjoyable to me. I like all foods, I like bread, cake, veggies, fruits, meat of every source that runs on legs (no seafood) and trying to come up with half assed “almost as good as” substitutes sucks for me. Life’s too short to try to pretend that cauliflower makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes or pizza crust or that jack fruit makes for great pulled pork sandwiches. That’s not to denigrate anyone’s choices, I’ll support your choices to the bitter end, just that those choices aren’t permanently for me.
We’ll be trying for the TKD or Traditional Keto Diet of shooting for 80% calories from Fats, 15% from proteins and 5% from carbs while keeping total carbs below 50g.
80% calories from fats is tough if you actually like food. I don’t know about you but I don’t eat a stick of butter or a box of cream cheese as a normal diet, nor do I sip heavy cream blended with coconut oil as a beverage. So it’s tough if you actually enjoy all kinds of foods like myself.
With our first 50K, Dead Horse Ultra, looming ever closer, okay it’s roughly 5 months out at this point, I’ve decided, not so much that I want to ‘run keto’ but I do want to drop a fair percentage of my body fat to make that run more enjoyable.
It’s a race that I want to have the mental and physical energy to enjoy the route, the people, the desert, the views, everything involved with it as I won’t have too many of these fairly pricey ‘destination races’ in what’s left of my lifespan.
It’s not so I can burn out a awesome PR because at the end of the day I just want to finish the race and a) not be DFL and b) not be DNF. I shoot on the low side of goals in running. 🙂
Keto has it’s downsides other than food options of course for ultra running. Increased oxygen demands in an already potentially oxygen deficit function impacts ability. Very little in the way to look forward to at an aid station, no chips, gels, pizza, pbj sandwiches, drink mixes, pretzels, etc and so on. Just give me more water, let me take this yummy salt tablet and head back out.
I’ve read up enough on it that to me the biggest performance boost is from weight loss for a Keto runner. Other than that running efficiency seems to go down on Keto at least for middle and back of hte packers like myself. It really can’t not if nothing else from the oxygen costs to turn fat into fuel but additionally the energy increase to do the conversion compared to burning carbs, these increase work loads on the body without any performance boosting benefits.
So long story short, we’re going LCHF solely for weight loss benefits. If I can replicate the success I had 15 years ago when I did it the first time then I’ll be in much better shape to handle our first 50K.
Today was my first longer run after reducing carbs to under 50g a day; it was roughly 10 miles and I was out of energy hard around mile 6 and have been feeling wiped all day afterwards. My average pace ended up close to 2 minutes slower than normal.
We were going to hold off a bit for personal reasons on starting our Keto roadmap but we’re doing a 20 Mile Midnight Madness run in 2 weeks and I thought that would make a great test case. It takes, let’s make up a generic time frame, 2 weeks to start getting fat adapted and, another generic time frame, 4 weeks to get fully comfortable. That’s a snide comment on how time units are always so nice and neat when they apply to the ‘average’ person. Why 2 weeks? Why isn’t it 13 days? Or 16 days? 2 weeks is just too neat and tidy of a time unit which makes me question is there any science behind it or it did folks just round it to a basic unit that everyone will be comfortable with.
I digress, but I do that.
So last weekend we ran our second marathon, in 90 degree heat no less, on trails. Saturday I tested my legs with a 3 mile ‘normal’ pace for me and it wasn’t too bad, I hit my usual casual run pace of 10’s without feeling too bad. But I still had stored carbs for fuel. Today I decided to stretch it out a bit to see how much damage I was looking at and muscle/tendon wise I wasn’t bad. Quads were slightly ‘bouncy’ when I was walking but nothing serious. But oh my goodness, energy levels dropped like a stone during the run.
But it’s only been two days of no carbs and based on my basil metabolism and my exertion levels and just how many calories it costs me to move my not insignificant mass forward, I would have been running out of glucogen about half way through the 10 mile run and that’s about where it went sideways on me.
This week we’ll take it easier with some Z2 5K’s and next Sunday we’ll try another 10 mile run and see where we are. Because we have a 20 mile run a week after that and I don’t want to be a back of the packer because the race director deliberately oversold the race so there’s a lack of medals for every finisher I’m not going to try to burn things out and see where we are.
Anyway that’s our going Keto story. We’ll post updates if there’s anything of interest that pops up.