6 weeks in - still can't run!


(Amanda ) #1

Hi runners!
I’m 6 weeks keto and am a long-time, long-distance runner. I usually do 3 or 4 half marathons a year so I keep my mileage up pretty well all the time.

When I started keto, I felt so badly for the first 3 weeks that I barely ran. Then I ran a half marathon that i had already signed up for, which yes, was dumb. I finished but I felt awful.

Now, I’m at 6 weeks and feeling good but my running is still in the toilet! I did a 5K yesterday at high altitude and had to walk it! After regularly running 8-9 miles for fun, that really felt bad!

Do I just need to give it a lot more time?? I don’t run for weight loss - I run because I have a great fun group of friends to run with and it helps relieve stress so I want to get back out there!

thank you.


(LeeAnn Brooks) #2

Here’s a rundown of my journey so far (almost 12 weeks in)

Pre-Keto - running 4 miles, 3-4 times a week
First eeek Keto - Keto Flu kicked in, went to running 2 miles, 4 times a week.
Weeks 2-4 - each run got harder and harder until I could only fast walk the 2 miles.
Week 4-5 - started to feel better, but could only run 1-2 miles before my legs sarted to feel like jelly.
End of week 5 - ran a 5k I had signed up for pre Keto. It was hard, but I finished it.
Week 6 - was back up to 4 miles regularly
Week 7-9 - built up to 6 miles. Ran a 10k
Week 9-current - up to 7 miles. Signed up for 1/2 marathon end of August.

The thing I want to point out though is that on two occasions during this progression, I’ve had really bad run days. Like here I am feeling good about running two 6 mile days in one week and the next time I go out I hit a wall at 2 miles. I mean I could hardly find the energy to finish walking back. I just wanted to curl up on the curb. And my heart rate was through the roof during that particular run.
On these two days I knew I felt off when I woke up. I fed my electrolytes like crazy those days, so I have no explanation for why it happened. But they both occurred before I was completely fat adapted.
Since I’ve become fat adapted, I’ve not had this issue at all.

I would say at 6 week, you probability aren’t there yet. I hit it around week 9.

I would definately keep with it though. I’m finding it so much easier to complete my runs now than when I was pre-Keto. I’ve only done one other 1/2 marathon and I hated it. I hated training for it and said I would never do one again.
And here I am enjoying training for one now. Even thinking I may have to add a marathon to my bucket list.

I would ask, do you run fasted or fed? How are you dealing with your electrolytes?

I run fasted. Learned the hard way having even something small in my stomach that was high fat was a BAD idea.
I drink a ZipFizz about an hour before I run and I add a little salt to it. This helps my electrolytes and gives me an energy boost.


(Amanda ) #3

I really appreciate this reply so much!!

My guess is that I am not fat adapted, because I eat a good fatty dinner between 6-7pm and still wake up hungry most mornings. I do 30 minute workouts in the morning 2x a week but not fasted - one cup of coffee with cream and 1 tsp mct oil before the workout. Like I said, I am hungry. So far, I’ve done one fasted workout and it was brutal.

For the 5K that I just bombed, I was thinking I’d do it fasted but when I woke up at 6am starving, I couldn’t fathom how I could go run at 7:30 without any food so I ate a handful of nuts. Bad idea. My stomach hurt pretty badly. But the bigger problem was that I just had no breath. I could run for maybe 3 minutes before being so winded, it was dangerous!

Since the keto flu, I’ve been having 1-2 electrolyte drinks a day.

Maybe I’m just super slow to fat-adapt?? I want to work up to a 12 hour eating window and so far, that is impossible!


(Kenny Hyatt) #4

It took me 1 good 6 months to get fully adapted, and back to my carb fueled race times. I think everyone is a little different, since we all have different physiologies. I’m at a point now that on race days, the evening before I will have a sweet potato with my usual dinner, and race morning just have a cup of bulletproof coffee & go. Works perfectly for me.


(Alec) #5

This suggests to me that you are not fat adapted yet. Give it time. It will happen. I think we all see a dip in performance as we go through the transition, some dips are deeper than others. I think a lot depends on how carb dependent you were before keto.

Last Sunday, I was out on a long run after having a cold. Thought I would do a basic 8k, and then rest. Got to 8k, felt good, did more, then some more. I was at 12k and realised I should be going to my son’s soccer match. If I hadn’t gone to that I would have run another 4-5k easy. No energy issues at all.

Fat adapting is the key, you have to train your body to burn the fat. This takes time. :running_man:t4::running_man:t4::running_man:t4:

Also, have some salt before you run. It helps.


(Scott) #6

I was thinking about this during my morning run. After I started keto my runs sucked. I had no energy, my legs felt like lead was in them and I had to insert walking. What escaped me at the time was I also had to stop at a water fountain on the way out and on the way back. After four months all running and no need for water. I feel good too and almost six months on keto now…