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…

(Ron ) #7

I know you wrote this some time ago, but I’ve just come across it after searching for why even my shorter 5k runs are so much harder!
Just been on Keto for 2 weeks & was starting to get discouraged!
Thank you very much, helped heaps - I’ll hang in there!

(Scott) #8

Yeah, I can remember thinking “I don’t know if this is going to workout for me”. Aside from a several month break to let a torn ankle ligament heal I may also have slowed getting fat adapted. I am eating <50g carbs due to veggies and wine at night with diiner.

(Ron ) #9

Appreciate the response. I spose in this day and age we expect everything to happen fast. Good lesson in patience! Really looking forward to having a decent training run in the future!