Advice please: running heart rates on keto/carnivore


(Alec) #1

Here’s my current challenge: I am building my running fitness slowly, but my current training heart rate on carnivore is a good 10 beats above normal on all runs and races.

So, knowing this, should I stick with my normal HR in training, and thus go very slowly, or should I keep the approx/rough paces that I think I should be running and accept the higher heart rate as just something that happens on carnivore/keto?

I have noted that my max HR has gone from approx 170 up to 180. I am now thinking that because of this, I can up my training HR zones.

Any studies on this? Any experience of trying each way?


I am not a runner and have no runner info to give you :slight_smile:

but I have this info to give you, lol

Charles Washington, who is a 20 year ZC veteran and is a massive runner. Does it all the time, he loves it, does his marathons and all that jazz. He started, ZIOH, Zeroing in on Health.


I know if you want real carnivore runner info, this is the place to be. On a ZC forum asking running questions with other carnivores. Many runners on carnivore that jog or do marathons etc. and can be valuable to you for info.

another site is:

I know many are not facebook fans, I only do facebook for zc sites. other than that I don’t ‘do’ facebook but these sites are very very active, have tons of zc and runners and tons of zc info. if wanted.

hope some of that helps in any way

(Bacon is better) #3

One question: are you getting enough salt and liquid? If we are hypovolaemic, the heart has to work harder to keep the muscles supplied with oxygen. Dr. Phinney explains this in some of his lectures; it has to do with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone pathway, apparently.

When Prof. Volek encountered a similar problem with some athletes he was studying, it was cured by having them drink a cup of bone broth about 45 minutes before exercising, Dr. Phinney says. That was sufficient to raise their sodium and their blood volume, so that their bodies could work efficiently while exercising.

(Alec) #4

Liquid: 100% yes, very hydrated, no dramas.

Salt: now then, I should know about this right, and I should be well salted up. But it occurred to me this morning that I have not had a decent quantity of regular salt for a while. I do salt my food, but I am thinking maybe not enough. Maybe not nearly enough.

Interestingly, after my (very) long walk this morning (over 2 hours), I added some (actually quite a lot of) regular salt to my electrolyte drink that I drink quite a lot of…. it reminded me of what Gatorade used to taste of when it very first came out… ie not sweet, just salty. So, I am thinking that I have been thinking I have been getting enough salt through my electrolyte drink, but I haven’t.

So, @PaulL, my friend, you are not yet proved right, but I have a hunch that you are. I am going to salt myself MUCH more than I have been. And do you know, I think maybe this is why I haven’t been feeling quite as A1 as I could have been. I love carnivore, but there is still something hanging around that is not quite right… I was thinking it was a lingering illness, but maybe maybe it is just salt.

I have been training reasonably hard and this will desalt me. I know that we ketonians and carnivores need a decent amount of salt. I was thinking I was getting this with my electrolyte drink, and maybe I wasn’t. Time to add some serious salt in and see what happens.

I will let you know. Thank you for the excellent challenge. It is simple challenges like this that make these forums so useful and important.

(Bacon is better) #5

A number of long-term carnivores say that eventually they stopped salting their food and they don’t miss it. I think, however, that it is prudent to keep using salt for a while in carnivore, until one has been doing it long enough for things to really sort themselves out. Say, at least a year. What the long-timers say is “this was my experience,” but what people hear is “this is what you must do,” when that’s not what they are saying at all.

I remember that, when I worked in a factory that was not climate-controlled, on hot days they would give us an electrolyte drink, for which the instructions were to drink it until it stopped tasting good. It would happen between sips: one sip would taste really nice, and the next one, you’d go, “Yuck!”

So if your salt stops tasting good, you’ve definitely had enough.

(Bacon is better) #6

Yeah, after Coca-Cola bought the formula, they added quite a bit of sugar to make it palatable for the consumer market.

(Alec) #7

How to kill any positive benefits of a product in one easy step. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::exploding_head::rage:


I’m a runner, my running became a pitiful jogging since keto, but recently, HIIT has fantastically decreased my resting AND exercising heartrate. Perhaps it could help you, too, who knows?

What I do: 2h session divided as a brisk walk with sprint/walk after the first hour walking, then walking again. So, 1h walk, 30 min sprint/walk, 30 min walk. I do it as often as I can.

If you can and want to try, 4 min running, 3 min walking and repeat this 4 times. I can’t do it anymore, because 4 min sprinting is too hard and my BG went to the roof.

I’ve noticed my max sprinting went down and now it is in then 170s. My resting is in the 60s.

I’m about to see the result in my cycling, because I’m currently traveling by bike in a very mountainous island. Climbs of over 1000 m vertical daily.

Edit: for context, I run 20k with over 180 beats per min, so to be in the 170s is a big thing for me.

(Alec) #9

Wow, you’re in a different league from me! But maybe the principles are the same. I do some interval training, but at the moment I am not going too hard or far with them, as I am only just restarting up. After a base phase of 3-4 months, I will start cranking up the intervals and hill training. But not yet.

But interesting experience: hard intervals leading to good reduction in HRs. I will bear that in mind.

Now, again I am not saying you have nailed it, BUT this morning after reading your post and after my long 2hr walk this morning, I drank a really decent amount of normal salt. This afternoon, I have been feeling fantastic, best I have for 2-3 weeks. Coincidence? Psychosomatic? Who knows, but it feels good!

The plan is for a rest day tomorrow so I won’t be able to test the resulting running HRs, but I will continue to drink and eat salt, and we will see what happens on Tuesday. But I am thinking you might have nailed it!

(David Cooke) #10

So how do you define ‘normal’? If you’re using the 220 - age formula, maybe you should find another.
Basically I ran like hell over several intervals and then took the maximum HR registered as my maximum HR. According to the above formula, my max HR should be 146, but by my calculation it is 166. There are other calculators, gave me a result of 165…

(Bob M) #11

Salt is really tough. Dave Feldman has to actually take salt pills. Meanwhile, I’ve gone through phases. I originally thought I needed more salt, even drinking pickle juice or Kalamata olive juice (very salty) after workouts. But I’ve stopped doing that, and can’t tell much difference.

That may be because it’s winter, though.

I am a “sweater”, as I have to have a towel near me workout locations, even in our basement, which is in the lower 60s (15-16C), for body weight training, which one would think wouldn’t cause too much sweating. When I was cycling a lot, I sweat so much that I rusted my bike’s steel frame.

Anyway, if increasing salt helps, by all means do it and experiment.

(Alec) #12

What I have experienced over 10 years of running.

I know my normal max: it was around 170. Not from any formula, but from over 2000 training runs and races. In the past 4 weeks I have been above 180 a few times, in one race 3 or 4 times.

My normal base/slow HR would be around 120, and recently to keep it below that I have been having to go very very slowly. MUCH slower than normal, often just walking in the 2nd half of runs.


I agree with you, @Alecmcq. My normal isn’t from a formula. It comes from experience and measuring it on effort.

The highest I’ve ever gotten to since in my 50s and measuring with a heart rate monitor was 186.

(Bob M) #14

That does indicate something’s up. Has salt intake helped?

I also wonder about potassium. I do not take extra potassium for a few reasons. We have a soft water system that uses potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride, so I’m assuming I’m getting a lot of extra potassium that way. I’m on a drug called lisinopril, which has warnings about taking too much potassium.

Potassium is another possible test, though, and is not that expensive if you use some of the “no salt” or “low salt” salt substitutes.


To anyone experimenting with salt and potassium: keep an eye on your kidneys! Get tested to see if you aren’t hurting your kidneys.

Same for proteins, if really high, or from sources such as added protein as powders, shakes, and any other artificial way of eating them. Keep an eye on your kidneys. Get tested for creatinine and urea. Regularly.

(Marco ) #16

Really interesting,…

Same here, runner, keto 4 or so months, feeling very good overall but running is doing terrible.

What was a maf pace of 5:50 per km is around 8:20 per km now… avg hr up roughly 20 for the same run. Been trying different electrolyte, some salt pre run, etc … not difference thus far. Will try a bullion cube next week pre run and see if there’s any difference.

(Robin) #17

Welcome! You should find your tribe here!

(Alec) #18

I am not quite at your level of fitness, but I know my paces and HRs, and my change is similar. At the moment, I am ignoring HR for my training, I am accepting my HR is just going to be higher, and going on feel, breathing rate etc.

I have tried taking a lot of salt in, with bad weight consequences :man_facepalming:, and it hasn’t really changed my HR level during running. Still high.

(Marco ) #19

Same here, I’ve played with electrolytes, salt, broth, etc prerun. Except for having to take a piss, hasn’t changed anything including HR. It’s not the end of the world, but similar to losing running fitness, perhaps a test of patience.

(Alec) #20

That’s exactly where I am… I have decided I just need to be patient. I am mafing in general, a lot of slow walking and jogging. HR remains higher than normal, but I am just going to continue and see what happens.

I have felt some slight arrhythmias (sp?) on some runs ie slightly irregular heart beat just for a minute or 2, and I think that corresponds with my watch picking up a high HR. My view is that this is normal… if anyone disagrees, pls let me know.

Marco, pls keep in touch and let us all know how you go… there is good learning from shared experience, and this is half the point of these forums.

Take care, and good running!