I’m on exactly the same journey than you !
I am doing another 12+ hour/20+ mil endurance event, first one in keto, and I think fat adapted. And also training for a couple 24+ hour events this summer. I’m planning on carrying some fbombs and jerky, but looking for some electrolytes to carry, more then just rock salt. Thanks.
All interesting stuff, but I have a basic question: is there a limit to the amount of fat that can be withdrawn from body fat to fuel a run? There has been mention of this once or twice in the forums, but no substantiation as far as I can see. Any studies or science?
Is it purely personal depending on how fat adapted you are? I have even seen Richard quote a maximum kcal number that can be withdrawn from bodyfat in a day, and as we know he usually has a study or 3 backing up his assertions! Any opinions or ideas or discussion or experience welcome!
Just did my first half this past weekend. I’ve been keto (no cheats pre race) since Jan. 1, ‘18. My training over the span of about 12 weeks started with zero running and went based how I felt not really on a schedule. I was active in an intense in-gym cross training program the year prior, so I wasn’t completely out of cardiovascular shape - just not a runner. I do 1 hour of cardio kickboxing followed 1 hour of more traditional martial arts MWF and 1 hour of weight training TTh followed by a fatigued treadmill run, 2-3 miles depending how I feel. Saturday or Sunday is long run day 7-11 miles.
I really never was aiming for time, just covering distance, so I planned to run at a 3 hour pace; but ended up pacing faster to start and felt good and finished in 2:30.
Fuel wise, I had some exogenous ketones upon waking at 5:45 am, and a caffeinated electrolyte supplement :30 pre race. Had one more serving of the electrolytes at mile 6, and had a packet of Peanut Pro 2go at mile 10. I think I probably would have been ok without it, but since I’d never gone over 11 training, and the last mile was a huge incline, I decided to have it.
I’m considering a marathon in 4 months - I know I’ll need a more strict training plan, and definitely plan to look into how I can fuel as I don’t think I can go a whole lot more than I already have fasted. I’ve lost 37 lbs since starting keto, and am at about 19% bodyfat, which I anticiapte is why I’ve been able to run fasted so far, but if I continue training and eating keto I anticipate my body fat to drop more and I’m not sure I’ll have the stored fuel for a full!
You will, you just have to be used to going long periods of time without eating.
One thing I’ve learned (and this may be true only for me…) is that eating something while running makes little sense, unless it’s highly digestible/liquid, it’s probably not going to impact your event. What I mean is that things take time to digest and for the body to pull nutrition from foods so the gels/blocks etc. are most likely a placebo when running or don’t have an impact for those events under 4-5 hours.
This is why (that things take a while to digest) many of the ultra marathons utilize soda as energy, they drink the full sugar kind (and lots of it) as they get deep into the race. They do this because they are not fat adapted. You’ll likely have energy stores to run these kind of events down to about 4-6% body fat. So, running a marathon around 10% or so, very doable, remember that every pound of body fat can yield up to 3,500 cal of energy, running a full marathon MIGHT use 1 pound of fat depending on your pace.
So, great job on the 1/2, great job on getting fat adapted. If you go long enough with running fasted/nothing before or durring long runs, I’m talking 4-6 hour runs, you’ll get cravings for butter and olive oil as long as you are aren’t running too fast (in the anaerobic zone). If you are running too hard/fast/too much (once again, in the anaerobic zone) you’ll likely have cravings for carbs. Something to keep an eye on.
Good luck with your continued success!
Just for reference, I’m 43 years old, 5’11", 170 pounds (give or take) 15-19% body fat (depends on beer and other factors) and I’ve ran 3 marathons fasted and one 50K fasted, all 4 races with zero intake other than water. I’m not a speedster, think 10:15 minute miles, but I get em done, all with zero gels/blocks/gatorade etc. I’m using 2018 to implement a MAF program and heal up my right arch, which I injure in FEB and haven’t gotten to fully heal yet.
I’m looking to do my first Marathon in October. I have been strict keto since May and I feel amazing. All my previous half marathon I was a carb burner. When you fast before a marathon, what do you eat the day before and when do you stop? Any advice for this newbie is appreciated! Thanks!
I don’t do anything special the day before a marathon Megan. I usually eat IF, starting around 1 PM and stop eating at around 7 PM. I don’t add any carbs or do anything special since I’m good and fat adapted. Even though I’m lean, since I’m around 12-15% body fat, I still have plenty of calories to draw from, especially once adapted.
If you can get through say a 20 miler without consuming any calories before or during the run, then the marathon shouldn’t be an issue.
Hello - I’m running a 17 mile relay later this month (Hood to Coast) and will be running 3 (5.3 mile) legs approximately every 6 hours. I’ve done 5.5 miles great, but not consecutive runs. I’m thinking of packing avocados, Turkey Chomps, macadamia nuts and some Coconut Oil packets from Trader Joe’s, but was looking for any additional foods which might sustain during the entire run. Looking forward to any advice
My advice would be to eat as little as possible.
Nutrition/having enough caloric energy won’t be your issue, especially if you have any level of fat adaptation (You don’t say how long you’ve been keto etc.).
Having enough “miles” on you legs will be the determinant. Now, it’s too late to go out and put on a ton of mileage at this point, you don’t want to wear yourself out this close to the run.
You say you’ve done a 5.5 but not 3 runs… Is 5.5 your longest run?
Best case, I’d like to see someone doing this have completed a long/slow 18-20 mile run, then we’d know you have the mileage on your legs but, once again, not enough time for that.
So, I’d suggest you take the foods you mention and keep a gel pack on you during your runs (for mental protection only, it’s a “use in emergency” only gel pack, I did this for a month and never needed it).
Honestly, with six hour breaks, you should have a decent recovery between the runs and I bet you do fine. Eat light, you don’t need a lot of cals for this, the more you eat, the worse you’ll feel during the run portion as your body is diverting energy to digestion rather than making it available for the next session. Your fat stores are what’s going to power you during the runs, if you keep the intake lower in between.
Best of luck to you!
You will definitely need to replenish salt at some point. Have some salt before you start the race and then some after each leg.
Isn’t Ucan a carb? It’s a great product but is it Keto?
Annab220 Yes Ucan is a carb. I just started using it for my longer training runs and just finished my first 1/2 marathon race using it. I find that it helps greatly every time I use it. I’ve been keto for over 6 months now and what they call fully fat adapted for at least a couple months. When i use it I check my Keto and Glucose level with a blood meter before and after the runs and the race. I have found that if i use a half a scoop 30 to 45 mins before a hard run of 10 or more miles it helps me to keep up on the paces that I run. Before I started using the Ucan I really struggled to hit the faster paces while in Keto. On one weekend I ran 11 miles and was 0.6 / 100 before Keto / Glucose. and took the Ucan 1/2 Scoop and was 0.7 / 107 after. Next day I ran 20 miles with some speed work in it and was 0.6 / 102 before and 2.9 / 94 after and I took a full scoop 40 mins before the run. So for me It help me to run better and it does not push me out of ketosis. On the 1/2 I just finished I took 1 scoop before and ran fasted from dinner the night before, normal dinner for me. I ran the Oak Tree 1/2 in Geneseo, NY ( a hard hilly race) and finished in 1:38:08. It was hot and humid day. My numbers were 1.1 / 101 when I finished. I’m training for a full at the end of the month and am planning on running it fasted again but one scoop 40 before and another scoop for 1/2 way through and just water maybe some electrolyte.
Hope this helps.
So… what IS Ucan?
Generation UCAN is a starchy fuel. It’s really good!
So I ran my first Full Marathon in Ketosis and had a great run. I use a Precision Xtra meter to test Keto’s and Glucose levels before and after. I was 1.1 K and 97 G before, fasted from dinner the night before, and was 2.3 K and 118 G after. I had one scoop of Ucan with a 1/4 scoop of a protein powder in 6 oz water about 40 mins before start of race and 1 med size coffee about an hour before race. I’m caffeine free for over 5 years now except on race days. During the race I had two Ucan Gels (one scoop with 2 oz water) and 2 NoDose pills 1 each at 1 hour in and another at 2 hours in. I also had a sip of water at most of the water stations on the course. I ran the Wineglass Marathon ending in Corning New York bib # 1865. My previous PR for a full was 3:32:32 and I did a 3:17:46 this time in Ketosis. I finished first in my division (M60 - 64). So I found out that with the Ucan and fat adapted I can run faster on a full Marathon.
So many similar stories to this … well done
First time marathon here, and pursuing a fat adapted physiology. much literature to support training for high carb fueling strategy. not so much for low carb. Is a 3-week taper in training indicated for those adopting a low carb approach?
I don’t think taper strategy would be any different for low carb. Good luck!
Good luck and have a good time on your race.
Any Help would be greatly appreciated. I have been on keto for about 100 days. I have been training for marathon and have not had an issue with only taking water and salt for two 15 milers and one 16 miler. Last week I ran my 20 miler and had BIG issue. At mile 16 my legs started to bonk , I made the full 20 but it was a challenge. I hated the goop and sugars and have been loving the ketones. I am being told by many that I need to goop starting at mile 12 or 13 - I really do not want to, but I also do not want to bonk again. I am in tough spot because race is only 3 weeks away and I have no idea how I will respond to goop ( IE. Disaster pants ) . The wild thing about my bonk on long run was my overall energy level was HIGH - just my legs and even walking was as difficult as running. Any help would really be appreciated.