Distance Running on Keto

(Julie ) #61

You may want to try and add some nut butter as it an be purchased in squeezable packets. Also, be sure you are getting in enough electrolytes.

(Chris C) #62

Thank you Jewel ! I actually took about 885 mg of Salt ( Salt stick caps ) over the course of the 20 miles. At the time I thought I may have taken too much - because about an hr after run I threw up pure foam . ( please forgive imagery ) but now I’m thinking I may not have taken enough. I see all the benefits to keto life style but I must admit I have been struggling with electrolytes from the start. It has been so HOT and HUMID here this summer - I’m struggling to find sweet spot.

(Julie ) #63

Hello Chris, understand well. I will need to add some article sugar next time I do a race for time since I figured I went through all that I had in my system on the last race.


Hi Chris
I am new to Keto (12 weeks) and also training for a marathon which is in 4 weeks. I love the Keto diet but my running has suffered. I can run long but not fast. Instead of my usual 8:30min/ mile I’m doing 9:45-10. I think my electrolytes were low on last couple long runs. This past weekend I took 2 salt tabs the night before, 1 before the run and then 2 every hour. That seemed to helped. I felt better but still not fast. I had UCAN before starting. I had an almond butter pack at mile 15 but it would just be too hard to swallow during a race. About 3 weeks ago I ran a half marathon with fat coffee in the morning and only water during the run. Ran a 8:20min/ mile average so I was happy and felt like Keto works but didn’t feel like I could keep going without something more. I don’t really want to go back to gels and not sure how my body would react to them now. But if carbs would get my speed back I’d do it for the race. Anyone with advice?

(Chris C) #65

Johnna, Thanks a ton for your response. We are in very similar , if not same boat. ( Although you run a little faster than me :slight_smile: ) Spending a ton of time on web and youtube last few days - it’s wild how info you can seek can hide right in front of you ! So, I think the post by jayerdal above is pretty telling. I am buying into it. Our issue is TWO fold as best I can tell. First - we have not been in fatburning / ketosis mode long enough to have strong performance. We are too slow extracting and burning the fat. If we stick to keto and workouts we will improve in time. Slowing down allows us ( right now anyway ) enough time to extract the energy. I am seeing about 18 months on average to become " metabolically flexible ". Second - my aerobic base was built as a glucose burner. This MAF thing may have some meat to it. After my MCM I am going to embrace. So, as I see it, I ( and you) have two choices - slow down for this race which kind of stinks because I really wanted 4:30 for first marathon. OR, Take fuel after say mile 13 . ( I guess third option would be combo of the two. ) Since I have not fueled in any training I am hesitant to into anything now but may not have a choice. This is just my TWO CENTS - I am no expert by ANY MEANS. Good Luck in your race, brother !


Thanks Chris so much for the feedback! I too have been searching the web for an answer and I think you are correct that we haven’t been Keto long enough yet. Since I’ve run many marathons I do have pace expectations. Lucky for you this is your first. Good Luck! I hear MCM is amazing! Please keep me updated. I’d love to hear how it went! BTW, I’m a female :slight_smile:

(Chris C) #67

Johnna, please forgive my mistake. I will update you for sure. I think I am going with keto friendly butter but also plan to take some goop as well - just in case and only use as last resort.

(Param Charya) #68

I haven’t run my first marathon yet (signed up for a 47k cross-country in a week) but I have been full keto since 2011 and have a lot of practice and research both.

I’d say from day -5 or -4 allow yourself a carb diet, preferably paleo but treat yourself until day -2. This will top up your glycogen stores. On day -1 you can still use carbs to avoid drawing from those stores, but then I’d recommend a lighter amount of low-glycemic index carbs, like twice-boiled and twiced-cooled red potatoes. The boiling and recooling tangles the complex carbs and turns them into even slower-digesting starches - kind of a homemade generation Ucan. This way, low-glycemic breakfast and lunch with keto supper on day -1 will be plenty plenty of time for your metabolism to switch back to fats, if you are already fully keto-adapted. Then on day 0 you can have a light keto breakfast, maybe half a reboiled/recooled red potato with some coconut oil on top, and your body will be maxed out on glycogen, keto-adapted and ready to burn fat. Unless if you run above your aerobic threshold for an excessive period of time, you shouldn’t manage to burn through your whole stores - the ketones will support you. If you have Ucan would be the best fuel to have if you need some, as the gels and drinks will throw you out of ketosis and remove the benefit of being able to access both energy sources at once.

Hope it helps.

(Reg) #69

Hi, New here. I have been doing Keto for a little over a month. I am training for a half marathon in January. I have slow, short, fat legs that should supply plenty of energy according to what I am reading. Lol. I am working on losing weight, gaining strength and endurance and being all around healthier.

I did a 10 mile shuffle (by no definition is it called running or even jogging) / walk. Near end energy was just about zero. I had salt on my forehead!!

Any recommendations to help my body to adjust to burning fat for energy? I have a long way to go with increasing my pace. Within a month I have gone from a 22 min/mile to 20 min/mile I want to be at 15 min/mile by January.

(Edith) #70

Things will improve once you are fat adapted. That takes about 8 weeks for some and longer for others.

Edit: Btw, it won’t be a sudden, “Wow, my muscles have energy!” It will be more gradual. You’ll notice your legs feel less and less like lead over time.

(Ted Ream) #71

Keto for me has a journey. First came the rapid and amazing weight loss, followed by my Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure completely resolving without meds, and over the last year has been distant running (trail and road). Here’s the thing - it does take time to adapt your body to burn fat efficiently for long runs (greater than 13 miles). For me this has taken 12 months of gradual but noticeable progress. For marathons my go to is “F Bomb” packs at mile 7 and 16. I’ve been drinking coffee with coconut oil the morning of plus a hard boiled egg. I find that combination keeps me fueled and even several hours after the race I’m not hungry. Steer clear of Gatorade or any of those sugar laden sports drink. Stick with H20 (half marathon or less) or one of the sugar free/carb free drinks like Body Armor Lyte (okay it has 3g per bottle but compare that to 30+ in Gatorade :joy:).
Love to hear more as what other runners race day tips are. Love this forum. :heart:️:heart:️:heart:️

(Charlie Kathopoulis) #72

Thanks, Ted - Do you find you need any electrolytes on your marathon runs? DO you put them in your water bottle? Or just happy to motor on water? Thank you for a great response

(Chris C) #73

Johnna, I think I was correct. I ended up at 4:49. I started to run out of gas around mile 21/22. My HR was just too high for a newbee fat adapted runner. I am going to start MAF on Monday of this week. I only ate 4 F-Bombs ( Macadamia and Choc ) and grabbed water every station. Event was really fun . We ( ran with two three other friends ) just ran first half fast - for us - 2:12. Plus, I used a training program for a glucose burner. NEVER again , HA ! I can see, albeit in distance , how much better fat burning endurance is than sugar. I never entered pain cave , but just could not get enough energy in legs to keep up pace. I think you might have a race coming up soon - GOOD LUCK !


Chris, Congratulations on finishing your first marathon! Sounds like you had a good time! I agree that it may be different next time after you have been fat adapted for a longer period of time. My race is Sunday (NYC marathon) so we’ll see what happens for me. Thanks so much for the update!

(Reg) #75

Thank you. Is there any way to “know” that you are fat adapted?

(Reg) #76

Thank you Congrats on the diabetes and HBP being resolved.

I have avoided fruit in general but occasionally have a couple berries mixed in plain yogurt (which I also typically avoid). I have wondering if having something like this (small serving 9 carbs) with carbs would be good before 13 miles. Or is it better to keep calories -fat calories (like bulletproof coffee)

(Ted Ream) #77

Hey Charlz - Yes I will drink Bodyarmour Lyte which is a low sugar and carb free drink on the longer (or hotter runs in the summer). I usually pack about 16 ounces with me on the marathons and then use the water points on the course as well. I used to drink Gatorade but found I was actually getting stomach issues. Switched to just electrolyte drinks and water (plus the fat bombs) and it has been the perfect regime for me. If you haven’t tried coconut oil in your coffee I also highly recommend it. I don’t find myself eating (or needing) lunch ever since adding that to my breakfast routine. Happy running!

(Charlie Kathopoulis) #78

:slight_smile: Thank you very much Ted. I’m a Crossfitter and play soccer all on Keto but I would dearly love to do a marathon. I do have coconut oil in my v=coffee’s lol and I will start increasing my distances and see how I cope. Thanks so much again for the reply and the advice

(Chris C) #79

Johnna, just checking in to see how your race went ??? …also, I’ve done Four workouts now for MAF - they are pretty easy and really enjoying not being exhausted when done. My biggest issue is in cool down not being able to get HR to drop at a measured and slow pace… which I am pretty sure means I was way over trained. I plan on sticking to it…


Hi Chris
Thanks for asking. My marathon went well. In the couple days leading up to it I increased my carbs a bit. Morning of race I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich. During the race I drank water only and had a gel packet at mile 15 and 21. I felt good the whole race, finished in 3:58. The thing I noticed the most was that I had no soreness at all after. It was the easiest recovery I have ever had! Maybe because I ran a little slower or maybe because of Keto. I plan to start following the MAF method as well. Maybe that and being Keto adapted longer will help me get some speed back. Good luck in your training!