Going carnivore and running?

(Edith) #41

@cooked, Have you run your race? If so, what did you decide about your diet, and how did you do?

(David Cooke) #42

The race is on Saturday and I just bought a load of meat, eggs and some dairy. I also have to admit that after 40 hours bus, taxi and plane travel, I just sat down to a beer and a whiskey, intend to run in the morning.




Fibre. :joy:


How was the race???

(Alec) #46

Good luck… hope things go well, and you race to your expectation… pls post how you go, really keen to see how you feel on whatever diet you decide on… go for it!!!


remember too and just sayin’ here that ALL of us are not some clean off the factory fresh newborn ‘baby’ floor models :star_struck::roll_eyes::partying_face::100:

So much can effect how we need to roll in that being older for one thing, yea, that is massive on data for us and then we got what medical issues one can heal and change or still have to deal and more. Our bodies are not machines…yes they ‘run like machines’ on their individual processes being so close knit and dependable to each other to function, but we are not machines for sure in any aspect of that…so…as you said do you and see how the info presented is working for you or not well at whatever stage of healing/life we are on carnivore.

(David Cooke) #48

'How was the race???"
Good question. I did quite well for my age, but there’s no point in drawing conclusions, because…
I was jetlagged.
It was 30 °C cooler than the place I left. Always helps.
I was carnivore for three days only.
And of course, coming back home was quite stressful so I just ate everything that was put in front of me. Didn’t gain any weight at all.

(Doug) #49

:open_mouth::slightly_smiling_face: A substantial difference. :grin:

(Alec) #50

I just entered the Canberra Marathon for next April, and I am coming back to this question of a carnivore doing marathons and feeding strategy, and the rate of gluconeogenesis. My question is whether the rate of GNG is trainable…. I would imagine that it is, but does anybody know, or read anything from someone knowledgeable on this?

If a carnivore regularly does long runs that runs muscle glycogen down, and therefore the bodily need for GNG is raised significantly, can the liver produce enough to maintain a marathon pace?

@PaulL you said Stephen Phinney reported that he became bonk-proof on the bike, but I think the glycogen usage on the run is higher than on the bike… but maybe the principle is the same?

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #51

May I ask the reason that this is a concern? I thought endurance performance was fueled primarily by fat.

And in any case, Volek and Forsythe’s work showed that the glycogen of athletes keto-adapted for at least two years was equivalent to the glycogen of carb-adapted athletes of the same calibre.

(Alec) #52
  1. Why a concern? Yes, fatty acids are a higher proportion of fuel than carb burners (maybe a LOT higher), but it is still always a balance between fats and glycogen. So it is possible to run out of glycogen, hence the answer 2 below…
  2. Equivalent glycogen, yes, BUT there is a difference: carb burners just take on loads of carbs (usually gels) during the race, and thus replenishing their available fuel. If they are well trained, they can continue to do this for a long time… but being a non-carb eater, I can’t do that. So I am thinking through the risks of running out of glycogen over my likely 5 hour marathon. And key to this is whether the rate of GNG is fast enough to satisfy glycogen needs while running a marathon (slowly!).

Bottom line, I am hoping you are right ie there is no issue here because I will burn mostly fat, plus some ketones, and only minimal glycogen. But if GNG is a rapid process if I train it maybe I will never run out of glucose on the run? But this is difficult to test…


I am looking forward to see your experiences, Alec! As it will be AGES when I run a marathon if ever… And I am curious.
I agree with you as I am sure you are totally right, we may have glycogen at the start but what happens after we use it up? I have read several times that we can’t just get enough energy from fat if we use energy quickly, I don’t know anything about limits though. Fast running is too intense for getting the energy from our fat (especially if we don’t have much to spare to begin with I suppose) but a “properly” slowly marathon may be okay…? Or not? I can’t imagine I couldn’t walk 10+ hours on carnivore so very slow running should work too…? No idea though. So I am really interested what happens when you run a not as slow marathon as I would (I would walk half the time at least at this point… but I always will be slow I think and it’s fine). And how you will evolve! :slight_smile:

There must be SOME experience about it somewhere… I am sure there are carnivore runners…

(Edith) #54

There are a number of podcasts out there with carnivore distance runners being interviewed. I would listen to a bunch of them to get some ideas and then experiment with yourself. I don’t think there is really any research out there for endurance training on a carnivore diet. I think you are going to have to go by anecdote.

Zach Bitter, for example, eats mostly carnivore but definitely adds carbs around heavy training and races.

I am currently training to run a half marathon this fall (Northern Hemisphere). I’m only up to 11 miles and I’m very slow, so I’m certainly not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I am 57 so not a spring chicken, either. I have found that I recover faster if I have some carbs after my long run. Since I am so slow, I also bring some cherry tomatoes and eat them about halfway through if I start getting hungry. They do give a little boost, although it might be the placebo effect, :blush: but I don’t mind.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #55

I’m still not clear what the glycogen would be used for on a marathon, if you have fatty acids to fuel the muscles. If it were a sprint or a weight-lifting competion, where explosive power would be needed, then you’d definitely need glycogen.

It was Tim Noakes who pushed the idea of needing carbohydrate during a long run, after the idea was conceived and tested by two Swedish researchers, but that makes a lot of sense for carb-adapted runners, who are hardly going to switch to metabolising mostly fat in the middle of a race. But he has since changed his understanding, and along with Phinney, says that running on fatty acids makes an endurance athlete essentially bonk-proof.

(I probably shouldn’t be commenting here, because my idea of dealing with exercise is to lie down until the urge passes. :smile:)


I find tomatoes refreshing :slight_smile: I can imagine welcoming them on a race! Better than mere water, at least it was the case for me years ago, no idea about now, I am changing…

But we can’t get out fat from our reserves quickly enough for intense exercise. Even running a marathon is probably too intense for that but I don’t actually know… Fat from our last meal is surely great for a while, it depends when we have eaten… If I ever run a marathon, I will do it well-fasted as I seem to have most energy then. I do it with my workouts. Maybe some fat before a marathon would help…? I can eat a little fat, that hardly interferes, I couldn’t have a normal meal.
I surely will bring fat so it can help during the race… Is it very different from what people do with carbs? Okay, surely the body works with it differently, I mean, poor body doesn’t need to get out much fat from the storage (that is the slow thing), the food provides it…
But I would like to do it without consuming anything (except water). Exercise and eating are very separate things in my life. Yes I used to eat some during my 9 hour hiking tours on high-carb but that was just walking… And I stopped it anyway at some point. (Then I stopped my “long” hikes :frowning: )

(Edith) #57

From what I understand, to be in the fat burning heartrate zone, one needs to be below threshhold, which is about 70% of your maximum heartrate. For someone who is 60 years old, that would only be about 112 beats per minute. ( Is this really true? I don’t know, but it is the prevailing wisdom at the moment.)

If this is the case, then most likely a person who is not an elite athlete is going to have a hard time staying in that fat burning zone the entire run/race and will most likely be dipping into their glycogen stores for at least part of the run. (This next part is conjecture) So it seems, making sure your glycogen stores are full and/or taking in some form of carbs during a long run/race could be helpful. And again, refilling those stores after the race could help with recovery. As we get older, it is harder for us to recover from strenuous exercise. Targeted carbs may help with that.