Runner....new to keto\low carb


#1

I’m a 46 year old female…I average about 30-40 miles\week… I’m about 2-3 weeks into lowering carbs. Started out kinda rough. So glad I found this forum to fill in some of the blanks, the why’s and what to expects. Had to play with salt and water intake, some headaches but soon passed…I don’t have a ton to lose but have lost a good 6 lbs or so… Easy runs tanked to a12-13 min pace which I’m doing fasted about 12 hrs(never done these runs fasted so I welcome the different stress), but they are now started to get faster with less effort. My body has definitely told me “this new feeding is a stress so take it easy on me”…I had planned on a 5k time trial of breaking my pb of 24:05 at the end of August but I’ve decided and excepted that that may not happen. So maybe this will just be prep for my half marathon fall training and just do a 5k time trial every few weeks to see where I’m at…just a note I do cycle in a few carbs before some harder efforts. All this is new but I think I had more flexibility with my metabolism then I thought as I could do a half marathon with an average hr of 170-175 at ave pace of 9:54 with only a bottle mixed with half electrolyte (some stevia) and water…
Some things I’m really liking about this low carb change so far:
No cravings
More energy then I thought I’d had on fasted run…they wake me up rather then coffee.
Recovery is fantastic…I don’t get out of the car after a long run feeling like I need a wheelchair
Bowels are happier…I won’t go into details on that one
Mood is more subdued…I really like this as I am definitely type A with a capital A.
Sleep better at night…

So far a lot of benefits: one drawback that really isn’t a drawback just learning more about how my body functions best… I’ve cut down on coffee to one cup ave exchanged the other two cups with bone broth(loveless but body loves more). Always testing and experimenting… Might be an a able to add it back in more when the body is more adjusted to the new feeding/exercise stress.
So I’m sharing this in hopes that it gives others anecdotal evidence of the benefits of making a highly beneficial change that needs time for the body to adjust:)


(Robin) #2

NICE! Thanks for joining in and sharing your experience so far. Glad you’re here. You got this!


#3

Thank-you… Enjoying all the info:)… Hope my story will help those who are runners, in their 40’s, and ketoish.


(Scott) #4

You might want to checkout a YouTube video by a runner named Zack Bitter (I think) he converted to low carb. He is ripping pages out of his running book he wrote.


#5

Thank-you… he’s a great resource:)… I’ve listened to, gained a number of pointers and applied a number of things he’s shared…big help!! Especially cycling carbs and hydration…


(Bob M) #6

Zach Bitter is great, and I’ve even learned a bit from him, only jogging twice a week myself.


#7

Great start:)


(Bacon enough and time) #8

Welcome to the forums! It’s great to hear from an athlete who is not concerned about the temporary hit to performance. It sounds as though yours is returning already, too, which no doubt helps.

Your endurance is likely to have fully returned by the six-to-eight-week mark. Explosive power will take a bit longer, but will eventually return.

Another runner whom you might find interesting is Mark Cucuzella, a physician who is ex-USAF and now in private practise in West Virginia. Not to mention Professor Tim Noakes, author of The Lore of Running, who invented the idea of carb-loading and has now revised a lot of his advice since going low-carb.


#9

Thank-you… I’ve listened to a number of points from Dr. Mark…a another great resource as an aging runner… But I haven’t heard of Tim Noakes… I’ll have to look into him. As regards the adjustments…I expect that change will bring stress and stress shows in hr and/perceived effort which requires adjustment so that body doesn’t feel quite so pressured… Respect the body and you’ll get good lifelong results(hence the need for change). :slight_smile:


(Bacon enough and time) #10

He’s a South African physician, sports physiologist, and marathoner. His famous book was The Lore of Running.


#11

Thanks again… I’ll take a peak:)


(Scott) #12

I do remember that when I first started low carb my runs sucked! I had no energy and to walk often. I can remember one day running uphill and suddenly thought this doesn’t suck anymore. It did take weeks though.


#13

I’m ok with it… My paces and hr are adjusting faster then I thought they would at my age…perhaps it is because my diet preketo/low carb hadn’t been super horrible and I think adjusting accordingly gives the body time to catch up rather then pushing the hr higher. We’ll see more in the weeks to come…and 5k time trial in 2 days!


#14

LITTLE UPDATE:

Well I know this takes awhile to adjust but I am really finding this eating lifestyle a joy. Something I’ve learned with regards to higher heart rates on my easy runs… If I focus on really breathing deeply(from my belly) and deliberately I find my heart rate comes down anywhere from 4-6 beats per min… Now this might not seam a big deal but it makes sense according to the science as far as I understand… This fat burning system uses double(correct me if I’m wrong) the oxygen… I also make a point of breathing through my nose as much as possible. Prior to keto/low carb I practiced this but not as drastic a change in hr… Oxygen usage seams more crucial…

Also lost another lb…135…when I get down below 130 I’ll reevaluate. I’m 5’5".


(Little Miss Scare-All) #15

I always wondered, what is the benefit of breathing through the nose, solely. Whats the difference between that, and in through the nose, out through the mouth, on a physical level?

I find myself focusing on in/out through my nose, except when doing HIIT because that’s impossible for me to do without hyperventilating.


#16

Well, that’s a good question… They say (science) that it aids in keeping hydrated and something to do with the efficiency of the heart… Personally I definitely notice a hydration difference… And as my heart rate gets higher I use this method less and open my mouth more as the oxygen needs increase… With harder sessions. I’m no expert on the matter though:)


(Little Miss Scare-All) #17

One thing I sort of notice is I get less side stitches primarily doing nose in/out. Once I start huffing in through the mouth and out the mouth, I feel like I’m eating chunks of the atmosphere and make myself stop.


#18

This breathing through the nose is always a work in progress… Daily thinking about it so that when we run it comes more natural… Less Side stitches that’s interesting…I remember getting more side stitches when I ate not long before runs probably related to the same thing… Not breathing properly or oxygen in the right department:)


#19

Welcome aboard. Like you, I participate in endurance sports. My Keto journey started 10+ years ago under the supervision of a Dr and sports scientist. The why for me was to lose some weight and be metabolically flexible. Before the journey started I went for a DEXA scan and a complete blood test. Thus I had a baseline. I started during my off-season. For the next 3 months, I eliminated everything that was white or could be white. I measured my blood ketones every morning. I was a super responder. I then tested again. I lost all the weight in the first 3 months. Sounds like you are too. (6lbs in 3 weeks). Once I became so-called fat adapted 80% of my training rides (zone 2 - 78-81% MHR) take place in the morning and are done in a fasted state. My blood lactate at this level of intensity is 1.7 to 2 mmol/L . For all rides greater than 4 hours, I will eat carbs during and after the ride. For all races, I will also have a few carbs beforehand.
Some lessons learned are the following:
1). Do not decrease your caloric requirements.
2). Eat best quality food
3). Supplement with Redmond Real Salt.
4). Once fat-adapted, carbs can be your best friend, especially during high-intensity training and in race situations. Do not make the mistake, of thinking carbs are bad. For high intensity, they are absolutely necessary.
4). Keto is not a religion.
5). Drink lots of water. For me, this was about 1.5 to 2 liters/day. Water bottles drank during training/racing are not included in this total. (helps with the plumbing).
6). My electrolytes solution contains about 20 grams of carbs. The carbs help absorb the lost electrolytes during training.
7). Keep a journal. Test and measure.
8). Intermittent fasting (16-8) is not to be done every day.
This has been my experience as an endurance athlete over the last 10 years or so. I now eat a relatively lower carb program, 50-100 grams per day, sometimes more sometimes less. 2-3 meals per day, 5 days a week. On weekends, I tend to eat ad libitum.


#20

Thank-you for sharing your story… Seems our first goal is health next is performance:)… I’m enjoying the experimentation of what really works well for my body and what doesn’t like dairy…I love cheese but my body I think says something different:)… But definitely losing weight… Lost another lb…134… Feel like I’m losing faster then I should? And easy runs continuing to drop in pace… measurements dropping as well.
Definitely inflammation decreasing… Less acne and easier recovery after harder efforts… Another update in a week:)