There has been a lot in the press recently about a ‘controversial’ book by running supremo Professor Tim Noakes called The Real Meal Revolution. He is responsible for the training bible The Lore of Running and is a very experienced runner.
After years of training on a high carbohydrate diet – carb loading before races and using carbs as a source of energy/fuel he had become lethargic and no longer enjoyed running.
He had also developed Type 2 diabetes.
A shift in his thinking led to Tim adopting a Low Carb/High Fat approach called the Banting Diet and went from ‘running like a 60-year-old to running like a 40-year-old’. He was so inspired by it that he turned it into his Real Meal Revolution book.
Years ago I used to run pretty much entirely fueled by carbs. For the first 20 minutes or so I would fly along and then slowly my energy would disappear (along with my sense of humour) and I would get progressively slower. When I was marathon training I needed to constantly pop jelly beans after an hour or so of running.
My skin was bad, my digestive system was a mess and I began to resent how running made me feel. I no longer enjoyed it, it was a chore.
NOW, in 2016 it is a completely different picture. When I run I sometimes have to stop myself….I feel like I could run forever……
I am not suggesting that a LCHF/Banting/Keto approach is for everyone, one size doesn’t fit all. BUT and it is a big BUT, if you try it and it works for you then it will change your life.
If you are a new runner then now is the perfect time to start. If you are an experienced runner then you may have a bit of frustration becoming adapted to this new way of approaching fuel. Bear with it though and give it at least 6 weeks.
Keto Runner – The Diet
There is now plenty of Low Carb/Keto information out there so I am not going to break it all down in this blog post (I want to get you out there and running!) a very good place to start is the EXCELLENT website ketodietapp
Martina who is the site owner is a ‘Keto Legend’ as far as I am concerned and I highly recommend her site if you want to get started on a Ketogenic Diet.
I like to do all my runs fasted or with my Turbo Tea/Coffee recipe. I don’t enjoy running with food inside me but if I am racing or doing a long training run then I have a handful of roasted and salted nuts an hour before I set off.
Keto Runner – The Running
I am going to talk about new runners here, I will do a separate post for more experienced runners later. It is worth noting though that even if you are already running you can still go for this approach – especially coming back from injury or health problems.
My beginner runners, you are in an excellent position as you don’t need to un-learn anything!
You are going to look at a target of completing a 5k run in 10 weeks (I promise you, starting slow is the way!). There are lots of plans out there, I will be producing one for download soon!
I use a heart rate monitor to track my heart rate on every single run. Now I am used to how I should feel so that I am not working too hard but I still refer to my heart rate monitor.
- You want to do all your walk/runs and runs at a fat burning heart rate. Most heart rate monitors now work it out for you.
- When your heart rate goes higher than fat burning level, slow right down.
- Remember to cross train once per week – yoga, zumba, cycling, pilates.
- Include one strength session a week – use kettlebells, gym machinery or simply body weight exercises.
- Rest. When I started back running I had one complete rest day from exercise. It works.
I am 41 and I am most comfortable AND efficient running when my heart rate hovers around 146 beats per minute.
IMPORTANT – when you start running you will have to run so slowly it feels little faster than a fast walk. This is perfect!
My Typical Keto Run Day
7.00 am Wake up!
Glass of water and a cup of green tea.
10.00 am Nice long and slow run at a fat burning heart rate – up to 2 hours.
Plenty of water after my run and a nice long shower.
1.00 pm Lunch – often I will have cooked chicken with home-made mayonnaise, an avocado and a big salad.
4.00 pm a Keto Truffle or two with a cup of herbal tea.
6.00 pm Yin Yoga 20 minute session
8.00 pm Dinner – A 4 egg omelette with goats cheese and peppers (My current favourite!).
10.00 pm Bed – I sleep so well……
I give you this example as an average day but actually it doesn’t differ that much – the only variables will be the distance I run and I mix up my food.
Now that you are ready to become a Keto runner, here are a few pointers:
Heart Rate Monitor (I use a wahoo fitness one)
Patience (yes really!)
Links to books you might enjoy
I would love to hear from you if you are already running whilst on a Keto Diet and if this is your first attempts at running then stick with it – you will soon LOVE IT.