Am I off it? Time will tell. My research into electrolytes and optimal carb loading during the marathon has led me off in an unexpected direction. Nelson has been quoting and recommending Prof. Tim Noakes for some time – mainly his seminal work “The Lore of Running.” I started following him on Twitter a while back, but recently became intrigued by a linked podcast where he was interviewed on the HFLC/LCHF (I’ve seen it both ways, c’mon people let’s pick one) High Fat Low Carb Diet. I also picked up his book “Challenging Beliefs” which has several chapters on the subject and uses the more cumbersome term “high-fat/high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet.” I’m going with HFLC.
This is going to be (for me) a quick post, but the point of this method of eating is getting off the carb/blood sugar pendulum and teaching your body to burn fat with the attendant health and performance benefits (no wall?)
I decided to launch into it Thursday evening. There was a fairly short and fairly mild acclimatization period. My only symptom was a light headache (to be expected from what I read) on Friday. I felt great on a long run Saturday with 12 sub-7:30 miles on my way to 16. It was a depletion run – nothing but water. There was no bonk like I had experienced a couple of weeks before on an attempted depletion run of the same distance. My Sunday morning recovery run found me about 0:30 faster than usual – I struggle with a decent pace on this run although I realize it doesn’t need to be that fast.
With any luck this means my body has happily switched over to using ketones for fuel. I’m still researching what to do during/before a race. Ultramarathoner Timothy Allen Olson eats this way. I am looking forward to listening to a podcast interview with him on the way home today. I figure he’s fairly credible since he won the Western States 100 in 2012! [EDIT: and 2013! Wow. Article with podcast link predated WS 2013.] Wish me luck!