2

votes

Hack My Running Fuel Needs

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Hi everyone,

I am fairly new to paleo, have been at it just about a year and lost around 70 lbs. I'm a 50-year old female and really have a new lease on life. I started running last year and really love participating in short races and some longer ones, too. Although I've really taken to this lifestyle, I'm always at a loss for how to fuel myself for this much exercise. My natural tendency is to gravitate to very low carb, which is wholly incompatible with distance running. The problem is that I want to continue losing weight, and have another 30 lbs to get to what should be a good lean body weight for a woman my age. Any thoughts on how to add in the carbs and still lose?

B8fa88e3a94784aeb9280cf1180564fa

(320)

on June 11, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Great suggestion, Kelly. I've got a new training plan for an early September half marathon, and heavy lifting is on the menu.

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 09, 2012
at 08:55 PM

i did a half marathon this morning. my last meal was last night. im just making some meat and veggies now. 24 hr fast with a 1/2 marathon in the middle. piece of grass fed meat cake, am i rite boys?

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 09, 2012
at 02:27 AM

after the run, eat. It only sounds dangerous cause you are used to running on carbs.

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 09, 2012
at 01:39 AM

You got that right, Anthony. I always ate 2(!) slice of toasts. I am tempted to go run fasted now, but like Kasra said, it's sound dangerous. How and when do you refuel?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 09, 2012
at 12:10 AM

This sounds pretty dangerous.

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 08, 2012
at 09:41 PM

its a problem with going out too fast and your body using the carbs first, running out, then switching to fat, which is slower burning. go into the long run fasted. I bet you ate a banana or something before your long run

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 08, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Somehow I'm not there yet. I've been on on paleo 2+ years, occasionally went ketosis throughout. Ten to 13 mile runs are OK, but on my last long runs, I felt my legs just won't go anymore after mile 17-18. Still figuring out, is it a problem of fuel or hydration?

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 08, 2012
at 09:20 PM

If you feel your fueled enough, but still need the sodium, there is salt tablets e.g. Salt Sticks). I tried few on my last run, but not sure if it helped or not as I was trying some other stuff too.

27bac964edd249667d0fb749daeeb090

(263)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:45 PM

hey Anthony! Im a type 1 diabetic, and Im in ketosis most of the time. My body works well in ketosis, and I've never had a problem with short, crossfit-style workouts. Id really like to do a marathon on zero carbs. Would love to chat/email with you and grab any advice or resources that you might have for training, fueling and whatever else. I cant find much out there on folks who have done long races in ketosis. And those I've contacted have tried to discourage me from going totally ketogenic during runs! my email- [email protected]

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 08, 2012
at 07:27 PM

yes, it comes naturally as you become fat adapted

B8fa88e3a94784aeb9280cf1180564fa

(320)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Exactly! I use Carboom during runs because it's basically all fruit and refuel after a long run or race with sushi/pho and fruit. My last 30 lbs or so have been stubborn, and I know I'll feel much better if I get just a little leaner. I am going to look for the Power Gel for the sodium.

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Interesting. Does the switch to burn fat comes naturally (assuming already on Paleo for a while)?

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5 Answers

4
537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 08, 2012
at 07:01 PM

It is possible to fuel your runs with fat.

I ran an ultramarathon this spring. 31 miles. I didn't eat breakfast or dinner the night before.

I really didn't train for this specifically, either.

If you tap into your fat stores, you have 10s of thousands of calories to burn vs the 2000? or so stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen.

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 08, 2012
at 07:27 PM

yes, it comes naturally as you become fat adapted

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 09, 2012
at 02:27 AM

after the run, eat. It only sounds dangerous cause you are used to running on carbs.

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:15 PM

Interesting. Does the switch to burn fat comes naturally (assuming already on Paleo for a while)?

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 08, 2012
at 09:41 PM

its a problem with going out too fast and your body using the carbs first, running out, then switching to fat, which is slower burning. go into the long run fasted. I bet you ate a banana or something before your long run

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 09, 2012
at 12:10 AM

This sounds pretty dangerous.

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 08, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Somehow I'm not there yet. I've been on on paleo 2+ years, occasionally went ketosis throughout. Ten to 13 mile runs are OK, but on my last long runs, I felt my legs just won't go anymore after mile 17-18. Still figuring out, is it a problem of fuel or hydration?

27bac964edd249667d0fb749daeeb090

(263)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:45 PM

hey Anthony! Im a type 1 diabetic, and Im in ketosis most of the time. My body works well in ketosis, and I've never had a problem with short, crossfit-style workouts. Id really like to do a marathon on zero carbs. Would love to chat/email with you and grab any advice or resources that you might have for training, fueling and whatever else. I cant find much out there on folks who have done long races in ketosis. And those I've contacted have tried to discourage me from going totally ketogenic during runs! my email- [email protected]

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 09, 2012
at 01:39 AM

You got that right, Anthony. I always ate 2(!) slice of toasts. I am tempted to go run fasted now, but like Kasra said, it's sound dangerous. How and when do you refuel?

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on June 09, 2012
at 08:55 PM

i did a half marathon this morning. my last meal was last night. im just making some meat and veggies now. 24 hr fast with a 1/2 marathon in the middle. piece of grass fed meat cake, am i rite boys?

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on June 08, 2012
at 08:21 PM

How many carbs do you think you need? Probably it's not as many as you think: Jaminet has this to say: "Highly trained runners utilize about 50 glycogen calories per mile (12.5g). Highly trained cyclists cycling at around 70% of maximum effort utilize about 500 glycogen calories per hour (125g)."

Tim Noakes MD, in the Lore of Running says this: "Untrained subjects eating a normal diet store about 280g of carbohydrate in their muscles (Hultman 1967; Blom, Costill et al 1987), wherase values of ip to 720g are usually found in trained athletes who have not exercised for 24 to 48 hours and who have allowed their muscles sufficient time to fill up their carbohydrate stores completely (Costill, Sherman, et al 1981)." "Liver glycogen stores in untrained subjects are about 100g (Hultman and Nilsson 1971, 1973) and are increased to about 130g on a high carbohydrate diet."

So even running flat out, you'd be able to get 5 or 6 miles without any carbs. The truth is that you probably run at much lower intensities than the "highly trained runners" described above, and so you could probably last for even longer.

Phinney and Volek have shown that keto-adapted athletes have much lower rates of glycogen use (although they also have reduced muscle and liver stores). I eat less than 20g of carbs a day, and have no problem running 10 miles withot eating any extra food. In their new book "the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance (or the Art of Avoiding the Bonk) they have case-studies from ultra-marathon runners who eat few, or no, carbohydrate.

1
Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

on June 08, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Carla, I'm in the same boat as you now, trying to do distance running but confused on fueling. Here is another similar thread as your question. In it there is a link to Mark's Daily Apple on how to fuel a marathon. I can't add anything to your question, but what I am doing now is adding carb lightly but only post run or post fasting. It's tricky because I feel I am putting my guard down and getting more tempted to cheat. But after long runs, I reward myself with a cheat day. During runs, I fuel myself with Cliff shots and Nuun electrolytes. Lately I use Power Gel because of its extra sodium.

Bfab735156addf003de83d407bae3f78

(50)

on June 08, 2012
at 09:20 PM

If you feel your fueled enough, but still need the sodium, there is salt tablets e.g. Salt Sticks). I tried few on my last run, but not sure if it helped or not as I was trying some other stuff too.

B8fa88e3a94784aeb9280cf1180564fa

(320)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Exactly! I use Carboom during runs because it's basically all fruit and refuel after a long run or race with sushi/pho and fruit. My last 30 lbs or so have been stubborn, and I know I'll feel much better if I get just a little leaner. I am going to look for the Power Gel for the sodium.

0
A3c56c85290f748410a6f340ddd552b3

on June 12, 2012
at 02:48 AM

Keto adapt. I'm working on it for myself.

Volek and Phinney's book on keto athletes: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0983490716/ref=nosim?tag=abqandrea-20

0
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on June 08, 2012
at 09:01 PM

This won't help the fuel question, but will help the weight loss question - add some weight training (heavy, weight you can move for maybe 6-8 reps max per set) and interval days. I see a lot of endurance sports people that spend hours a day doing endurance training but are in need of a little fat loss. The people I know with the most success mix it up.

B8fa88e3a94784aeb9280cf1180564fa

(320)

on June 11, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Great suggestion, Kelly. I've got a new training plan for an early September half marathon, and heavy lifting is on the menu.

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