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Anyone on Paleo done the Tough Mudder competition? -carbing up?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 01, 2010 at 1:35 AM

Just curious if anyone has done a recent Tough Mudder competition. I got talked into it, and gotta drop some weight for sure! More importantly just get ready for all the little obstacles in the course. Maybe time to by those Vibram Five's after all. I think my big question is, the day before this 10 miles event what would you recommend to "carb" up some? I suspect I will hit the Sweet Potatoes, and maybe some berries.

Its 10 miles but alot of it is strength related climbing, crawling etc.

www.toughmudder.com

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 09, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Hi Jason, just did SoCal #2, carb loading consisted of some plantains a couple of days before. No breakfast on race day. Had a couple of banana halves during the race. This was the most sugar I've had in a year and a half. Did great, never bonked, no problems at all. Good luck!

9f187c931f7ce55d375ed5806e254aaf

(820)

on January 05, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Interesting, Perrygeo. Do you have any references? Incidentally, the Tough Mudder was more low intensity with spurts of high intensity. Several of my Paleo colleagues performed in the fasted state and did very well (better than me).

F900c4e7dc008b7604206c803467a661

(80)

on January 02, 2011
at 04:34 AM

The idea that your body "switches" to fat after it depletes glycogen is completely false. Low intensity work is often fat-fueled while very high intensity efforts are *entirely* carb-fueled. For the intensities in between, your body will mix the fuel types based on what's available. One goal for paleo endurance athletes should be to increase the intensity at which they can burn fat - this can be accomplished by doing increasingly challenging workouts in a fasted state (but then use carbs on race day to fuel for some high-intensity spurts, sprints and surges)

F900c4e7dc008b7604206c803467a661

(80)

on January 02, 2011
at 04:24 AM

There's a whole body of evidence in the exercise science literature which proves rather incontrovertibly that carbohydrates are ergogenic for races of this length. IOW doing a race like this in a glycogen-depleted state without carbs *will* hurt your performance. In order to rely only on fat/ketone metabolism, you'd need to reduce intensity to a point where carb metabolism is irrelevant. You can *train* in carb depleted states to raise the intensity at which that occurs (some IM athletes can go 75% max on mostly fat)but to deny yourself that fuel in a race is not going to enhance performance.

A1ae6a36ca0f4210882603e1255ea42d

(298)

on November 04, 2010
at 02:40 PM

i did sweet potatoes and eggs for the first TM and felt good, not floated

B1ee99a6facdb61a9fe68adfa55e1d29

(50)

on November 02, 2010
at 02:42 AM

Indy/Columbus 2011!

46fe06f485fdc33eaf7eafbd434376d9

(65)

on November 01, 2010
at 10:50 PM

Great info, and thanks for the advice Levi. I'm thinking I'd like to try a Spartan Race this summer when it comes to Kansas.

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on November 01, 2010
at 08:15 PM

Awesome thanks for the info.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:49 PM

I ran in the sprints. They were OK but a full foot version would definitely be better.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on November 01, 2010
at 12:20 PM

Check out Active.com!

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:53 AM

Which Location. I'm in GA.

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5 Answers

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4
9f187c931f7ce55d375ed5806e254aaf

(820)

on November 01, 2010
at 04:15 PM

I did the inaugural Tough Mudder earlier this year with Paleo Guru John Durant as part of a team to represent Paleo dieters.

Personally, I don't recommend carb loading. It will only bloat you and slow you down. What I did (and several of the others) was go really low carb for two or three days before hand and rest. The rest period will allow for glycogenesis and give you the energy for the race. On the day of the race skip breakfast and do a fasted race. If you feel like you need to eat something eat a couple of strips of lean jerky or similar. No carbs! You're body ought to be producing ketones at this point and you will have a nice steady stream of energy for the whole race. The race could last 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on your fitness level so if you rely on glycogen stores your are going to be in for a hell of a time after 15 or 20 minutes! Once your glycogen stores are depleted your body has to switch to ketones. While that is happening you're going to feel sluggish, like you can't go on. You might even feel like vomiting. This is what endurance athletes call "the wall" and you don't want to hit it, especially if you've never done an endurance race. Trust me, there were huge fit guys who looked like they were about to die 20 minutes in.

So, unless you feel like you can run that race in less than 20 minutes I would not eat a ton of sweet potatoes the night before. Your muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen and the rest gets stored as fat, the fat your body will eventually switch to after it runs out of glycogen. The fat I'm sure most of you here are trying to get rid of.

I hope this helps. Our Paleo team averaged under 1.5 hours for the race.

http://www.hunter-gatherer.com/blog/tough-mudder-action-shots-commentary

http://www.cro-modern.com/archives/the-tough-mudder/

46fe06f485fdc33eaf7eafbd434376d9

(65)

on November 01, 2010
at 10:50 PM

Great info, and thanks for the advice Levi. I'm thinking I'd like to try a Spartan Race this summer when it comes to Kansas.

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on November 01, 2010
at 08:15 PM

Awesome thanks for the info.

F900c4e7dc008b7604206c803467a661

(80)

on January 02, 2011
at 04:34 AM

The idea that your body "switches" to fat after it depletes glycogen is completely false. Low intensity work is often fat-fueled while very high intensity efforts are *entirely* carb-fueled. For the intensities in between, your body will mix the fuel types based on what's available. One goal for paleo endurance athletes should be to increase the intensity at which they can burn fat - this can be accomplished by doing increasingly challenging workouts in a fasted state (but then use carbs on race day to fuel for some high-intensity spurts, sprints and surges)

F900c4e7dc008b7604206c803467a661

(80)

on January 02, 2011
at 04:24 AM

There's a whole body of evidence in the exercise science literature which proves rather incontrovertibly that carbohydrates are ergogenic for races of this length. IOW doing a race like this in a glycogen-depleted state without carbs *will* hurt your performance. In order to rely only on fat/ketone metabolism, you'd need to reduce intensity to a point where carb metabolism is irrelevant. You can *train* in carb depleted states to raise the intensity at which that occurs (some IM athletes can go 75% max on mostly fat)but to deny yourself that fuel in a race is not going to enhance performance.

9f187c931f7ce55d375ed5806e254aaf

(820)

on January 05, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Interesting, Perrygeo. Do you have any references? Incidentally, the Tough Mudder was more low intensity with spurts of high intensity. Several of my Paleo colleagues performed in the fasted state and did very well (better than me).

3
209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 01, 2010
at 11:55 AM

My wife and I did our first mud run last year and are hooked. We found out on short notice so we didn't have any training time. We both do crossfit and made it through the course with no problems. We didn't do any special carb loading either, but it was only a 4 mile course.

We looked for more runs and it was hard to find other events online so we started our own site to share the love. http://www.mudruncentral.com We aren't selling anything, just want to spread the word.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on November 01, 2010
at 12:20 PM

Check out Active.com!

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on November 01, 2010
at 11:16 AM

Doing the Warrior Dash here in Georgia, might do the Tough Mudder too...

I'll be using sweet potatoes personally. I've found my best performance athletically has been with cyclic carb intake. VLC when not running hard, starches to recover muscle glycogen.

A1ae6a36ca0f4210882603e1255ea42d

(298)

on November 04, 2010
at 02:40 PM

i did sweet potatoes and eggs for the first TM and felt good, not floated

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:14 PM

I've been wondering about this as well- just did my first Warrior Dash a few weeks ago, and planning on Tough Mudder next October. I'm still trying to figure out my training & nutrition strategy, but I can def recommend the Five Fingers! They served me really well in Warrior Dash- everyone else must have been miserable in soggy socks and running shoes! I got the "Treksport" model; they have a more rugged sole than the KSOs... Good luck :)

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:49 PM

I ran in the sprints. They were OK but a full foot version would definitely be better.

1
B1ee99a6facdb61a9fe68adfa55e1d29

(50)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:51 AM

I'm doing one next year! Can't wait!!

B1ee99a6facdb61a9fe68adfa55e1d29

(50)

on November 02, 2010
at 02:42 AM

Indy/Columbus 2011!

D25307ea58300b9569b5a130444f7e14

(247)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:53 AM

Which Location. I'm in GA.

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