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Keto & Tough Mudder!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Hi all,

I've been paleo for a couple of years (though am not great at keeping away from sugar...). I've also been Crossfitting for about 14 months. Anyway, In order to trim down some body fat I have been on a keto-style diet (still paleo) for the last week or so: 5%carbs, 30% protein, 65% fat proportions. I feel great, no problems at all, and according to the ketostix am now in ketosis. I'm not going to keep this up for ever, though I plan to keep the carbs on the low side in general in the future. I feel good, though my mind misses sweet treats...

BUT, I'm doing a Tough Mudder on June 9, and I'm not sure how to handle eating leading up to and during the day itself. I know there are bananas available along the way, and lots of people eat those weird gels, or at least a ton of sweet potatoes and things. But as I'm working hard not to be all carb-y, how should I approach it? Also, I don't want to eat a couple of bananas, have a huge sugar rush then crash halfway round because it's more sugar than I've eaten in three weeks!

My start time is mid-morning. I know some people suggest running fasted, but as it will probably be crowded enough to take a couple hours I'd be looking at going past lunchtime on an empty stomach. I don't mind doing a morning WoD fasted, but twelve muddy miles plus obstacles? Eeeek!

And then how about after? I'm most nervous about the free beer, it'll knock me on my ass!

So any advice would be very welcome.

Thanks!

D5ca469ff78fdcc17607f9c16efb1b55

(240)

on May 24, 2013
at 03:00 PM

Thanks for the advice! Looks like the big carb-load seems to be the way to go, plus I'm going to take some nut butter & coconut oil pouches with me too. I was only worried about the beer because having had no alcohol for a couple weeks (and being a lightweight at the best of times!) i can imagine I'll get a hell of a buzz!

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3 Answers

2
2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on May 22, 2013
at 05:09 PM

I suspect a tough mudder may be too strenuous to do without a substantial amount of stored muscle glycogen. Ultramarathoners and similar endurance athletes can succeed on low carb because their activities are not very glycolytic. I would also suggest a massive carb load the night before. Being keto beforehand may actually help your body to store more glycogen than it ordinarily would (glycogen supercompensation) because it has been glycogen depleted. I would suggest some modest exercise (air squats and push ups) in order to flush those carbs into your muscles and prevent bloating and digestive issues. And about the beer: live a little. You can go back to Keto the next day.

D5ca469ff78fdcc17607f9c16efb1b55

(240)

on May 24, 2013
at 03:00 PM

Thanks for the advice! Looks like the big carb-load seems to be the way to go, plus I'm going to take some nut butter & coconut oil pouches with me too. I was only worried about the beer because having had no alcohol for a couple weeks (and being a lightweight at the best of times!) i can imagine I'll get a hell of a buzz!

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:38 PM

Jimmy Moore interviewed an ultramarathon runner a while ago. Timothy Allen Olson went low carb. It has been a long time since I listened, but I think you could gather some ideas from it. My impression is that you basically rely on you fat stores for fuel, but have some ready form of glucose available should your blood sugar get low. It would be kind of cool to know beforehand precisely when that might be.

Peter Attia's experiments with ketosis and exercise may provide some guidance as well.

1
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:25 PM

Mark Sisson did a post about preparing for a Tough Mudder (or any other ultra-distance race).

https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-fuel-ultra-distances-the-worlds-toughest-mudder/

If I remember correctly, it's basically goes like this. Stick with standard paleo-protocol up until a day or two before the race. Be low-carb to ensure your body is fat-adapted. Then, carb-load like a MOFO before race-day. Go super heavy on the carbs like it's your last day on Earth.

There's much more to it, but that's a tiny summary. Also, it's intended for the World's Toughest Mudder, so you probably won't need to take every bit of advice to be optimal.

EDIT: Take the beer! hahaha

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