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Runner/Triathlete and Paleo... how does that work???

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2013 at 9:13 PM

So i've been looking for a way to drop the last 15 lbs. I started running 2years ago and lost over 30 lbs, but I want to drop 15 more by my first half IronMan. I know the paleo is all about reducing carb intake, but I want to know how that would work for someone who has to take carbs after a 2-3 hr training session. Also during my long run (say 15+ miles) I need to keep my energy up and i usually do Gu's or gluten free raw granola. Also what about the whole idea before a race (half marathon/marathon/olypmic triathlon or IronMan) having to carbo load for the long events...

My basic workout routines are:

Monday - 30-40 minute run/1-1.5 mile swim/weight training Tuesday - bike/spin class Wednesday - 30-40 minute run/weight training Thursday - bike/spin class/1-1.5 mile swim Friday - 1-1.5 mile swim/weight training Saturday - long run (10-15 miles) Sunday - weight training and swim

Once the weather gets nice Thursday nights will be only outdoor biking.

I just order the Paleo Diet for Athletes and hope that clears some things up for me but wanted to get other opinions and suggestions.

Thanks

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:45 PM

as I mentioned my favorite source are dates, because they are incredibly carb-rich and also delicious.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:44 PM

I'm not too strict about special occaisons etc but I keep to a natual range of whole unprocessed foods on day to day basis. My carbs come from fresh fruit, dried fruit, fresh vegetables, honey, and nuts. I will eat a bowl of white rice or oatmeal after intense workouts from time to time.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:42 PM

I'm not strictly paleo in the sense that I take a common-sense approach to holidays, birthday parties etc and so on. But on a day to day basis I only eat whole unprocessed foods which I feel is pretty paleo. I'd say my percentage of carbs come from, in order: fresh fruit, dried fruit, sweet potato, fresh vegetables, honey, dark chocolate. Post workout I will sometimes have a bowl of oatmeal or white rice if I'm feeling weak or queazy.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:33 PM

Can you define "long training day" and why you are concerned with not having enough energy? Forget ketosis for now, just figured I'd throw that out there. Eat sweet potatoes 2 hours before a long run and a banana 30 min before. Bring some raisins along for instant energy

95641fb9455200923fa0c16a7b977acd

(0)

on April 09, 2013
at 07:48 PM

Paul - where to you get your source of carbs from? Are you strickly paleo or do you adjust for endurance training?

95641fb9455200923fa0c16a7b977acd

(0)

on April 09, 2013
at 07:47 PM

I'll have to look into the ketogenic diet, but probably not right now. I'm only 2 weeks away from my true race season, and I'm not stop thru my half IM in July. So there really wont be much time to test out many food changes. I'm hoping that I can incorporate some of the Paleo philosopies into my diet without much impact to my training. I train about 10 hrs a week now and will be moving to 15+ in the next couple of weeks. I think I'm more concerned with not having enough energy for a long training day...

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on April 05, 2013
at 12:42 AM

+1 for the clever replacement!

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 04, 2013
at 04:10 PM

thanks for the great link.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 04, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Have you experimented with iskaiate in other words chia fresco I've also heard it called? Chia seeds dissolved in a glass of water. It's weird, kind of textured like Asian bubble tea but nice with lime juice and honey. The energy boost is there but subtle and the nutritional value is high.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 04, 2013
at 03:35 PM

Because they think it's a sexier term for Atkins.

77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on April 04, 2013
at 02:31 AM

dates are delicious. dont know why people think fruit =/= paleo

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:37 PM

Ya some like it, others don't. I enjoy it because I've researched and learned the science behind it. If you are truly competitive and time to adjust your body, you can try out a ketogenic diet. Then, for your race, your body can run on fat and you won't need any carbs (just lots of electrolytes)

F26fbc92b18f4689769d6f8746ea40f7

(334)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:57 PM

Have a look at UCAN superstarch as an alternative to all the fancy artificial gels/bars ... that stuff works for me! Obviously not paleo but the best stuff for low(er) carb paleo athletes I believe.

95641fb9455200923fa0c16a7b977acd

(0)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:24 PM

I've never been big on the carbo load thing. I have a friend who is an ultra-marathoner and he always advised me to start the week of the race and not the day before. I found, before my last sprint tri last year, that a good steak, wild rice and steamed veggies did the trick for me. I'm not a big pasta fan so that's a plus :)

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5 Answers

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2
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:21 PM

Some simple answers:

1) Low carb Paleo is NOT for endurance athletes, You will need to eat plenty of sweet potatoes, bananas, rasins and dates

2) Make your own gu...google "Homemade Gu" and choose one that includes paleo ingredients

3) Carb load, if you choose, should be done 2-4 days before the race. It is NOT a big carb meal the night before. How I do it:

If my race is on Sunday, then Sun-Wed I keep my carbs relatively low to deplete glycogen (some say this doesn't help but I do it). Thursday night I have a very heavy carb dinner (keeping within my calories for the day). Friday is basically all carbs, aiming for at least 4x my weight (lbs) in grams of carbs (180 lbs = 720+ grams of carbs). Sat I keep carbs high in the morning and afternoon then have a well balanced (a bit carb heavy) dinner at about 6. Morning of...white potato (with some sea salt, maybe almond butter) and banana.

Hope this helps!

95641fb9455200923fa0c16a7b977acd

(0)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:24 PM

I've never been big on the carbo load thing. I have a friend who is an ultra-marathoner and he always advised me to start the week of the race and not the day before. I found, before my last sprint tri last year, that a good steak, wild rice and steamed veggies did the trick for me. I'm not a big pasta fan so that's a plus :)

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:37 PM

Ya some like it, others don't. I enjoy it because I've researched and learned the science behind it. If you are truly competitive and time to adjust your body, you can try out a ketogenic diet. Then, for your race, your body can run on fat and you won't need any carbs (just lots of electrolytes)

95641fb9455200923fa0c16a7b977acd

(0)

on April 09, 2013
at 07:47 PM

I'll have to look into the ketogenic diet, but probably not right now. I'm only 2 weeks away from my true race season, and I'm not stop thru my half IM in July. So there really wont be much time to test out many food changes. I'm hoping that I can incorporate some of the Paleo philosopies into my diet without much impact to my training. I train about 10 hrs a week now and will be moving to 15+ in the next couple of weeks. I think I'm more concerned with not having enough energy for a long training day...

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:33 PM

Can you define "long training day" and why you are concerned with not having enough energy? Forget ketosis for now, just figured I'd throw that out there. Eat sweet potatoes 2 hours before a long run and a banana 30 min before. Bring some raisins along for instant energy

2
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on April 04, 2013
at 02:35 AM

On my long runs I use homemade gel that I funnel into the squeezable fruit continers that have the screw off lids. The recipe I use is molasses, honey, cocoa powder and coconut water to smooth everything out. I'll also use some strong coffee in the mix occasionally. You can hydrate with coconut water instead of sport drinks.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 04, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Have you experimented with iskaiate in other words chia fresco I've also heard it called? Chia seeds dissolved in a glass of water. It's weird, kind of textured like Asian bubble tea but nice with lime juice and honey. The energy boost is there but subtle and the nutritional value is high.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on April 05, 2013
at 12:42 AM

+1 for the clever replacement!

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on April 03, 2013
at 11:21 PM

Paleo isn't about low carb intake. Low, relative to someone who eats junk food every day or eats the "food pyramid" with 15 servings of carbs per day and minimal fat or protein, but not low carb. This is a common misconception that keeps getting repeated and re-propogated. Here is an interview with Rob Wolfe that touches on this.

Endurance athletes especially need their carbs so you should have as much of those as you need. The Paleo diet would say no gluten which means no pasta, bread, etc. but there are plenty of fruits and vegetables from which you can get your carbs. If you need more, white rice is the most benign of the grains and is easy to make/find.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 04, 2013
at 04:10 PM

thanks for the great link.

2
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:38 PM

Choosing ingredients that were available to paleolithic humans doesn't necessarily mean choosing a low carb diet. I also endurance train and eat enough carbs to have the energy plus backloading carbs afterward which helps me maintain muscle mass. My personal favorite high carb source is dates.

77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on April 04, 2013
at 02:31 AM

dates are delicious. dont know why people think fruit =/= paleo

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 04, 2013
at 03:35 PM

Because they think it's a sexier term for Atkins.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:44 PM

I'm not too strict about special occaisons etc but I keep to a natual range of whole unprocessed foods on day to day basis. My carbs come from fresh fruit, dried fruit, fresh vegetables, honey, and nuts. I will eat a bowl of white rice or oatmeal after intense workouts from time to time.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:45 PM

as I mentioned my favorite source are dates, because they are incredibly carb-rich and also delicious.

95641fb9455200923fa0c16a7b977acd

(0)

on April 09, 2013
at 07:48 PM

Paul - where to you get your source of carbs from? Are you strickly paleo or do you adjust for endurance training?

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 09, 2013
at 08:42 PM

I'm not strictly paleo in the sense that I take a common-sense approach to holidays, birthday parties etc and so on. But on a day to day basis I only eat whole unprocessed foods which I feel is pretty paleo. I'd say my percentage of carbs come from, in order: fresh fruit, dried fruit, sweet potato, fresh vegetables, honey, dark chocolate. Post workout I will sometimes have a bowl of oatmeal or white rice if I'm feeling weak or queazy.

0
8cc2d900223fc155de70c2e8f42d1813

(-4)

on April 11, 2013
at 04:03 PM

Eating low carb will be what allows you to lean out-- the only way I've ever been able to lose weight while marathon training (and NOT obsessing about food) is by conditioning myself to be a fat burner. Eating fat, not carbs, is a much better (cleaner) energy source that has improved my athletic performance and effectively rules out the possibility of bonking. I think this guy writes about the science part well: http://eatingacademy.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance

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