I realise I haven’t written again in a while. Life is so busy – I have been falling behind on a few things but I am trying to be more organised! I have had a lot of people asking about my Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle and how I am finding it as a runner – so I thought I would post an update as today’s post.
It has been almost 12 weeks since I embarked on the unthinkable – running on less than 25g of carbs a day! The reason why I started came about from doing a lot of reading about low carb high fat diets, and generally feeling sluggish and unwell from having a lot of carbohydrate. I wrote a little bit about that in a previous post.
It hasn’t been 100% easy
12 weeks in and I am not going to say it has been 100% easy especially being a sociable person but I am almost 7kg lighter and have run one race whilst transitioning which was a challenge! But on the whole I feel much better and I don’t find it a huge issue – I don’t feel like I have a ‘brain fog’ anymore I actually feel more awake and alert!
It took a while to feel comfortable eating lots of fats i.e. butter, coconut oil, cream, bacon etc where normally I would watch my intake of all of these things – my friend who is a PT was fairly sceptical but even she said just the other day she was amazed at the results. I have had a few hiccups when I have been out and realised that there is nothing I can eat or have been to friends for dinner and didn’t want to appear rude so ate what was in front of me – but I jumped straight back on the wagon the next day and it has all been fine. I have found now the best way to handle the eating is to take my own food and that works a lot better, and I take a packed lunch to work – so all good – although the day they all ordered pizza and cake was tricky but I sat with my salad and LCHF bread whilst everyone munched pizza around me!
Difference in running
The biggest issue with my running I have found is that I am generally at the moment a bit slower than I was and am running probably about 1 minute slower per km than I used to – but from an endurance point of view generally I feel great as long as I run at my slower pace. From reading a lot and hearing about other people’s experiences this is fairly normal. The trick now is to move over from burning glucose to burning fat and then in theory things should improve.
The MAF Method
At the same time I am also experimenting with the MAF method which was created by Phil Maffetone whose theory helps from an exercise point of view to train at the appropriate intensity to develop your fat burning aerobic system, improve health and perform better. My banting (LCHF) coach has encouraged me to do this to help with switching my body over but I am not doing it all the time so not sure whether it will work – it means taking your age off 180 and then that is the maximum heart rate you can run at. I found it very difficult and looked ridiculous running as slowly as I was but apparently it works. So we shall see on that one.
On the whole I feel great and am very glad I have switched to this lifestyle so far but I still have a fair way to go with my running as it takes time to get the speed back – but with two 10k races coming up next month we’ll see whether I have improved or not!
If you are intrigued by a LCHF lifestyle don’t just listen to me as I am certainly not a qualified nutritionist or doctor so always consult a professional if embarking on something new – but have a read of a few books and articles as it is always good to read for yourself.
In a previous post I posted some books that had turned my thinking around – I have listed them again below – they are not affiliate links – I just want to help point interested people in the right direction!
Gary Taubes – Why We Get fat
Tim Noakes – Real Meal Revolution
David Perlmutter – Grain Brain
William Davis – Wheat Belly