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Running on primal

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  • Running on primal

    I just watched this on Hulu (Truth About Food: How To be The Best ) It was a endurance test using identical twins, one group was fed high carb and the other low carb and the low carb couldn't keep up. I think that your body needs to get used to low carb to work under an endurance type test. I am planning to do a 10 mile run and want any advantage to get through it. Since i have been on low carb for years i really don't know if i would do better using carbs. So what do you think

  • #2

    Yes of course if you take two groups of people who eat a lot of carbs and give one carbs and one fat, the carb one will win. It definitely takes some time to completely become adjusted to running on fat but once it happens, it is far preferred in my opinion.

    Carbs go in, insulin goes up, carbs run out, insulin sticks around without sufficient glucagon.


    Body is freely burning fat with the knowledge that food is plentiful. High glucagon, low insulin.

    Fat adaptation pretty much has to be a conscious choice. You can't take people who are not fat adapted and expect them to thrive on fat right away. It's dishonest of the researchers.

    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


    • #3

      Thats what i thought but the show was so black and white and that makes me angry that they could do a study that people will see and make the same conclusions that you can't do low carb and be active. If everyone would eat the primal way or close to it many would not be obese and allot healthier.


      • #4
        I'd like to get some opinions on this, actually. I have started counseling athletes as they go paleo/primal and this is the one thing I am not sure about. Yes, they all TRAIN low carb, as do I. But should they RACE low carb or should race day be the day to do whatever it takes to have a best result? I am conflicted about this because I feel that it takes work to get fat-adapted and then when push comes to shove you end up racing high-carb.
        Also, if you are not training high carb, then you have no idea how your body will react to high carb on race day, which is very risky.
        Anyone have any thoughts or experience to share?


        • #5

          Wondering the exact same thing. I'm below 150g of carbs/day (high by primal standards), but I consume more than that in protein. I'm trying to get my carbs consistently below 125g, but am finding it hard as I continue to train for long distance running and triathlon, and my appetite is very healthy. I used to be at least double that number (like most triathletes), before discovering primal, so I do consider how far I've come a great success. So I'm torn about what to do on race day. I've finally decided to swear off gels and sport drinks, but clueless at this point about what to carry with me from this point forward, or how to fuel up for that matter. I have a 10-mile race on Saturday I plan to use for some testing before going into some longer (and more important) stuff this summer. So far I think my plan is to fuel up on Friday night with yams (vs. the CW pasta prerace dinner). The Saturday plan is unknown, but I'll let you know what I do and how it works out. If you have any ideas... I've been training with nothing all winter, and yes, I know what they say about not trying anything new on race day. Whatever, it's a "training race".

          I'm back


          • #6
            I have been Primal for 6 weeks and have been eating about 50 g of carbs while training distance/tempo/sprint running, and triathlon. At first it was really hard but now I'm able to do these workouts with the low carb and have plenty of energy and recover quickly. I am doing a half marathon May 1 and I have the same question about eating on race day.


            • #7
              I was discussing this same dilemma with my coach the other day, and he mentioned that one of his previous athletes fueled her Ironman on coconut milk. Now that piqued my primal interest. I'm thinking about putting coconut milk in gel bottles or something and giving it a go. From what I've heard, the MCFAs get turned to energy just as fast as sugar/carbs so...kinda makes sense that it would work. I'm hoping it can provide the energy during a race/log run/long ride without making my body switch from fat burning to sugar burning.

              For what it's worth, historically I used Infinit with a 4:1 carb/protein ration and it seemed to work ok. I'm just worried about how I will react to all those carbs and sugars on racing/training days when the rest of the time I'm eating primal. At the same time, I don't want to lose any performance, you know? So I'm going to experiment. We shall see.


              • #8
                I bought some figs I'll be trying out for in-race nutrition on Saturday. I tried one on my run last night (first time I've had figs that weren't in a cookie - which I used to eat on long training rides by the half-dozen at a time). Surprisingly, they taste pretty much just like they do in a cookie. Even unsweetened. They are naturally very sweet. I like them! Anyway, it was only a short run, so determining potential stomach-issues wasn't really going to happen. I'm curious to see how they/I do sans gels and sports drinks.

                I also fueled up by eating a huge helping a mashed sweet potatoes last night. No more pasta dinners for me.

                I'm back


                • #9
                  I know it's not exactly Primal, but the book Paleo Diet for Athletes covers race day and post race day diet along with ideas on how to replace the energy drinks.



                  • #10
                    Yeah, that "study" was seriously flawed. They would have to have the Low carb team eat that way for a couple of weeks to get accustomed to running on fat. I am suprised the low carb team didn't bonk, or pass out.

                    I am interested to see how people perform on rae day with different carb strategies. I have been primal for the last few months, and training for my cycling season. I have no problem training on >100grams of carbs a day. I have noticed in a couple of races I have done thus far, that my high end power has not been there. This could be because of training.

                    I have a short race Sunday, that will be high intensity. I think I will try and carb up before to see if I feel a difference.

                    I am not going back to my old CW ways though. Since switching I have lost 20#, and have much better energy. Also, on long steady rides my blood sugar does not suddenly drop, leaving me dead on the side of the road.
                    Merry Spinmas!!!


                    • #11
                      I did a 10-mile race at low intensity (used it as a training run) on Saturday, and ate a fig early in the race to see how my stomach reacted. I had no problems there. I have a bit of a touchy stomach on runs, but not so much on the bike. Energy levels were fine throughout, but that could be attributed to the low intensity/pacing as much as the nutrition. For the first time ever, I had scrambled eggs for breakfast (my standard primal bf) before a race, vs. the bagel w/peanut butter and banana I've been accustomed to, and no problems there either.

                      I'm thinking about racing a half marathon this weekend (a little bit on a whim), and might take this strategy to the next step by eating a little further into the run, and increasing intensity slightly. I'd be open to other ideas as well if anyone else is curious, or wants to experiment vicariously. I'll be happy to report back.

                      I'm back


                      • #12
                        running on carbs or lack thereof

                        If i dont have a tiny bit of carbs pre run, (i run no less than 8m, and my longest are usually about 13-14m) i am screwed.

                        i tried to do the fat/protein no carb thing, and felt like a lead balloon. it was aweful.
                        but w/ a spoonful of molasses, and one fig (another fig at halfway point on the long runs) i am golden!!!
                        then fat/protein and one banana after, that is my total non primal carb intake,

                        it makes total difference.
                        i dont know how you folks run on only fat and protein


                        • #13
                          I've been doing marathon and IM training on primal/paleo, and I've sorted out a few problems. I do follow more Paleo for Athletes than Primal Blueprint, so keep that in mind.

                          I fuel pre-race or pre-training on fruit or potatoes. For cycling, I use the occasional gel but I've found nuts, Lara bars, and the coconut-oil based Primal bars work great. For running, these foods are too fatty so I run on gels. For both I use a sports drink. Since changing to this lifestyle, I've found I need to eat much less while training and yet my endurance has improved greatly. My guess is I'm burning more fat or I have better energy reserves. No problems with aerobic endurance, stomach upset, or anaerobic training in my current system. I train as I will race, so that when race day comes I'm ready.

                          The problems I worked out? Anaerobic training suffered without gels, I just seemed to need a higher-octance fuel to sustain any longer interval. Also, if my recovery fueling is too high-carb I get that sick, jittery, cold feeling I used to live with in my old life. I've found I can recover from 3+ hr training sessions on just 200 calories of a recovery powder (4:1 carbs: prot), an Ensure, then a real meal with high fat and protein. But if I skip the recovery carbs my next workout is a bust. I used to just eat carb after carb after carb thinking that's what I needed (well, that's what CW told me anyway!).

                          My take on fueling with carbs is that if I eat them while training or racing they aren't going to be stored as fat--they are going to be burned off within the hour. So for me I'm not concerned with eating gels, sports drinks, etc while training, what I'm doing now seems to work.


                          • #14
                            Good info VS.

                            I'm carbing up on banana ice cream (frozen, whipped banana - recently discussed on the recipe board - nothing but banana) right now. I don't race tomorrow, but I'm going for a 13-miler in the morning and still testing various strategies. I'm still curious about figs on longer runs/rides, which should also cover me on the potassium/electrolytes (not just the carbs). Beeface has some luck with this. I've never had molasses by itself though. Unfortunately I'm out of figs - not sure the prunes in my pantry would make a wise alternative. Then maybe I can just drink water vs. the Infinit I worked with all last year. I'm a bit of a salty sweater though, so some type of concoction may be in order. Still searching...

                            I'm back