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Starting PB while training for my first half marathon?

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  • Starting PB while training for my first half marathon?

    So PB is making sense to me. The concept seems legit, and practicing it seems very realistic. My only issue is that only 6 weeks ago I started training for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon. I'm in decent shape, could stand to loose probably about 15 pounds to be in "target" weight. Just yesterday I did a 6 mile run in 58 minutes with VERY little effort. I ate a bowl of noodles the night before and load up on water. I usually eat plenty of meat, try to get in veggies (not a veggie fan but I'm trying), and eat probably more fruit than I should. To top that off I have a horrid sweet tooth, I've tried going off sweets in the past but I usually don't fare so well lol.

    Anyway, knowing all that, and that the 1/2 marathon isn't until April, would going Primal right now be a good idea? I'm worried about stunting my progress while my body tries to reprogram getting used to burning and using fuel in a new way to what it's been used to for so long. And if so, should I just go all in, or gradual?

    Any tips for someone trying to do what I'm doing? I'm thinking that my bowl of noodles before my hour plus runs would still be a good idea, but how do you go off other grains when sandwiches and turkey burgers are so big in my routine?

    Anything would be helpful, trying to plan how I'm going to do this is starting to look daunting.

  • #2
    You've got much more to gain going primal than if you don't and just train by running. The current way you are doing it, eating noodles and pasta, you will have a hard time not out-eating your training. As you burn sugar faster, you will crave it more and more. You will feel the fatigue. The weight loss and fat burning from primal will lead to a big improvement. You didn't list your run workouts or your running background and the way you are training for the 1/2 might have to be tweaked a bit. Your carbs would come from sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, white rice, dark greens, fruits, etc. You will feel sluggish at first and might spend 3-weeks or more switching over, but it is worth it. When you start feeling and sleeping better, you will know it was the right decision. My training switched from tempo and medium distance runs to sprint intervals 2x per week and 4-5 easy runs per week. The longest easy run I do is 10-miles. I have PR'd at 5k, 10k and 1/2M this year. I've lost 20lbs. The recovery from run workouts is much easier.

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    • #3
      It sounds like your current running ability would allow you to complete the half marathon without any long runs prior. Consider focusing on sprinting and leg strength while you transition your nutrition to a primal blueprint profile.
      Makin moves. Makin money. Makin bacon.

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      • #4
        replace those noodles with bananas and sweet potatoes and you will do just fine. A couple of runs might feel a bit sluggish in the first few weeks but you have a really long time before you need to "race" and will be well into your keto-adaptation by race day. Your longest run training for a HM should only be a single 10 miler 3 weeks out so it's not like you are training for all that hard of an event. Not trying to belittle the effort it takes to do, it's just not what I would cinsider an endurance event by any means.

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        • #5
          I also had the same question (as I recently became primal and training for a 1/2 marathon as well) and after doing a bit of research via forums, blogs, and own personal experience, here is what I do: eat a Lara bar 20-30 minutes before my long run, every hour take 2 Endurolyte pills, and snack on walnut and cranberries. You get the healthy fat from walnut and energy from the sugar in the cranberries. In my hydration belt, I keep a bottle of an energy drink called UCAN which is based on a "super starch" and doesn't consist of the sugar that gives you the "spike and crash" that you experience in taking gels (the gels force you to take one very 30-60 minutes because of the "crash"). The UCAN sustains my energy levels as it's point is to let your body utilize your fat for energy.

          During the week in my sprint work, I drink from UCAN as well, and will have a snack before (nuts, Lara Bar, piece of fruit).

          Hope this helps.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Luckylis View Post
            I also had the same question (as I recently became primal and training for a 1/2 marathon as well) and after doing a bit of research via forums, blogs, and own personal experience, here is what I do: eat a Lara bar 20-30 minutes before my long run, every hour take 2 Endurolyte pills, and snack on walnut and cranberries. You get the healthy fat from walnut and energy from the sugar in the cranberries. In my hydration belt, I keep a bottle of an energy drink called UCAN which is based on a "super starch" and doesn't consist of the sugar that gives you the "spike and crash" that you experience in taking gels (the gels force you to take one very 30-60 minutes because of the "crash"). The UCAN sustains my energy levels as it's point is to let your body utilize your fat for energy.Hope this helps.
            Larabars are a great primal enegy bar. Chestnuts and Cashews are higher carb nuts that will also fuel you well. At HM pace, you will need carbs, not just fats. UCAN is super expensive. I have heard mixed results from athletes using it. Some love it, some hate it. Mostly a texture thing, it's a bit waxy and thicker than most drinks. It's a corn starch product so that is probably why if has that texture. I could see using it if you have blood sugar issues already. Watch out, some of their products are sweetened with Sucralose. Since you will be burning some pretty hot fuel, carbs are not a bad thing at that effort. If you don't delay Glycogen utilization by supplimental carbohydrate intake you are going to bonk when those gylcogen levels reach low levels. For a lot cheaper alternative, try Maltodextrin. You can get maltodextrin at a home beer making supply store and it will do the same thing for you at about 1/30th the price. ($3/pound). I flavor it with a single gel if I want any taste. If you are keto-adapted you can get by at moderate levels of exertion for a lot longer than 30 minutes on gels. I take one every hour in races I am going above my threshold pace during. Every 1/2 hour a take in a coconut/date goo ball I make at home to keep something in my tummy.

            You might try Thermolytes or Lava Salts. You need to take a lot fewer of them because their sodium, potassium and magnesium levels are quite a bit higher than endurolytes.

            During the week in my sprint work, I drink from UCAN as well, and will have a snack before (nuts, Lara Bar, piece of fruit).

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            • #7
              I think people very much overestimate the carbs needed to run for 1.5 hours, if your glycogen levels are topped off. For that distance I will simply pound a coconut water before I start and maybe tap one (two max) honey packet (honeystinger). They key is to replentish AFTER you run to prep you for the next one. At that time, stick with what was mentioned - Potato, white rice, etc...

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              • #8
                I thought rice was bad considering it's a grain?

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                • #9
                  @ Fidens, since we are also talking about running and racing the 80/20 rule has to come into play and if you want to train for it to be a RACE, you are going to have to bend the rules to do so. White rice is pretty much a pure Glucose hit to the system, something your body can deal with if you are working out pretty hard. For details on how to complete an endurance event of compete at a higher level while trying your best to stay paleo/primal, you should look into reading "Paleo diet for athletes" written by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel. Joe is a widely respected triathlon coach and Loren is DA MAN who launched the Paleo movement out of the box 25 years ago.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Karma View Post
                    If you don't delay Glycogen utilization by supplimental carbohydrate intake you are going to bonk when those gylcogen levels reach low levels.
                    Are you referring to my consumption of UCAN while training? Are you suggesting to just eat real foods and maltodextrin in lieu of UCAN? Please clarify. Thanks!

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                    • #11
                      @ Luckylis, if you can afford UCAN it's not a bad product. It may act as a buffer to allow you to burn more ketone bodies for fuel but its not a magic bullet that will prevent gylcogen burning. It may delay the onset of depletion but it will not PREVENT it. I'm just saying that for a substantially lower cost you can reap about 90% of the same benefit from a little whole food and maltodextrin. The statement I typed earlier and you quoted is just a simple fact. When you run out of glycogen you are going to have to drastically reduce output (walk or stop). there is no way around it, you body will sense the levels and to preserve glucose for the brain to function, it's going start stutting down muscle function.

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                      • #12
                        I went primal about two months ago and just ran my first half marathon a little over a week ago. I didn't do anything special leading up to the race other than pound some sweet potatoes in the couple days leading up to the race to make sure my glycogen stores were topped off. I had a primal breakfast the day of the race (eggs, bacon, veggies, etc), and drank plenty of water. I brought no fuel with me, and only drank a little water on-course. I finished in a sprint and hammered out a 1:40:52 time with energy left in the tank. I think people tend to over-think things. You have plenty of time to go primal and reprogram yourself to burn fat first. Just get out there and see what your body can do.

                        As a point of reference, I'm 37, 6'2", 193 lbs, casual runner, in decent shape.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, my biggest problem right now is starting it. Grains have become such a staple in my diet I find myself eating them without thinking. One of my favourite quick snacks are these whole grain energy bars (packed with omega-3 and all natural fats, no trans). But it's still a grain granola. I love stir fry, my favourite dish to cook is chicken and rice, and I spend about 80 hours a week running my business, an another 40 at my day job until my business can support me, so I'm always on the run, quick foods almost always have tons of carbs.

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                          • #14
                            I've just started eating Primal in the last week and today is the first day of my 16 week training cycle for a half marathon. I've been running off and on for the last 6 years and have done a bunch of 5ks, a 10k and the Country Music 1/2 marathon back in 2007 which was awful because the temps got up to the 90s that day!! After training in the cold winter of Maine my body couldn't handle the temps. It's a great half though, have fun!
                            Anyway, since starting to eat Primal my runs haven't been fun. I definitely don't have as much energy during the run; feel like I'm starting the run already bonked. Will this change as my body adapts to eating this way? Right now I'm running about 20 miles a week and plan to get up to around 35 before the half with and 11 or 12 mile long run a couple weeks before the "race". I'm a slow runner now (10/min mile pace) but hope to lower that time after losing weight and getting through the training cycle. Any tips?

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                            • #15
                              Hi Crookette, you might be still carb-runner...
                              If your runs are on aerobic zone, you should see the improvement quite fast, say in 2 weeks, when body adapts for fat metabolism. Just take easy start.
                              But if you run over aerobic zone, then it's harder, because by definition your body asks for more sugar for fuel, but you have it less available.
                              Ofcource one can always get the carbs for run, but I think getting better at fat metabolism is worth of some struggle at start...

                              Best way to define YOUR OWN aerobic heart rate zone is to go for a lab test with either blood lactate ($) or gas mask measurements (accurate,$$).
                              Easy way to define it roughly is to use e.g. Phil Maffetone's 180-equation (180 - age , +/- some beats depending on your aerobic condition).
                              The training zone would be the calculated value and 10 beats down from it. E.g. for 37 years old with some training few times a week, training zone could be 133-143 beats per minute. It's very common that those heart rates seem impossibly low at start, but it gets better in 2 months..
                              There is quite very big variation in aerobic threshold and fat metabolism between individuals, but everyone can improve theirs by training & eating right.

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