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Going Primal while endurance training.....bad idea?

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  • Going Primal while endurance training.....bad idea?

    I am new to this whole Primal way of living. I love the concepts and simplicity. I am training to run a marathon in the fall. I have run two marathons before and a couple half-marathons. I have of course been eating lots of carbs and haven't lost any weight really with all the training I do. I don't have a lot of weight to lose, I'm not overweight, but I definitely have some fat to burn! I want to become a "fat-burning machine", but I am finding it difficult while training. I do two workout runs a week, and one long run. I also do a couple really easy runs and cycle once a week. I fit in some yoga and weights in there when I can. I have been trying to eat more carbs on the heavy workout days (bananas, sweet potatoes), and after a long run. I am finding some of my workouts to be lagging due to the lower carb intake, but I will just keep going and see what happens. Will I still be albe to become a fat-burner??? Any information is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

  • #2
    now i remember why i stopped coming here.
    Last edited by timconradinc; 07-25-2012, 03:37 PM.

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    • #3
      I guess that last statement saves your post... because this whole fat burner carb burner discussion is total nonsense.

      Here's the thing: Carbs and Primal are not mutually exclusive. You can eat high carbohydrate paleo approved foods such potatoes. If you are training above the aerobic threshold regularly, then carbohydrates are by far a better fuel choice than fat. You will have more energy during your workouts, and you will recover more quickly. You will need glycogen if you're above the aerobic threshold. That is an indisputable scientific fact. Carbohydrates replenish glycogen, which gets very depleted when doing things like a marathon.

      As far as losing weight loss goes. The whole "fat burning machine" thing makes me cringe. The only true function of weight loss is calorie intake. If you want to lose weight then eat less food, and perhaps start counting calories using fitday.com or cronometer.com to ensure that you are eating less than you burn on a daily basis. Be very careful not to cut back too much if you're doing marathon training.

      Don't feel like you need to get lumped into the "low carb" or "low fat" camp...Primal is honestly nothing more than a collection of approved foods and general exercise guidelines. You need to think about how to tailor the diet to best to suite your personal needs and goals.
      Last edited by primal pete; 07-25-2012, 12:48 PM.

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      • #4
        Primal Pete, do you live the Primal lifestyle? Because from your response you don't really seem like an advocate for it....

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        • #5
          I live with a marathoner who trains while eating primal. Eat primal carbs (and possibly some "safe starches" such as white rice) and you should be fine. You can also look into the idea of "train low, run high" for some possible benefits of doing *some* training in a lower-carb state.

          Mark also has some good posts on endurance training and primal--do a search on the main blog and check them out.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by primal pete View Post
            I guess that last statement saves your post... because this whole fat burner carb burner discussion is total nonsense.

            Here's the thing: Carbs and Primal are not mutually exclusive. You can eat high carbohydrate paleo approved foods such potatoes. If you are training above the aerobic threshold regularly, then carbohydrates are by far a better fuel choice than fat. You will have more energy during your workouts, and you will recover more quickly. You will need glycogen if you're above the aerobic threshold. That is an indisputable scientific fact. Carbohydrates replenish glycogen, which gets very depleted when doing things like a marathon.

            As far as losing weight loss goes. The whole "fat burning machine" thing makes me cringe. The only true function of weight loss is calorie intake. If you want to lose weight then eat less food, and perhaps start counting calories using fitday.com or cronometer.com to ensure that you are eating less than you burn on a daily basis. Be very careful not to cut back too much if you're doing marathon training.

            Don't feel like you need to get lumped into the "low carb" or "low fat" camp...Primal is honestly nothing more than a collection of approved foods and general exercise guidelines. You need to think about how to tailor the diet to best to suite your personal needs and goals.
            Stay in the aerobic zone and you don't have to replenish glycogen. That's the point. Many of us are athletes and come from a background of GU/sugar during long workouts. You don't have to be primal to eat low carb and learn to use your body fat for fuel, but many of us have chosen to do so and there is mounting proof that it can be done.

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            • #7
              Oh myy.. Please read this instead of reflecting on "primal" pete's post . How to Train for a Marathon | Mark's Daily Apple.

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              • #8
                How long have you been eating Primal? I had trouble with my energy during runs for about two weeks and then it got better... I run 2 or more marathons a year. I will say, though, that my running coaches had me tailoring my workouts to help me become fat adapted far before I discovered Primal, so I think I was already part of the way there. If you'd like more information on how my running schedule is built around being fat adapted, I'd be happy to discuss it with you. E-mail me at girlloves2run@gmail.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by primal pete View Post
                  As far as losing weight loss goes. The whole "fat burning machine" thing makes me cringe. The only true function of weight loss is calorie intake. If you want to lose weight then eat less food, and perhaps start counting calories using fitday.com or cronometer.com to ensure that you are eating less than you burn on a daily basis. Be very careful not to cut back too much if you're doing marathon training.
                  Calories in and our are not the only true function of weight loss. Another function of weight loss is to stop your insulin spikes by cutting out grains.

                  You dont have to eat less food if you eat the right food.

                  Fat burning is a real thing. You can not burn fat and carbs (unless your carb intake is low enough). If you eat a lot of carbs you body will burn them as fuel and request more. leaving your fat to sit on your body.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr. O View Post
                    Stay in the aerobic zone and you don't have to replenish glycogen. That's the point. Many of us are athletes and come from a background of GU/sugar during long workouts. You don't have to be primal to eat low carb and learn to use your body fat for fuel, but many of us have chosen to do so and there is mounting proof that it can be done.
                    Check out Phil Maffetone's "the Big Book of Endurance" (some content available on his website). It is all about aerobic base and close to primal diet and philosophy.

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                    • #11
                      I have been training for endurance sports, coaching several endurance athletes and taking classes from the US Olympic Triathlon team nutritionist for several seasons. There is some merit to the "fat burner" idea, its called metabolic efficiency. I have my caloric needs down to about 100 calories per hour for upwards of 10 hours of running (50 miles). There's no way I could go that far and that long without being able to tap my fat reserves. I know its not 100% primal, but I do use a corn based "super starch" solution to avoid insulin spikes and sugar crashes while training and it works really well. People make choices every day, if you choose to be an endurance athlete and be primal there are some trade offs you may want to consider that will boost your performance and you can call those you 20% if you want to. Like adding white rice to the mix (its a pretty clean source of glucose) or considering something like Generation UCAN (super starch I mentioned). Purist will lash out at me for suggesting you consider grains, but if you are considering endurance athletic pursuits, you are not fully committing to the 100% primal philosophy anyways. Be comfortable with that and you will do better. I just make sure that on a day-to-day basis all my athletes stay really far away from processed foods, sugars and wheat and they do pretty darn well. On race day using what's available on the course is not a big deal, it won't kill you. In training I try to get folks to eat real foods,often using the squeeze tubes of baby food rather than gels. Check this out - Bob Seebohar on UCAN for Triathletes - YouTube

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                      • #12
                        Karma, have you looked at Allen LIm's feedzone cookbok? if so, wondering what you thought? There's a lotta rice in there! (granted, the cookbook is in no way paleo or primal, but it does acknowledge gluten free).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Catherine View Post
                          Karma, have you looked at Allen LIm's feedzone cookbok? if so, wondering what you thought? There's a lotta rice in there! (granted, the cookbook is in no way paleo or primal, but it does acknowledge gluten free).
                          Been eating Allen's rice cakes for years, good stuff! The book is great for natural high carb dishes. Main reason I got it was the Gluten free factor too.

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                          • #14
                            This members speaks with knowledge::
                            Originally posted by OneDeltaTenTango View Post
                            Check out Phil Maffetone's "the Big Book of Endurance" (some content available on his website). It is all about aerobic base and close to primal diet and philosophy.
                            This member does not. This is total BS and exactly why you have to be careful on who you take your advice from in this forum:
                            Originally posted by primal pete View Post
                            I guess that last statement saves your post... because this whole fat burner carb burner discussion is total nonsense.
                            Check out the book, it's a long read but well worth it. You can train for endurance events without carbs as long as you know how to train. For a few years I didn't, kept bonking while mtnbiking. Tried the "consume paleo approved carbs such as sweet potato" etc and didn't work. I accept everyone is different but you can't argue with Phil's results, he has trained several successful athletes including 6 time Ironman Mark Allen.
                            You'll never see the light if you're in someone else's shadow, or said another way, life is like a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes

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                            • #15
                              Maffetone's method really does work. I competed in a 340 miles kayak/canoe race last week (72 hours) with less than 150g carbs per day. I didn't have alot of a push at the end, but my aerobic pace was good enough that I didn't really need one.

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