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  • Recent primal convert - feel terrible when training

    Hi guys, I guess this has been asked numerous times before - apologies if so!

    I've been eating a no grain / pulse diet for a couple of months, but in the last few weeks took up the 21 day challenge and have been really regulating carb intake to <100g/day. I'm a competitive trail runner, training for a tough season ahead including an off road and hilly marathon.

    For the last week I've felt really tired when running - my legs burn, my shoulders feel tight and I feel generally low. I push on and continue to my planned distance; but it's slow and not pretty.

    Is this a phase of my body adjusting to burning fats rather than sugars, or am I doing something wrong with that amount of carb intake?

    For instance, historically if I've felt tired and needed a pick-me-up when running I'll eat a jelly sweet (massive sugar hit); is it okay to do that, or really stupid to on a paleo diet?

    Sorry for newbie questions

    Cheers, Dunc

    Ps. When I'm not training I feel 100% okay and not low on energy in the slightest. Sleep pattern and general health are all great.
    Last edited by the-duncs; 01-24-2013, 12:00 PM.

  • #2
    Yes, it's really stupid to eat a jelly donut on this or any other diet.

    You're detoxing. Over the first 3 or 4 weeks of strict paleo, you turn your toxin equation upside down. Pre-paleo you were taking in way more toxins than your timid immune system could process thus allowing an accumulation of toxins in your tissues. Reader's Digest version - you had more coming in than going out. By stopping the incoming toxins for a period you've rested and replenished your immune system to the point where it can start pulling the unprocessed toxins from your tissues. So you now have more coming out than going in.

    That's an uncomfortable situation (temporarily) but well worth the trouble. Your body doesn't need to adjust to burning fat. The physiological processes are already in place and are pulled online at the first sign of need.

    Stay the course. Your discomfort is a well-earned reminder of your former habits. They will gradually abate as you progressively clean your tissues and they start to work better. The healing process can take 6 months to a year. This is an inconvenient fact all too often glossed over in the books.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback. I think the jelly sweet has been lost in translation, I'm not talking a doughnut but rather jelly babies; they're little sweets that (certainly in UK) runners use as a cheap alternative to energy gels.

      I'm guessing the answer is no from what you've written; but are there any paleo friendly foods / snacks that I can consume whilst training (or more importantly racing) to alleviate the burnt out sensations?

      Once the body has healed, will the burnt out sensation just not happen anymore - putting me in a much stronger / more competitive position?

      Thanks in advance!

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      • #4
        Duncs,

        What about some fruit for a little bit of carbs. Another option is to make some Primal Macaroons. The fat from the coconut will help. Mark has a recipe on here for primal energy bars. They're awesome. I've added some dried raspberries I crumble up and an extra egg so they stick together a little better. I used those on some of my longer runs and ruckmarches and they were great.

        Once I was completely adapted my runs were great. I ran a half-marathon on almost no carbs. Had about a pound of roast beef the night before and a few macadamia nuts the morning of. Now, I notice my runs feel like crap if I have been sloppy with my eating. Usually though, I feel like I can just keep rucking and running all day. Ahem, my old body usually corrects my stupid brain at some point in the workout though.
        Last edited by Althaur; 01-25-2013, 02:12 AM.
        My Journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread74692.html

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        • #5
          Hey Althaur,

          That's what I wanted to hear - great stuff! I'll look at Mark's recipes, get making some primal energy bars and get experimenting!

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          • #6
            The bars are great. Just a little expensive with the cost of all the ingredients. The plus side to the raspberry version I made, crumble it up into a bowl with a splash of heavy cream, and you have paleo granola. I freaking hungry now.
            My Journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread74692.html

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            • #7
              I'll be making some this weekend. I'm not going to lie, I'm excited!!

              All food is expensive in the UK nowadays, so good Paleo eating doesn't really cost much more. My fiance found a great supplier of primal 'stuff' in the states who ships out to here, which is great.

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              • #8
                I'll have my wife email me some good recipes you may like. Once I have them, I'll send you a message. Enjoy those bars. They can be addictive. Especially when you start adding stuff into them. I'm just going to say, extra dark chocholate chips.
                My Journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread74692.html

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                • #9
                  Outstanding, that's really good of you Yeah, you can't beat some grated 85% dark choc on top of berries with a little cream!

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                  • #10
                    Throw some heavy cream into a food processor with some pure cocoa powder. Zap it until it sets. Chocolate mousse. May need to add a little non-sugar sweetener though. Or instead of chocolate, frozen blackberries. Pretty damn good. Just very high calorie, so eat with caution.
                    My Journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread74692.html

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by the-duncs View Post
                      Hi guys, I guess this has been asked numerous times before - apologies if so!

                      I've been eating a no grain / pulse diet for a couple of months, but in the last few weeks took up the 21 day challenge and have been really regulating carb intake to <100g/day. I'm a competitive trail runner, training for a tough season ahead including an off road and hilly marathon.


                      For the last week I've felt really tired when running - my legs burn, my shoulders feel tight and I feel generally low. I push on and continue to my planned distance; but it's slow and not pretty.

                      Is this a phase of my body adjusting to burning fats rather than sugars, or am I doing something wrong with that amount of carb intake?

                      For instance, historically if I've felt tired and needed a pick-me-up when running I'll eat a jelly sweet (massive sugar hit); is it okay to do that, or really stupid to on a paleo diet?



                      Sorry for newbie questions

                      Cheers, Dunc

                      Ps. When I'm not training I feel 100% okay and not low on energy in the slightest. Sleep pattern and general health are all great.
                      Thank you for posting this! I actually went through the same thing, although on a lesser scale because I have not gone strict Paleo. In either case, I can say that your body gets used to it. In fact, I now crave Paleo snacks over one of my favorite carb "snack".

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                      • #12
                        Good to hear, and very encouraging. I'm about to try a run fueled on primal energy bars - fingers crossed

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by the-duncs View Post
                          I'll be making some this weekend. I'm not going to lie, I'm excited!!

                          All food is expensive in the UK nowadays, so good Paleo eating doesn't really cost much more. My fiance found a great supplier of primal 'stuff' in the states who ships out to here, which is great.
                          Please could you let me know where you get your Primal stuff from as I'm in UK and looking for somewhere to get them from.
                          April 2012--- 9st 7lbs
                          October 2012-----8st 4lbs.
                          Now maintaining.

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                          • #14
                            Dunc, how did the run go?
                            My Journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread74692.html

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                            • #15
                              Great only towards the end of the run on steep climbs my muscles were crying out. But it was a lot better than the previous week and totally manageable.

                              So huge thanks for the link, those primal energy bars are ace! I ate one about 30mins before running, I reckon eating another about 10k in would have helped too. I'll experiment some more!!

                              Ps. We made small balls rather than bars - easier to manage on a run I thought. So we got about 24 balls out of a batch of that recipe.
                              Last edited by the-duncs; 01-27-2013, 11:23 AM.

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