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  • Endurance tank is empty, keep hitting the wall

    Not sure what I am doing wrong. I have been eating paleo since the start of this year. And, I have seen my endurance drop off significantly since I dropped grains. Pasta and rice were a huge part of my training diet for duathlons and triathlons. Since committing myself to the paleo lifestyle this year to clean up my intake, I have experienced fantastic gains in short explosive power and muscle build. But I also bonk, especially on my bike, well short of my limits.

    Since I don't not race professionally, it isn't causing any real problems. But it is discouraging to be unable to keep up on my group rides, or even complete my regular cycling and running routes in the same fashion as before.

    I do have an ultimate goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon, as well as qualify for the Hawai'i Ironman before I turn 40.

    Any suggestions or feedback is well appreciated! I have read "The Paleo Diet for Athletes" and it seems very contradictory to the paleo lifestyle. But as I am reading it for a second time, it seems like it may be making more sense for someone like me.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    You're probably right about needing more carbs as outlined in the Paleo Diet for Athletes. If you're cruising along at a not-too-strenuous pace, then you can run on fat basically forever. But as you increase the pace, you increase the amount of carbohydrate that you use versus fat. You have to match your diet to your exercise level. Mark doesn't recommend extended high-intensity training, so he recommends a lower carb intake. If you're intent on being a high-level endurance athlete, you'll need carbs from a primal-friendly source such as sweet/white potatoes or white rice.

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    • #3
      If you are bonking, I agree - add carbs. Bonking is a sign of needing them. Sweet potatoes, potatoes and rice are all good primal sources. The other issue is the endurance training. Mark is not against doing it occasionally - but doing high endurance regularly is hard on you - stressful on your body in a way we are not designed for. It's your call, but you might think of reducing your endurance work.
      Karin

      A joyful heart is good medicine

      He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

      Mmmmm. Real food is good.

      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JKC View Post
        If you are bonking, I agree - add carbs. Bonking is a sign of needing them. Sweet potatoes, potatoes and rice are all good primal sources. The other issue is the endurance training. Mark is not against doing it occasionally - but doing high endurance regularly is hard on you - stressful on your body in a way we are not designed for. It's your call, but you might think of reducing your endurance work.
        I was a power lifter through high school and college. I have also done some crossfit type workouts at a local place where I live. I just don't dig the gym settings anymore. I went for a group bike ride one day with a buddy and got hooked on cycling and endurosports. There is something about being able to travel 150-200k in a single day under your own power that excites me every time I mount up or strap on my running shoes or don my wetsuits.

        I was under the impression that white rice and potatoes are not paleo friendly. I do eat sweet potatoes regularly, tons of leafy greens, bright colored veggies (I am a member of a local organic co-op so veggies and lean meats are never in shortage) some fruits here and there.

        I do miss having my 2-3 english muffins with peanut butter, black coffee and a banana or two before I start pounding away pre-dawn most days. What would I benefit from in the early mornings that will give me the same boost of energy that those carbs and caffeine gave me. What kind of meal would I eat after rolling out of bed at 4:30am..? This is the biggest problem I have since most of my training rides and runs start by 6:00am and go until about 8:00am.

        Ahh!! I need help and a personal chef!

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        • #5
          Seems like it's time to either ditch 1) strict paleo, or 2) endurance activites.

          That's why I like the primal blueprint better than strict paleo. I wouldn't have the english muffin or peanut butter, but I drink coffee enthusiastically, I make a killer banana-buckwheat bread, and you can spread almond butter on it too.

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          • #6
            I had the same problem with BJJ. I upped my carbs a lot and didn't see any problems. I even became leaner over time without any particular effort. I eat more plantains, beets, turnips, bananas and potatoes and I feel fine.

            Paleo isn't automatically low-carbs. Eating less carbs is really important for people who want to lose weight, but if you're fit and very active, you can get away with quite a lot of them.

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            • #7
              For any anaerobic activity, like chronic cardio, you need the carbs. Not primal but that's the choice you make pursuing chronic cardio. White rice and potatoes are the best choice of carbs if you insist on this type of activity. Doesn't mean you want be doing long term harm, just less than if using grains for the carbs
              Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

              Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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              • #8
                Nutrition & Metabolism | Full text | Ketogenic diets and physical performance
                Running on Empty | Running Times Magazine

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Winterbike View Post
                  Paleo isn't automatically low-carbs. Eating less carbs is really important for people who want to lose weight, but if you're fit and very active, you can get away with quite a lot of them.
                  OK, so I can eat some starchy foods such as white potatoes and rice. I prefer brown rice and sweet potatoes but I assume I can go for the white stuff when it would be most useful for me, and not just at any time. What about whole grain pasta in moderation for a boost as well?

                  Just so you know, I am 6' tall and currently weigh in a little heavy for me at 203lbs because I have been having trouble maintaining my race weight of 195lbs., since I have trouble maintaining my intensity and training lengths. It is not effecting me too much but I need to shave the weight for psychological reasons.

                  I have felt much better overall and maintain a perfectly stable level of energy all day long since going paleo. It's just the long distance endurance that has taken the dive.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dabello1125 View Post
                    What about whole grain pasta in moderation for a boost as well?
                    Pasta is made from wheat, and as a grain, has health issues like phytates and lectins. The only grain that doesn't have these issues after being cooked is white rice. You could try some rice pasta, but the white rice noodles are about the best choice. Even brown rice has phytates, (if I remember correctly - it has one of them, phytates or lectins)

                    Originally posted by dabello1125 View Post
                    I have felt much better overall and maintain a perfectly stable level of energy all day long since going paleo. It's just the long distance endurance that has taken the dive.
                    Endurance exercise is the only thing we can do that makes us need to eat carbs. Normally you can manufacture enough carb-type energy from whatever else you eat, but endurance depletes your store of glycogen, and that is why you bonk.
                    Karin

                    A joyful heart is good medicine

                    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

                    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

                    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JKC View Post
                      Endurance exercise is the only thing we can do that makes us need to eat carbs. Normally you can manufacture enough carb-type energy from whatever else you eat, but endurance depletes your store of glycogen, and that is why you bonk.
                      +1000 based on my experience. I tried going very low carb (basically meats, veggies, and not much else) while finishing the back half of training for a half marathon and it was not pretty. I haven't run since -- that's ok because I'm refocusing on how I address the exercise/fitness side of the equation and have been doing more strength work and a lot of walking/swimming/playing like the PBF says to do. I'm going to try my first sprint workout this weekend, I think. I'm also focusing on getting my eating 100% right now and make that into a routine.

                      I think after I've gained strength and I don't have to think about how I do my eating I can then worry about circling back and doing some running as deep down it's something I really still like to do.
                      Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

                      Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
                      Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)

                      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35679.html

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                      • #12
                        Read.

                        Can You Be an Endurance Athlete and Primal? | Mark's Daily Apple
                        My Fitday public journal.
                        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                        Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                        Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                        • #13
                          dabello, I don't have much to add to the excellent advice everyone's already given, but if you want a pre-run meal suggestion try plantains fried in coconut oil. I've discovered this to be perfect about 2 hours prior to a long run at a relatively strenuous pace. Nothin' but MCTs and primal carbs!

                          Edit: Admittedly, not so appealing on a hot summer day -- but AMAZING when the weather turns colder.

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                          • #14
                            Plantains fried like that, served with a little sour cream. Ah yeah. A little knob of queso fresco too.

                            Best stuff on earth right there.
                            Originally posted by ciep View Post
                            dabello, I don't have much to add to the excellent advice everyone's already given, but if you want a pre-run meal suggestion try plantains fried in coconut oil. I've discovered this to be perfect about 2 hours prior to a long run at a relatively strenuous pace. Nothin' but MCTs and primal carbs!

                            Edit: Admittedly, not so appealing on a hot summer day -- but AMAZING when the weather turns colder.
                            My Fitday public journal.
                            Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                            Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                            Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by davem View Post
                              Plantains fried like that, served with a little sour cream. Ah yeah. A little knob of queso fresco too.

                              Best stuff on earth right there.
                              Never tried 'em with sour cream... but I definitely will now.

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