PB and endurance exercise...help please!
Hi everyone! I have been primal for a little over 3 weeks now, and while I am so glad I decided to make this change, I have a lot of concerns. I will try to not list them all in this post as that might be overwhelming
One thing I am most worried about is training. I am a runner and triathlete and have an Ironman this summer. I have done two previously, but not while eating primal. I am completely unsure of how to structure my diet and training (I realize there is some trial and error with this and everyone is different), but I am also trying to lose 8 pounds. As a side note, I was very burned out after my last race and have not ramped up my training yet. I understand that when I do, I will need more carbs.
Is it possible that my body will "re-program" itself to use fat if I continue to train? Has anyone followed Mark's advice while training for an endurance event and done low volume high intensity workouts with success? I am so trained to think that pain is good, and if it's not hurting I'm doing something wrong, etc., it's just mentally difficult to imagine myself taking leisurely walks instead of doing the run that I'm "supposed" to do. I'm confused on whether I am preventing the effectiveness of switching to primal if I continue to do high volume exercise?
And with regard to the weight loss, I think perhaps I am just being impatient. The last time I used fit day (I eat more or less the same things every day), it was right around 120 carbs. Is this low enough considering I am active, or should I try to lower it to closer to 100?
I would appreciate any advice, thanks!!
Hey Meg, there are a few more posts in the PB for Athlete's section, definitely read through those. Another good reference about training your body to burn fat:
First off I would suggest to focus on fueling yourself well, generally taking care of yourself and training well and the weight loss should take care of itself. Trying to train hard and restrict what you eat at the same time is really tough to get right. It's much easier to focus on loosing weight during the off season when you CAN really eat less carbs.
Mark has a great post on "compromises for athletes" that I'd suggest reading along with "Paleo for Athletes" by Friel/Cordain. Nell Stephenson's website is great too. If you search back through her blog, she has lots of posts on what she eats for IM training. Overall, I've found that eating Paleo most of the time has resulted in very positive changes in body composition, much more stable energy levels, less grumpiness and lots of other small positive changes.
Your body will burn a higher % of fat at a given intensity as you get fitter. Eating a diet with a lower overall % of carbs will also results in a higher % of fat being burned.
However, I'm able to train much better and have more energy if I eat lots of fruit and sweet potatoes so I am getting carbs to fuel my training.
For long sessions, I also do sometimes eat some PowerBars and other junk. I have no problem doing long SLOW stuff just fueled on fat but I find it pretty much impossible to do that and really push the pace. Dates, potatoes, sweet potatoes can be great training fuel too but, the logistics of packing them around on every ride can get a bit daunting.
I don't think that being chronically glycogen depleted is a good thing for performance. There are some studies suggesting doing it once in a while but when I've ended up in that state for more than a day or two, it has always ended badly :P
Basically, training for Ironman - particularly training to RACE IronMan is not a very Primal thing to do. You're well past the point of training for health and really focusing on performance but you can apply a lot of things from PB to optimize the results that you get from training.
Lots of real food, keep the protein intake up, lots of sleep, make sure that you're not just always plodding along at the same effort level.
Thank you all for the advice! I'm sure that there is a learning curve for everyone who switches to this diet, but it sure seems like it would be more straight forward if the endurance exercise were out of the equation. Ah well. We have to do what we love, right!
I will also look into the websites that were recommended, I only glanced at them briefly but I can already tell they will be very helpful.
Thank you for that link!!!
Originally Posted by eisenreich