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Old 08-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
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Running low distance with low carb diet?

For many years I have followed Atkins to lose a bit of weight 15lbs and maintain. Why training for a 10 mile race I found myself too weak to run long distances while doing low carb so I moved to counting calories and usually eating no more then 100-150 carbs per day.

I have noticed since I have started eating more carbs I have gained almost 10lbs since May. I would like to start following atkins again but am training for a half marathon that is in mid September.

Any advice how to run and still do Atkins?
I am currently 133 but would like to get back down to 120 where I was last year at this time and maintain (I am 5'3" so both weights are ok for my height, I just feel so much better at 120, no more then 125)
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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Have you tried eating your carbs around the times that you run exclusively? Do you run mostly a.m. or p.m.?

You can try carb rotations also. Two days low, one day at 100; repeat. Helps your body to let go of stubborn fat more easily, but you don't run the risk of staying depleted for long periods of time.

Carb choices matter also. What carbs do you eat currently?
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Hi oneoftwo,

I'm currently training for a marathon in November, and I'll be running a half-marathon, as part of my training, in mid-September. I do a version of Atkins. There are several people on this board who have run multiple marathons while doing low-carb diets.

How fast do you run? Have you ever run with a heart rate monitor? The reason I ask is because it is my understanding that carbs are only really needed at the upper limit of your heart rate range; if you stick to a slower pace, below about 75% of your max HR, you'll be burning mostly fat for fuel. Furthermore, there's evidence that a ketogenic diet causes your muscle cells to adapt to burning fat more efficiently, so you can actually continue to burn primarily fat at higher levels of exertion---this is similar to adaptations which occur in elite athletes. Finally, as the other poster noted, one thing many of the runners mention is concentrating carbs before your run---this is sometimes called a "targeted ketogenic diet". So for example, before running one might have a banana or some low carb toast with peanut butter, or something.

In my case, I do intermittent fasting (fast-5), and I generally run before my eating window, so I am running fasted. I log all my food intake in ****** and I average about 55-65g of carbs per day. I also occasionally will have a mini "carb up" where I hit the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet, or have several slices of pizza with the family, or whatnot. However, I am early in my training and my longest run so far was 6 miles.

There is a weekly runner's thread here called "tearing up the track, trail, and treadmill" and there are several very knowledgeable and experienced runners who post there regularly.

Good luck with your training! Where is the half marathon that you're running?

Sky
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WATCH-ME-SHRINK View Post
Have you tried eating your carbs around the times that you run exclusively? Do you run mostly a.m. or p.m.?

You can try carb rotations also. Two days low, one day at 100; repeat. Helps your body to let go of stubborn fat more easily, but you don't run the risk of staying depleted for long periods of time.

Carb choices matter also. What carbs do you eat currently?
I have not tried but I guess I can up them a bit when I know I plan to run. I have a set schedule, usually 2 morning and one afternoon run.

I usually only eat carbs from veggies, fruits. No pasta, bread or rice
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by skymath View Post
Hi oneoftwo,


How fast do you run? Have you ever run with a heart rate monitor?

In my case, I do intermittent fasting (fast-5), and I generally run before my eating window, so I am running fasted. I log all my food intake in ****** and I average about 55-65g of carbs per day.

Where is the half marathon that you're running?
I have a Garmin watch I wear and usually do not use the heart monitor, but I usually run between a 10-11min mile.
So you do IM and restrict carbs to 55-66g a day? Do you count calories too?

I am running the Rock and Roll Philly 1/2
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneoftwo View Post
I have not tried but I guess I can up them a bit when I know I plan to run. I have a set schedule, usually 2 morning and one afternoon run.

I usually only eat carbs from veggies, fruits. No pasta, bread or rice
Veggies and fruits are not complex carbs, and therefore won't give you the staying power that you might find more helpful.

I would substitute 25 gr worth of complex carbs for some of your fruit or veggie carbs, and eat them before your morning runs. Start there, see how that affects your runs for the day. Tweak if necessary. You will be burning up the glycogen from those carbs when you run and should not see adverse effects of weight gain.

Anything under 100 carbs is considered "low carb" technically. Timing is critical, as skymath mentioned. The key is to keep them higher in the earlier parts of the day and to taper them as the day wears on.

Also, when I first began running, I was keeping carbs rather low at that time as well, and I found that eating just 1/2 of a Low Sugar Detour Bar before my run made a HUGE difference. LS Detours have only 17 carbs in the entire bar. Yes, sugar alcohols, but not a huge amount, and one of the better-tasting protein bars on the market IMO.

Last edited by WATCH-ME-SHRINK; 08-04-2011 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneoftwo View Post
I have not tried but I guess I can up them a bit when I know I plan to run. I have a set schedule, usually 2 morning and one afternoon run.
I usually only eat carbs from veggies, fruits. No pasta, bread or rice
What?

Can you share your training plan? I have seen people do 2 runs a day in preparation for Ultra's but not seen this for a Marathon. What distances are you doing on each run? Why do 3 runs a day?

You can do Marathons, Ironman, or Ultra's on Low-Carb. The key to success is training properly and training for long distance races should include nutrition. You should have enough glycogen stored up in your liver and the muscles of the thighs to go all out for 60-90 minutes. All out means roughly 60-85% of max HR. Beyond that you might need to supplement with simple carbs. Most will use gels or powdered mixed drinks to take in these carbs. The gels are good because it's just basically sugar that is converted to energy almost immediately. The mix's that you drink typically include electrolytes that are essential.

Your sweat rate, which is very individual, will determine how quickly you lose electrolytes and how often you need to replace. I don’t like sweet drinks, particularly when I am running so I tend to only take in water. I can take in mix’s on the bike but prefer ones with mild flavors like Accelerade(sp) but there are a bunch of them out there so experiment with different ones until you find one you like.

For me a typical plan would look like this...

2-3 hours before race
Almond butter spread on Arnolds select roll. 300 calories and about 30 grams of carbs.
1 Cup Coffee
1 20 oz bottle of Water
2 Endurolyte tablets
2 Advil - In prep for the pain that is to come.

1 Hour into Race
2 Endurolyte tablets
1 Gel

Every 30 Minutes after 1st hour
2 Endurolyte Tablets
1 Gel

Most long courses have water stops every 2 miles or so. This means about every 18-20 minutes I need to take in about 4-6 oz. of water to keep pace with sweat rate based on outside temp of roughly 50-60 degrees. Sweat rate typically stays pretty constant below temp of 50 but goes up quickly after 80 degrees to as high as 16 oz.’s every 20 minutes at 95-100 degrees.

The bottom line is to train, train and then train some more. You will eventually find what works for you and once you do DO NOT DEVIATE from that plan on race day. Absolutely nothing new on race day. No new clothes, shoes, drinks, food, sunglasses, hats, etc. You get the idea. NOTHING! Oh yeah, one last thing, have lots of fun and relax on race day. Think of it like your baking a cake, your training is the cake and the race is the icing. You can’t put on the icing until you have baked the cake, so go make some cake and keep us posted.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:57 PM   #8
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Sorry for the confusion. I do 3 runs a week, not a day. I follow Hal Higdon's plan

Thanks for all the feedback, it is great and very helpful.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:03 PM   #9
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If you are going to eat more carbs with running, you might want to read "Paleo for Athletes". You schedule your carbs based on timing of your workouts. What I find is that you eat a lot of carbs after a workout and then go low carb for the rest of the day. If you workout in the morning you would consume carbs right before the run.

Last edited by westside; 08-04-2011 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:22 AM   #10
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This all has been very helpful. I start my year training for a marathon at the beginning of the new year officially. I am already getting all my ducks in a row. I have already lost some weight on a low carb diet but want to step it up a notch. I dont want to sacrifice my diet though because its the only thing next to bulemia that has worked for me. I still struggle with binge eating etc... and do not want to tip the scale. Where is the best information concerning the training start in everyone's opinion? Thanks for any and all help.
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