long runs + low carb?

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long runs + low carb?

Postby ultraslacker » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:35 pm

I'm currently on week 3 of the "slow carb" diet. It's really low GI, and the slow carbs come from beans, lentils, vegetables. Six days per week I eat only lean proteins and slow carbs (no grains, fruit, sugars, dairy). One day per week I can eat whatever.

It's going well so far, except I'm not sure how to fuel myself on long run days. I've been really diligent about sticking to the rules but at the same time I don't want to short myself on carbs for long runs. Yesterday I added some whole grain toast and had three gels on the run--the rest of the day I stuck to the rules. I felt fine on the run. And I think that's ok, but I'm curious if anyone else has done low-carb diets while also doing long runs. What have you done to make sure you get enough energy/fuel, while at the same time not going overboard on the carbs?

Thoughts?
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby Stampie » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:16 pm

Do you have any flexibility with your free day? Would you be able to move it prior to your scheduled Long run?

What about increasing your fat content? Allowing your body to fuel itself that way?

To me, I don't see the total harm in the use of gels during your long runs. Those tend to be quick carbs that get used up quickly into the system. I usually have a bowl of steel cut oats prior to heading out for my long run and that usually holds me for about 12-15K before I need to take a gel. Last week I did 30K and I had my oatmeal, a gel at aprox 15K and another gel close to 22.5K
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby ultraslacker » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:17 pm

yeah normally I'd have oatmeal and toast prior but I can't on this diet (no grains, including oats).

Yesterday I tried again with just adding toast and gels, and then sticking to the program the rest of the day. I also added more beans pre-run for slow carbs. I was definitely fading at the end of the run but I think that's partly because I was running with someone faster than me (strava showed a bunch of PRs!).

I can move the cheat day if I have to, but that's tough because my long run days are really all over the place too (for example, this week I did Sunday and Tuesday 4+hrs each, and will probably add another on Saturday).

My weight seems to be on track in spite of the extra toast and gels, so maybe this will be ok... need to keep experimenting. Saturday is my cheat day so if I can do most of my long runs then, I can have a higher carb breakfast before the run.
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby Jwolf » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:57 pm

I know your diet isn't "paleo", but they eat things like dates for long run fuel-- are they allowed on your diet? I suspect not.
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby ultraslacker » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:16 pm

Jwolf wrote:I know your diet isn't "paleo", but they eat things like dates for long run fuel-- are they allowed on your diet? I suspect not.


no fruit.

though if I'm going to break the rules by adding toast, I could break the rules by adding fruit. :/ it's the sugar.
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby La » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:59 pm

The other day I noticed one of the women in my cycling group using baby food pouches of fruit puree as her source of fuel. I know, not in your plan, but I thought it was interesting.
Image

Carla would often use perogies for long bike rides (that also wouldn't work for you because it's flour-based), and I've also heard of ultra runners using boiled salted potatoes. Can you have those?
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby ultraslacker » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:22 pm

potatoes would be ok. We're supposed to limit starchy vegetables like potatoes but I'm not even sure I could choke that down during a run!

I tried a Clif organic "food" that came in a bottle like the one you pictured, and it was disgusting.

I think what I'll try to do is make long runs on cheat days where possible, and when that's not possible I'll just supplement with bread and gels as I have been doing. That doesn't seem to be setting me back at all (so far).
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby La » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:24 pm

You didn't mention what the purpose of the "slow carb" diet was. Weight loss, or something else?
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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby Stampie » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:10 pm

I have a co-worker who used to do ultras, along with a lot of trail running and he swears by the salted boiled potatoes. He agrees they are just bland, but he found them easier to stomach when he got into the higher distances.

Interesting you bring up those baby food pouches La. One of my clinic participants last year used those in lieu of gels. No matter what brand, gels just played havoc with her stomach. She substituted the gels with these and found her stomach issues were resolved. She drank more sport drinks and supplements with sodium tablets to help compensate for the lower levels of electrolytes and sodium.
PB’s (official race results)
5K – 26:20; 8K – 41:28; 10K – 52:13; 15K - 1:22:43; 21.1K – 1:54:16; 30K – 2:51:34; 42.2K – 4:24:14

What is up for 2018
Feb 11th - First Half Vancouver
TBA
Planning & in my sights
Jun 9th - Puddle Jumper Classic

Run the mile you're in. Not the one behind you, and not the one in front of you - the one you are running now :) - purdy65

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Re: long runs + low carb?

Postby ultraslacker » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:13 pm

La wrote:You didn't mention what the purpose of the "slow carb" diet was. Weight loss, or something else?


weight loss.

Because it's such a high emphasis on protein and slow carbs, the overall calorie count is low. So I want to be able to fuel my long runs both from the aspect of calories and the aspect of carbs. Want to be careful that I'm eating enough for that.

But a huge part of the program is avoiding the sugar (and resulting insulin spike). Which is why it eliminates things like grains and dairy and fruit.
"You're an ultrarunner, normal rules don't apply to you." (Doonst)


First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. ~Epictetus


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