I have recently been diagnosed with a lactose and gluten intolerance which cuts out ALL of the things that I fuel my runs with.... yogurt, bagels and the like!! About 3 weeks ago I began to follow the Paleo diet with the total exclusion of whole grains and dairy.... I had planned to just cross train for 2 of those weeks to get through the "adjustment" period of burning fat instead of carbs but got a terrible cold so 2 weeks turned into 3. Last night I went for my first run since starting this new way of eating and became nausea's and light headed at the 3 mile mark of a 5 mile run.... I had taken a small package of honey with me... just in case.... and used it and felt slightly better and was able to complete the 5 miler. I have reasearched this diet extensively and really want to give it a shot.... not really as a "diet" but as a lifestyle but I am a RUNNER!!!! I am by no means an elite athlete.... I am a 46 y/o middle of the pack runner and usually log 25-35 miles a week .... but I WANT to complete another marathon and do a half Ironman soon. So my questions are to those who have tried this way of eating..... How do you fuel for your training runs? How do you fuel for events? Did you experienced the same "symptoms" in the first few weeks of eating like this? And does it go away??? (PLEASE tell me it does!!!) I am soooo discouraged at this point.... running is thereapy for me!!!! Can't imagine a day without it!!! HELP!!!!!!!
Hi. I haven't had any experience with the Paleo diet. I looked over some of the information at thepaleodiet.com, and I have a good idea of what the diet entails.
That being said, I would encourage you to check out "Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life: by Brendan Brazier. Brazier's book is written for athletes. In it he includes recipes for energy bars, energy gels, recovery snacks, sport drinks and recovery drinks. Vegans do not consume animal product, so all of these recipes are lactose free. Brazier contends in his book that "high levels of gluten are not historically natural to our diet; they are a modern creation." Many of the recipes are gluten free or have traces of gluten from ancient grains. In looking through the energy bar recipes (there are 8 of them), they are all gluten free and lactose free. The energy bars work very well. I use them before runs and races.
Depending upon your diet prior to starting the Paleo diet, what you're experiencing could be a cleansing period. Many times when people change from a diet of pre-packaged/highly refined/higly processed food stuffs to a diet of whole foods there will be a time when the body expells the garbage from the prior diet to the new good for you food. That cleansing time frame will vary from person to person.
This book has helped me imensely. There are a variety of recipes for all meals. It's a great way to live and it powers my runs, triathlons and life.
I hope that helps.
You may have already seen this book, but I suggest reading "The Paleo Diet for Athletes", by Loren Cordain. He's an authority on eating in this manner and seems to have written this book with endurance runners in mind. You can definetly get your carb running requirements from non-grain sources. I eat this way for health and weight management and have run between 20 and 45 miles per week with no extra fatigue issues.
I am coming at this from the other direction.
In March 2011, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. 46 year old male. 5'10", weighing 257.
I have been on the paleo diet for about 5 months now, and have dropped 50 pounds. My blood sugar is now completely normal.
The paleo diet I am following is very low carb. Under 30 grams per day.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, I started picking up running again. (I ran marathons as a teenager).
I have been very surprised at how well I have been doing running with low carbs. Just yesterday, I completed my 5 mile "long" run. I went out first thing in the morning, completely empty stomach, in ketosis, and didn't have any unexpected problems. Was slow... finished in 70 minutes. But, felt strong the whole time. OK... I didn't feel "strong"... like when I was running sub 3:00 marathons as a teenager. But, I survivied.
I think that the difference between me and shelebele is that my body has been well adapted to fat burning for months. When I start my runs, I am burning fat, so if my mucels run out of glycogen, any "wall" may be less noticable.
I am tempted to suggest dropping carbs to under 50 grams per day for a week or two... up to a month... kick start your body into fat burning mode. But, I will not do so. This actually is where my area of concern lies.
I still have at least 30... 40 pounds to loose. So, I do not really need to worry so much about maintaining my weight while running on low carbs.
But, I am still very concerned that as I progress in my running, that I will be unable to properly provide fuel before, during and after my long runs.
Will I survive a 20 mile run, starting in ketosis, not taking any carbs on the way, and not carbing up after the run?
Or, will I have to up my carbs, and risk knocking my body out of fat burning mode?
Seems to be somewhat uncharted territory. Even the previously mentioned "The Paleo Diet For Athletes" seems to advocate a much higher carb rate then I am used to:
It takes a few weeks for your body to adapt burning fat as your primary fuel. At first you will feel lythargic and your muscle may hurt. but over a couple of weeks of reduced training you will adapt. Mike Pigg was the number 1 tiathlete in the world and followed the Atkins diet.
I woild suggest adding quinoa, sweet potato and rices to your diet. Post workout the carbs would greatly aid your recovery.
I'm in week 1 of cutting out carbs but training for NYC and Philly marathon in 8 and 10 weeks. I've been loosely following Maffetone's slow running philosophy so all of my training runs have been slow.. keeping my heart rate at 147 or below.
So far, so good.. I ran a 19 miler since cutting out carbs but I think it was too early in the process to be a true test of whether I can compete on a low carb diet or not. I have a 18 mile race coming up in less than two weeks.. we'll see how that turns out. Thankfully, I don't have any problems digesting grains so I can always go back to carbo-loading if need be, but I figured I'd try a new approach and see how it works out.
It's been a few months since you started.. are you still doing it? how is it working out?