A Low Carb, High Fat diet reduces blood glucose levels which decreases the chance of developing insulin and leptin resistance.
Taking on the Gold Coast Marathon with LCHF
So it’s about 10:30am Sunday July 6th 2014. I’ve put in about 800km of training runs over the last 6 months. I’m in what I think is great shape. It is a beautiful day on the Gold Coast, a bit crisp early on but it has warmed up to a very pleasant 22 degrees. I am lying on the bitumen in tears at the 36 km point of the Gold Coast Marathon. My hamstrings are cramped up so bad I can’t walk, I’m totally exhausted and there is an on course motivator yelling “Come on Antelope (my nickname), get on your feet you can do it, it’s only 6 km to the end”. A myriad of thoughts and emotions are going through my mind. I was on track to run a 3:45 in my first marathon, not too shabby if I say so my self. Where did it all go wrong?
My initial training runs were around the 10 – 12 km distance and felt pretty normal but I was running a lot faster than last year. I was getting PB’s at my local Parkrun and I came 6th in my age bracket (40-45 years) and 35th over all. This was racing against kids less than half my age at the Mooloolaba Triathlon 5km race and up to the point of 30 km runs I was setting a blistering pace. It was at this point I was totally depleting my muscle glycogen stores. Hell, I was eating below 60g of carbs a day, this was bound to happen. What was I to do? Carb load and forget 8 months of lifestyle change? No. I went lower carb and by trying to keep my heart rate at around the 140bpm mark I became a more efficient fat burning machine, rarely dipping into my glycogen stores on my shorter runs. My body became used to it very quickly. My weight continued to fall, my recovery times dropped and I remained injury free (probably due to the anti-inflammatory benefits of HFLC eating).
As I write this it is 5 weeks out from my big day and I am sitting at around 73 to 74 kg which is a total loss of 17 kilograms from this time last year (I would hate to be carrying that in a backpack when I run). I have about 12 -14% body fat. I look like an athlete, I feel like an athlete.
Last weekend I ran 70 km over an 18-hour period in a charity relay and recovered in one day. I am on track to finish the Marathon in 3:30 if the stars align. Maybe I should sacrifice a bucket of chicken to the old gods to make sure. Will I achieve this goal? Perhaps, 37 minutes is a big chunk of time, who knows? Will I go back to my old way of eating? No way, I don’t look at this as a diet, it’s a way of life and my change is having an positive impact on the people around me. My best friend has adopted HFLC after being seriously overweight for a few years and is in training for some serious Endurance events. Another friend with MS is now eating HFLC and is a Paralympic triathlete about to do Cairns Ironman. Now all I have to do is convince my family that High Fat Low Carb could be beneficial to them, but a war is won one battle at a time…