26.2 miles at an average 10:00 pace with NO CARBS and no carb-loading the day before. And no carb-replacement feast afterwards. I passed the Gu station, the banana station, the sorbet station, and dozens of struggling runners in the last miles. Such a great feeling! All marathons are hard at the end. I just happened to choose the brand of "hard" that doesn't include addiction, inflammation, glycation and a host of other health problems.
I feel like I just joined a teensy little club. It's open to all runners but they don't even believe it's possible. Well, look out running world, because no one can explain away what I did last weekend. No one can take this from me.
During the marathon expo, one of the speakers was a dietician who started her talk with a giant picture of the Food Pyramid. On and on she went, giving one piece of bad advice after another. I finally got up and left the room, thinking "I no longer belong to you, carb world. And tomorrow I'm going to prove it."
The next time someone tells you that you "just have to" eat carbs for cardio, or running, or whatever exercise you do, please remember me. And the next time you hear about a study where runners were compared to some population and shown to have some kind of health risk, remember they are eating carbs like there is no tomorrow. No one can study runners who don't poison their bodies with carbs all day long because there are just too few of us to get a statistically valid sample.
Thank you, Jimmy, for all the information and encouragement I've received from your site. Sometimes it was just a link in someone's post that led to another link and another -- ending at last with some story or data that gave me the confidence to skip that pre-marathon pasta party, or to order the Lamb Sirloin instead of fettucini after the race. My legs are recovering faster than ever before (having run many marathons on carbs), probably because they are getting such great nutrition and no inflammatory sugars.
Well I found this post inspirational. I have only been on the low carb diet for 5 weeks, but I have found it to be both effective and easy to follow. I finished a marathon yesterday and did it with no carbs. No carb loading phase, and no carbs afterwards. I was going to do what most marathon runners do and load up on carbs, but then I came across this post and changed my mind and decided to try it with no carbs... I don't usually run marathons (this is my second one), but I can say that my performance wasn't negatively effected because I didn't chug gatorade or some sugary supplement during the run. I wanted to see how my body reacted to this much running with no carbs, and I have to say that my performance was actually a little bit better that the first marathon I ran. When I ran it last year, I ate lots of pasta and carbs before, drank gatorade throughout the run, and ate more carbs afterwards. I know that physically I am in better shape than I was in a year ago, so it can be expected that my performance would increase a bit under identical circumstances. But if I had listened to most of the common knowledge I hear from runners, without carbs my performance should have taken a nose dive and I shouldn't have been able to finish... Based on this experience, I can say that my body can handle a strenuous activity like a marathon with no carbs. Training is what is important. The human body is resilient. Carbs are not what determines a good run.