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Question for any low-carb marathoners out there

Junior Low-Carber



Hi all, quick question. I am running (or attempting to run) my second marathon in 6 days. What should I eat prior to the marathon? I have been eating lots of coconut oil lately with the hope it would give me lots of energy, etc. but instead I have been feeling lethargic and nauseated. I am afraid of eating any substantial amount of carbs (I guess now I am on about 40-50 a day, I really don't know) as I don't want to "hit the wall" and I'm trying to get my body used to running on fat stores. However, I don't want to be feeling gross either from fatty food. Should I eat anything whatsoever the morning of the race? How much water? Any other advice? This is the first time I run a marathon on LC - my last one I was definitely used carbs for fuel. Thank you!

Moderator



conmac,
Charles isn't posting here anymore but he would be the perfect person to ask this question to. Visit his blog or forum to reach him.

Welcome to the forum.

Administrator



You can also talk to Kent Altena (aka "bowulf") as he runs marathons as a low-carber! I'll see if he can pop in over here to share his response to your questions.

Jimmy Moore, "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Discussion" forum owner
2009 BOOK: http://tinyurl.com/yh6smyy
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/livinlavidalowcarb
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/livinlowcarbman
2005 BOOK: http://www.booklocker.com/p/books/2183.html?s=forum
BLOG: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog
MENUS: http://lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com
PODCAST: http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes
VIDEOS: http://www.youtube.com/livinlowcarbman
E-MAIL ME: livinlowcarbman@charter.net

Junior Low-Carber



Thanks, since when does Charles have his own blog? Must have been a recent thing...

Administrator



Charles decided to branch off on his own in November.

Jimmy Moore, "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Discussion" forum owner
2009 BOOK: http://tinyurl.com/yh6smyy
OFFICIAL WEB SITE: http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/livinlavidalowcarb
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/livinlowcarbman
2005 BOOK: http://www.booklocker.com/p/books/2183.html?s=forum
BLOG: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog
MENUS: http://lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com
PODCAST: http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes
VIDEOS: http://www.youtube.com/livinlowcarbman
E-MAIL ME: livinlowcarbman@charter.net

Newbie Low-Carber



Hey it's great to see another low carbing marathoner out there! I have posted a few videos on Youtube and blog posts about my past marathons (5 halfs and 2 fulls in the last three years). Prior to my marathons, I eat as close to normal for me as possible -- no new foods, no more carbs, not any more or less food. About the only change is that I might try to eat more chicken fajita salads or stirfrys (lots of protein, fat, and veggies) before hand to encourage GI movement. I also specifically do not eat at least 8 hours before the marathon. I don't need to stock up my tanks as there is enough BF (even at 11 - 13% BF) to fuel a 4 hour run.


Depending on the heat of the marathon, you may need more or less than that, but I drink water as well at every 3 or 4 miles. I end up alternating water (mile 4) - SF electrolyte (mile 7) - water (mile 10) - etc. That strategy works for me, but it does place a dependency on course support to provide custom water stops for you along the course. My wife is gracious enough to do that for me. If you can't get that support, you can try diluting the stuff on the course with water or taking Endurolyte tablets or powder along with you. Given the options, I would probably favor the Endurolytes.

If you really think you need fuel along the way, I think a half banana or even perhaps some nuts could be a boost in energy. I just couldn't imagine the GI issues trying to keep anything down personally, but there is another low carbing marathon QuotidianLight that does.

The reason I focus on the Electrolytes is what happened to me the QC Marathon this year and my training runs. In my training runs without something as simple as Powerade Zero, I dogged at mile 17 or 18. With something every 7 or 8 miles, I am good without issue. At Quad Cities Marathon, I was fantastic until missing my electrolytes at mile 12 or 14 due to my wife getting lost. I think I ran out of sodium around mile 17 again, and never fully recovered. I missed by goal time by 19 minutes even though I PR'ed by 15 minutes.

Well this is getting already pretty long, I'll just post my video links, and feel free to ask anymore questions that I missed.
* Atkins Diet & Exercise: Endurance Athletes & Electrolytes - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haWLJh8UC1k
* Atkins Diet: Myth of Carbloading - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GcCZd4Sb_Q
* Atkins Diet: Exercise- It's Non-Negotiable - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1tMIlMYndo

Kent - 35-M-6'4"
HW 429/SW 411/CW 229/GW 225
Started 3-31-04 - 211 Total pounds down ( was 218 )
BLOG: http://www.network-admin.net
VIDEOS: http://www.youtube.com/bowulf

Junior Low-Carber



Wow, thanks so much for the info! I won't be able to get my electrolytes at the water stations so what do you suggest? What is a good portable solution? FYI - i am not trying to break any records so my pace is pretty easy. I don't believe I'll be sweating profusely unless it gets to be quite warm - but I think it will be around 71 degrees. Is water not sufficient? How about just plain salt or a few salty nuts in my pocket? That should not bother my belly as I'm pretty used to eating nuts and love them. Sounds like you just eat a normal dinner the night before? (some protein with veggies and fat?) I am also told to drink every mile even if not thirsty. What's your take on that? Thanks again!

Newbie Low-Carber



Let's work from the bottom up -- I don't think you need to drink every mile. I get too much water if I do that. You really should be looking for water equilibrium, so if you sweat it, drink that amount. That generally works out for me about every 3 miles or ~27 minutes. I know I am at a water deficit by the end, but I have been on the other side (aka too much). Throwing up water is no way to finish a race with a smile on your face. Every mile drink philosophy is kind of going away lately in conventional thinking too as more people are getting it with hypertremia.

It's more than just salt that you need. You also need potassium, calcium, and a few other minerals like magnesium, but mainly just sodium and potassium. If you want a quick portable solution, find a local running shop and they should sell Ultima Replenisher single use packets. If you don't have a local sporting goods store, find a target and buy Alacer Emergen-C Lite packets at Wal-mart or Target. They are more for if you are sick, but they should help and be locally available.


Finally, 71 is pretty warm for a marathon start temp especially if there is no breeze and sunny, so don't underestimate how much you might sweat. Which race are you doing?

Kent - 35-M-6'4"
HW 429/SW 411/CW 229/GW 225
Started 3-31-04 - 211 Total pounds down ( was 218 )
BLOG: http://www.network-admin.net
VIDEOS: http://www.youtube.com/bowulf

Expert Low-Carber



I only run half marathons and 10K�s. My goals are to be over hydrated for several days before the race, but to back off to normal the night before and the day of the race. Several hours before race time (even if it�s early) I eat a moderate sized meal with equal amounts of protein and fat with very little carbs or fiber. When I was younger, I always wanted to run, but I would always hit the wall and I couldn�t get through. When you don�t eat carbs there is no wall to break through and your body starts off using fat for fuel.

As for during the race, my body tells me when I need to drink water and it is usually about every 2-3 miles depending on temperature, humidity and elevation (I live in Colorado).
Razwell
Unregistered

 


Are you sure you really want to run a Marathon? Art DeVany and Mark Sisson go into detail on why it is so unhealhful, and why not to.

Moderator



Bowulf , welcome to the forum and WOW ,congrats on your success !!!

One minute, one hour, one day, 1 pound at a time ...



BEFORE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>DURING>>>>>>>>>

commitment = success

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying .... "I will try again tomorrow". ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Newbie Low-Carber



Thank you for the warm welcome. My goal for 2009 is to help make everyone as successful and happy with low carbing as I have been.

Kent - 35-M-6'4"
HW 429/SW 411/CW 229/GW 225
Started 3-31-04 - 211 Total pounds down ( was 218 )
BLOG: http://www.network-admin.net
VIDEOS: http://www.youtube.com/bowulf