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Sacrificing elite performance in athletics with the primal diet?

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  • #31
    Also, on competition days, because it is not a long period of training with the team for 2 hours, and I only do about 2-3 minutes of sprinting about every hour or two, I should still be able to perform well by eating low carb right?
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    • #32
      Can I be the dick in the thread for a moment?

      How 'elite' level can you be, when carrying 30 lbs+ of excess body fat? If nothing else that's like running around the field with 4 gallons of milk in a backpack. It's got to have an impact on performance.

      I'd agree with not changing much during the competitive season, but if you consider yourself elite now, imagine when you've lost that weight.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by AceRimmer View Post
        I have several marathons, half ironmans and one ironman behind me. I wouldnt recommend anyone who has competitive objectives to do it keto or low carb because I know it doesnt work.
        I think the key is "competitive objectives" and I agree. If I was trying to qualify for boston (or PR, etc) then I don't think I'd attempt the keto route. On the other hand, if I just wanted to run a marathon at an easy pace and finish with a smile on my face then I think keto works great.

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        • #34
          I'm just sayin'......I rode a century last September, averaging 17.9 mph. I ate peanut butter on a whole wheat flat bread (this is pre-primal), drank water with electrolytes, and fueled with banana's (maybe 2) and orange segments (because all they had at the rest stops was crap, which I don't eat). I did not carbo load pre-ride, because I've never believed in that (even before being Primal). Yes, all that I ate was carbs, but it wasn't a ton of food, I rode 100 miles, and I avg 17.9 mph. I am not a competitive athlete, don't think that will be happening for me seeing that I am 46yo, wife, mother, with a job, but I don't think my performance is anything to sneeze at. And I WOULD not go back to high carb living ever, ever, ever, ever. I have no desire to be "skinny fat." I have a lot of friends my age who are just that, from years of high intensity training, high carb eating, CW bullcrap.
          And yes, I have several marathons under my belt, and have only eaten a ton of carbs for one. I generally train in a fasted state, and fuel very little. It works for me. As I said before, we are all different, and what work's for one, won't work for another.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Yaish View Post
            Can I be the dick in the thread for a moment?

            How 'elite' level can you be, when carrying 30 lbs+ of excess body fat? If nothing else that's like running around the field with 4 gallons of milk in a backpack. It's got to have an impact on performance.

            I'd agree with not changing much during the competitive season, but if you consider yourself elite now, imagine when you've lost that weight.
            Okay, maybe I am not truly an elite athlete, but I am definitely aiming for it. It helps that I am one of the higher performers on my team, so I figure as long as I can lose the BF, I can get really, really good.
            My chocolatey Primal journey

            Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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            • #36
              I am just really interested in doing lower carb because when I previously did high carb/low fat, no matter how much protein I ate, my stomach would eat itself on a daily basis and I'd feel horrible :X

              I also don't really care for carbs that much, but I eat them because I previously thought that they would make me feel fuller (apparently that's bloating instead?) and that they would fuel my workouts. I have a preference for eating meat and nuts, though I do like fruits when the craving hits. And lots of unsweetened chocolate...
              Last edited by sakura_girl; 08-10-2011, 08:55 AM.
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              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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              • #37
                Originally posted by ciep View Post
                js, I did't think iniQuity was saying he had trouble sprinting "without glucose in his blood". I thought he was saying he had trouble sprinting without glycogen in his muscles. I read his post to mean that he was keto-adapted from VLC (therefore glycogen depleted pretty much all the time), and found that his performance in prolonged high intensity activity suffered (the type of activity that preferentially relies on stored glycogen).

                ini, correct me if I'm wrong.
                You're right ciep. I misunderstood the part in js' post that you bolded...
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by ciep View Post
                  I'm very interested in this thread. I know that it's possible to perform extremely well in a keto-adapted state. I myself spent about 12 weeks in this state last winter. My experience was that it worked great for extremely high intensity lifting (my workouts took about 15 minutes total -- usually 5-6 sets with a couple min rest in between, the lifts were max effort and I progressed each workout), and that I had phenomenal energy/stamina for anything low-intensity. I didn't try, but I don't doubt at all that I could have trained for and run an ultramarathon completely keto-adapted.

                  But at the same time, in my experience anyway (and I could be dead wrong!), it felt like there was a zone in-between where being keto-adapted didn't work as well. It's a grey area of pretty high intensity activity, sustained for a longer amount of time.

                  Here are a few examples of things I think I'd be worse off at while running on ketones: racing a 10K, playing a very competitive tennis match, soccer game, ultimate frisbee game, etc, a long day of very challenging rock climbing, and so on.
                  To add to that, for me it's FAR from worth it to become keto-adapted if it means I can't eat delicious potatoes and it seems that's the case. Why would I want to spend time adapting to a lifestyle I'm not trying to have? If, on the other hand, I loved the shit out of a protein + fat diet with no, or very little starchy carbs then I'd be fine with the adjustment period.

                  I used to do a lot of reading on no-carb diets. I still have "Not by Bread Alone" by V. Steffansson (of Inuit research fame, and who ate a carnivorous diet for many years) and I mean to read it eventually but I'm no longer interested in that as a lifestyle choice. It makes no sense for me, given my tastes and my cultural background. Glycogen repletion is also a nice bonus.

                  Mark recently linked to http://theprimalparent.com/ and the author eats a mostly carnivorous diet. She explains her reasons (food allergies/sensitivities) and for a long while she was a raw carnivore (which just sounds awesome...) but I believe now she has some things cooked. That's a good example of somebody that has a need to eat that way and become keto-adapted. I haven't read the blog, not sure if she does much in the way of exercise... but she looks good!

                  this is a good post: http://theprimalparent.com/2011/07/2...eats-and-fats/

                  she says her exercise is consequential as part of what she does for a living, but does mention pull-ups separately. It doesn't look however, like she does any serious lifting or sprinting, but she does ride a bike/walk daily. Both the last activities are easily fueled by fat.

                  I might take a look later at the zero-ing in on health forum (a no-carb forum) and see what they're doing over there. I do believe the blog owner is a marathoner... where are the no-carb sprinters at?!
                  Last edited by iniQuity; 08-10-2011, 08:49 AM.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by ciep View Post
                    js, I did't think iniQuity was saying he had trouble sprinting "without glucose in his blood". I thought he was saying he had trouble sprinting without glycogen in his muscles. I read his post to mean that he was keto-adapted from VLC (therefore glycogen depleted pretty much all the time), and found that his performance in prolonged high intensity activity suffered (the type of activity that preferentially relies on stored glycogen).

                    ini, correct me if I'm wrong.
                    I fail to understand how one can be in a physical activity where the muscles both burns and stores glucose at the same time. You're either burning glucose aerobically or storing it as glycogen to be used anaerobically. The fast twitch muscle fibers that use the stored glycogen use it primarily anaerobically and can't easily use glucose aerobically because they lack mitochondria.

                    Originally posted by ciep View Post
                    Here are a few examples of things I think I'd be worse off at while running on ketones: racing a 10K, playing a very competitive tennis match, soccer game, ultimate frisbee game, etc, a long day of very challenging rock climbing, and so on.
                    Ketones are a byproduct of fatty acid metabolism. Your muscles would burn fatty acids producing ketones, which then your brain and heart could also use. I still fail to understand how one's performance would suffer using a more efficient fuel.
                    Last edited by js290; 08-10-2011, 09:55 AM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by js290 View Post
                      I fail to understand how one can be in a physical activity where the muscles both burns and stores glucose at the same time. You're either burning glucose aerobically or storing it as glycogen to be used anaerobically. The fast twitch muscle fibers that use the stored glycogen use it primarily anaerobically and can't easily use glucose aerobically because they lack mitochondria.
                      I'm confused, and I'm sure it's because I'm in over my head with the biochemistry. But here's my sticking point that hopefully you can help me around, js...

                      You say FT fibers use stored glycogen anaerobically. I'm with you so far. So say I'm playing a highly competitive tennis match. Tennis, involves a lot of sprinting, quick directional changes, etc. Aren't these intense bursts of movement anaerobic (mostly fast twitch)? If so, doesn't it make sense to have an adequate supply of glycogen pre-stored in your FT muscle at the start of the match?

                      I'm not trying to argue, I'm just trying to get a handle on how this works, and figure out where I'm going wrong with my reasoning (if I am).

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                      • #41
                        Hmm... I think maybe I see the point you're making. Are things like 10K races, soccer games, tennis matches, etc, simply not high intensity enough to require glycogen? Are you saying anaerobic metabolism is not significant in these activities, and so fatty acid oxidation should work perfectly well?
                        Last edited by ciep; 08-10-2011, 10:15 AM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Hedonist View Post
                          Welcome Sakura Girl. You probably already know that Mark was an elite competitive athlete. He would tell you to follow your dream. Make what minor changes you can now and hold the rest for off season.

                          About those steel-cut oats, if you don't want to give them to a food closet, soak them overnight and rinse before cooking. Maybe you already do that.
                          Am I allowed to consume the liquid that I soak it in? Assuming i want to soak it in some kind of milk
                          My chocolatey Primal journey

                          Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                          • #43
                            Some basic things explained by lyle mcdonald
                            Training on the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: Effects of Cyclical Ketogenic Diets on Exercise Performance

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by AceRimmer View Post
                              Wow, that was highly informational. Thank you very much for the link!
                              My chocolatey Primal journey

                              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by ciep View Post
                                I'm confused, and I'm sure it's because I'm in over my head with the biochemistry. But here's my sticking point that hopefully you can help me around, js...

                                You say FT fibers use stored glycogen anaerobically. I'm with you so far. So say I'm playing a highly competitive tennis match. Tennis, involves a lot of sprinting, quick directional changes, etc. Aren't these intense bursts of movement anaerobic (mostly fast twitch)? If so, doesn't it make sense to have an adequate supply of glycogen pre-stored in your FT muscle at the start of the match?

                                I'm not trying to argue, I'm just trying to get a handle on how this works, and figure out where I'm going wrong with my reasoning (if I am).
                                First, my understanding is glycogen is metabolized anaerobically, regardless of which fiber type it's stored in. Second, to actually get to those glycogen stores require fight-or-flight hormonal response (adrenaline, cortisol, etc). Those fast twitch fibers fatigue quickly and recover slowly. It's not possible to use those muscles for a long period of time. It follows, then, that most competitive athletic movements have to be done aerobically.

                                The high level competitive athlete is genetically gifted with the optimal amount of muscle fibers for the sport they excel at, and also knows how to effectively use the right muscle types at the right time. Roger Federer doesn't need his fast twitch muscles when he plays against an amateur, but against Rafael Nadal... And, even then, he's only going to use them when he absolutely has to.


                                Originally posted by ciep View Post
                                Hmm... I think maybe I see the point you're making. Are things like 10K races, soccer games, tennis matches, etc, simply not high intensity enough to require glycogen? Are you saying anaerobic metabolism is not significant in these activities, and so fatty acid oxidation should work perfectly well?
                                I would argue fatty acid metabolism should work better for the aerobically capable muscles. Plus, the ketone bodies produced should help the heart function even more effectively.
                                Last edited by js290; 08-10-2011, 01:22 PM.

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