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Muscle glycogen storage for time trials

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  • #16

    Faster in the end: To be honest I can't tell, but I can tell you that my performance is not limited by my carb intake anymore.

    I would say that I'm more fit, since I lost some weight, have had a very limited number of colds, and that my recover is at least as good as before - No, it is better, if its due to life style or that my training has been far more consistent, I can't tell. Which sort of leads to your next question.

    I can't say that a Primal Blueprint oriented approach has helped me a bit. Maybe the overall feeling on long ride has improved due to beeing less sensitive to glycogen for fuel. I would even go as far as saying that the only thing I know is that the change in lifestyle a year ago, limited my training for months.

    Saying that ... I have never been able to train as consistent as I've done this year. Colds, flu, overall fatigue etc. has not limited me as before. Weight control has taken 'zero effort'. I have enjoy my training more, why I'm not sure, but overall feeling of power and fitness has been a part. I have diversified my training, with crossfit, kettlebells etc.

    I drink milk - fattest available - after training sometimes. I also use cheese. Whipped cream together with strawberries is very nice pwo during summer. I can see that weight loss is influenced to some extent. But, and I think this is important, when you go Paleo, try to find thinks that make your chose easy, so that you don't see your choice as a limitation. You will have a much easier time. For me cheese is such an example. I can stay away from cheese for months, but instead of falling of the Paleo track totally, to Pizza for instance, I take a cheese omelette.

    TdF is up next.


    • #17

      I noticed that it took me about two weeks to start training better when I went primal.

      I also found that my race performances from the marathon right up to 100km races improved while training in a low glycogen state and racing high.

      For me adding some carbs back into my diet the day before an event, during and after long training sessions was the key for me to race successfully.

      I blogged everything during my 30-day challenge last year


      • #18

        Primalrunner, I read your blog. Thanks

        Didn't give up and getting very good results now.

        During training lowcarb - but adding some carbs before the competition works perfectly. (Sprouted bread/honey, but also roots like topinambur and red potatoes are nice). During bicycle time trials I take a bidon of homemade sportsdrink (nothing like gatorade!).

        Yesterday managed to get a 5th place out of over 200 riders. In another time trial a week ago I managed to beat my last years time by 28 seconds. That's a lot for 8,5km! Still feeling stronger everyday. This primal (in my case primal inspired) diet rules!

        Who needs doping. Haha.


        • #19

          I read the above posts with interest and I'm hoping some of you can help me.

          I love to eat Primal. It feels right to me. I've gradually moved this way over the last year. For the last 3 weeks I've been on it 100% and feel great...

          Here's the big BUT... My athletic performance has been destroyed!

          I'm a cyclist and I can't even make it a few hundred yards without my legs burning up in pain. On my usual weekend 40 mile ride with my mates, I lasted 1 mile and had to turn around and go home.

          On my morning sprint training I normally sprint 45-60 seconds and hit HR 190bpm and repeat 10 times. This morning I burnt out at 20 seconds with max HR 145bpm and managed only 1 rep!

          Weights in the gym have dropped 30-40%.

          I've been eating loads of calories and all good natural food. I've always enjoyed lots of good fats in my diet. I assume my problem is depleted glycogen.

          I read so many posts saying athletic performance is better or at least as good on Primal.

          Will this get better for me?

          How long do people take to fully adapt?

          Should I stick with Primal and forget the bike?

          How long before my muscles don't feel weak?

          Any advice or encouragement would be really appreciated.

          (I'm male aged 43)


          • #20

            ra18, I don't know anything about your question, but I think it is important enough to have its own thread.


            • #21

              Hi ra18,

              Losing your sprint capacity is not caused by a lack of muscle glycogen. Sprinting is pure ATP.

              A shortage in muscle glycogen would manifest itself by losing power after 45 - 90 minutes of cycling below anaerobic treshhold.

              Getting a fallback in power AND endurance is probably something else. Are you getting enough calories?

              I added some carbohydrates to my diet (roots, tubers, but NO cereals). That seems to do a lot for me. Especially the day before competition.

              I also had some very bad training days after going primal (week 2/3). Heart rate was messed up, no power, etc. But now I have super power on the bike.

              Do not give up, but give your body time to adjust. But make sure you get enough calories!


              • #22

                Thanks mudbeard, I'm very encouraged by your reply.

                Looking at my calories, they have been a bit low. So I'll make sure I get enough from now on


                • #23

                  Good luck!

                  Let me know if the problem was the low calorie intake...


                  • #24

                    Let me emphasize that I am not completely on the low part of low carb! I am not trying to lose weight, I just want to be faster on my bike during time trials.

                    I do add some carbs - I guess more than other primal eaters - but nothing like grains and legumes. Not even sprouted grains anymore. All my carbs come from tubers and roots and some fruits now. I also have some dairy, but only yoghurt, kefir etc. No milk.

                    Make sure you are not eating too little!

                    Nice to read:

                    Primal Potatoes #1

                    Primal Potatoes #2

                    Primal Potatoes #3

                    Primal Potatoes a Contrary View

                    Primal Potatoes - reply to contrary view

                    More sources on this would be welcome!


                    • #25

                      @mudbeard - fascinating set of articles. Thanks for sharing.


                      • #26

                        You should consider getting the Paleo Diet for Athletes - it gives some good guidance in this area.


                        • #27

                          Not too long ago some blog (I forgot which one) pointed out 7 youtube movies of a talk from Doug McGuff.

                          The first one is here, after viewing you can go to the next one:


                          Espescially interesting in the context of this thread is the part about glycogen storage and why not to keep it high at all times. Just fill it up before the race (not the training).