A few years ago, along with friend Greg K, we decided we would do an Ironman distance triathlon every 5 years. I think we both think of it as a bit of a health check up. 2011 was our last Ironman … so this is Ironman Year – the goal race being Ironman Arizona on Nov 20.
One of the reasons I like this 5 year Ironman plan … is every 5 years … I’m forced to get real efficient with my time, and because of all the training … I am forced to take a serious look at my health and habits. Currently, as I ramp up my training and research – I am a bit amazed at all the new supposed ‘hacks’ – at how to get fitter and faster.
For the past 6 weeks, I have experimented with a Ketogenic Diet (High Fat and Low Carbs). I began down this rabbit hole by Listening to a pod cast by Tim Ferris as he interviewed Dr. Peter Atilla & later Dom D’Augustino. Since then, I’ve listened/read other proponents of this ‘way’ … Mark Sisson and Ben Greenfield.
Proponents of training and racing in a Ketogenic State (as I understand it) – suggest that you should not need to fuel your body until after 3, 4 and even 5 hours of training/racing. Your body will burn more efficiently on fat (versus what we all mostly believe – which you must use Carbs).
Since January 1, I have run 36 hours. That is about 2.5 hours per week. At the same time, I’ve been skiing, cycling and swimming … gaining fitness. I did three very good speed workouts on the Glenmore Track the three weeks prior to this race.
Since early in March, I’ve been waking in the morning … drinking bullet coffee … and getting on with my day of a morning swim or run, then working … often having the first low carb meal at noon. (This is to practice becoming a fat burning machine.)
Sunday, April 24/16 – Calgary Police Half Marathon – Time to test the training & diet
I woke 2 hours before the 8am start, I drank a bullet coffee (adding butter and cream). I weighed in at 160.2 lbs – which is about 5 pounds off my standard ‘natural want to be weight’ of 166 pounds. I’m pleased about that. Ultimately I would like to try to get down to 155lbs for IM Arizona.
15 Minutes prior to the race start, I drank some Ketoforce (It contains 55 calories with Sodium & Potassium Beta Hydroxybutyrate … supposed to help me be a ‘fat burning beast’.)
Weeks before the race, I decided I would try to run sub 1 hour 30 min … which is a pace of 4 min 15″ per km. (I did similar pace in November.) I felt great at the start of the race, running the first 8 km’s between 3:52 and 4:07.
Somewhere between 9 and 11 km, my legs felt VERY heavy. (I wondered … do I have enough miles of running in these legs.)
1 hour into the race, against the strong proponents of this diet, I had a gel. I was told if I did this … it would be like rocket fuel and I’d fly the last 30 minutes. Nothing. (I wished there was a telephone booth near, so I could get my Superman cape out.)
In the last kilometer, I had another gel. I got passed by two runners.
I had no kick – no fight to truly race.
My average heart rate was 163, max bursting to 188. This may suggest that I was going as hard as possible … as my threshold is around 163 (from my self testing).
I ran 1 hour 30 min and 30 seconds – a pace of 4min 17″. I finished 25th overall and 6th in my age group. According to Strava, the course was a little long. See the route (my heart rate & more) on Strava by clicking here.
What did I learn:
I’m enjoying the diet
I should try the next event with a fat filled breakfast (eggs fried in coconut oil/butter & spinach)
I should run more than 2.5 hours per week
Ghost of the Gravel on June 19, a dirt road race of about 150km – where I hope to defend my win from last year in the Cat 3 category.
I think I’d like to get more strict about this ketosis thing. I’d like to monitor my body a bit more to find out if I am actually in ketosis.
I want to learn more about HRV (Heart Rate Variability) Training. My understanding so far … base your workout effort on your rested heart rate when you wake up in the morning.
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About Bryon Howard
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