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Monday, 25 April 2016

Calgary Police Half Marathon - a race report leading upto IM - experimenting w diet

A few years ago, along with friend Greg, 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 my 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've been experimenting 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 approximately 2.5 hours per week. At the same time, I've been skiing, cycling and swimming ... gaining fitness.
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 prior to 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.
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'.)

Prior to 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. To see on Strava, click here.

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 pasted 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 own 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.

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

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