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Having minor troubles, but I'm frustrated


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A little background...my children both have celiac disease and two of the family are dairy allergic as well so we ate gluten and dairy free before starting Whole 30. We ate pretty well, with no cane sugar consumption...only honey or maple syrup, lots of veggies, etc. I ate a vegan diet for about eight months in an attempt to solve some nagging health issues and they actually got worse. So my goals were to hopefully start to take off a stubborn ten pounds that have bothered me for three years, feel better and improve my running ability in strength and endurance.

I'm on day 2 (I had to restart on day 6 because my son's taekwondo tournament went very very VERY late and the only thing We had to eat was the two peanut butter larabars we had packed for his snacks - I made the choice to eat one rather than faint on a South Korean subway with my eight year old in tow after searching the Seongnam neighborhood for something to eat that was compliant). So I've really been eating this way for more than a week other than that bar; I'm not excusing myself, just giving an explanation for the restart.

I run 25-35 miles a week and I am very very tired. Legs feeling like lead lately and just wanting to cry from exhaustion a mile in. This seemed to onset very suddenly...the whole first week I felt great and my runs were fine but today I'm snappy with lead legs that burn. Could this be that one bar, or have I gone all wonky on the timeline of feeling funny? I had no cravings or hangovers or anything like that -- the only change for me has been constipation and this awful slogging feeling. I don't have a fever or body aches or anything like that...I just feel like my legs of bags of concrete all of a sudden and the thought of running is filling me with teary dread, where it's usually one of my favorite parts of the day.

I would love some thoughts...if lead filled legs and exhaustion are part of this deal, I'm not sure I want it!

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Personally, I think you made the right choice regarding the Larabar - making yourself ill just to avoid eating some peanuts is not necessary! Perhaps get a couple of compliant bars to have in your bag in case that happens again.


Do you feel that you're eating enough food at your meals to fuel all of your running? Are you having pre- and post-WO meals? Are you eating a decent quantity of the starchier vege as well?


But also, I know when I was training for a run, some days my legs just felt heavy! (Although, that shouldn't be a consistent thing.)

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I hate to eat before running...I tried a hard boiled egg the other morning and promptly threw up at mile 4. :-(. The only thing I can stomach that early in the morning (5 am) is a date or two or maybe a handful of figs. I definitely eat well when I get home...I usually eat a couple eggs, a cup or two of veggies and a little cashew milk in my coffee. I don't run more than ten at a time and prefer to fuel on dates and water as I run (I only eat for more than six), with maybe a Larabar for higher than eight. I feel like I eat a ton...like I'm going to be the first person ever to get huge during a Whole30!

For example, here's what I ate today...and I only got in 1.25 mile of speed work today before I felt like crying and quitting.


2 eggs

1 c sautéed spinach

Coffee with 2 tbsp of homemade cashew milk


2 cups paleo coleslaw

6 oz tuna mixed with 2 tbsp paleo mayo


1 tbsp almond butter

Pre run snack:

2 dates


Kalua pork (Nomnom paleo recipe)

2 cups of salad greens

1 cup of acorn squash

Dill dressing made with homemade cashew milk

That's a LOT of food. I feel like a fatty. I'm not hungry, but I feel sluggish and weepy.

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My first whole30 I hit legs feel like running through concrete on day 12...it lasted 3 days. It's most often a side effect of less muscle glycogen due to less carbs and more fat but your body is not yet as efficient at converting fat to energy. It takes a couple of weeks for your body to adjust enzymes and gut flora to digest fat more efficiently. Even though you have been sugar and dairy free or a while, a vegan diet is usually quite high carb. Try eating starchy veg?

Pre workout go for protein and fat... chicken, avocado, nuts. You only need a couple of bites. Post workout protein and carbs for fast recovery. If you eat well the night before you may not need a preworkout meal.

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If you are eating a date or figs before your run, your body will use those as fuel first. That means a burst of energy, yes, but then that "lead leg" feeling after you've used the available sugars and need to transition to burning fat. The beauty of the pre-workout fat/protein is that it helps your body become more flexible in what fuel it uses during exercise. Once you have gotten over the transition to easily burning fat you will find more steady energy overall, but you have to get through the transition first.


ps. your meals don't look like too much at all. Breakfast is a bit light (try for three eggs). Some starchy vegetables in meals or right after your runs (not before) might help with glycogen reserves and make this transition a little easier.

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To put it simply:  If you want your body to be able to easily tap into your fat stores for fuel, you have to stop feeding it sugar all the time.  Right now you are a sugar-burner.  You want to become a fat-burner... right?  Starting the day out with dates is not the way to achieve this.  As Mary said, you will have a burst of energy and then a crash.


I say give yourself permission to cut back on your running while you make this adjustment.  It is a process, but it can be done.  You will probably need more fat in your diet.  If you are interested, do some research on endurance athletes who have used a ketogenic diet.  Ben Greenfield comes to mind.  I have heard him on a few podcasts.  Good luck!

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I'll try a different snack before a run and see if it helps...I have to find something I won't throw up on sprints. :-( I'm making some plain jerky and maybe with a handful of cashews, I can stomach that.

I ran on an empty stomach for 2.5 miles of hills this morning (remember all those mountains and hill in MASH? Yeah, South Korea is alllllll mountain!) and no lead legs...and my wind was better. I was slower than usual but not crazily so...and I was on a 7% grade hill climb or downhill that entire time so that could explain the slow down! My husband thinks eating pork, pineapple, kabocha and salad last night might have given me carb boost without needing dates or banana first thing.

My husband keeps wanting me to eat more eggs too, but we compromised and added half an avocado to my breakfast instead this morning. Having been vegan for nearly a year, my digestion is really not digging all the animal protein. All my other systems love it though...itchy flaky skin is gone, no acne or cramping, yay! If my stomach would just get on board and not be completely nauseated during a run or backed up, that would be awesome. I think it's getting better...trying to be patient.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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Maybe get some digestive enzymes while you're adjusting to more protein.


And I've had the same experience with a hardboiled egg and running - just did not sit right! Maybe just the nuts will be sufficient - play around a little bit with it. You're not eating that snack to fuel the workout, you're eating it to let your system know it's time to get up and go, so as long as you eat sufficiently the night before (as it seems you did last night) you'll have the energy to run.

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