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dfox

Half Marathon Soon, Low Energy

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I'm currently on Day 13 and feeling good about meals and energy in general. But it is impossible for me to run my morning workouts at the paces I should be nailing. This morning I did track work and I was sooooo slow, but I thought I was going fast. It was too dark to see my watch, but the data showed that my heart rate correctly reflected my perceived effort, however I was running about 1 min/mile slower than I should have been.

 

Per earlier advice, I have been eating a boiled egg and a date prior to workout, even though I have no appetite that early in the morning. When I get home I have 3 eggs with homemade pesto (no cheese), sweet potato, and greens. Lunch is usually a hearty beef stew packed with root veggies, apple and home roasted sunflower seeds if needed. Dinner has been substantial - last night was 2 chicken thighs, a lot of veggie stir-fry with sausage, and cauli-squash mash. I was stuffed. I know I'm getting enough to eat because I am normally a huge eater and never stop thinking about food. On the Whole 30, however, I tend to know when I'm hungry and when I'm not. That said, I have been eating a little more than I'm hungry for just to insure that I have enough calories for my 1.5 hour daily run/workout.

 

My half marathon will fall on day 17 of the diet. I'm not terribly concerned about my finish time, but I don't want to be a slug either. I'm training for Boston Marathon, which is in April, and was hoping to dial in a healthy training diet for peak performance for that date.

 

My diet plan leading up to day 17 will include increasing starchy veggies. On race day I'm not sure what to eat. I was thinking maybe 2 eggs and a banana, and then bring dates as fuel. Suggestions from anyone with successful Whole30 race-fuel ideas are much appreciated.

 

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How different was your pre-W30 diet?

Unfortunately I would hazard a guess that if you're feeling this way now, there's not a lot of difference 4 days will make. Since you're already qualified for Boston I'd say just accept the pace of the upcoming race on Day 17 and then you'll have some evaluatin' to do to determine what your post-W30 world will look like.

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Eat some more carbs in the form of starchy vegetables a couple of days before and the day of the race (train low; race high).  I'm guessing you will do just fine in the race and will be able to hit the pace you were aiming for.

 

I have used dates during runs.  I usually take a Larabar to eat during a half marathon.  Just make sure you get one that has compliant ingredients (most of the flavors do).  Best wishes to you!

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Thanks for the responses. My pre whole 30 diet was pretty good. We don't keep things like cookies and cheetos in our home, nor do I drink soda or gatorade or use gels unless in races. I was already mostly GF and dairy minimal, but I'm a popcorn addict (with nutritional yeast). Although I already had a pretty clean diet, I'm sure I was still getting a lot of carb energy from rice, beans, and hidden sugars in sauces.

 

I'll try the larabar in the race, although it seems it would be hard to eat while trying to breath. Dates are pretty much pure sugar, so I'm sure they're a good replacement to gels. I generally take Enduralytes for electrolyte replacement, however I've noticed the capsules contain rice bran, so I imagine they're out.

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My last Whole30 I had a half marathon on day 23 or so. My energy had been great by then. The morning of (about 2 hours before the race) I had some mashed sweet potato and scrambled eggs, and coffee with coconut milk. A smaller portion than my normal breakfast but still substantial. During the race I just drank water, but for electrolytes the night before the race and morning of I drink Elete Citrilyte. Post race I had a coconut water and larabar on the way home (it was all I had at the moment).

 

During training I've experimented with lots of different kinds of dried fruit and found that I like dates and dried banana (not chips) best. Raisins are too hard to eat on the go, and dried apple is too chewy/mouth dehydrating. 

 

Hope that helps! I haven't touched Gu or Cytomax in about 6 months and have continued to train without them very, very successfully. Good luck!

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My last Whole30 I had a half marathon on day 23 or so. My energy had been great by then. The morning of (about 2 hours before the race) I had some mashed sweet potato and scrambled eggs, and coffee with coconut milk. A smaller portion than my normal breakfast but still substantial. During the race I just drank water, but for electrolytes the night before the race and morning of I drink Elete Citrilyte. Post race I had a coconut water and larabar on the way home (it was all I had at the moment).

 

During training I've experimented with lots of different kinds of dried fruit and found that I like dates and dried banana (not chips) best. Raisins are too hard to eat on the go, and dried apple is too chewy/mouth dehydrating. 

 

Hope that helps! I haven't touched Gu or Cytomax in about 6 months and have continued to train without them very, very successfully. Good luck!

Thanks for the tips. How do you feel your pace was for the race you describe compared to a non-Whole30 pace? I don't expect to pr this weekend, but I would like to think I could in the future on a modified W30.

 

I'll see if I can find the Elete product at my running store. I'll try drying some banana in our fruit dryer.

 

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I'm currently on Day 13 and feeling good about meals and energy in general. But it is impossible for me to run my morning workouts at the paces I should be nailing. This morning I did track work and I was sooooo slow, but I thought I was going fast. It was too dark to see my watch, but the data showed that my heart rate correctly reflected my perceived effort, however I was running about 1 min/mile slower than I should have been.

 

Per earlier advice, I have been eating a boiled egg and a date prior to workout, even though I have no appetite that early in the morning. When I get home I have 3 eggs with homemade pesto (no cheese), sweet potato, and greens. Lunch is usually a hearty beef stew packed with root veggies, apple and home roasted sunflower seeds if needed. Dinner has been substantial - last night was 2 chicken thighs, a lot of veggie stir-fry with sausage, and cauli-squash mash. I was stuffed. I know I'm getting enough to eat because I am normally a huge eater and never stop thinking about food. On the Whole 30, however, I tend to know when I'm hungry and when I'm not. That said, I have been eating a little more than I'm hungry for just to insure that I have enough calories for my 1.5 hour daily run/workout.

 

My half marathon will fall on day 17 of the diet. I'm not terribly concerned about my finish time, but I don't want to be a slug either. I'm training for Boston Marathon, which is in April, and was hoping to dial in a healthy training diet for peak performance for that date.

 

My diet plan leading up to day 17 will include increasing starchy veggies. On race day I'm not sure what to eat. I was thinking maybe 2 eggs and a banana, and then bring dates as fuel. Suggestions from anyone with successful Whole30 race-fuel ideas are much appreciated.

 

Not sure where the advice to have a date pre-workout came from, but we actually advice that pre-workout meals do not contain starchy vegetables or fruit. It is normal to take a hit to performance in the first couple of weeks while your body adjusts to burning fat for its primary fuel vs carbs as its primary fuel. This close to a race I wouldn't make any big changes to your pre and post workout meals but after you might want to experiment with it more. I was training for half marathons when I did my switch to paleo and my first Whole30. On my long run days I would have some eggs before and some sweet potato and lean protein after and I only fueled with coconut water on my runs. 

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Better option is to make your own "sweet potato gu" using canned sweet potatoes pureed with a little coconut milk and a little apple juice. Baby food squeeze packets also work well if you don't want to make your own. I have a section on my blog with lots of suggestions in this vein.

 

Try also eating more starchy veggies. You may want a little at each meal. Sweet potatoes, winter squash, rutabaga (I love them shredded into hash browns), beets etc.

 

Some of us take longer to adapt to become fat burning. It took me over a month. I was a sugar maniac, even though I had been "leaning Paleo" for months prior to my Whole30. Hang in there.

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I took over 10 minutes off of my race time from the same course the year before. I hadn't really ramped up my training from the year before either. If anything I had trained less due to a flare up of a chronic illness.

 

The most noticeable effect since I've started eating Whole30-ish and eating more paleo has been no bonks...ever. I can go on 10 mile trail runs with nothing but water and have no energy issues or recovery problems at all. It's amazing. I used to 'need' Chomp Blox and Cytomax on anything over 7 miles. So silly. 

 

If you're paranoid about pace just I would just bring some dates (not the most popular choice as a PWO, as stated above) or sweet try out the sweet potato gu if you have time to see how that works for you during training. It's a race...not just a normal workout. You want to do well. But certainly don't do it if you feel a few dates will de-rail your Whole30. 

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I took over 10 minutes off of my race time from the same course the year before. I hadn't really ramped up my training from the year before either. If anything I had trained less due to a flare up of a chronic illness.

 

The most noticeable effect since I've started eating Whole30-ish and eating more paleo has been no bonks...ever. I can go on 10 mile trail runs with nothing but water and have no energy issues or recovery problems at all. It's amazing. I used to 'need' Chomp Blox and Cytomax on anything over 7 miles. So silly. 

 

If you're paranoid about pace just I would just bring some dates (not the most popular choice as a PWO, as stated above) or sweet try out the sweet potato gu if you have time to see how that works for you during training. It's a race...not just a normal workout. You want to do well. But certainly don't do it if you feel a few dates will de-rail your Whole30. 

This race isn't super important, but I was planning to use it as an indicator to my progress in training. I will bring a couple of dates with me, but wont eat them unless I'm dying in the latter part of the race. Thanks for the advice. I'm actually really looking forward to the eventual ability to avoid high sugar dependence for good performance.

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I know we are living in the day of extreme sports where people leap from helicopters onto snowboards and carve their way down Mount Everest.   But let me tell you, you got dressed and ran just under your normal pace at some speed above completely still.   You are the leader of the pack.   You're not traveling with herd.  You're an athlete.  Give yourself some lil somethin' somethin'.    Great job at getting out there.

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This race isn't super important, but I was planning to use it as an indicator to my progress in training. I will bring a couple of dates with me, but wont eat them unless I'm dying in the latter part of the race. Thanks for the advice. I'm actually really looking forward to the eventual ability to avoid high sugar dependence for good performance.

Good plan!

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frozen grapes or a banana mash are better choices than dates, if you're committed to having fruit instead of sweet potato. grapes and bananas are lower in fructose than most other fruits, so they're a much better choice for refueling during a long effort like a marathon.

 

Additionally, the middle of a Whole30 is a really rough time for endurance runners. Please keep this in mind and don't use your results as a huge marker of training progress. You're totally messing with the fuel your body is used to on this Whole30, so it's very common for your legs to feel like lead, etc.  Your body will get used it soon, just make sure you EAT and hang in there. Don't despair!

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Yup. I sucked pretty bad. My PR is 1:34:28. Today I ran 1:46:03. I didn't expect to PR, but I didn't think I would go over 1:40:00. From the start I had no strength. It's kind of hard to explain; I had strong cardio, but no legs - I just couldn't run at a good pace. I ate a couple of dates - mile 3 and mile 6 - but they didn't seem to help so I didn't eat anymore.

 

Friday and Saturday I carbed up pretty good, and this morning I ate sweet potato and two eggs, although I wasn't hungry, awhile prior to the race.

 

I think I'll register for another half marathon for next month and see if my body returns to me by then. After my whole30 I'll continue to keep sugar, wheat, and dairy out of my diet and see if I can improve performance.

 

What I have not been able to find on these forums is whether or not someone is likely to IMPROVE on the Whole9 template. A lot of people have commented that their bodies adjust, they don't bonk, they feel good after a race, but I haven't seen much about experienced runners actually getting faster as a result of the Whole9 lifestyle. Newer runners will improve just by being new to the sport - you will show improvement for a couple of years if you keep at it. After awhile you reach a peak and need to work hard to maintain your ability, and even harder if you want to get faster.

 

I'm not too bummed out since my running has been slow throughout the Whole30 process. Aside from being slow, I felt okay during the race, and I feel good after. I do feel healthy and that's the most important for now. My energy is good in general - I'm just slow.

 

Thanks to all who've given feedback and input :)

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What I have not been able to find on these forums is whether or not someone is likely to IMPROVE on the Whole9 template. A lot of people have commented that their bodies adjust, they don't bonk, they feel good after a race, but I haven't seen much about experienced runners actually getting faster as a result of the Whole9 lifestyle. Newer runners will improve just by being new to the sport - you will show improvement for a couple of years if you keep at it. After awhile you reach a peak and need to work hard to maintain your ability, and even harder if you want to get faster.

 

I think you're going to have to look outside this particular forum for the answers you seek.  Try CrossFit's forum (http://board.crossfit.com/forumdisplay.php?f=8) or Sisson's (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/forum10.html).

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Sorry to hear it didn't go as well as you'd hoped.

Stay focused and hopeful you can run a better race later this winter or spring as a gauge for Boston.

I can't really comment on whether my switch to w30/paleo is helping my running, since I am a newer runner still and am losing weight - so my improvements are likely due to those factors as well. Best wishes to you!

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I am on day 20, and honestly, all this challenge has convinced me of is that carbs (i.e. Sprouted bread, whole grains, legumes...gasp) are important fuel sources for athletes. I will finish out the 30 days because I am stubborn like that, then I will go back to properly fueling my intense track workouts that have been utter crap the past three week. I do as told, I eat the sweet potatoes, mini meals, blah, blah, and then I get my butt kicked because, science. Athletes need carbs, quick burning ones. Sorry about your race, just know that it is not just you. I'm sure people will argue with me, but I'm talking about a sub-set of people here that are training for marathons at a 7min mile pace, Whole 30 is not a good idea for this type of athlete.

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dfox, Kirkor, Derek...what would happen if you put good oil in your engine?  I might be a few quarts low here, but what if you didn't use pre/post gels, carbs and let your motor purr with good fats?  People rave about coconut butter/oil.  Or even Macadamia Nut oil?

 

I'm no longer going to diminish myself by saying "just"....that somehow a person who goes for a steep mountain -  7 mile hike at 7,000-8,000  ft elevation feels the need to put the the word "just" in front of their accomplishment.   Doesn't fat adaptation take care of the need for constant carb reloading and feeding  oneself little packets of sugar pops?   I've never felt the need for a pre/post anything and my legs didn't buckle.   My motor is running on oil.  How in the world would bread/pasta improve performance?   I can't do anything with a dough belly,  I want to lay down and go to sleep.

 

Thanks for listening, fellas.    Back in the day of my Hunkpapa Sioux ancestors, there was no carbo loading.   My ancestors/relatives can run beautifully like the wind for long, long distances without any pre/post anything.    :D Me, too.  Fat adaptation is awesome.

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I'll start by saying I've been eating Whole30 for 3-4 years now, endurance athlete for twice that. Whole30 did change my life, how I eat, and how I think about food.  My performance, recovery, endurance, and health drastically improved. The process was worth every craving, difficult day, dead-leg-run, and mistake made along the way. I'd do it again knowing how it all turned out!

 

I'm an ultra runner and iron distance triathlete who trains 10-20 hours a week. Some weeks I put huge stresses on my body. Before Whole30, my body wasn't tolerating it, and I wasn't improving. Now I'm stronger, leaner, fitter than ever.

 

Personally, I wouldn't try a Whole30 with a major race coming up. In that situation, you need to decide which is more important -- the nutritional changes or the race. It's not impossible, but it is dang hard to do both. I do my strict Whole30 in my recovery/off season as a way to reset and heal up. 

 

But I agree that Whole30 eating is not always a successful program for high-performance/speedy/intense athletes. Based on the usual criteria, I also consider myself fat adapted. But fat does not burn fast enough in my engine to perform workouts at what I consider to be my high-intensity level. 

 

Some days we don't want our motor to "purr", we want it to rev. There's a huge difference between nutritional needs for long endurance and speed work. I can do 4-6 hour trail runs burning fat on compliant foods, but I am unable to do a >60 minutes speed workout on them. I've tried many times, and season after season my body failed to improve and even worse recover from the workouts. There's something to be said for keeping the brain fueled on fast burning fuels too, as I not only suffer physically, I suffer mentally by losing motivation and focus.

 

So I made a choice that has worked for me as an individual. Before and after training I eat compliant so that my body has the best fuel to rebuild and recover. Typically all of my base and early season training is on fully compliant foods. When speed work and specific pre-race prep starts, I'm not Whole30 compliant and I start making choices about my nutrition. If in a workout I need a gel, I eat it. It's not often, it's not every workout, and it's dependent the length and type of session. Or when I'm in a long hard run/ride and I feel my mental focus going, that "little packet of sugar pop" is what got me home safe and upright. Recently I nearly ruined a race season because I was so h*ll bent on staying compliant because I saw it worked for others and I wanted that too.

 

Minor point -- I've found I don't need to carb load, contrary to so much of what we have been taught. I eat a big white sweet potato smothered in ghee and salt along with dinner and I'm fine.

 

If bread makes you faster, then go for it once you are done with your Whole30. Certainly doesn't work for me, I'd be cramped and on the toilet! Then curled up with Meadowlily sleeping it off. But that doesn't mean it won't work for you. Everyone is different, and needs to make their own decisions. Remember no one is making you do a Whole30, it's your choice to do so. Similar to signing up for a big race, you are choosing to challenge yourself. Jump on the challenge and see where it takes you! And it's only 30 days. But see above about doing a Whole30 with a major race goal coming up...

 

I strongly encourage athletes to go through the 30 days (or longer), there's so much to be learned. You'll discover new foods, learn about your body, make better choices, and be healthier. Then after that, see how you are doing. Take what you've learned, and build from there. And share your results so others can learn :)

 

Lucie

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dfox, Kirkor, Derek...what would happen if you put good oil in your engine?  I might be a few quarts low here, but what if you didn't use pre/post gels, carbs and let your motor purr with good fats?  People rave about coconut butter/oil.  Or even Macadamia Nut oil?

 

I'm no longer going to diminish myself by saying "just"....that somehow a person who goes for a steep mountain -  7 mile hike at 7,000-8,000  ft elevation feels the need to put the the word "just" in front of their accomplishment.   Doesn't fat adaptation take care of the need for constant carb reloading and feeding  oneself little packets of sugar pops?   I've never felt the need for a pre/post anything and my legs didn't buckle.   My motor is running on oil.  How in the world would bread/pasta improve performance?   I can't do anything with a dough belly,  I want to lay down and go to sleep.

 

Thanks for listening, fellas.    Back in the day of my Hunkpapa Sioux ancestors, there was no carbo loading.   My ancestors/relatives can run beautifully like the wind for long, long distances without any pre/post anything.    :D Me, too.  Fat adaptation is awesome.

Meadow, everything you've said makes sense . . . . if speed isn't important. I felt okay in my race, I just didn't have speed. Because fats are slow release, I'm not getting the extra fuel for immediate use in a race. Simple carbs, like gels, are immediately available for the body, so you can run faster. Even before W30 I never trained with gels, but would use them in races because you can literally feel yourself speeding up within a minute or so of consuming one. It's just a matter of what's important to the runner. When I run each morning I don't care how slow I am. When I'm running a race with hopes of qualifying for Boston, anything goes, and those gels - as much as I hate what's in them - do help. They aren't pre or post for me, they're for during.

 

When done with the whole 30, in 12 days, I will continue for probably an additional 15 days to allow my body to fully adjust to this way of eating. Since it's still a little difficult for me, I imagine 30 days will be just enough to get my body into the groove, so I don't want to start introducing other things until then. I might learn that I my speeds will start increasing without simple carbs - if not, rice is coming back (I'm a paella chef, so rice is hard to give up).

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Okey Dokey, dfox.  You know your bod.    We'll be your cheering section when you qualify for the Boston.   We'll know all  about the quiet sacrifices you are making to get there... in our own snackless corners.

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Okey Dokey, dfox.  You know your bod.    We'll be your cheering section when you qualify for the Boston.   We'll know all  about the quiet sacrifices you are making to get there... in our own snackless corners.

Oh, I qualified for Boston in March - Now I'm training for Boston (April 20) so you can start cheering now ;) .

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