So after pretty good results at both the Whistler and Seymour 5 Peaks races I can definitely see the benefits of the Ketogenic diet. I had lots of energy for both races and had no difficulty with recovery whatsoever. In fact, I was ready for another run after my Seymour Race yesterday!
Though the week leading up to the race was a challenge. I wrote in my previous entry about my headaches which I thought may be attributed to a sodium deficiency. This was followed by 2-3 days of very low energy which included several unexpected naps and longer than usual sleep. So I think sodium was likely an issue and I did uptake my sodium content quite a bit with mostly miso and tamari.
A further explanation may be the next stage of keto-adaptation – wherein , according to Volek and Phinney, the muscles stop using ketones for fuel. Here they explain:
Instead, muscle cells take up acetoacetate, reduce it to betahydroxybutyrate, and return it back into the circulation. Thus after a few weeks, the predominant form in the circulation is beta-hydroxybutyrate, which also happens to be the ketone preferred by brain cells (as an aside, the strips that test for ketones in the urine detect the presence of acetoacetate, not beta-hydroxybutyrate). The result of this process of keto-adaptation is an elegantly choreographed shuttle of fuel from fat cells to liver to muscle to brain.
<Phinney, Stephen; Volek, Jeff (2011-07-08). The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable (p. 164). Beyond Obesity LLC. Kindle Edition.>
So I do wonder if there was also another transition period I went through.
That said, I threw out any notion any sort of carb restriction today at the Metro Vancouver Feast of Fields where I ate any damn thing I pleased! So we’ll now see how my energy holds up this week.
This week I made up a batch of keto-granola and a blueberry-chia pudding. They were pretty good for first runs, but I am sure I can make them both much much better. Having some new foods in my diet was a nice change and I think I can play with both recipes quite a bit. I also bought some nice organic ground beef and have been adding it to my Miso soup.
At this point I need to think about how I want to proceed with this diet and with races for the remainder of the year. The last 5 Peaks race is September 26 which is the day I fly back from Whitehorse. I will try to get an earlier flight so will continue to train for that race. I also hope to do a 5k In the Bay area in October to check my time against my earlier times. Then after that I think I will likely focus more on cycling and upper body strength as well as swimming to start preparing for next season and to prepare for some triathlons. I think I may throw some mountain biking in there as well, such as the Test of Metal in Squamish.
Looking forward to more cross training and getting in the pool to see how I can fare in the triathlons. If I can get my swimming up I think I could do quite well.