With my first ever marathon coming up in one week’s time (6th May) some have been asking about my latest preparations.
In many ways I have been preparing for this event since I started my low-carb / ketogenic diet back in April 2016. Since then I lost a lot of weight and as I became energised, I became interested to learn how far I could push myself in this new found state.
10th May 2019 update: see A marathon – just add sugar
I am following my very own protocol, which I created built on years of study and self-experimentation. I finally documented this in March 2019, and often refer to it myself to keep on track!
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
| High fat|
| High fat|
In a nutshell, over the last few months, (since my half-marathon in December) I have become stricter about my diet -(and yes, I do look forward to being a little less strict soon), and increased my running distance over time. I have tried my best to perform these runs in varying conditions, trying out different gear, terrain, and techniques.
There would have been more I would have done, if I had the time. I don’t feel I have done nearly enough resistance and general “movement” training. This would have helped me to prevent possible injury. I look forward to getting back to bodybuilding after the event (maybe not straight away!).
I have now got to the point in the plan where I am taking regular blood measurements and weighing in. The protocol states that at this point:
- I should feel energised and well
- I should not feel overly thirsty, my appetite should be normal
- My fasting ketones will likely be in the range of 1-3 mmol/L
- My blood glucose will likely be around 4.0 mmol/L
✔ So, I’m a bit tired due to lack of sleep lately but otherwise I do feel energised and well, appetite normal (apart from on my last big run), no excess thirst.
✔ My ketones are measuring in at 1.6 to 1.9 now (ideal).
✔ My blood glucose is about 4.2 (ideal).
So far so good!
The final week (this week) is a bit more complicated. It involves a two/three day fast (electrolytes only, bone broth, salt, water, black coffee only), magnesium and vitamin supplementation, followed by two/three days of strict ketogenic dieting (<5% carbs, 10 to 15 g daily).
At the time of writing, I have just started the fast. Fortunately, I did “at the last minute” manage to gain some weight prior to this. A regular “side effect” of fasting is of course weight loss. Losing a little weight is helpful for a run, but I do not want to lose fast-burning fat fuel either!
At the end of all this, I should see:
- My fasting ketones will likely be in the range of 3-4 mmol/L
- My blood glucose will likely be around 3.5 mmol/L
This whole process stimulates, and “trains” the body’s functions that create energy without carbohydrates. The aim being to maximise my ability to create energy (glucose + ketones) responsively, on-demand to get me through the event.
Will it work over 42km? I do not know, as far as I am aware it’s not been done before (without any supplementary carbohydrates). I might need to supplement during the event after all, and it’s for this reason I will be carrying some glucose tablets. We will see!!
My weight and measurements taken over the week will show up as I record them in the above embedded chart. I expect to see my ketones rise and my blood sugar fall initially, before stabilising at the end of my fast. Ketones should be attenuated somewhat after I resume eating, but then should be ready to rise fast on the day of the event. As I’m doing a 3 day fast, I do of course expect to lose some weight – but hopefully not too much!
With that, a little luck and not too much sunshine – I should be good to go!