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A marathon – just add sugar

I’m stoked to say that on May 6th 2019 I completed my first marathon!

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!! ✔🏃‍♀️😃

Learn more about the background of this marathon and its fundraising.

Marathon map, Milton Keynes
42km of Milton Keynes

Three years ago I started my ketogenic (low-carbohydrate) journey, lost a lot of weight, and much to my surprise went from “couch to runner” in early 2017.  Since then, I’ve continued to experiment to see what I can do with my newfound ketogenic energy.  I discovered I didn’t need sugars and carbohydrates to do the things I wanted to do from weightlifting, cycling, running, and more.  I could do them in a completely fasted state just fuelling with my body’s stored fat.  Of course, I wanted to find out how far I could go.  Could I run a marathon without any sugar?

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Marathon completed!

Just a quick update – not without challenges and issues, I made it through the 42km / 26 mile MK Marathon in 5:03. More later, but for now thanks so much for all your support! X

10th May 2019 update: see A marathon – just add sugar

Learn more about the background of this marathon and fundraising.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

The marathon tomorrow – a quick update

First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

The experiment has begun.  I’ll write more after the marathon – when I will be able to tell you if I was able to complete the race using the protocol, along with all the details.  In the meantime, here is a quick update.

10th May 2019 update: see A marathon – just add sugar

I ran the “MK Rocket 5k” this morning (the MK marathon is tomorrow and starts at 10am).  I didn’t aim for speed – not wanting to put pressure on the day before the marathon but yet I was pleased with my result of 25:57.  I did this of course, in a fasted state with no sugar as usual – I felt fantastic at the end of the race and all went well.

Oooh shiny!
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One week to go

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!

Running on fat without sugar (the protocol)

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32k, heat, teddy bears, and sugar pills

First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  With your generosity I have now raised a whopping £685.  This will go to helping families in their greatest time of need, providing nursing support at home to those with terminal illness – a highly valuable and essential service.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

£685 raised for Marie Curie

On 18th April I ran 32km – my longest distance so far – a new record.  I am also pleased to say that the fundraising goal of £500 is smashed!  Thank you to everyone who has made that happen!

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7km trail run in the sun

Today I went for a 7km run in what was forecast to be cool and overcast. I decided to take my new sun-hat and sun-t-shirt just to try them out for comfort. I was glad that I did, because it turned out to be quite clear, hot and sunny. I was pleased to learn that these new items work really well, kept the sun off my head and helped to keep me cool.

7km run in the sun
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Lurgy, prep and unexpected personal records

First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

With just three weeks to go I can’t help being a bit nervous about the challenge ahead.  This feeling has some panic atop, as over the last two weeks I succumbed to a “dreaded lurgy”.  Was it a cold?  Flu?  Or worse – MAN FLU?  I don’t know, over ten days or so it manifested itself in just about every way, one day after another.  So, reader, I apologise for the lack of recent updates.  The good news is I am on the mend.  The positive part of my brain says the good news is I am far less likely now to be ill at marathon time.  My immune system should be prepared for anything!  The bad news is that I am behind with my training.

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23km fuel, tyres, and heat

First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

23km over 2:36

I had mixed feelings about my training run on 29th April.  I managed to run 23km (14 miles) in unexpectedly warm weather (about 18°C, that felt like 30!).  I tried hard not to neglect the fact I had run over half a marathon in the warmest temperature I had ever ran in, whilst part of me went on about how I had “only” made 23km of my 35km (22 miles) target!

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30km running distance record achieved!

I am very pleased that I smashed my previous longest distance of 23km by completing 30km yesterday.  It was also my longest continual exercise at 3 ½ hours (just over 33,000 steps!).  Of course, I did this without sugar or carbs as usual.

Especially given the challenges that arose, I was very happy with this time.  This distance is about 71% of a full marathon distance (42km) so whilst it will be challenging, I feel I might be on track to meeting my target of a 4 ½ hour marathon.  We will see!

My next goal is to run 35km next week.

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored and supported me on my “marathon without sugar” journey.  I am overwhelmed with the donations and kind words received.  Find out more about my Marie Curie marathon in memory of “my third grandparents”.

There and back – 30k
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Raising money for Marie Curie in memory of “my third grandparents”

I am in training now for my first marathon – the Rightmove MK Marathon Weekend in Milton Keynes – on 5th and 6th May 2019.  On the 5th is a 5km (3 miles) run, and on the 6th is the marathon (42km / 26 miles) – a total of 47km / 29 miles in one weekend.

My main marathon goal is to reach the finish line.  My secondary is to complete it in less than 4.5 hours.  I also hope to use my “Sugar Drop” protocol as an experiment – running without sugar – subject to prior tests, precautions and medical clearance! (learn more).

I am going to run this marathon in memory of my late mother- and father-in law Fred & Joan Shanks.  I am raising funds for Marie Curie.

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