So for the last 4+ months I’ve been following a Ketogenic Lifestyle and Phil Maffetone’s MAF training to maximize my health and reduce the risk of injury. Although I’ve been relatively healthy I’ve read a lot about Keto and it’s anti-inflammation benefits in addition to a whole host of potential health benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about it and for some great recipes, this is where I suggest you should start www.dietdoctor.com. It’s essentially, low carb, low-medium protein and high fat, and yes it goes against what we’ve been told for so many years but it works, research it with an open mind. So far I’ve lost about 15 pounds and I didn’t have any weight to lose, nor was it my intention to. But I have felt improved mental clarity, high energy level through the day, less fatigue, and did I mention great food every day, at least if you love bacon and eggs. If anyone wants to reach out to me for more info please do so. It’s not about watching or cutting calories, it’s more about eating real food, fattier cuts of meat etc., and eliminating the majority of carbs we’ve eaten for so long that has led to the obesity problems.
As for MAF training, it’s about doing your workouts at a heart rate of 180 minus your age. You do this for 2 months to build your base, regardless of type of activity, and yes it may mean walking some time. Then after that you continue to do 80% of your workouts at that level and the other 20% you can do some speed work. This also helps train your body to burn fat for fuel rather than glucose so it’s a natural fir with Keto. Training at this low level of intensity also reduces stress and inflammation, so again builds on the benefits of Keto. Now when I wake up in the morning I feel relaxed, none of those aches getting out of bed. Now most weekends I get up, have a glass of water and go out for a 3 hour run with no food, no Gatorade, no Gu’s, just a little water and I feel great. When I come back I don’t even eat for a couple of hours and the next day I feel great and go out a do a Tri. MAF talks about running slow to run faster, so would it work.
I went into my Portland marathon in October with only 8 weeks of training over a 10 week period and ran a 3:25:59, no carb loading the night before, just a nice steak covered with butter. My next races would be the real test. I haven’t done any speed work this year and I had a 10K Turkey Trot race coming up and another 10K 3.5 weeks later. For anyone that knows me, I give it all in a race and at the end I can hardly walk and have a lot of hip pain. But after my marathon I felt pretty good and 2 days later I was running 5 miles each day for the following week without any pain. I went into the Turkey Trot with a goal of sub 45 minutes, but not confident that I could do it. That’s about 5 minutes slower than my PR 2 years ago but after a year of injuries and only running since July it was going to be a challenge. I ran the first mile in 6:52 and was then able to keep the other 5.2 miles in the low 7’s for a 44.22, 7:07 average. And my hip didn’t feel bad at all, just a little ache and 2 days later I ran a half marathon distance training run. So I think it’s working, I ran this race in a fasted state, had nothing apart from water, finished with a decent time and felt great afterwards.
So for the next race I decided I would do a couple of speed workouts to see if I could improve that time. I wasn’t optimistic as this race had 2 bridges in the race so was a harder course. The speed work was a little tougher on my body but again with the anti-inflammation and other easy runs my recovery from the speed work went well. I lined up at the start and was optimistic but not positive. Again in a fasted state, I started the race easy and then ran over the bridge for a 6:46 first mile. The second mile was on the flat for a 6:40 pace and I could feel myself tiring a little but was able to keep the cadence high. My next 3 miles were all under 7 minutes and the 6th was 7:08 coming back over the bridge for the second time. I finished in 42:57, 6:53 average for a 90 second improvement from the Turkey Trot. Again my hip felt good and the following day I did our weekly Tri.
I really believe that the combination of Keto and easy training has helped me to recover quickly and able to keep fit. Only time will tell but so far I’m very encouraged with the results and I’m positive I have quicker times ahead of me. I’m still doing a boot camp once a week, yoga and several 7 minute workouts. All of these help and I would encourage everyone to look at adopting these techniques. Best of luck with your journey and happy running.