Monday, 4 August 2014

A quick update on how eating paleo is affecting my running

21 miles, 3 hours 50 mins, 2,439 foot of ascent and 2,726 calories burned. Fuelled by a couple of handfuls of nuts and seeds and 4 dates.

On Sunday I ran the second half of the High Peak 40 route with Mike, Al and David. The plan was to have some fun in the Peak District and recce the second half of the route. Having switched to eating paleo in April, it was also going to be my longest run on this diet and the first real test of how this change of nutrition would affect me on a longer run.

Before I get into that though, I want to thank Mike for organising the run and navigating the route, Al for giving me a lift and David for picking up the navigation when Mikes recollection of the route let him down! As always it was great to run with them and a beautiful day in the Peak District.

A great group to share an excellent day of running with

Overall, I have been sticking quite closely to the paleo style of eating. I relaxed this whilst I was on holiday, allowing myself more alcohol, desserts and ice cream! That little diversion aside, I am really enjoying what I am eating and don't really see myself changing from this lifestyle.

When I woke on Sunday, I didn't feel hungry but conscious of the day ahead, I thought I better eat something. My breakfast consisted of home made nut muesli with a couple of blueberries and some almond milk. I also had a Nespresso coffee with full fat cream. This would have been about 7:45am. We started running at about 11am and my plan was to just eat when I became hungry. I didn't actually need to eat anything until 2 hours 20 mins into the run, even then I wasn't that hungry or facing any sort of crash. I just had a handful of nuts and seeds.

Plenty of natural obstacles to negotiate!

Over the next hour and a half, I consumed another couple of handfuls of nuts and ate 4 dates. At the end of the race, I drank a home made smoothie consisting of frozen berries, almond milk, Greek yoghurt, peanut butter and honey, and ate a Trek bar. This would have been about 3pm.

We travelled home and I didn't eat anything until about 7:30pm when I had a normal sized meal of home made beef burgers, basmati rice and a salad. About an hour later I had a coffee with cream.

Yesterday was an amazing day of running with great people in a beautiful setting but it also served as a really good experiment and test of how my long run / race nutrition is adapting to the paleo diet. I have to say, I was really pleased with how it went. I never felt like I was going to bonk and whilst I wouldn't say that I had endless energy, I was really pleased with how my body responded both during and after the race. I would usually want to eat all of the food in the house on returning from a 20 mile run!

Some of the beautiful Peak District scenery

I am hoping that as a I train for Chester, I will be able to encourage my body to become more fat adapted. Watch this space!