Friday, 17 February 2017

Fasted, low carb, high fat... mumbo jumbo... or is it?

I have been training using the Maffetone Method for several months now, and I eat low carb high fat most of the time, I actually don't particularly enjoy sweet stuff now if I do have some, never thought I would say that.

So does it work? One of my best friends thinks it's all 'mumbo jumbo'! I have to disagree as I am feeling great, life has been extremely stressful over the past few months and I like the whole holistic approach of MAF. Running slowly and keeping my heart rate down (135 is my MAF maximum, 180-age) helps prevent placing my body under extra stress. My speed has improved since I first began, then I couldn't run much under 14 minute miles without my heart rate going high and having to walk to bring it down. Now I can plod along at about 12 minute miles and heart rate stays roughly in zone. I am not obsessive about it as I have found that if I keep it at below 145 I don't feel stressed or tired. If I have had a longer run, a stressful day or poor sleep I then will keep it at 135 and let my body recover.

I have also been running fasted and not fuelling on the run, I ran 18 miles like this on Wednesday and felt great, yes it was slow but not much slower than when I was training hard, but I definitely didn't get the ups and downs in energy levels I get when shovelling sugar in every couple of miles. Recovery was good and my run streak has now reached 48 days! The real test will be St Peters Way on the 26th February, 45 miles of trails and mud, now I don't plan to run it fasted and I will eat...  Nuts, cheese and bacon being the preferred snacks! I will take emergency sugar just in case it all goes horribly wrong! It will be my fourth time at this race so will be interesting to see the difference, I guess it will be a good test of how this method will work for me on an ultra.
18 miles...  Maldon to Braintree

An interesting point was that I suffered with painful shins for a long time after my Robin Hood 100 attempt last year. Since using MAf and eating LCHF I have had no pain at all apart from one week where I was particularly stressed and had a binge on all the sugar/carbs I could find! Within a couple of days the shin pain returned but as soon as I got my diet back on track the pain went away, whether it was connected I don't know but my diet was the only change.

So that's it for now, I am enjoying my new slower running, I like that I am happy to stop, look at things, take photos and just enjoy being outside. I will update after St Peters to let you know if I managed to survive without jelly babies!

Happy running xxx

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