Ketone Diet - What could go so wrong?
It's was a beautiful hot sunny day and the weather was perfect for a morning in July @ 8 am.. It's Sunday morning and Rugby Half Marathon race day!
The training program has gone well and just continues from previous runs, for example, a long run on a Sunday from 8-12 miles, Saturday is always a quick-fire run 5/7 miles. Intervals in the week, 2 X HIIT training classes and 2x personal training strength sessions.
Over the last 2 weeks, I have been converting to a 'Ketone Diet' which involves increasing the fatty acids in my diet, by reducing the salads, fruits and starchy carbohydrates and replacing them with double cream, butter, bacon and more avocados & nuts
As a Nutritional therapist, I am constantly trying new approaches to my food choices and superfoods. However, the reduction of leafy green vegetables and soft fruits is the strangest and quite an uncomfortable feeling. Having previously experienced the benefits of a high-fat diet for energy and training I know in the long term it's going to be beneficial to training and weight management.
On the day of the race, I was experiencing the 'Ketone Flu'that is commonly mentioned in other blogs. I had been testing my ketones with my new Precision Xtra device and they were ranging from 0.5 to 2.9 throughout the day. Unfortunately thou, I felt thick headed, a little weak and kept sneezing.
Preparation for race day
The best way I can approach this headline is to tell you what NOT to do;
- Spend all day working on your house clearing out cupboards
- Clean your kitchen from head to toe
- Forget to drink water all day
- Graze on Brazil nuts & cream in coffee all day
- Got to bed late and tired
Getting up in the morning
On one of the hottest days this year, when I woke up all I wanted to do was turn over and go back to sleep, which in itself is not like me. Normally I spring out of bed at 6am even at weekends and want to get going either running or go to work. It was race day and I was not in the right frame of mine for this race.
This comes to my other point, your body maybe fit and able to run the race but if your head is not playing the game is going to be a long day. Our mental approach to even the easiest of races is so important. I am unsure if the ketones were affecting my mental clarity or I was just tired from such a busy day beforehand. One thing I did know is that my head was just not in the right place to run this race.
The Race and My Pace
I set off at my new faster pace and decided to just relax and try and enjoy the day. The heat was building, the hills kept coming and when the first water stop provided a sweet electrolyte type drink my PB for this race went straight out the window. It was a great hilly, hard race if that's what you wanted. For me it was hell from start to finish. I kept hoping that my fat burning hormones would kick in soon and get me through, which they did but it was a painful 30mins of running before they did!
My advice; when experiencing Ketone Flu do not do a half marathon in 28-degree heat. However, if you do, expect the challenges of the day and enjoy them for what they are rather than comparing to previous events. Your body is going through some major changes so what you normally can do and feel, will be very different. Converting to a fat burning machine rather than glucose burning takes time and patience.
- Take your time, be patient & keep testing
- Drink lots of water
- Do not graze, fed & fasting only
- Measure fats & proteins
- Rest when required