Flip the Script and That's Exactly What I did.
When my sister called me Saturday morning to wish me good luck on my half marathon, I yelled into the phone, “I’m in keto!!! I’m so excited!!”
She responded, “Be careful.”
The truth was I had been following a ketogenic lifestyle for months. And I was about to put it to the test. A 13.1-mile test.
Why then did my sister tell me to be careful? Because, I realized later, she thought I was falling for the latest trendy fad diet.
But, in all honesty, I appreciate these trends; they get people talking about their health, their food, and their lifestyle. And as long as you do the research it really is about finding what is right for you.
So maybe I am following a trendy fad. But I found something that works for me. And I had done my research and now keto has proven to me it’s the real deal.
What exactly is keto? Keto is a low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein diet that allows your body to burn fat as your main source of energy rather than glycogen (sugar). Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles and liver in the form of glycogen, which your body then uses as fuel. Once this fuel runs out, fatigue immediately sets in and this is why runners and athletes are always looking for a quick energy boost like GU gels, Gatorade or Sports Beans (basically candy marketed to runners). It is also why most of us end up feeling tired mid-day. Those high carbohydrate breakfasts and lunches? They only leave us feeling tired and exhausted before our day is nearly done.
Carbo-loading before exercise of any kind (think: pasta parties), especially endurance exercise, has been proven to have absolutely no metabolic benefits for our bodies. Yes, you get that burst of energy from the break down of sugar but you are spiking your insulin so high and then crashing it back down. Ever hear of hitting the wall in a marathon? That is exactly what is happening. And there is more and more research coming out every day that carbo-loading has been a MAJOR misconception.
So I took keto for a test run and I won. Well, I didn’t really win anything, but I did cross the finish line 8 minutes faster than my best half marathon time. So, yeah, I guess I did win.
From the starting line to the finish line I ran the greatest 13.1 miles of my life. I felt strong, powerful, and full of life. I remember the last time I ran a half I started to hit that wall at mile 10. When I ran past the mile 10 marker on Saturday and realized my time, I knew my body was in full gear and I was about to get a personal record.
And I did!