I started on the Low Carbohydrate Diet for Athletes TrainingPeaks plan from Ben Greenfield yesterday, so I’ll probably be making mention of this over the next couple of months …
If you have no clue what ketosis is (not to be confused with ketoacidosis which is dangerous), you might want to read this article from Peter Attia’s website. It is a great overview of what ketosis is and why someone would want to be in that state.
I think there’s quite a bit of value in getting the body fat adapted for training and racing. When you think about it, why would you want to constantly pour sugar down your throat for long training efforts and racing? Sure, your body uses this source of energy “differently” when exercising than it does when you are sitting your ass down on the couch, but is it healthy? I’ve been hearing about how blood glucose serves to oxidize LDL cholesterol and cause health issues such as Alzheimer’s and atherosclerotic plaque. I much prefer the idea of teaching my body to utilize as much fat as possible so that I don’t have to rely on gels and sports drinks to constantly spike my blood sugar.
So this is how it’s going to work: I am going to be on a very low carb diet for 8 weeks, which is the fat adaptation phase. I won’t do any super hard training during that time but I will absolutely be swimming, cycling and running so that I’m ready to jump in to my training and the maintenance phase on January 6th. Of course, I will pop out of ketosis for a couple of holiday celebrations (New Year’s … wink wink) because I don’t want it to be a deprivation thing.
I’ve done this before, so I am not concerned about being able to handle it. I can live without mouthfuls of bread, potatoes and pasta. It’s the lack beer that makes me a sad panda. If I couldn’t have red wine, it would be a total deal breaker but as luck would have it, I can. I just have to make sure that I am well into ketosis by measuring with ketone test strips I’m good for a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate. I’m also not into candy and milk chocolate so that makes things easier.
Wish me luck!