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KMICHELE40's Photo KMICHELE40 Posts: 294
10/24/07 2:58 P

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Depending on the length of your run will determine the fuel your body needs. This website is great at helping you determine the correct about of carbohydrates needed in your diet. Anything less than that and you will not be able to perform at your best. Low-carb diets are commonly known for making people tired as they don't allow enough energy for daily living. High protien is dangerous, especially if you have high blood pressure as the molecules rush through the vessels causing damage. Protien's job is recovery, not fuel. Really and trully stick to what this website suggests. You can always find a companion website (like the 24 hour fitness one) that will give you the correct amount of calories you need per day.

Never fear, the runner just shows how many more miles until my goal this month.
10/22/07 9:06 P

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I'm going to go against the "popular" opinion here and say, if done correctly, a low-carb - or QUALITY carb - diet can coexist peacefully with exercise.

I've eaten what most people would consider a drastically reduced carb diet for a couple of years now AND I've been able to ride bicycle long distances and run for significant periods of time. I just finished my 2nd Half Marathon last Saturday.

A low carb diet, done properly, does not advocate cutting out whole groups of foods, it consists of making intelligent choices about the carbs that you do choose to eat. It involves consciously limiting the number of carbs to a level that - in this day and age in America - would seem to be extremely low, but not dangerously so. There is NO such thing as a "no carb" diet. Only the first two weeks of any of the "popular" low carb diets advocate keeping carbs to the extremely low end. After that, you gradually add increasing levels in until you find the right amount for your needs and lifestyle.

Just be sure to read as much as you can about any way of eating that you decide to pursue and use common sense when making food choices.

And good luck!

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10/22/07 8:24 P

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Another vote for the "nonrefined carbs are good for you" camp, but I wanted to say that you shouldn't have to cook an entirely separate meal.

I've lost 70 lbs in the past half year, while eating the majority of my meals with my spouse who is borderline underweight and should not be trying to lose any additional weight. Cooking something versatile and then separating into two towards the end and splitting it up and adding the things that are specific to the people with different dietary needs - totally works well and doesn't really add much hassle to the cooking process!

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Height: 6', Highest weight: 245.
(Ticker reflects maintenance range after losing 80 lbs!)

Fort Lewis Army Half Marathon, September 13, 2008 - 2:12:41.
Bellingham Bay Half Marathon, September 28, 2008 - 2:11:59.
Seattle Marathon, November 30, 2008.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them." - Elvis Presley

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10/22/07 6:05 P

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I ditto what Meredith stated...just read Matt Fitzgerald's book.

Carbs are the essential nutrient for anyone who exercises. The body cannot make its own glycogen (stored glucose in the muscle) to provide a runner with energy. The 2 sources a runner gets their energy from are fats and carbohydrates. When a runner gets close to his/her anaerobic threshold, the body switches using from fat as its primary fuel to glycogen. As you deplete those glycogen reserves, you will eventually bonk or hit the wall and will not have the energy to run or heck even function...think of the runners who get close to the end, only to pass out unable to finish their run. Of course when you up your carbs, you may see a an elevation in your weight (this is NOT fat, but a flip in fluids). The reason...for every gram of carb you injest, the body retains 3-4 grams of water. THIS IS A GOOD THING!!! When you are running your body temp rises and you will need that added water to cool you down, especially in longer races. Sure you can drink water on your run, but it has to go through the digestive process before it gets to where it is needed.

To make a long story short...running and low carb diets don't mix. Just read any of the experts...Jeff Galloway, Hal Higdon, Alberto Salazar, etc and none will advocate this diet to any runner.

Check the following link to get a better picture!

Happy Running!

Edited by: SP_COACH_NANCY at: 10/22/2007 (18:07)
10/22/07 5:46 P

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I did low carb for 1 year, lost 30 lbs! BUT I didnít have energy & couldnít work out.

I donít understand why you have top prepare different meals.
We all eat the same things, we eat healthy. Lots of fruits & veggies and lean proteins. Iíve pretty much replced ground beef with ground turkey and no one has noticed. As for side dishes just make your portion smaller and eat more veggies.


5km goal met Feb 13 2007

Sept 12 2007
Personal Best 5KM
27:52 time to beat!

sprint triathlon June 08' DONE!

"Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone."
ó Robert Allen

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IRISH98's Photo IRISH98 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/22/07 5:38 P

I agree with what everyone has said here. I don't know about the feasibility and usefulness of essentially eliminating an entire food group that should be your major source of nutrition. Even vegetarians still eat protein - just in a different form since they eliminate meat. I would think that you would have a hard time with any sustained high energy exercise - running or anything else - over the long term without the proper amount of system-rejuvenating carbs.

You say you're only running 9-12 miles/wk now, but my guess is, that as you get fitter, you will want to increase your mileage and/or your speed, and the low carb diet may be a major problem. I believe in starting out the way you mean to continue. And if you think you'll need to change down the line, why do it at all?

As for making different meals for the family, I would recommend a strategy that my family has used (vegetarians and non-vegetarians in the family). Make the bulk of the meal that everyone will eat, and then divide it, and add the appropriate sides (such as whole wheat pasta) to your portion. This way you don't need to prepare entirely different meals. Good luck!

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)

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10/22/07 5:00 P

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I'm in the middle of a book that 5KMOM911 recommended: Performance Nutrition for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald. It has lots of great advice about what to eat for better performance, and he stresses how vital carbs are for any runner.

I've never been on a low-carb diet, but I wouldn't think that they'd be good for anyone doing any exercise (not just running).

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10/22/07 4:45 P

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I'm just learning about running and nutrtion, so these aren't words from someone who's a nutrtion expert.

That said, at the number of miles you're currently running, you may not need to be hyper-aware of what your diet is, however, I can assure you that the better balanced it is, the better your performance will be.

Now, here's the part where you can wave your hands at me if you want...I'm not a fan of low-carb diets. I think it's better to think of carbs as good ones and bad ones. Good carbs, like whole wheat breads and pastas, certain vegetables and fruit, etc. are really, really good for you. Period. But as a runner, those carbs turn themselves into easy energy for the body to use. Your body naturally stores about 90 minutes of glycogen in it's system...and that's what your body taps into as it's "gas" or "fuel." Low carbs cause your muscles to tire faster and take longer to heal after a workout as well as joint pain. Not a good thing, particularly when you work your body hard with running.

In addition, good carbs help with better mental function, a stronger immune system, and can improve your mood. Carbs can be your friend!



"Now is blessed...the rest, remembered." JDM

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

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KRISCHICK's Photo KRISCHICK Posts: 8,470
10/22/07 4:45 P

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Read an interesting article today on low carb diets... I wouldn't ever do one but if you're going to here are some good tips.

You will need to cut and paste that link to get it to work.

But I agree the previous poster. Stay within the recommended ranges and eat smart carbs and you'll do just fine.


If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison

 current weight: 159.0 
10/22/07 4:37 P

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I hate the idea of cutting out an entire food group. HAve you tried following your recommended spark plan (calorie range and ranges for fats, protein and carbs)?

I would think that cutting carbs would make running MUCH harder.

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PB_2JS's Photo PB_2JS SparkPoints: (15,228)
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10/22/07 4:32 P

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I know the experts say that a low carb lifestyle and running can't co-exist, but at what point is that true? I'm still only running between 9 and 12 miles a week and I don't feel that doing a low carb diet will affect me.
If low carb is going to be a huge obstacle to my running, I'm not going to do it, I just hate having to prepare different meals for everyone in the house. Besides low cal, what are some suggestions that I could use?

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