Keto-Adaptation

Keto-adaptation is the process of shifting your metabolism from relying mostly on glucose for fuel to relying mostly on fat-based sources of fuel. Not only does that enhance fat oxidation, it also allows your body to start producing enough ketones that they can be used as a significant source of fuel.

This can be an important learning for any endurance athlete, and is one that I’ve used with great success. I’ve been keto-adapted for some months now, and am able to run long distances (30K and up) in a fasted state, fueling only with water, and with no energy depletion, no bonking, and no post-run hunger. It will be my fueling strategy for the Elk/Beaver 50 trail ultra that I’ll run on May 10.

In this video, Dr. Jeff Volek, associate professor at the University of Connecticut and co-author (with Dr. Steven Phinney) of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, offers one of the most comprehensive explanation of keto-adaptability I’ve come across. Highly recommended!

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6 comments

  1. Dear Alan

    Have been following your progress and right now things Low carb and ketosis have my attention. I recently came across a clip from the Co author of above. (Stephen Phinney)
    I think this is well worth a look. I suspect you may have already seen it. I found it easier to follow. He spoke my sort of language. What I find remarkable is the similarity between what he presents and your own experience.
    The link to the video is

    Some key points at 10.30mins, 11.40mins (this seems to be you) and 15.15mins

    Jason
    England

    PS Still not running, but this subject has sparked my imagination. And you are living, walking, talking proof.

    1. Yes, Phinney’s very good. Both he and Volek have a gift for explaining complex topics clearly. Glad you’re getting engaged by all of this. Do you have plans to start running soon?

      1. Soon? Probably not. But the mind is contemplating it.

        I did start, and went the Dr Mafftone route, but like many others, failed to get by the utterly soul destroying early slow phase. I still believe in the system but it is tough forcing oneself to go so slow.
        I also look back on my one and only marathon and think I am much more aware of what went wrong.
        A complete lack of the above type training. everything was done at the intensity end. Biggest of all, which is now very apparent, I had burnt my glycogen in no time at all.
        So yes I am thinking of giving Mafftone another go and partner this with a low carb keto type fueling. I have an absolute abundance of fuel, I just need to find right combination to unlock and start burning it.
        I am ok with breakfast, I am ok with lunch, do not snack in between which I probably should. But do lack some imagination when it comes to dinner.
        Now I am looking closely at food labels. Carbs are everywhere. Either blatant or hidden. And trying to buy some full fat anything is nigh impossible.

        Anyway enough of this waffle, (now that was a poor choice of word)
        Cheers
        Jason

      2. A couple of suggestions, if I may… Eliminate grains and sugars from your diet *entirely*. It may be a bit of a struggle at first, but you’ll find it will clear the way for real progress, and in short order. (And you won’t need to snack at all.) Second, perhaps, try running rather than training, i.e., simply go out and run slowly, without worrying about pace, time, or speed. Simply build your distance gradually. Remember Micah True’s (Caballo Blanco’s) advice: “Think easy, light, smooth, and fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a shit how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced that so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one – you get those three, and you’ll be fast.”

      3. Wise words.
        Have printed them and taped them to the wall.
        Although I know I am a numbers analytical type. I will go out and just run and be guided by feel.
        To the future
        Will no doubt return here in the future with an update.
        Thanks for reminding me of Micha
        Run easy, light, smooth and fast
        Thanks
        Jason

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