Running on Ketones


Ok I avoided exercise for a long long time when I started this.

Way back in November 2019 I started shedding weight and tried to add running. I hated it and it hurt. So I stopped.

But one of my 50 reasons has always been that I wanted to start running. Not to get fit or lose weight or burn calories but because I want to run!

So, having lost 50kg since November, and with the knowledge that 6 months of keto had nourished and healed my body to a place it hadn’t been in a long time, on July 22nd I started with the C25K programme.

It’s interval training and it starts slow. Very slow.

I struggled with running for 60 seconds in week 1, in fact I didn’t run it all and wondered whether I should move on. But I did.

Then in week 4 I really thought I wouldn’t be able to do this. Just 5 minutes almost killed me. I debated redoing the whole week but decided to go with it.

On September 11th I completed week 8 and dod my first 5km… bagging myself a virtual race medal at the same time!

What I found is that my progress ramped up after week 5 in a big way. There were harder runs where I thought I was going backwards but I still moved on.

I also found that I wanted to go out more than 3 times a week. By week 6 I started moving forward faster and covered weeks 7 and 8 in just one week

As I write this I am on week 11, which is my 10km training and things are going well… so well, in fact, I managed to cover 8km a week after doing my first 5k, and then 4 days later on September 22nd I did my first ever 10K!

That’s couch to 10K in 2 months exactly.!

What I’ve really noticed is that throughout all the training I didn’t ache. At all. Not once. No aches immediately after or in the following days.

Yes, during the runs my legs were tired and I was happy to stop – especially at the hills! And if I come home and sit down for too long I am a bit stiff but it goes quickly and I never woke up aching the next day.

This astounded me and I can only put it down to diet. I’m doing some research into others experience of endurance cardio on keto and it seems to be positive.

It meant that I could go out 2,3 or even 4 days in a row without feeling like I was putting my body under any pressure.

I was very cautious and started slow with lots of rest days but now I go out 5 days a week.

3 of those runs are 10K training runs and I’m out for an hour or more, but the remaining ones are just 30 or 45 minute runs where I work on my 5k speed or throw in some hills.

To be clear, I wasn’t what you might call fit when I started. But between the diet and the programme I became very fit, very quickly.

My next goal is a virtual half marathon.

I’ve signed up to a 10K race in November which I intend to do on November 3rd to mark my 365 sober days. Then I have also signed up for a Christmas Day run, so I intend to do 10K before breakfast.

I’m also searching for the perfect 2021 medal to run for on New Year’s Day. I want to mark the big changes in my life and the things that hopefully one day I will look back on as being significant.

For now though I’m fascinated by the biochemistry. I run fasted, on a very low carb intake and I don’t get tired. Or hungry. Or achy.

Sensibly I think that my body is used to converting fat to ketones and so it’s able to access that energy easily. I never have any glycogen stored so it is always using fat for fuel. And so surely I should never run out of energy on a long run.

When runners hit a wall it’s because that ready supply of carbs has run out and accessing fat is hard work. But I do that every day… so will I ever hit that wall?

Watch this space! I’m training for a ketone fueled half marathon and I will share my progress here!

You can also find me on Strava!

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