Thought this was worth sharing. This is a response to a question on an Iron Man FB group by a self confessed beginner. They were wondering how they were going to cope with training and racing on a Keto diet.
You’ll still need rapidly absorbing carbs. Your keto diet can help to lose/maintain weight, if you are training to heart rate this will help how efficiently your body draws and metabolises fat stores so as you naturally get fitter your body can draw on this energy system more efficiently.
However please bear in mind, we are born with the ability to fat burn, it’s a natural state, we do it without training or thought. Some people’s biological make up enables them to be far more efficient at it than others. The thing is however good your system is at switching between the systems (readily available glycogen / fat stores to glycogen) at race pace the fat stores to energy just can’t keep up (it’s also a process that takes energy to make energy) and you will need to take on board additional readily available carbohydrate to replenish.
Come race day you will still need 30 to 60g of carbs an hour to maximise performance depending on how efficient your system is.
No disrespect to anyone else who posts but this advice is not based on Facebook forums, googling keto. Our background is Ultra/Mountain Running and recently Extreme Triathlon. Tried and tested by world class athletes.
We all do the sport to enjoy it. The reality is 90% of us are doing events as a personal challenge, we ain’t going to get on the podium. It’s the experience, how you feel, how much of a state your in at the finish, whether you can walk, talk, go for a celebratory drink at the end. If this is you, train to heart rate, follow the keto principles for long slow training rides and runs but don’t be afraid of carbs. Our brain needs them, our muscles need them and if you want to go and enjoy that celebration drink at the end you will need them