Post Keto Recovery – I’m fatter and faster!

Two months ago, I embarked on what was the most daring thing I’ve tried in the name of running: try a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet! While there are several LCHF diets, the one I was on was the Standard Ketogenic diet (SKD) and limited myself to 30g/day net carbs!

Over the course of the LCHF diet I would eat food that was almost incompatible with my normal diet. Things I normally would consume in spades included: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, apples, bananas, carrots, milk, chocolate and biscuits! I wasn’t allowed any of this! Instead, I ate fatty slices of meat, added 40g of full cream to each cup of coffee, and fried egg omlettes in 30g of butter!

One of the benefits of a LCHF diet is that it forces your body is burn body fat for energy. On the 12th day of SKD I was offered to have a skin folds test done. Unsurprisingly, I was very lean at 6.1% body fat! It is also likely that by the last day of SKD that I was even leaner than that. Yikes!

Out of curiosity, I decided to track my macros for a typical day. Using data from myfitnesspal I consumed 2110 calories:

Item

Calories

Fat (g)

Protein (g)

Net carbs (g)

115g bacon

630

48

43

2

130g cream

449

48

3

4

35g olive oil

290

32

0

0

160g chicken

242

5

49

0

2 eggs

143

10

13

1

10g mayonnaise

100

11

0

0

70g coconut cream

86

8.5

0.5

1.5

20g fat bomb

65

9

1

2

60g bean sprouts

30

0

3

5

225g celery

30

0.5

1.5

6

160g lettuce

27

0

2

5

60g spinach

14

0

2

2

40g gherkin

4

0

0

1

2110

172 (53%)

118 (36%)

29.5 (9.3%)

I later upped the fat intake and dialled back the protein. Having too much protein isn’t good for a high fat diet as it can get your body out of its fat burning Ketosis mode.

So what else happened over the 33 days that I was on Keto? In a nutshell I became skinner and slower! The first week on SKD was really tough and it certainly tested my willpower. Fortunately the second week wasn’t as bad, and everything besides running returned to normal.

In terms of running performance, I found that I was worse across the board. My fast track runs were slower. My fast road runs were slower. Even my slow runs were slower! On the 28th day of SKD, I decided to see how fast I could run a half marathon. Although it was self-paced, I was almost 10 minutes slower than what I had done earlier on the same course earlier in the year! This is despite being 4.1 kg lighter and in cooler weather!

It has been a month since I have reverted back to my normal diet. I’m proud to say that I’m now fatter and faster! Today’s skin fold test revealed that I’m measurably fatter at 7.4%. Success!

While I have yet to do the same half marathon benchmark, I’ve done a number of runs which suggest I’m back at a similar running level as I was before going to SKD. Last week’s track run was slightly different than usual. Instead of six sets of 1200m @ 3:20 min/km pace with 400m jog recovery, I tried eight sets of 1000m with 200m jog recovery. While the average pace of the interval was slower (3:27 min/km), the rest was significantly shorter (1 minute) which made it a more demanding workout. I also did a decent hilly tempo of moderate effort two weeks prior. I wouldn’t have been able to do either of these workouts on SKD.

Mission accomplished! I’m fatter and faster!

Measurement

17July-18

24May-18

% change

Weight (kg)

75.8

72.3

+4.8

Triceps sf (mm)

3.5

4.9

-28.6

Subscapular sf (mm)

8.5

7.0

+21.4

Biceps sf (mm)

2.5

2.4

+4.2

Iliac crest sf (mm)

13.0

6.2

+109.7

Supraspinale sf (mm)

8.5

4.6

+84.8

Abdominal sf (mm)

11.0

6.2

+77.4

Front thigh sf (mm)

7.5

5.8

+29.3

Medial calf sf (mm)

6.5

4.7

+38.3

BMI

21.0

20.0

+5.0

% fat (Yuhasz)

7.4

6.1

+21.3

21 Shares