The LCHF Runners Diet – Can you run on fat alone?
Today we talk about a runners diet; in particular what a runner needs to do differently to a non-runner on the Low Carb High Fat diet. How would a runners diet differ to that of a non-runner as far as nutritional and energy needs is concerned on LCHF? It is of the opinion that for the average runner, not much if any.
If you are running a Comrades Marathon in over 10 hours, due to your slower pace you should be able to draw all your energy from fat.
Jeff Volek, who is the world authority on fat adaptation, has shown that elite ultra-marathon runners can burn copious amounts of fat. Not taking on carbs only burning fat, they can sustain a speed which would see them run a marathon as quickly as two hours twenty minutes.
Adapting to fat on the runners diet
While the idea that many athletes were already able to burn large amounts of fat in races is not a new one, Volek has actually measured it. His research has shown that elite fat adapted ultra-marathon runners can draw all their energy needs from fat. Therefore there is no reason why the average slower runner cannot do the same. There really is no need for carbohydrates.
The research and theory is there to support that running on fat is enough. Especially if you have moved on to the LCHF diet, there really is no need to load on, and then take on carbohydrates for races. If you are fat adapted there is no reason why you should run out of energy in a race like Comrades. However if your carbohydrate reserves run out and you are not used to drawing on fat, your performance will start to be affected.
Carbohydrates are not needed in the runners diet
As a runner there is no need to be carbohydrate adapted, as you can achieve more and do better as a fat adapted athlete. If runners fuelled like this they would not only run better, but be a lot healthier.