Train Low Race High – Being fat adapted and racing on carbohydrates
We have been getting a lot of questions submitted about what it means to train low race high on the LCHF diet. An example of an athlete using this train low race high strategy is Bevan McKinnon. Bevan was the first age grouper home at IM New Zealand this year.
He is totally fat adapted and did a lot of his training in a fasted state. During the Ironman New Zealand however he consumed 20 gels and 1.5 bottles of coke on the bike leg alone.
Today we look at how this train low race high nutrition strategy works on the Low Carb High Fat diet.
When it comes to the LCHF diet and racing, there are two schools for thought. Some people are happy to run on fat alone others still feel they need carbohydrates.
It is ok if you are happy it works for you, eating up to 200 grams of carbohydrates daily still isn’t a high amount. So if you are doing this the day before the race and then still wanting to take on carbs in the race, do so if you feel you need to.
While the LCHF diet general promotes consistency, racing and especially ultra distance events are a different kettle of fish. In many people who are fully fat adapted, they find that some carbohydrate does benefit them when racing.
The benefit of train low race high
Unless you are insulin resistant as well, this is ok. If you are maintaining the diet outside of big races, you shouldn’t have an issue burning off those carbohydrates during the race. With your LCHF diet practices resuming the next day, you will go back into your fat adapted state.
Many people will do much better on taking lots of fat when they’re training; Bevan is a great example of this. It allows him to be at an optimal level on race day; taking in some carbohydrates then seems to benefit him.
Theoretically this shouldn’t impact on the functionality of his muscles, but the glucose acting on his brain may be having an impact on his performance. This same benefit is possibly what the average runner who is on the LCHF diet feels when they take on carbohydrates during a race.