How to become a Keto Runner

bantingdiet, wiightloss

There has been a lot in the press recently about a ‘controversial’ book by running supremo Professor Tim Noakes called The Real Meal Revolution.   He is responsible for the training bible The Lore of Running and is a very experienced runner.

After years of training on a high carbohydrate diet – carb loading before races and using carbs as a source of energy/fuel he had become lethargic and no longer enjoyed running.

He had also developed Type 2 diabetes.

A shift in his thinking led to Tim adopting a Low Carb/High Fat approach called the Banting Diet  and went from ‘running like a 60-year-old to running like a 40-year-old’.  He was so inspired by it that he turned it into his Real Meal Revolution book.

Years ago I used to run pretty much entirely fueled by carbs.   For the first 20 minutes or so I would fly along and then slowly my energy would disappear (along with my sense of humour) and I would get progressively slower.  When I was marathon training I needed to constantly pop jelly beans after an hour or so of running.

My skin was bad, my digestive system was a mess and I began to resent how running made me feel.  I no longer enjoyed it, it was a chore.

NOW, in 2016 it is a completely different picture.   When I run I sometimes have to stop myself….I feel like I could run forever……

I am not suggesting that a LCHF/Banting/Keto approach is for everyone, one size doesn’t fit all.  BUT and it is a big BUT, if you try it and it works for you then it will change your life.

If you are a new runner then now is the perfect time to start.  If you are an experienced runner then you may have a bit of frustration becoming adapted to this new way of approaching fuel.  Bear with it though and give it at least 6 weeks.

Keto Runner – The Diet

There is now plenty of Low Carb/Keto information out there so I am not going to break it all down in this blog post (I want to get you out there and running!) a very good place to start is the EXCELLENT website


Martina who is the site owner is a ‘Keto Legend’ as far as I am concerned and I highly recommend her site if you want to get started on a Ketogenic Diet.

I like to do all my runs fasted or with my Turbo Tea/Coffee recipe.  I don’t enjoy running with food inside me but if I am racing or doing a long training run then I have a handful of roasted and salted nuts an hour before I set off.

Keto Runner – The Running

I am going to talk about new runners here, I will do a separate post for more experienced runners later.  It is worth noting though that even if you are already running you can still go for this approach – especially coming back from injury or health problems.

My beginner runners, you are in an excellent position as you don’t need to un-learn anything!

You are going to look at a target of completing a 5k run in 10 weeks (I promise you, starting slow is the way!).  There are lots of plans out there, I will be producing one for download soon!

I use a heart rate monitor to track my heart rate on every single run.  Now I am used to how I should feel so that I am not working too hard but I still refer to my heart rate monitor.

  1. You want to do all your walk/runs and runs at a

    fat burning heart rate.

    Most heart rate monitors now work it out for you.
  2. When your heart rate goes higher than fat burning level, slow right down.
  3. Remember to cross train once per week – yoga, zumba, cycling, pilates.
  4. Include one strength session a week – use kettlebells, gym machinery or simply body weight exercises.
  5. Rest.  When I started back running I had one complete rest day from exercise.  It works.

I am 41 and I am most comfortable AND efficient running when my heart rate hovers around 146 beats per minute.

IMPORTANT – when you start running you will have to run so slowly it feels little faster than a fast walk.  This is perfect!

My Typical Keto Run Day

7.00 am    Wake up!

Glass of water and a cup of green tea.

10.00 am Nice long and slow run at a fat burning heart rate – up to 2 hours.

Plenty of water after my run and a nice long shower.

1.00 pm Lunch – often I will have cooked chicken with home-made mayonnaise, an avocado and a big salad.

4.00 pm a Keto Truffle or two with a cup of herbal tea.

6.00 pm Yin Yoga 20 minute session

8.00 pm Dinner – A 4 egg omelette with goats cheese and peppers (My current favourite!).

10.00 pm Bed – I sleep so well……

I give you this example as an average day but actually it doesn’t differ that much – the only variables will be the distance I run and I mix up my food.

Now that you are ready to become a Keto runner, here are a few pointers:

Shopping List

Heart Rate Monitor

(I use a wahoo fitness one)

Patience (yes really!)

Links to books you might enjoy

80/20 Running: Run Stronger And Race Faster By Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald

The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek

I would love to hear from you if you are already running whilst on a Keto Diet and if this is your first attempts at running then stick with it – you will soon LOVE IT.

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