Banting for Performance

Phillip Gibb  —  August 21, 2017 — Leave a comment

Who has not heard about Banting and ketosis? Who has actually applying it successfully in training and in races? I know I have not, but I am trying again. Twice before I tried and twice I failed, dismally. So, over the last few weeks I have been seriously strict about my diet and over the next while I will continue to test my limits while in ketosis. Actually I have no way to test if I am in ketosis, currently. Over the next few post I am going to detail where I went wrong before and how I believe that I am going to get it right for the Table Mountain Challenge in less than a month.

First, what is ketosis and why be concerned about it?

Well, I would say that the purpose of Banting is to get into Ketosis whereby you burn fat as an energy resource. This achieves weight lose so long as you are not consuming too much. As for recreational athletes like myself, weight loss is only a small part of it. Sure I want to drop as many kilograms so I can run more kilometers, but I am more interested in have a more sustainable and abundant energy resource so I don’t hit the wall. That is where fat and ketosis comes in. That is why I Bant, so to speak.

Carbs do provide energy, but the fact of the matter is that the body does not really like it. Simply put; cells get damaged. When you take on carbs or sugars then the pancreas produces insulin to normalize the blood sugar level resulting and storing as gycergen or using the energy, of which a by product is Free Radicals. Free Radicals scavenge for electrons which they get from cells resulting in cell damage. I do not want cell damage as a runner, thank you very much. It is bad enough as it is.

Fat also provides energy, more than carbs. There are more fat reserves in my body than gycergen stores. Technically, a fat adapted runner can run for longer and never hit the wall. This only works if you keep your Heart Rate in the Aerobic zone; your body will prefer carbs when the intensity causes you to go anaerobic. We all know that in Trail Running events it is near impossible to keep that Heart Rate down, but one can train the body to comply through  proper training as explained in the Maffetone Method, also there needs to be a balance. By balance I mean, having some carbs and trained to use those carbs when needed.

How do you measure Ketosis

Since the idea is to achieve a state of ketosis, I will have to measure if I am in that state. Starting soon I will find something that will help with that, in the mean time I just have to trust the fact that because I have been eating so much fat for a while that I should be in the correct state.

What next

The next event for me is Table Mountain Challenge, however I will first explain how I have failed in the past and how I will remedy that. Hopefully my account of TMC will show how my new approach as worked for me. So look out for the next blog entry on this topic 🙂

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