Monday, August 1st – Update on my training
This is just a quick status post about how my training has been going since the onset of my runners’ knees a few weeks ago.
First off, let me mention that during these last two weeks, since I knew that my training would be less intensive because of my knees, I took the opportunity to switch to an extremely low-carb keto diet. Anybody who’s done a strict low-carb diet knows that the first few days are hard and exercise becomes torture… until it gets better.
So strict low-carb it was.
I stopped running for one whole week. I hit the gym two or three times that week and spent the time mostly on the elliptical, also did some steep uphill fast-walking on the treadmill. I know none of this is very exciting, but I just wanted to avoid losing cardio-fitness.
What else did I do?
Biking, lots of biking. The weather was nice and I wanted to get outside.
Added a velvet antler supplement with glucosamine to my diet, since I thought it might help my tendons.
Started taking tart-cherry juice (a quarter of a cup before bed – it’s fruit juice, so full of sugar and hard to fit in a low-carb diet, so I kept the portion to a minimum and made sure to eat nothing a few hours before or after taking it).
Some yoga and stretching.
New running shoes.
Bought two patellar tendon straps and I wear them during running – they’re giving me ugly tan lines on my knees, but who the f*** cares, they seem to help.
That’s about it. This week, I actually went running three times, including one 21km long run with both knees strapped. Considering I was in keto-mode and did not fuel at all before or during the run, I think it went pretty well. I was definitely not at my best, but I was happy when I got home that my knees were (relatively) okay. A bit stiff, but they didn’t hurt and I felt I could still run on them. Running on keto is not easy, but I know that I’ll benefit from it. May lose some weight (I lost the predictable water-weight on the first few days, then my weight stayed dreadfully steady… I just stopped weighing myself the last few days since the numbers on the scale aren’t moving anymore). But weight loss is not the goal, it’s the fitness gain. You train your body in low-carb mode, and on the day of the race, you get the carbs back in and you feel like a superhero.
My eating plans for the rest of the summer are as follows: low-carb diet during the week, so this is for all my training on shorter distances. As for the long runs, I plan on doing one every two weeks with carbs in my system (this basically means a fruit smoothie for breakfast – gotta treat myself since I can’t have those the rest of the week -, a few spoonfuls of honey or maple syrup before the run and in my water bottle, and some sort of fuel during the run – I usually went with fig cookies in the past, but I’m thinking I might try actual running gels for those carbed-up long runs). But I still want to benefit from low-carb long-distance training, so one out of every two long runs will be done in keto mode with no carbs. Trying to get the best of both worlds here.
Today’s a public holiday and I’m about to go out on a 8km weekday run.