- We are Running on Ketones. This is not a typical story; we are endurance athletes at different stages of our lives, who are experimenting with a low carb Ketogenic diet. We are not doctors or scientists, just athletes. Anthony is the youngest and the fastest, age 20, and prefers ultra road running. Eric (ZoomZoom), age 27, is ukulele playing mixed distance runner. Dan (SKA Runner), age 42, is new to running, prefers mountains ultras, and a bit of a computer geek. Bob(uglyrnrboy), age 54, prefers mountains ultras and loves to tele ski. This site,, will document our journey as endurance athletes implementing a low carb ketogenic diet in to our lives. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our experiences.

What is a Nutritional Ketosis Diet? []

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. This elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood is a state known as ketosis.


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First 5K in 12 Years . . .

I just ran my first 5K in 12 years – without a stroller.  Honestly I was disappointed with my time of 19:33.  It should have been at least a minute faster  . . . in my mind???  I liked to think that due to the rolling hills and winning time, that it was a slow course.  With all that said, I was 7th overall out of 540 or so and won my age division 40-50.  And my first place price paid for the race.  Granted, I was humbled by an elite 52 year old – Dan Valerio, kudos for him!.  Now for my time, why I am a bit confused?  My first 5K split within my last 10K in December was about the same pace as today’s run.  imageYou would think I would be a bit faster running half the distance.  I don’t know . . .  some would swear it is because of my lack of carbs, but my last 10K was carbless as well - Nothing Different.  In fact the lead up, calorie intake, taper, and hydration was just about identical.  I ate 3/4 of a yam the night before, just to squeak in any last carbs, while staying under my 50g limit.  Woke up in the morning, made a coffee and drank it on the way to the race.  I made a UCAN cocktail and drank that 30 minutes prior to the race, probably overkill for such a short distance.  I also took two S! Caps for sodium.  I know there are tons of variables, but for the most part the same.  *Oh wait, I have an excuse, Sunday and Monday I did have a bad case of the FLU and didn’t go to work.

Here is my major concern.   Look at those heart rates per mile, for my age they are way too high.  And I am truly concerned by it.  I have read the articles on the Maffetone Method, but never really bought in to it. Training under 138 BMI seems like I am not even training.  It is just so hard for me, I don’t know.  I am questioning it now, and plan on at least reading it book.   


I am still having fun though . . .


  1. That's why you gota get out and train with me once a week and get your fast on! Your body is getting shocked when it has to go that hard!

  2. I think that the HR monitor recorded erroneous readings. It's very difficult for me to get my HR above 197 and when I do the sensation is substantially different from any other elevated heart rate. Above 197 I literally feel like I am in the process of dying. This ain't no post race exhaustion heart pounding, I'm talking about full body is in shock clutch at your chest. There have been plenty of runs where I look at my HR graph and say nope that's not right...junk data.

  3. Oh . . . my body was shoked alright.

    Yea, it doesn't seem right . . . but it is fairly typical for my heart rate to be on the high side - remember two years ago I had high blood pressure. I am wondering if other factors could have pushed it up higher.

    I am working on it.

  4. While Maffetone has some good points to make, he's not always the best at articulating them. He talks often about using his method, but rarely explains the specific applications except in grand gestures. What I have gotten from hearing him speak on various occasions is that the Maffetone Method is best thought of as a base building exercise. Many athletes use it to build up their endurance core, and then work on the speed aspects either. While there seem to be a group of runners out there that can utilize his method exclusively for really fast performance times, there is probably a good 25-30% washout rate of others that can't endure it or find that their times simply don't improve. I've spoken with them several of them, and while it might be a case of improper application of the 180 principle, I find it hard to believe that could be the only issue. I myself have been running according to his method for over a year now, and while I have found that my time has significantly improved on flats, I still exceed his recommended max just every time I go up a hill.

    That said, I'm not entirely sure how much his principles transfer to someone practicing a ketogenic diet. Much of the basis behind his ideas is that you want to control the ratio of fat to carbs that you burn, which can be measured through your respiratory quotient. However, a ketogenic runner will maintain an RQ of 0.7333 almost perfectly (0.7 is exclusive fat burn, with 1.0 being all carb burn) no matter the pace, so it doesn't seem evident to me that there is much to gain from his method, other than the adaption of specific muscles. However, there have to be other factors at play in the human body when variating speed besides your fat/carb ratio, otherwise a ketogenic runner in theory should be able to sprint nonstop all the time. Obviously, as I'm sure you know from experience, this isn't true, so there may in fact be something to be gained from reducing your heart rate. I'm not a scientist, so its entirely possible I'm completely overlooking some key piece of the puzle.

    If you really are interested in giving the Method a try, you should check out the latest (as of this posting) episode of Trail Runner Nation, as they just finished an interview with Dr. Maffetone. Regardless of what you choose though, I'm sure you'll find your overall performance continues to improve.

    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded post. I just wanted to drop a hello to a fellow ketogenic runner and say keep up the good work!

  5. SkinnyFatRunner - Thanks for the great comments . . .

    Yea, that is exactly my plan, build a better “endurance core” and improve my heart rate. I seemed to miss that part of my training – too anxious I guess?, by skipping the flat fun easy running and went right for the mountains and hill repeats. I prescribed to the “No Pain, No Gain” training plan. Everyday was a race, particularly interval day.

    In terms of washout rate, I can totally understand for a number of reasons.

    A) Pride
    B) You can't be a social runner
    C) Just the fact that you don't seem to 'really' be training
    D) More of a time commitment to reach weekly mileage

    Chime in when ever you feel like it; I am certainly not a expert, just documenting my experiences. Thanks man . . .