- 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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Tim Olson . . . “Making Fat My Fuel as I Run Mountains”

Switching to a low carb diet (Ketogenic Diet) has really changed how I fuel during a run and has totally impacted my life – truly.  Today is day 44 in ketosis and every day I feel that this is becoming a lifestyle.  How many diets out there can really be maintained long term?  I can live like this!  I don’t even miss the sweets, chips, or even my weekly donuts.    I would eat maybe two bags a chips a week . . . not to mention the Butterfingers and Twix. 

Racing Weight:  Is it just low carb magic? Weight has something to do with it too.  My Leadville race weight, before the race, was 163-165 and as of today I weigh 147.  I am not even putting in hard miles either – maybe 30 mile avg weeks.  As of now, I am at 12% body fat, but I am shooting for 8%.  I read Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance by Matt Fitzgerald, about a year ago and and it was a good book; I enjoyed it.  The main thing I got out of it is, loose 10% of weight you will improve your performance by 10%.  Now, I didn’t loose any weight from reading it and I was putting in hard miles training for Leadville???  I just accepted that 160 was my weight.  Since I have been in ketosis, the weight just seemed to fall off; it was amazing.  Looking at my recent 10k, I improved by 10% after loosing 10% of my weight since my last 10K.  Tons of variables, but I think it was the weight.

Tim Olson: Now Olson is a Rock Star! He is 29 has an impressive race history – UltraSignup.  The last few weeks, I realized that Olson, who won Western State 100 and killed that course record, is a low carber.  Whether he is a Paleo or a Keto runner, I don’t know.  He sure sounds like a Keto runner, “making fat my fuel as I run mountains.”  Now he doesn’t really mention his fuelling again in his blog after this post, but I would bet that he is still low carbing.  Also listen to this . . .

Here is an excerpt from Tim Olson’s blog.

Feeling a bit depleted coming into Seattle Bar (mile 26.4) I knew I was in for a rough patch. I’ve been working with my diet and energy burning the last month to try to figure out my stomach issues once and for all. I’ve basically taken grain carbs out of my diet and have been sticking to veggies, meat, nuts and fruit.

Enjoying some Turkey up at Stein Butte. Picture Bradley Whelden

My food choices are as natural as possible, making fat my fuel as I run mountains. I do use carbs, but try to use them strategically to make my body as efficient as possible. I’m also supplementing with an incredible product called VESPA, an amino acid supplement that helps my body stabilizes energy, metabolize fat and optimize recovery. I’m still working on it and those first 5 hours of running I should have eaten a little more. I was on about 100 calories an hour and it came back to haunt me later. Rookie mistake, yet I look forward to completely dialing in my nutrition for running and daily living. One positive of the day was that using VESPA, my stomach was the best it’s ever felt, which I’m sure i wouldn’t mind getting used to!

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