RunKeto.com - 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, www.RunKeto.com, 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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2013 Review and Looking to 2014 (G. Anthony Kunkel)

For my dietary year-end report skip down to the "----" on the left side..
As I settle into 100 mile weeks for my winter base, the time has come to look back at the year. I've raced 22 times this year, counting track meets with multiple events as one race, from 400 meters to 100 miles. I've won 6 races, from 1500 meters on the track to 50 miles on insane, washed-out/flooded, trails. I finished the year with the RRCA Western Regional XC Championships earlier this month where I pulled off a second place finish (like 30 seconds behind) to a guy way out of my league in terms of road speed.
My biggest problem this year has been race selection. I need to start picking races based solely on the level of competition. Winning a race nobody has heard of isn't going to get me closer to running professionally at this point. Denver Rock N Roll 26.2 was solid for that reason, maybe another big city marathon should be in the cards for next fall.

To stay strong and sharp, and keep training enjoyable, I'll be racing my first season in snowshoes this winter. The Beaver Creek Series is the first weekend each month from January to March and had offered prize money in years past. Winning the series would be a big deal for me. And racing 10k's at 9000 feet, in snow, with my feet weighted, is gona be a great way to prep for April's big goal race.
The first ultra on my calendar is the USATF 100k Road Championships on April 12th, a race that seems almost perfectly designed for me (gently rolling, road, and just over 50 miles) and one with fast enough dudes (and ladies for that matter!) that my chances of a top-3 are small to say it gently. -However, a win there would mean a chance to go to Europe and represent team USA, something that needs to happen before I retire from this craziness. This will be the biggest race of my running career to date. I'm also planning on the Platte River Half Marathon the weekend before to build some confidence with a PR, hopefully a 1:18:xx.

May will be spent almost purely training on trails and climbing. I'll get out to Golden Gate Canyon State Park at least once to camp on the race course for Dirty Thirty and get used to the idea of running fast there. Also, BoulderBoulder is a must and I have to run it well, so that'll cost me a a few days of training, a 35:15'ish would be the "A" goal as of now.

Next will be the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50k in June, right here near Golden, Colorado. This one has quietly become extremely competitive and is too close to home to ever justify missing. If I can get halfway decent at climbing I'll be ready to kick some elite ass here.
My end of summer "A" race is the Silver Rush (Leadville) 50 miler in July, one more that brings out serious runners every year. And it fits me well: non-technical, 50 miles, and close to home so I can train on the course.

This is the year; my stock is gona quadruple in the next 10 months! Any companies wana buy in now?

----Now to the dietary analysis:
This year had more incredible races than ever before and I credit it to my diet almost entirely. I train hard so I can run faster, but I eat a low-carb diet so I can enjoy running more. -those two are largely independent. Devil Mountain was 100% conclusive for me that I'm doing the right thing for my running. Feeling amazing from miles 18 to mile 45'ish is worth any price. I get goosebumps just thinking back to those miles. Carbs won't get you there.
Even my shorter races are more enjoyable if feel. When I did my first winter (2011/12) with a huge base building phase I noticed a huge increase in how shorter races felt, part of that was due to the liberating effect of knowing that 5ks and such were no longer "my race." They felt more playful; all the sudden I could hop in a 5k and run it like a dog: hard but smiling and with my tongue out! This past summer (after about a year in ketosis) I felt that same joy, and lack of brain-darkening feelings, at both a 1500 meter race on a track in Boulder and at the Pearl Street Mile. Both of those were done with hardly any speedwork and not far off PR times from sea level. But the way I felt was beyond explanation: as my body flooded with acid and my legs began to rebel, my brain remained as clear and focused as it was at the starting line. I used to think this phenomenon was just a good race. I'm not convinced there's some ketone-related science related to it. Perhaps ketones help maintain brain function even in an all-out race such as the mile/1500.
I came across at least one study that seems to support this theory:
"Hypoxia induced preferential ketone utilization by rat brain slices"
"These results are consistent with the hypothesis that ketones can be used in addition to glucose as a substrate for brain energy production even during reduced oxygen availability."

And I'm still getting faster, enjoying running more than ever, staying injury-free, and feeling healthy.
My ketogenic eating staples this year, things I ate almost daily:
-eggs
-cream
-cheese
-almonds and almond -butter and -flour 
-grassfed butter
-peppers of all kinds
-meat of all kinds
-leaves of all kinds

See you in 2014,
G. Anthony Kunkel

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