Author: Kevin Bees (whole 30 sceptic-turned convert)
OK, a Marathon run (42.2km / 26.1m) is not very ‘Paleo’. But, let’s play for a while to find out how ‘Paleo’ eating could impact a distance runner and ask the question:
What would happen if you mixed the Paleo diet, 28 degree heat, with a Whole 30 sceptic-turned-convert into the Sydney Marathon?
I did just that… and the results are in, and have been counted and verified… and you want to hear this, especially if you are non-Paleo runner (or any non-Paleo athlete for that matter).
- Training– my training was actually not exemplary.
- Between 21 May and 14 August I did not run.
- Between 14 August and the 18 September Marathon, I squeezed in six runs only.
- In this time, and before I started the Paleo diet, I had to drop out of a training run at 22km due to lack of energy.
- Two weeks later and fuelled by the Whole 30 Paleo diet (and some simple and powerful NLP techniques), I accidentally ran a whole marathon when aiming at 30km. (I don’t run with a watch or Satellite Navigation, and I have never made that mistake before – since my reducing energy would prompt me to stop… which in this instance it didn't!)
- Fuel – Whole 30 Paleo for the four weeks prior to the Marathon. Therefore pre-race pasta feast – gone. This was substituted for the much tastier and enjoyable Chicken, Sweet potato and pumpkin… which I incidentally had for breakfast too the next day. (My only Paleo cheat in this process is GU gels whilst running).
The BIG day:
Arriving at the race with a face full of banana, I meet my Non-Paleo running partner.
I thought it would be a good idea to join this running partner since she is younger, fitter and well trained. Her personal best is 3H 44Min and mine is 3H 47Min – so, hopefully some inspiration to knock a few minutes off of my best time. (Plus she has a very nice bottom, so it would be a pleasure to run a few steps off of her pace!)
Bang… the gun goes and we push across the start line to the tune EVERYDAY I'M SHUFFLING (and my slightly amended lyrics):
Paleo-Grok is in the house tonight,
Everybody just run a good-time
So fit you gonna keep your mind
Everybody just run a good time.
And we’re off. For the first 10km we settle into a comfortable pace. Only, I am noticing that I am going a little faster than my pace setting friend… and she is getting to check out my butt instead. Lucky girl.
At this point, I have no idea if I am faster or slower than hoped (still no watch), but I just keep running at the pace that feels comfortable. Only another 2km and I fully settle into my faster stride and my friend and I run our own races.
It wasn't until the finish line at 42km that I actually realised what had happened. I thought my friend was having an off day and going slower than we expected, but in actual fact, I was faster than I could have even dreamed.
I smashed my personal best by 13 minutes.
In the heat.
With very poor training.
That’s 13 minutes off of my personal best.
‘Chuffed’ doesn't quite cover it – especially when I understand the story of the post run statistics:
- Energy consistency
- My 1st, 2nd & 3rd 10km were all 50 minutes (give or take a few seconds). Over this distance you would expect a degradation of performance… impressive since I had no pacemaker… just my own feeling of energy.
- My 4th set of 10km was also very close to the 50 minute mark and probably would have been equally consistent except for the two convenience stops.
- Comparative performance improvement
My rank Vs other runners in the race at each set of 10km went:
And the last 2.2km – arguably the hardest:
Put another way – in the hardest 2.2km, I was in the top 1.5% of all marathoners.
Do you think I might have got higher if I didn't stop and pose for these too??
The Paleo diet delivered me consistent energy to make this achievement a reality and left me with enough juice in the tank to finish very strong.
Watch my finish video here, I'm the fast one!
The best part about this is that I know there is more to come.
30 days of Paleo, poor training, and I smash a personal best.
What if I combine this new fuel source with a training program that is greater than six runs!?
With a Paleo diet, you too can see, hear and feel your goals coming to you faster too, can you not?
Give it a go… NLPaleo Boy say so!