I started trail running in May of 2016 when a fire ripped through my town and left myself and 88 thousand others displaced for over a month. With nothing much to do with my time, I joined a friend on a trail run and the rest is history. That summer I ran my first ultra marathon, and the February after, my first staged race. I was hooked.
Long distance running for me is an outlet, and a perfect epitome for life. There are wonderful moments where you feel like you could fly, and there are challenging moments when you feel you just can’t go on; but the most important thing is to just keep moving. Every feeling, every moment has a beginning and an end.
Low carb/keto was a natural progression for me as an endurance runner. I started to hear about elite athletes that transitioned and saw improvements in performance, so I decided to give it a shot. I had six months to transition to fat burning before my next staged race, the Alps2Ocean Ultra, running 320km from Mount Cook to Omarau, New Zealand over a 7 day period.
The transition to fat burning was relatively easy for me. I had researched and equipped myself with the right tools so that I wouldn’t encounter the “keto flu” and I was aware that initially I would experience a performance decline while my body adapted. I also paid attention to my body and how I was feeling, recognizing that as a female my carbohydrate requirements might not fit the standard “keto” due to hormone balance.
Based on the testimony of others before me, I expected the resulting improvements in recovery and performance; which I began to see within a few weeks. What I didn’t expect was the improvement in mood and energy levels. I was sold!
As I began planning my meals for my staged race, I was met with the challenge that most dehydrated meals on the market are extremely high in carbohydrates, not to mention barely tolerable. I decided to try my luck at finding a company online that specializes in low carb dehydrated meals. My search resulted in Next Mile Meals popping up in the feed. The reviews were very high, so I gave them a shot.
I arrived at gear check in New Zealand with Next Mile Meals, nuts, jerky, dark chocolate sea salt kind bars and nut butters making up the bulk of my calorie target. I had taken a gamble on a barely known keto meal company I found on the internet, and it wound up paying off big time.
The meals were delicious. I would be running a grueling 90k run that required a signal mirror, emergency blanket and whistle, and thinking about if I was going to eat Chicken and Broccoli or Deli Roast Beef when I arrived at the finish line.
Other runners were getting nauseous just thinking about having to ingest another dehydrated meal and there I was practically salivating at the thought.
Most importantly, the fact that they were low carb allowed me to maintain my macros throughout the race, resulting in quick recovery and better performance. I finished the 320km race in 50 hours and 56 minutes. Entirely fat fueled.
I know what’s on the menu for my next adventure!