Has anyone here had success with the paleo diet? If so, how do you customize it based on your training? I feel like the diet is a bit more challenging for athletes to implement since we need so many calories/carbs to support training and recovery.
Being Paleo/Primal and a competitive runner can be a bit challenging. I'm not sure if being 100% Paleo is a good idea if you're serious about your running and want to reach a high level.
I mostly eat Paleo, about 90% probably, but I do keep some grains in my breakfast before workouts and long runs. The main reason because when racing out of town, and especially out of the country, you don't always have as much choice that you have at home. So I want to make sure that my gut can still handle grains.
For my meals I always have a portion of either sweet potatoes, wild rice, or quinoa. Since the primal diet is higher in protein and fats than a normal diet, and being full from all the veggies, I find I can't eat as much, so I kind of have to force myself to eat that extra portion. And after my main run of the day I'll have a sports drink, with a protein shake with a big portion of fruits in it.
|off the leash|
I don't do this myself, although I do eat higher fat than most, I suppose. I did look into it as I had some interest in it.
Basically, as an endurance athlete you will have to modify at certain times:
1. The 20 minutes after running, you should have some simple carbs, every time. This I would say is a must if you care about your training (not just trying to lose weight) Juice, gatorade, cookies - yeah, they are not on the paleo diet. I make my own sports drink with sea salt, honey, and sometimes a touch of apple juice and vinegar.
2. Before you do some harder workouts you might want to have some complex carbs (actually this is allowed to have some sweet potatoes or whatever, but I think there are some people that get used to the higher fat so that they feel that they do not need carbs to fuel them and they eat higher fat stuff before running. And you don't/shouldn't do it for every run.
3. Racing - I would say you need to do what you gotta do. If you are running a marathon, I would say bring some GU or whatnot IF you feel it would help you and you want to do your best. If you are running shorter races, you wouldn't need to change anything.