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Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fat Burning Beast II

I rarely devote posts to just a shout out anymore, but I'm going to make an exception here for Anthony Colpo who has weighed in on Tim Olson "Low Carb Athlete".


This dovetails nicely on my recent post on Olson:  Fat Burning Beast?

We learn a few more details on Olson's habitual diet that includes lots of fruit, "cheating" on sushi, carbs like sweet potatoes before runs, etc.

AC calls out Phinney's outright dishonesty in more forthright manner than did I.  But as more details came out, I think AC went easy on Phinney.  Riddle me this.  Is there an evil rotten vegan athlete out there who claims to compete on their diet yet is secretly downing pounds of bacon before races and picking up pats of butter at race aid stations?    Not to my knowledge. VLC stands for Very Low Credibility, apparently.   Don't give me all the good they do as an excuse for blatant dishonesty.


52 comments:

Hiit Mama said...

More on those low carb athletes with this online fitness business dood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZUq9u129Ho

::Looks into crystal ball:: This guy is using so many Sissonisms and he was at AHS and blogged about having high level discussions with the Sissonator as well, therefore I predict that he will be producing some kind of product to sell in collaboration with the Grokfather.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

This is my biggest issue with Sisson. He owes his physique to howevermany years of training with the old conventional wisdom. I GET he may have not been healthy on the inside, but you can't say "I did this for 10 years and it's why I look the way I do today"...especially since I'm sure Mark looked quite fine 20, 30 or more years ago!

I think I need to trademark Incestral Health Society. OK. Doing it now!

michaelbell_a said...

I wish people would hold themselves to their own standard:
"Would he do even better if he bumped the carbs back up? Quite possibly." Seriously? He would have quite possibly beaten the old record by more than 15 minutes because you say so?

"I can’t confidently state what the exact cause of Tim’s mid-race funk was, but the physical and mental washout he describes leading up to the race and in-race sounds a lot like textbook classic glycogen depletion syndrome." This midrace funk happened at mile 24! And he still finished the race: 86 more miles (!!!). I wish I suffered from this problem.

Why not stop making assumptions and speculation and ASK TIM OLSON WHAT HE EATS before writing about it? This includes you, CarbSane, who skips all of the details about his diet that do not conform to what you want it to conform to: "Olson's habitual diet that includes lots of fruit, "cheating" on sushi, carbs like sweet potatoes before runs" Another quote from Olson is: "I eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts and meat. I start each day with some hazelnut butter, then I go for a run and one back and make a green smoothly with fruit and kale." Certainly Phinney/Volek choose their statements selectively to support their cause. So do you.

And yes, there are people who call themselves vegan but eat meat for health reasons because they are embarrassed about it.

paleotwopointoh said...

Vegan athletes often have whey powder, eggs, fish or shellfish. As House says, everybody lies.

Unknown said...

The funny thing is you have this war over Low-Carb athletes versus Higher-Carb athletes when in fact if everyone spent an hour a day walking (MM) they would be much better off.

So a guy travels 100 miles in a relatively short period of time, what does that have to do with you?

"It means that my tribe wins the war of the Bestest, Most Excellent, Most Perfect diet! My diet is Awesome, it is Perfection! My way of eating makes me Like A God!!"

Congrats!

What do you think of walking a couple of miles?

"No can do."

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Personally, others have referred to, I don't look to the uber-outlier (not just a marathoner, but an ultra-marathoner) for any guidance on how I should be eating. Irrelevant. Same for the body builder, etc.

If there are vegans who cheat, please name names. I could care less, but at least I'd know specifics of who is gaming the system from that side.

julie said...

I had a friend a few years back who called herself vegan, but would make exception for sushi. She was 19, not an athlete, but a healthy person. I've known vegetarians who will eat bacon if they think nobody will call them on it. I've never known anyone who doesn't claim to eat carbs, though I've seen gluten free people get a bit high and go for the bread.

Lighthouse keeper said...

Vegans are the most fastidious eaters you will encounter, I have known vegans who scrutinise wines and beers lest they contain isinglass { made from fish bladders }. A vegan ultra runner or triathlete would gain little advantage anyway by "cheating" and consuming meat.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

I'm not here to carry water for the vegan movement, and I sure as heck don't think Anthony is either! IRL I don't know any vegans, but I know or have known many vegetarians through the years. They are/weren't just sort-of vegetarians. Or let's put it another way, the vegans probably wouldn't lay claim to an ovo-lacto vegetarian athlete as following a kind of vegan diet.

It is Phinney and his ilk, not Tim Olson, that are really the issue, though Olson certainly seems to be garnering attention by calling himself low carb.

I'm not sure what about my wording seems to have upset you so much. His habitual diet -- according to his own words -- does include lots of fruit. He said "I’m also not entirely strict on my diet, somedays I’ll have sushi with rice or some tacos with corn tortillas" , which I dubbed "cheating" on sushi. And "I still have some carbs like sweet potatoes, but I try to eat them before a big run or race" sure sounds like he eats sweet potatoes before runs. I'm not skipping details, I'm summarizing details that make his diet NOT low carb. Carbs don't become a different macro just because you only consume them before you work out.

If becoming "fat adapted" and eating LC is somehow superior for athletic performance, why do guys like Ben Greenfield (in hiitmama's video) talk about how one needs to adapt to the LC diet and essentially ways to get around the downside by timing one's carb consumption. That's not low carb either.

Jane said...

This Phinney person doesn't seem to understand physiology.

'...Bonking is what happens to runners who are adapted to racing on sugars and carbs, and if they can’t eat enough carbohydrate, their blood sugar drops too low, because there isn’t enough glycogen...'

Why doesn't he talk about gluconeogenesis? This is what ought to be supplying glucose when there isn't enough glycogen. In endurance exercise you break down some of your white muscle, which you aren't using because it's for sprinting, and make glucose from it.

Actually Colpo doesn't mention gluconeogenesis either. No doubt because if he did, he'd have to accept the awkward fact that it's dependent on magnesium and manganese, which get removed from the white rice he eats.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

It's the 180 over-reaction to the "you can't out exercise a bad diet" meme. But I'd say it's probably more likely that "you can't out diet inactivity".

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Yeah, I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I just don't see it as much as with the carb-avoiders.

The fill-in-dietary-restriction-friendly versions of the "real thing", however, do seem to permeate every community. I mean tofurkey?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

It does seem to be a well documented phenomenon that gluconeogenesis doesn't seem to be able to keep up. Interestingly that SuperStarch was investigated for treatment of a glycogen storage disease. Not sure what type Jonah (poster boy for UCAN) had and I'm too lazy to look, but likely the form that he can't break down glycogen appropriately. Those people need dietary carb to avoid hypos.

Lerner said...

Here is a recent story:
"Holly Lindley, Girl With Glycogen Storage Disease, Drinks 6 Pints Of Milk A Day"
http://main.aol.com/2012/11/09/holly-lindley-milk-glycogen-storage-disease_n_2118724.html

Holly Lindley drinks 6 pints of milk -- each one mixed with 5 tablespoons of cornflour -- every day in order to stay alive...

'It would be easy if she drank fizzy drinks that are loaded with sugar," her mother, Karen Lindley, told the Daily Mail, "but she doesn't like them so milk it is. We get through so much in this house."

In addition to drinking the milk and cornstarch mixtures -- which her friends call "Holly's special milk" -- throughout the day, the girl also regularly snacks on chocolate and other sweets.

"I'm sure she's the only girl at school that gets two chocolate bars in her lunch box," her mother said.

Holly Lindley isn't the only person with strange eating habits. Marla Lopez says she's gone over 50 years sustaining herself solely on white bread, potatoes and milk.

Simon Carter said...

Robb Wolf speaking on his "Paleo Solution" podcast, episode 149:

"Okay, maybe we should go. Hey, we have Evolve Foods as a sponsor for
this episode. Almost forgot. Evolvefoods.com We have all kinds of
different chow.
There’s some cross fit whey protein powder on there that’s pretty solid
stuff but even though it’s part of Evolve Foods and I am in fact part owner
in Evolve Foods, I still maintain my position on whey protein that
probably most people would do better without it than with it. But if
you’re taking whey protein then shoot. Buy it from us and help me make
some money off the thing."

I like Robb and I have learned a lot of good stuff from him, but I am disappointed by this.

FYI, above starts at the 4 minute mark: http://robbwolf.com/2012/09/11/dhea-episode-149/
Transcript here, see page 3: http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Paleo-Solution-Episode-149.pdf

Lerner said...

I've done a little reading. Note that Olson also mentions venison somewhere -- I'd assume that's chosen because of the leanness of the meat. He also has lots of chia seeds, mentioning the protein content.

He grew up in Minnesota, so maybe cheese-makers will claim that is the super-nutrition responsible for his early development :)

Btw, he came in 3rd in his latest race:
http://runrabbitrunsteamboat.com/50-mile-results

well over an hour slower than the winner, "Utah’s ageless Karl Meltzer – at age 44 the winningest 100 mile runner in history".

Meltzer likes beer: "While many ultramarathoners tend to be vegetarian, vegan, and anti-alcohol or caffeine, Meltzer has been seen with bacon, red bull, and microbrews".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Meltzer So maybe beer is the real super-nutrition.

Distortions (i.e. not revealing carb consumption) are what's to be expected from marketers, but not from supposed SCIENTISTS.

"... chia seeds have a lot going on (high in protein, calcium, omega 3). A spoon full of chia seeds and a dash of sugar washed down with a banana and a Cliff bar and I am raring to go. I feel with how many GU’s, Honey Stingers, and salt tabs I put down during a race, I like to start my morning with a nutritional base coat."
https://timothyallenolson.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/wheres-waldo-100k/

GU = the brand of the gel, "GU provides athletes with a dose of 100 calories in the form of 70-80% maltodextrin and 30-20% fructose" plus aminos.
https://guenergy.com/products/products-energy-gels/

So *if* there is a case to be made, it would be more about living lowER carb (not VLC or even LC, if there is an actual % definition of that) and then doing long runs with plenty of carbs. He does calls himself low carb, then also talks about all the carbs. That co-incides with what I've been seeing around in general as the latest in the never ending series of trends: more carbs on exercise days, more fat on off days.


Somewhere he also mentions gluten free, so maybe he is coeliac and arrived at his version of lower carbing via that route.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Actually, this kind of impresses me in an odd way. Or at least the admission does.

I get making money off of one's passion and/or advocacy. I do think there's some sleaze factor in making money off of that with which one disagrees.

I mean, when Eades ventured into food franchises, why not a steak house? I guess the profit potential was more enticing for the Mexican place.

I just went back to look at some of the usual suspects' contributions to the safe starches debate. No dietary need for carb! LOL.

Lerner said...

and it should be noted that Olson says "The few cal an hour I use allow me to run as fast as I can" in his comment on the meandmydiabetes Phinney article. IOW, with more O2 demand you shift more to carbs.

There must be something interesting with the choice of the gel having fructose added. When I ramped up my own exercise this summer (nothing remotely near Olson's level, of course), I instinctively went back to chocolate milk for PWO and also had more sugar throughout the days. It was beneficial for taking away muscle tiredness, moreso than starch. (I made sure to take a new photo for posting while holding chocolate milk, since that goes against all the current 'rebel' dogma about never having sugar :)

Sugar does something above what starch does, maybe it's the extra insulinogenicity.


P.S. The UCANN people seem to have really dropped the ball by not sponsoring Olson.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Just went to look at the site. Something about grass fed whey protein sounds strange. Yeah, I know what they mean, but it's like the pastured eggs thing. Of all the things that feeding ruminants can change, I doube it does much in terms of protein in the infant food. Fatty acids, maybe (though less so than for meats I would think) but hard to imagine it would alter the whey protein quality.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

I think it's pretty well established that fructose replenishes glycogen better. I am still trying to "get" that one study showing jelly beans more insulinogenic than white bread, but I think the key is somewhere in Sievenpiper's rendering of fructose metabolism

Yeah, UCAN dropped the ball there. Too bad Attia wasn't brought aboard sooner ;-)

Slightly off topic, in 1999 UConn Men played Duke for the Nat Champ. It was all about UConn - U-Can slogans.

I have a little problem with Volek capitalizing on his UConn affiliation in this manner. Not that I think it's illegal or anything. Not that "everyone else is doing it" anyway, and all that jazz. It's just a bit unseemly. I was looking at the faculty at UConn's #1 Kinesiology Dept. Many big wigs there it seems -- and quite a few hold dual and even triple professorship appointments from other departments such as Nutrition. Interesting that he does not, but according to his own resume his primary research is in LC diets, diabetes & CVD.

Sanjeev said...

> Somewhere he also mentions gluten free, so maybe he is coeliac and arrived at his version of lower carbing via that route.
_____
10 ... 9 ... 8 ...

Sanjeev said...

> P.S. The UCANN people seem to have really dropped the ball by not sponsoring Olson.

I'm curious if you've come across uber marketer Ferriss in your reading, related to any of these folks. At most He's one degree separated from them via low carbers the Eades (unless that's a "relationship" in name only - they could have used each other just for marketing and have no real contact).

Co-sponsorhip / cross-talk between UCANN & Ferriss (Mr. slo-carb) is a natural

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Speaking of marketing
http://www.mattmetzgar.com/2012/11/return-of-the-marketer.html

Lerner said...

Mostly all I know of Ferris comes from his google talk (fro 1 or 2 years ago) - he did mention the boob Taubes. Despite his preposterous claim of gaining 30 pounds of muscle in 30 days, commenters on the page were still saying that they didn't care because he provides some good tips. (Which jives with what's at Evelyn's link.)

Kade Storm said...

Jane,

Actually, Colpo has spoken of gluconeogenesis in reference to high cortisol levels on low-carb diets. He clearly doesn't endorse the idea of having high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in order to support gluconeogenesis, which barely keeps up with the demands of a proper athlete in the context of active workout.

Here you go. . .

http://anthonycolpo.com/what%E2%80%99s-the-time-mr-wolff-time-to-get-your-facts-right/

"Wolf claims this observation is simply a “stress” response experienced by people who are used to following high-carbohydrate diets. He claims that once these folks become adapted to a low-carb diet replete with protein and fat, a wonderful phenomenon known as gluconeogenesis (the creation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources) will kick into high gear and keep a lid on cortisol.

This is an especially fanciful claim when one considers that cortisol is a potent stimulator of gluconeogenesis[Khani]. Indeed, that’s one of cortisol’s key roles in the body; to increase energy availability via glucose production and liberation of fatty acids when blood glucose and glycogen levels are inadequate (which is exactly what occurs when dietary carbohydrate is deficient). In Wolf’s fantasy world, gluconeogenesis magically involves only glucagon but not cortisol. In real life, when dietary carbohydrate intake is manifestly inadequate (such as in hard training athletes attempting to follow a low-carb diet), cortisol release is heightened, which in turn increases both glucogeonesis and the release of fatty acids." - Anthony Colpo

rodeo said...

It's clearly omega 3-protein. Or saturated protein for the low-carbers :)

Jane said...

Evelyn & Kade Storm
Thanks, that's very helpful. What I'm questioning is whether today's long-distance runners might have micronutrient deficiencies that prevent them from doing adequate gluconeogenesis. In the past, runners seem to have been able to run all day without a break. For instance the Tarahumara, the Hunza, and the trance runners of Tibet. Only stories, I know.

Colpo says this: '1400 extra calories of protein and fat would do little to prevent the inevitable glycogen depletion and hypoglycaemia resulting from insufficient dietary carbohydrate.'

It's the hypoglycemia I question, whether it's inevitable. He thinks it is. But perhaps the protein and fat would not help partly because they don't supply the micronutrients needed for gluconeogenesis. If you want to turn muscle into glucose you need Mg/Mn to activate glutamine synthetase in muscle and various enzymes in the liver. And if you don't have enough Mg/Mn, you will need more cortisol.

Dave said...

I think a lot of critics are missing the point when it comes to performance on low carb. I think the message is that there is something real behind bonk training (ie. training with low levels of glycogen by restricting dietary carbohydrates). I used to eat a high carb diet and my energy levels in running where very unpredictable and I felt too dependent on carb sources. I then experimented on a mostly low carb diet, with occasional refeeds and carb indulging and also began training mostly in a fasted state and found that after a several week adaptation period, my energy levels become much more stable during training. My times on the full marathon and 10K dramatically improved and on race day I would carb load so what was once a required dependency became a performance enhancer. I really think the 'train low, race high' methodology is for real and we will see a lot more of it for ultra marathoners where people just can't stomach the amount of food you need to eat when you are not very fat adapted.

But instead what I see critics do is often use this straw man to say that low carbers are claiming to also race on low glycogen stores which is absurd. The whole point of fat adaptation is to spare glycogen instead of burn it all up and need to constantly refeed with sugar to the point of nausea.

Kade Storm said...

Well, thanks for sharing your thoughts as well.

From what I've read, Colpo's also in favour of reasonable supplementation and with regards to that particular post, he is referring to the specific context of high-level activity. Even if we can achieve gluconeogenesis without a cortisol spike, I am not sure if it can match the active demands of an athlete performing on the higher end of the respiratory quotient, which was something Colpo did address in this article about Tim Olsen.

I am going to do some research on this link between magnesium-manganese reducing cortisol requirements for gluconeogenesis. Any additional citations that you've come across and find compelling would be valued.

Kade Storm said...

So, is this about improving physical fitness by reducing RQ levels?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Actually, if I'm missing the boat on all of this, one can point the finger of blame on that to Steve Phinney himself. In his interview about Tim Olson's Western States performance, Phinney goes into a calculation about how Olson wouldn't be eating butter on the trail, he'd be "eating" his body fat stores so had to consume less food. Of course he claimed just how much Tim consumed was some sort of state secret, it appears to be very clear that he's using these glucose gels, and chugging good old Sierra Mist (and not UCAN) during the races.

Lerner looked a bit further into Olson's writings and in his most recent race he finished 3rd, an hour behind the winner. Can't find the exact comment link, but Olson consumes on the higher end of recommendations for glucose stuffs in his races.

Speaking of performance enhancement, there are a number of strategies employed (legally and otherwise) by elite athletes of all genres. I think it's fair to say that many come with trade-offs down the line for long term health. I also think it's fair to say that some of these regimes, while necessary to compete on the elite level, are just not appropriate and possibly outright harmful even in the short term for those at lower levels. Heck, I'd wager 90+% of people drinking Gatorade have no business or need for such.

I would be curious to see if Volek & Phinney measured RQ's in their "study". Doubtful.

It's also a very fair criticism that they make a distinction in their books regarding ketogenic dieting, but not in their dubbing of athletes as "low carb". They do not really seem to talk about periodic ketogenic diets, they talk about sustained (and extreme!) ketogenic diets. They make it seem as if these athletes should be downing coconut oil throughout the race -- after all, part of the keto thing is that the heart and brain can run on ketones better, right? So if someone is keto adapted, why not fuel with ketones?

They are also confusing ketone burning with fat burning. I've discussed that before, and plan to expand upon this again another day.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hi Kade, It's been ages so I'm not sure where I read about this, but the human liver vs. brain size (that seems to correlate well to glucose production capacity and needs) ratio is not very favorable compared to most other animals.

Jane I'd be interested in any links you have of these humans who used to be able to run all day. Why did they do this? 100 miles in a day? Why? No breaks? Somehow I doubt these humans had pacers, support crews and aid stations along the way. If they were doing anything like this sort of activity they likely took breaks at some point!

Jane said...

The Tarahumara:
'With widely dispersed settlements, these people developed a tradition of long-distance running up to 200 miles (320 km) in one session, over a period of two days..' - Wikipedia
'..they've been known to irritate American ultramarathoners by beating them while wearing huarache sandals and stopping now and then for a smoke..' - National Geographic

The Hunza:
'For example, that illustrious traveller and savant, Sir Aurel Stein, when on the way to the "Sand-buried Ruins of Khotan" (1903), was amazed on the morning of June 25th to see a returning messenger who had been sent by the Mir to the political Munshi of Tashkurghan to prepare him for Stein's impending arrival. The messenger had started on the 18th. It was just seven complete days between his start and his return, and in that time he had travelled two hundred and eighty miles on foot, speeding along a track mostly two to four feet wide, sometimes only supported on stakes let into the cliffwall, and twice crossing the Mintaka Pass, which is the height of Mont Blanc. The messenger was quite fresh and undisturbed, and did not consider that what he had done was unusual.' - The Wheel of Health, 1938

Trance runners of Tibet:
'The only known schools for trance runners are in Tibet. In the book Beyond Seven Years in Tibet, the author Heinrich Harrer talks about his visit to one such school in Schalu gonpa, a monastery between Shigatse and Gyantse. ...Harrer mentions how the monk had to run for "hundred or more kilometres to Lhasa without food, drink or rest". ..'
http://www.kuenselonline.com/2011/?p=33822


Jane said...

HUGHES, E. R., S. T. MILLER, AND G. C. COTZIAS. Tissue
concentrations of manganese and adrenal function. Am. J. Physiol.
211(1): 207-210, 1966.
'The possible endocrine regulation of manganese metabolism was investigated by studying the effects of ACTH or cortisol administration, and those of adrenalectomy, on the excretion and tissue distribution of radioactive and stable manganese (Mn64 and Mn65). Adrenal cortical stimulation with ACTH led to a shift of radioisotope from the liver to the carcass, similar to that described after administration of glucocorticoid hormones. ..'
http://ajplegacy.physiology.org/content/211/1/207.full.pdf

'Pyruvate carboxylase, a manganese-containing enzyme, and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), a manganese-activated enzyme, are critical in gluconeogenesis... In the brain, the manganese-activated enzyme, glutamine synthetase, converts the amino acid glutamate to glutamine...'
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/manganese/

'Exercise inhibits glucocorticoid-induced glutamine synthetase expression in red skeletal muscles' http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1346351
'One purpose of this study was to determine whether the suppression of glucocorticoid-induced glutamine synthetase (GS) gene expression by exercise is localized to fiber types that are known to be primarily recruited during endurance running. ..'

Jane said...

Kade, there are two other things Mn does which might interest you. First of all, it protects mitochondria (MnSOD). This is really important. Second, it activates two enzymes which together appear to constitute a master switch between synthesis of cell components and their breakdown (autophagy): mTOR and Vps34 (Class III PI3 kinase). In vitro at least, these two enzymes can only be activated by Mn. There are other enzymes in the same family (PIKKs) which control DNA repair and also prefer Mn over Mg. So the whole maintenance and repair system might be dependent on Mn, or at least on Mn + Mg.

Lerner said...

"these humans who used to be able to run all day"

they would kick a grass fed coconut from dusk to dawn in a soccer/race through the desert canyons of Mexico [half-bazinga]

Lerner said...

Phinney in his August 11, 2012 interview has knowledge that Olson is "low carb" (especially in comparison to the usual VHC runners), Phinney says that Olson wouldn't be eating sticks of butter, but when explicitly asked if Olson uses gels the reply suddenly is "I know nothink!" a la Sergeant Shultz.

From Olson's July 2, 2012 race report (over 2 months before the interview): "When I finally reached the aid station, I was so stoked to get a gel in me".
http://www.irunfar.com/2012/07/laughing-out-loud-timothy-olsons-2012-western-states-100-race-report.html

Now, if I was in the business of studying athletes' nutrition, and was actually doing an interview on Olson's nutrition particularly, I think I would have read what Olson said about his nutrition.

Lerner said...

Putting the usual LC-advocate smokescreen aside, this whole Olson phenomenon is interesting. If some people's stomachs can't handle well the amount of carbs they need to consume during a long race, then the rationale makes sense. That would still leave open the question of whether those LFHC runners who can indeed handle the carb feedings might have an advantage -- since in theory they might be able to run faster than the fat-burning runners (because of O2 demands).

Another angle here is that Olson eats high meat. I wonder if he therefore has bigger-stronger leg muscles than the vegan LFHC runners, and therefore he has an advantage on courses that have a lot of vertical ups and downs. Maybe he does worse on smooth, flat courses - or rather the skinnier vegan runners do better.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

The first thing I noticed when I saw a picture of this guy is his legs. He's not built like what we're used to seeing for street marathoners. Come to think of it, a lot of them don't, which I find interesting.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hi Jane, Only the last cite mentions no food/water/rest, the others do not. Indeed the first one mentions stopping for a smoke break. The messenger traveled 280 miles in 7 days = 40 miles per day. Now that is a lot, but today's ultra runners do 50 miles in under 6 hours. That leaves plenty of time for rest and replenishment. Surely nobody's suggesting the messenger ran for 7 days straight w/o food.

Kade Storm said...

Thanks for the those links, Jane. I've actually read about the Tarahumara on a forum--where I believe the same link was referenced--as well as that bit on the Hunza, and it always makes for interesting read. As I recall it, on that forum the members were engaged in a discussion about what kind of diet enabled the Tarahumara folk to engage in 'persistence hunting/running' as opposed to the efficacy of gluconeogenesis and its potential role in such feats, but I digress. Now the magnesium and manganese stuff is relatively new to me so thanks much for that information.

Evelyn, I vaguely recall reading something similar on some blog about the liver glucose production in humans but cannot track down the link right now. Perhaps it's part of the same information package that you came across.

"They would kick a grass fed coconut from dusk to dawn in a soccer/race through the desert canyons of Mexico [half-bazinga]" - Lerner

Lol! Almost wrecked my monitor with that one.

Jane said...

Evelyn, yes I'm sure they had breaks and food. However, it does look to me as if they didn't 'bonk' like modern endurance runners do. To my mind, bonking is not normal, and the way to avoid it is not to do a Phinney but to eat only unrefined carbs like the Hunza did. Modern runners will have been brought up on refined carbs, and probably have mild chronic micronutrient deficiencies as a result. This means two things. First, damaged mitochondria which are not being turned over as they should be, and second, imperfections in connective tissue structure which predispose to injury and make movement less energy efficient. Connective tissue turnover is dependent on manganese and copper, just like mitochondria are.

Kade, glad to hear this is interesting. I've been eating a Hunza diet myself for 30 years and the changes to my feet and spine have been remarkable. My aim is to walk like the Hunza - they were said to have a very light, quick way of moving that was recognisable from miles away. I'm nearly there, I think.

Lerner said...

Jane, can you expound on manganese and tendons? I've been susceptible to tendon injures all my life, and also have low flexibility. I consume higher than average amount of beans these days, plus have plain oatmeal on those days when I have breakfast - but I'll maybe try adding tablets to see if that has any effect.

Since you seem to have focused on this for a long time, do you have any other tips?

@Kade: thank you, sir :)

Jane said...

Hi Lerner
Low flexibility? That's what I had, in my feet. I had hallux valgus with ~zero flexibility from wearing preposterous shoes in my teens. Surgery was the only option, I was told, and an operation was booked. I said no at the last minute. Flexibility is excellent now and I walk everywhere.

Manganese activates glycosyl transferases which put sugars on to proteoglycans. These are huge molecules whose sugar chains hold a lot of water and make cartilage absorb shocks. Here's an abstract about proteoglycans in tendon.

'When tendons must bend or twist in order to fulfil their function of attaching muscle to bone they are subjected to forces
that could damage the tendon. However, there are concomitant protective changes in the structure of the tendon at the location
of bending. One of these changes involves increased synthesis and accumulation of the large proteoglycan aggrecan. The
accumulation of aggrecan can protect the tendon by providing compressive stiffness, by allowing collagen fascicles to slide relative to one another, and by protecting vascular elements.'
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15615127

The other thing I do besides eating a Hunza diet is stretching/twisting/vibrating exercises. I vibrate my whole body when I'm standing up watching TV or at a computer. I think it's probably essential for major shape change like I've had in my feet and spine. I had terrible 'turnout' and floor exercises were needed to correct that. You sit with your legs apart and touch your forehead to the floor. Also the lotus position, which corrected my knock knees.



Kade Storm said...

That's quite a bit of progress on your end, Jane. Good for you and congrats.

@Lerner: Oh, no. Thank you.

Lerner said...

Jane, that is also interesting in that article about the compressive loading. Maybe just pressing on a knee tendon with my thumbs might do something. I also now have manganese tabs on the way. My experience is that I have to try 10-20 supplements in order to hit on one that has benefit.

I'd say that there are many different styles of walking, based on sort-of-moving-posture and also very much on attitude and emotion. Some are efficient, some powerful or slouchy, I bet they probably also can create changes in brain neurotransmitters.

Muhammad Amir said...

I look the way I do today"...especially since more about capsiplex I'm sure Mark looked quite fine 20, 30 or more years ago!

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