When I started running ultra’s in 2007 the holy grail for nutrition was carbs, carbs carbs. Like a sheep in the herd my diet was built around consuming calories every 30 to 45 minutes in training and races. Gels, energy bars, sports drinks, it didn’t really matter. I needed the fix. My regular diet consisted of pretty much the same; carbs, carbs, carbs……..
Eventually my body started to talk to me. It wasn’t happy. My energy levels were a roller coaster. It took weeks to recover from hard workouts and races. And I just didn’t feel right. I started to question how a diet loaded with sugar and carbs could be good for me. Wasn’t this the diet contributing to the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in American society? I knew it was. And I knew I needed a change.
I started experimenting with a high fat diet and VESPA. I was amazed at the difference it made. Not only was I able to cut the sugar umbilical cord, I found with VESPA I could run four to five hours without taking any additional calories. Recovering from 100 mile races now took days instead of weeks. Most importantly, I noticed my energy levels actually rising toward the end of 100 mile races! This turnaround in my performance and well-being was so incredible I even did a couple of blog posts on the topic (http://www.willrunlonger.com/2013/05/burn-fat-for-fuel-interview-with-peter.html / http://www.willrunlonger.com/2014/07/sugar-safe-of-suicide.html).
In 2014, with the help of VESPA and their OFM program which included shifting to a high fat, restricted carbohydrate diet, I finished the Grand Slam of Ultra Running at the age of 51 in a combined time of 93 hours and 30 minutes over two and a half hours faster than the previous combined time for this age group. I met my personal goal of running the fastest combined time for runners aged 50 years and older, and I did it with no crew and no pacers! In the process I nabbed the age group win at Western States 100, running 22H:28M and beating my previous time by nearly an hour. I also set a personal record for 100 miles at Vermont in 19H:58M.
Will’s Blog: http://www.willrunlonger.com/