27 January 2013

Long Run on Water Only

Posted by Brad Hefta-Gaub under: Run.

Ran 20 miles today on water only. About an hour before my run I ate a couple tbsps each of Cashews, Macadamia Nuts, Raisins, and a smallish 6″ banana.

I’d say my run was “good” but not great. My goal was 7:50-8:00min/mile. I ran the first 11 miles in 7:49/mile pace, but then I started fading. I don’t think I was low on energy, but it started raining, the wind picked up, and it was cold. So mentally I felt sluggish for the next 6 miles.

If that had been how it ended, I would have chalked it up to a below average early season run. But at mile 18, I ran 7:31, mile 19 at 7:49, and mile 20 fastest of all at 7:25! I ended up averaging 7:59/mile for the entire run, which is right around my marathon race pace, but not a marathon PR pace. Again, this was WATER ONLY for 2:40 at a solid zone 2 workout pace for me.

This is day 27 of my Whole 30, so if you’re wondering if “it’s possible” to run long runs on a whole 30 program… this is one example of it being possible.

Although this is my first whole 30, I have been eating a very similar diet for the last 10 months. My pre-Whole30 diet was near-paleo gluten free/dairy free (with an occasional ~1/month cheat), but more importantly it’s been about 50% FAT, 30% Protein, and 20% Carbohydrates. I eat mostly green leafy vegetables: ~6 cups per day. I rarely eat fruits: most days NO fruit, some days like today 1-2 servings. I probably average 5 servings of fruit per week. I also rarely eat higher CHO vegetables, like Sweet Potatoes. In fact, I’ve only had my first serving of sweet potatoes on W30 last night for dinner and this morning as part of my breakfast. The point is my average daily CHO intake is ~90g. Granted, being only 135lbs with a BMR of about 1,200kcals, I don’t need a lot of calories anyway.

Although I’ve never confirmed this, I don’t believe I am in nutritional ketosis, but I do believe I have reached a state of “fat adaptation” that allows me to achieve these types of performance results.

  • Splits:
    • Miles 1-11: Good pace, felt strong — 7:54, 7:49, 7:53, 7:54, 7:42, 7:41, 7:46, 7:49, 7:57, 7:49, 7:51
    • Miles 12-17: Fading, cold, wet, bummed! — 8:12, 8:14, 8:45, 8:41, 8:47, 8:16
    • Miles 18-20: Burst of speed! Yipee! — 7:31, 7:49, 7:25!!
  • Cadence: 85/110


  • Type: Run
  • Date: 01/27/2013
  • Time: 14:00:00
  • Total Time: 2:39:52.00
  • Average Heart rate: 141
  • Max Heart rate: 158
  • Calories: 2039
  • Distance: 20 miles
  • Average Pace: 7:59.36/mile
  • Max Pace: 7:24.99/mile

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About Brad

Me in 2002 - 200lbsThis is my fitness blog. Some people who knew me a long time ago may wonder, what the heck I'm doing writing a blog about fitness. Many of them wouldn't imagine that I'd have anything to do with fitness. You see, up until age 34, I treated my body very poorly. I sat around at home, at work, at play. I ate junk food and lots of it. And the result was what you'd expect 5'4" and 200 lbs with 36% body fat. (more...)