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I'm in ketosis, need advice on coming off it for a PT test

Old 04-18-18, 11:41 PM
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I'm in ketosis, need advice on coming off it for a PT test

Hi guys. For some time now I've eaten a moderate amount of carbs, and recently was concentrating a little more on restricting them further. I've been trying hard to lose some weight for an upcoming Army physical fitness test and weigh-in.

Over the last two weeks I cut more and more of the few sources of carbs I'd been taking in, with things like skipping the sweetened creamer in favor of just black coffee, and finally removing the 1/3 cup or so of oats I'd been putting into my porridge concoction, leaving just the sliced almonds, cinnamon, Fiber One cereal (the nearly pure fiber version), and protein powder. The last two days I've added two teaspoons of natural peanut butter (the no-sugar kind with all the peanut oil that has to be stirred up) to that porridge.

I found an old container of the Ketone strips I'd had several years ago when I once tried an Atkins-like diet, and tested myself this last weekend, and actually showed a low level of ketones. So I know the fat-burning is humming along nicely. Since that initial positive, I've been pretty nazi-like in my avoidance of carbs, and have been consistently testing from moderate to heavy ketone levels.

Here's the thing: this Saturday I have my Army physical fitness test, and I want to take in some carbs for it. I'm worried about the run. I hadn't been running much since my last PT test, but started running again five weeks ago. I've been making good progress, but I can tell that being on mostly protein/some fat and low overall calories has been making gaining speed really tough for me.

I'm thinking that Friday night I should take in 200-300 calories worth of carbs, which will kill the ketosis, and hopefully some of those carbs will be storied away to replenish my glycogen, which is probably pretty low right now.

I'm also thinking I'll eat a banana in the car on the way there maybe 90 minutes before the test, and bring some kind of sweetened water or sports drink or something to take right before the test, so that I've got some sugar actively flowing in my veins during the test.

I have no idea if this is a sensible plan. I don't actually know how to keep the ketosis and fat burn going as long as I can, but still get some carbs in me before the test so that I have the energy to run faster during the 2-mile run than I've so far been doing. Five weeks ago when I started running again I was doing a 2.1-mile route about 2-3 minutes slower than I'd need to pass the PT test.

Rather than try to build up speed, each week I added some distance to my route, so that last week and so far this week I've been running 3.6 miles. My most recent run, today, I was about 2 minutes/mile over the pace I need to hit in order to pass. The PT test run is only 2 miles, so I'm assuming that I'll be able to go faster for 2 miles than I've been doing for 3.6 miles, plus I have strong incentives not to fail. I've gutted out a lot of PT test runs with much less preparedness than I'll have for this one, but still, during today's run I didn't feel like I could have gone much faster unless rabid wolves were chasing me.

I'm assuming that my exercising as much as I have on very low calorie intake (most days recently I've been burning more calories in exercise alone than I ate the whole day) and being in ketosis constantly for the last few days were contributing to make speed hard for me over these runs, even as my endurance has improved. At least I hope that's it. It makes me think if I take Thursday and Friday off so that I can recover back to 100%, and reintroduce some carbs so I'm not running on fat energy alone on Saturday, that I'll be able to pick the speed up and not have to actually kill myself to pass that run.

Has anyone with a lot of experience with low-carb and being in ketosis got any advice for how I should most effectively introduce some carbs over the next day or two so my body has easier energy available for this run?
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Old 04-19-18, 01:17 AM
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Unless you've been eating a banana before every workout don't introduce a variable into your pre-test diet. It'll probably just mess up your digestion and you'll be desperately looking for a place to poop midway through the run.

Been there, done that, when I changed my breakfast to eggs and toast for a week and then switched back to oatmeal with yogurt and banana. Instant peristalsis. Much as I love bananas I avoid them during rides. Too much bulk. I carry Think Thin energy/protein bars and energy drink powders with electrolytes and maltodextrin.

Try some energy gels instead. Low bulk, less likely to induce peristalsis, good source of quick energy without going into simple sugar. Most contain maltodextrin which is easily digestible. You can buy 'em from any sporting goods store. Even some drug stores carry them, although occasionally they're in the pharmacy aisle for diabetics. Price for diabetic emergency gel is about the same per packet as sports gels.

For that matter you might get by with glucose tablets from the diabetic supply aisle. That's what I carry in my seat bags for emergencies. I'm prone to hypoglycemia, although I can usually avoid it with good diet and rest. But on stressful days I've bonked, so the glucose tabs come in handy. They work as well as sports gels for me. All I need is something to get me home or to the nearest restaurant or store. I haven't experienced any insulin rebound effects.

BTW, next time you train for PT, mix up training with the old fashioned wind sprints coaches used to demand in school. Nowadays it's called interval training. I avoided it when I was in the military and just rode my bike, did pull ups and sit ups, but very little running. When I did run it was slow, just slightly faster than walking. Big mistake. I was in good shape, but not in running shape. I bonked during an uphill group run with Marines (I was a Navy Corpsman), and had to sit on the ground for a few minutes, feeling like my blood sugar had crashed, which was embarrassing. Usually I outdid those guys in PT on pull ups and sit ups, and could hold my own in running on flat pavement. I should have combined jogging and wind sprints.

When I resumed riding a road bike last summer the first thing I did was incorporate interval training in my routines. Huge difference in fitness, and I've burned more fat. I wasn't much over my optimal weight, but combining intervals along with my regular rides has significantly improved my ability to recover during exercise without needing to stop.

It's also a psychological thing. Interval training -- sprints, whatever -- hurts. No way around it. But once you get accustomed to it, each obstacle or bit of discomfort gets easier.
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Old 04-19-18, 04:02 AM
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Thanks for the comments! Yeah, I've tried doing no running but tons of cycling before PT tests a few years ago and learned to my horror and great physical pain trying to gut out the run that while my cardio was good, there wasn't sufficient overlap in the leg muscle use from cycling to running, and it didn't really help at all.

I had some breathing issues that stopped me exercising at all for the first couple months of this year. It took forever to figure out that due to some acid reflux acid was getting up into my windpipe while I slept and irritating my lungs, and a century ride I did brought that to a head. That couple of months off really set me back. I'd been doing great in my cycling for something like six months since I started riding again, and I backslid quite a bit after these two months. I did some occasional jogs for several weeks in a row after my breathing eased, but started doing these jogs/runs in earnest about five weeks ago, intermixed with cycling, and sets of pushups and a couple of other things at home. I've gutted out PT tests in the past with less preparation, but for some reason even with what I've done in the last five weeks I'm still feeling pretty nervous.

I've used energy gels the morning of PT tests before. I've also had bananas and such on the way to drill the morning of a PT test, and things like that. The difference is that in those previous occasions I hadn't been low-carb enough prior to the PT test as to be in ketosis like I've been recently. I'm assuming that my glycogen stores are pretty low. The pace of my jogs and even my bike rides has been much lower than I'm used to, and I'm wondering how much of that is due to relying in recent weeks solely on fat and protein for energy. What I'm wondering about is A) how to ensure my glycogen stores are topped off enough, and B) how's my body going to react going from ketosis to the typical carb-using metabolism. Should I eat some carbs on Friday, or eat some on Thursday too to give my body a chance to adjust? I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it might not be the greatest idea to take enough sugar to do any good immediately before the PT test straight out of ketosis. I don't know what it would do, but I don't think it would be a good idea to experiment like that.

This is the year I want to get thin enough that I'm not having to stress over the PT test and height/weight at the same time. That's a tricky balance to strike. After losing well over 100 lbs 8-9 years ago to get back into the Guard in the first place, I've been either just over or just under the limit most of the time, and a few times fairly far beyond the limit and seeing the next weigh-in approaching like a freight train, which spurred me into herculean efforts to get back in compliance before the weigh in. I want this year to be the one where I keep losing and get far enough below the line that I can just focus on PT and not have to be worrying about weight. As it is, that's not where I'm at, so I've been of a mind to keep myself in ketosis and with a high daily calorie burn and low daily intake of carefully calculated foods that will help me in my recovery, rather than provide fuel. I've got the fuel covered. I've been extremely careful in my diet, and eaten almost all of my meals after exercise sessions rather than before them so that the food would be available for recovery, while forcing my body to burn the fat to fuel the exercise.

As far as the running goes, my plan had been to push my distance out further without pushing for speed, then plateau the distance and work on doing the distance faster. I started with 2.1 (Army PT run is 2 miles), then increased a little each week until now I'm at 3.6 miles, and I wanted to keep pushing it out until I got up to 5 miles. My eventual goal is to be doing 5-mile runs at a PT-passing pace, then I'll know I can easily do 2 miles at a passing pace. Unfortunately I switched units recently and my next PT test got pushed forward by several weeks. I thought I'd have a little more time to prepare. I realize that the best thing would be to keep up with the running year round and get far enough below the weight limit for it never to be an issue.

Other than taking a shortish 3-mile walk tomorrow and some stretching, I'm going to take Thursday and Friday off exercising completely. I think I'll reintroduce a few carbs Thursday and pop out of ketosis and hopefully replenish that glycogen, eat very moderately but including some carbs on Friday, and then show up with either gels or some maltodextrin or something on Saturday. I happen to have a huge thing of maltodextrin for occasionally using with water bottles on some longer-distance rides.
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Old 04-19-18, 05:22 AM
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A 2 mile run is so short, it's hardly a warm up, that pumping gels in your body won't do anything. You're not running a marathon. In the hundreds of APFT's I've been involved with I always see guys blowing money at the PX for all these gels and Red Bull and crap just to run 10,560 feet and it's a waste.

The PT test is in 48 hours. If you aren't in shape for it now you won't be on Saturday. You can try loading up on carbs by eating a lot of pasta or something. But at this point you're either ready to do it or you're not. When you wake up Saturday I'd eat something light just so you aren't running on an empty stomach, and if you have time go on a slow, short jog around the block or something 10-15 minutes before the run.
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Old 04-19-18, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
A 2 mile run is so short, it's hardly a warm up, that pumping gels in your body won't do anything. You're not running a marathon. In the hundreds of APFT's I've been involved with I always see guys blowing money at the PX for all these gels and Red Bull and crap just to run 10,560 feet and it's a waste.

The PT test is in 48 hours. If you aren't in shape for it now you won't be on Saturday. You can try loading up on carbs by eating a lot of pasta or something. But at this point you're either ready to do it or you're not. When you wake up Saturday I'd eat something light just so you aren't running on an empty stomach, and if you have time go on a slow, short jog around the block or something 10-15 minutes before the run.
I hear ya, and I feel a certain measure of shame in obsessing over a run as short as the APFT. I've never been much of a runner. Even when I was young and in great shape and could easily max the pushups and situps, even when I was actually running a lot on my own I never could max the run, and would at best get a time in the middle of my range. At my current age and weight (right at my bodyfat limit) I have to gut it out to make sure I pass. When I started my running 5 weeks ago (with a few sporadic runs before that) I thought I'd have several more weeks than I actually do because of a change in units and when they had their next APFT scheduled. I've just shown up with no running before and passed, but it was a hard-core gut-check type effort for me and it sucked.

I'll go in with a positive attitude and know that I've actually run quite a few times lately, and I should be OK. As far as the gels and such I agree that in the usual case that probably does't do much for people, but since I'm in a state right now after low carbs for weeks now, it might actually be helpful. I've been nervous about my speed on my 3.6 mile runs, and I don't know to what extent my pace has been off more than I thought it would be just because I've got very little in the way of carbs available and have powered these runs mostly on my fat and protein. As it stands now I'll probably get 80-90% on my pushups and situps, and then push through that run and hope that the running I did over the last month and half or so has helped.
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Old 04-19-18, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
I hear ya, and I feel a certain measure of shame in obsessing over a run as short as the APFT. I've never been much of a runner. Even when I was young and in great shape and could easily max the pushups and situps, even when I was actually running a lot on my own I never could max the run, and would at best get a time in the middle of my range. At my current age and weight (right at my bodyfat limit) I have to gut it out to make sure I pass. When I started my running 5 weeks ago (with a few sporadic runs before that) I thought I'd have several more weeks than I actually do because of a change in units and when they had their next APFT scheduled. I've just shown up with no running before and passed, but it was a hard-core gut-check type effort for me and it sucked.

I'll go in with a positive attitude and know that I've actually run quite a few times lately, and I should be OK.
If you can run you will be OK, but if you're out of shape, carbs won't help.
As far as the gels and such I agree that in the usual case that probably does't do much for people, but since I'm in a state right now after low carbs for weeks now, it might actually be helpful. I've been nervous about my speed on my 3.6 mile runs, and I don't know to what extent my pace has been off more than I thought it would be just because I've got very little in the way of carbs available and have powered these runs mostly on my fat and protein. As it stands now I'll probably get 80-90% on my pushups and situps, and then push through that run and hope that the running I did over the last month and half or so has helped.
You can't serve two masters so forget about the ketosis for now and just concentrate on the run. For that, you need carbs so consume as much as you can the day before (or two) the run.

Most runners prefer pasta, but for me rice is so much better. I only eat brown rice now, but unless you're digestive track is used to it, you should stick with regular rice. You don't need anything else to go with it only the rice (maybe some broth) if you have difficulty eating just two cups of plain rice.

I said rice because that's what works best for me in my experience. It gives me virtual endless amounts of energy and twice what I get from other carbs like pasta and potatoes. If you've loaded up on carbs the day or two before you won't need anything the day of your run (PT). Physically it won't matter anyway, but mentally some people might feel they need it. As for stims caffeine should do nicely. And citrulline malate also helps to extend energy.

Last edited by KraneXL; 04-23-18 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 04-19-18, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
As far as the gels and such I agree that in the usual case that probably does't do much for people, but since I'm in a state right now after low carbs for weeks now, it might actually be helpful.
Forget the gels, man. Take a couple of Excedrin Migrane tablets about 10 minutes prior to the test.
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Old 04-19-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Forget the gels, man. Take a couple of Excedrin Migrane tablets about 10 minutes prior to the test.
What I really need is a nice steaming mug of "Man the Eff Up!" I think I'm going to be fine, though the run will suck.

Yeah I can't serve two masters here, so I let go of the ketosis this morning by reintroducing some oats into my morning porridge, and adding a small amount of sweet creamer back into my coffee. I'll still be very careful about my calorie intake today, but carbs will be a part of it.

I appreciate the comments, thanks!
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Old 04-19-18, 01:45 PM
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I don't recommend carb loading the night before. Instead, just eat a moderate amount of carbs all day today and Friday. Don't stuff yourself, moderate. Carbs at every meal and carb snacks if you need them. Make your diet ~70% carb calories. Eat about 400 cal. carbs 3 hours before the run, then nothing but water.
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Old 04-19-18, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post

I said rice because that's what works best for me in my experience. It gives me virtual endless amounts of energy and twice what I get from other carbs like pasta and potatoes.

White rice is probably the most ideal carb for athletes....I used to be a pasta and potatoes type of a guy but not anymore. I switched to white rice few years ago and never looked back, it works really good for me. I don't really like brown rice, I prefer white rice. Some people will argue that brown rice is healthier than white rice but I it doesn't really matter to me. White rice is easier and faster to cook, it digests a lot easier. I eat rice strictly for it's carbs and calories and I get my fibre and other nutrients from a variety of different foods.
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Old 04-19-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
Five weeks ago when I started running again I was doing a 2.1-mile route about 2-3 minutes slower than I'd need to pass the PT test.

Rather than try to build up speed, each week I added some distance to my route, so that last week and so far this week I've been running 3.6 miles. My most recent run, today, I was about 2 minutes/mile over the pace I need to hit in order to pass. The PT test run is only 2 miles, so I'm assuming that I'll be able to go faster for 2 miles than I've been doing for 3.6 miles, plus I have strong incentives not to fail.
Rest up so you're fresh for the test, and you've got this. The way you approached it is exactly right.

Do you have a GPS watch to measure your pace during the test? With 'extra' motivation, there can be a temptation to run too fast out of the gate, and then blow up - you want to avoid that. It's not a long run so you should be fine. Or, if you can recognize what it feels like to hit your threshold, you can stay just below it.
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Old 04-19-18, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
White rice is probably the most ideal carb for athletes....I used to be a pasta and potatoes type of a guy but not anymore. I switched to white rice few years ago and never looked back, it works really good for me.
I'm not sure why, but I just tried all of them -- including pancakes -- and just get the best most long-lasting results from rice.
I don't really like brown rice, I prefer white rice. Some people will argue that brown rice is healthier than white rice but I it doesn't really matter to me.
It is, and that's why I switched. I was a little hard on my system and took some getting used to at first, but now I find eating white rice a compromise. I especially enjoy Jasmine brown rice. The nutty flavor (especially when I add coconut oil) is so good I can eat it all by itself.
White rice is easier and faster to cook, it digests a lot easier. I eat rice strictly for it's carbs and calories and I get my fibre and other nutrients from a variety of different foods.
Because its just the starch with the valuable fiber removed. But that's just a matter of taste. Either way I can't tell the difference energy wise.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Rest up so you're fresh for the test, and you've got this. The way you approached it is exactly right.

Do you have a GPS watch to measure your pace during the test? With 'extra' motivation, there can be a temptation to run too fast out of the gate, and then blow up - you want to avoid that. It's not a long run so you should be fine. Or, if you can recognize what it feels like to hit your threshold, you can stay just below it.
Yeah I've got a Garmin watch (Fenix 2) that I use for these. I'd fail miserably if I didn't have one. This helps me know where I stand at all times. When running these I don't even use a screen showing the distance or the time or anything. The only two pieces of data I look at during these army PT test runs are my average pace so far, and my current pace. As long as my average pace stays under the pace I need to get the time required over 2 miles, I'm passing. If the average is under the passing pace but my current pace is over it then I have to step it out a little, but it doesn't mean I'm not going to pass. Being 15 seconds over right now at the 1.75-mile mark with an average pace 30 seconds under means I'm still winning.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:41 AM
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Positive thinking from this point on. This should be a cakewalk for you.
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Old 04-20-18, 02:28 AM
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Good luck with your physical!

Regarding ketosis and general low carb weight loss:

May I suggest that later when you have more time you look into this more deeply. Could start by googling Ivor Cummins.

You mention protein powder. Be aware that carbs are one facet. Big picture is that what you really want to do is reduce your insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.

Elevated insulin -> you will not burn fat. You will store more. Elevated insulin inhibits ketosis.

Guess what massively boosts insulin in many people? Dairy Proteins. Whey Powder... Please think about this.

Carbs is a distraction. Reduce whatever disproportionately spikes insulin. For most people thatís carbs and dairy proteins. Get hyperinsulinemia smacked down and just about everything else good will come out in the wash.

Also worth reading Phinney and Volek on Ketogenic Diet and Athletic Performance. Phil Maffetone too. Heís trained Ironman winners.

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Old 04-20-18, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MovingViolation View Post
Good luck with your physical!

Regarding ketosis and general low carb weight loss:

May I suggest that later when you have more time you look into this more deeply. Could start by googling Ivor Cummins.

You mention protein powder. Be aware that carbs are one facet. Big picture is that what you really want to do is reduce your insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.

Elevated insulin -> you will not burn fat. You will store more.

Guess what massively boosts insulin in many people? Dairy Proteins. Whey Powder FTW. Please think about this.
I'll definitely do some more reading about it after this weekend is over. Thanks!
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Old 04-20-18, 07:46 AM
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Good reading in here. Thanks, folks, even if it's not my thread. And good luck to you, @SethAZ ! You got this, bro.

when I was in the USAF in the 70's and 90's, I remember doing our annual run and weigh in. I'd run like mad for the whole distance and then light up a smoke. Lol if I only knew then what I know now...
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Old 04-20-18, 11:01 AM
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And let us know how it goes!

In my PCPT to exit Basic, I was one of the slower runners in the platoon. Definitely harder in combat boots and fatigues. I did beat the 4'10" Columbian draftee whose boots and fatigues were several sizes too large.
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Old 04-20-18, 08:59 PM
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I think you're going to do fine, but I forgot to wish you luck.
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Old 04-22-18, 06:32 AM
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Well after all that, they pushed it first from Saturday till Sunday, then pushed it again until our next drill in May, which is two weeks from now. We're doing crazy amounts of work getting ready for an upcoming deployment of our whole battalion, and we just had so much to do with pre-mobilization stuff they realized the timeline they had for this weekend just didn't allow it.

I was feeling pretty good about things, but I'm not complaining. This gives me time to drop another 5-6 lbs, and get in another 6 or 7 runs, interleaving them with my bike rides so I don't kill my knees as much, and get in some more good pushups/situps sets and so forth. I was going to do all of that anyway just to keep the progress up and be more physically ready for the deployment, but this is going to help me measurably to pass and get a good score, too.
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Old 04-23-18, 09:00 AM
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IMO, for the next couple of weeks, you should keep the carbs in before your runs. You don't need to be in ketosis in order to lose weight, and the carbs will help with intense efforts. You should try to do some runs at a pace faster than what you need to qualify. These may be short and/or interval based since the pace will be high, but that is usually the best way to get faster.
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Old 04-23-18, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
IMO, for the next couple of weeks, you should keep the carbs in before your runs. You don't need to be in ketosis in order to lose weight, and the carbs will help with intense efforts. You should try to do some runs at a pace faster than what you need to qualify. These may be short and/or interval based since the pace will be high, but that is usually the best way to get faster.
I'm working out my precise plan for the next two weeks, but it will most likely be a continuation and intensification of what I was doing in the weeks leading up to this last weekend. I'd only kept in ketosis for the last week, but in weeks previous my carb intake had been low, just not ultra-low, and I hadn't tested for ketone excess. The thing I don't like at all, which is totally my own fault of course, is that I'm simultaneously having to make sure I'm prepared for the actual physical fitness test while also being over the allowed percentage of bodyfat, and the weightloss is definitely the more compelling priority at the moment.

I'm primarily a cyclist (hence this forum) and running has definitely been something I only ever really do because I have to for the army. I'm confident that I would have passed the 2-mile run this past weekend if we hadn't been buried by pre-mobe work, so if I keep up with the runs I was doing but add in some more interval-like training to it, I'll continue to improve the runs and make it that much easier in two weeks. The highest priority right now is just burning fat, but fortunately if I can drop 5-7 lbs in two weeks that itself will make the run that much easier.

The last couple of weeks I had a sort of informal interval thing where every couple of minutes I'd pick a corner in my neighborhood that I was approaching at the jog, run as fast as I could to that corner 75-100 yards away, then slow back down to the jog for another couple of minutes until another corner approached. It was intervals, but not using a stopwatch or anything, just convenient landmarks. I did cut around 1 minute/mile off the pace I was doing these runs at over the last week.

I'll be honest here; I kind of let myself down as a soldier over the last three years and I'm paying for it right now. I came home from a deployment three years ago and ended up gaining something like 40 lbs over the next year or so. There was some adjustment issues with transitioning back to my normal life routines, some health issues with my circulation in my legs, and over the last year some breathing difficulties due to occasional acid reflux irritating my lungs. I did resume my cycling last summer and that did wonders for me, but I could have managed my lifestyle and exercise and attempts at resolving the health issues more effectively and I wouldn't be in the position I'm in right now. I was suddenly and without warning transferred from my previous unit into a new one with a deployment three months out, and the bottom line is that these guys don't dick around, and if I want to deploy with them (I do) I have to meet the standards. I feel some shame that I wasn't already within the standards when the sudden transfer happened, and that's on me. That being said, I can't go back in time to relive the past couple of years and do it better. I'm focused on being within the weight standards over the next month, making sure I pass the physical fitness test, and get both of those issues completely off the table.

I had gotten out of the army Guard back in the 90s, and after 9/11 I wanted back in, but had gained a huge amount of weight and couldn't until I lost the weight. After several attempts I finally made the herculean effort and lost something like 135 lbs over a 7 or 8 month period and got back in in 2010. I'm currently still down over 100 lbs from where I was 9 years ago, but it's been a struggle. I'm not one of those naturally thin guys. I think if I didn't have the army motivating me to keep at it I'd be much heavier than I am now. Fortunately I love serving in the Guard, and I know what the Army requires for me to be able to keep serving, and that motivates me to keep at the struggle. From where I'm at right now I think I can be OK with the bodyfat standards within the next month, which is good, because we'll deploy a month after that. I'm determined to keep at my fitness/weightloss efforts and get far below the line this time. Being on a deployment is, strangely, a unique opportunity as far as fitness goes because between missions and work there's just not much else to do but hit the gym and work out, away from the distractions of our normal lives, hobbies, and routines. I'm determined to work hard and get so far under the weight/bodyfat limits during this deployment that I never have to jump through my butt again in the weeks preceding a fitness/weight check to make sure I'm good.

As far as cycling goes, the downside is that I'll be off my bike for about a year because of this deployment. The upside of it is that if I can come back 40-50 lbs leaner than I've been for most of the thousands of miles I've done over the past few years, I can make a come-back in cycling after that year that will see me riding harder and faster than I ever have. I'll miss the Lynskey while I'm gone, but in addition to whatever else I do in the gym, perhaps they'll have an exercise bike I can put some (boring) time into so I don't come back completely devoid of cycling fitness and have to train it all back up again.
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Old 04-23-18, 11:31 AM
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I've had good results with creatine. Two weeks is about the amount of time it takes to become effective. It can make high intensity exercise less taxing in the moment.
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Old 04-23-18, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I've had good results with creatine. Two weeks is about the amount of time it takes to become effective. It can make high intensity exercise less taxing in the moment.
Did it cause you to gain water weight? If so, how much?
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Old 04-23-18, 03:29 PM
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It's really hard to say. I was in a period of deliberate weight gain when I started taking it. A few days after I started I went on vacation without a scale and don't have data for a week. A month after I started taking creatine I was 4 pounds heavier; I spent that month eating a calorie surplus and lifting heavy weights.

My hunch is you'll probably gain a few pounds of water, but the improvement in high intensity energy will still be a net benefit in terms of your running pace. I don't know how you're being graded and this seems like the part you're concerned about so that's what I'm trying to come up with suggestions for. If the extra weight will count against you in other ways, it might not be worth it.
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