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Want to help design a relative LCHF experiment for Endurance?

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  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    As far as the actual experiment goes, I feel like I'd want to break it up into 3 segments: a high carb period, a transitional period, and a low carb period. I don't think I'd let my current diet or performances into the experiment as my history isn't as controlled nor as intentional as I'd want it to be for this sort of project.

    I think I'd probably run the high and low carb periods for 8 weeks and the transitional period for 4-6 weeks, but I'm really just pulling those numbers out of thin air. I think some of it would depend on how often you were working out, and thus how quickly meaningful data would be compiled.

    Next, I'd try to eliminate as many variables as I could. I'd decide on an eating pattern and stick to it for the entirety of the experiment. I'd also decide when my workouts would happen, and stick to that throughout. I view it much like I do my weigh-in days... always the same day(s) of the week, always the same time of day, etc etc. to rule out as many variables as possible.

    Next, I'd keep my workout routines consistent throughout the experiment. I'd pick a couple of routes to run, a couple to bike, and that would be my test arena (bike and run are important to me, YMMV).

    Then I'd record my cals, macros, sleep and workouts data as thoroughly as possible. At the end of the experiment I'd plot the data and end up with a bell curve for each of the 3 periods. That should give me a reasonable feel for both what I could consider the norm for that type of nutrition, but also how extreme the extremes could be.

    The thing I struggle with, at least conceptually, is how to isolate the impact of nutrient timing from overall carb level of the diet.


    At least, that's the approach I'd take going into it all. I'd probably last about 3 days before I said eff it.

    6 month total? I'm not going to last that long. I need to keep this also as realistic as I can to assure adherence too.

    Looking at 4 weeks baseline.
    6 weeks LCHF.
    6 weeks NCNF.

    I'll try to define what these mean and also put together my exercise and eating plan. I don't plan to eat the same thing or eat at the same time throughout - as meaningful as consistency might be, being able to live through this as normally as possible is also important. I'll try to stick as closely as possible to an exercise regimen but that too might take a few hits.

    Weigh-in: high frequency, morning, first thing, the day of the week doesn't actually matter for me - my weekdays are similar to weekends with regards to life pattern, food, etc.

    Workouts: as much as possible, consistent routes and locations - weather and temp are uncontrollable but will be recorded. Bike, run, gym are the core activities.

    Nutrient timing is a good question - I'm going to leave it as an open variable. I do not want to force myself to a specific eating schedule as that lead to bad places for me. I could record time between meal and exercise, but frankly, given the variability of food prep I'm usually going to be doing stuff 1 hr after a meal at least or fasted.
    Anyway, parameter to track.

    Clarification, I'm assuming NCNF is normal carbs, normal fat. How does that period differ from baseline?
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    As far as the actual experiment goes, I feel like I'd want to break it up into 3 segments: a high carb period, a transitional period, and a low carb period. I don't think I'd let my current diet or performances into the experiment as my history isn't as controlled nor as intentional as I'd want it to be for this sort of project.

    I think I'd probably run the high and low carb periods for 8 weeks and the transitional period for 4-6 weeks, but I'm really just pulling those numbers out of thin air. I think some of it would depend on how often you were working out, and thus how quickly meaningful data would be compiled.

    Next, I'd try to eliminate as many variables as I could. I'd decide on an eating pattern and stick to it for the entirety of the experiment. I'd also decide when my workouts would happen, and stick to that throughout. I view it much like I do my weigh-in days... always the same day(s) of the week, always the same time of day, etc etc. to rule out as many variables as possible.

    Next, I'd keep my workout routines consistent throughout the experiment. I'd pick a couple of routes to run, a couple to bike, and that would be my test arena (bike and run are important to me, YMMV).

    Then I'd record my cals, macros, sleep and workouts data as thoroughly as possible. At the end of the experiment I'd plot the data and end up with a bell curve for each of the 3 periods. That should give me a reasonable feel for both what I could consider the norm for that type of nutrition, but also how extreme the extremes could be.

    The thing I struggle with, at least conceptually, is how to isolate the impact of nutrient timing from overall carb level of the diet.


    At least, that's the approach I'd take going into it all. I'd probably last about 3 days before I said eff it.

    6 month total? I'm not going to last that long. I need to keep this also as realistic as I can to assure adherence too.

    Looking at 4 weeks baseline.
    6 weeks LCHF.
    6 weeks NCNF.

    I'll try to define what these mean and also put together my exercise and eating plan. I don't plan to eat the same thing or eat at the same time throughout - as meaningful as consistency might be, being able to live through this as normally as possible is also important. I'll try to stick as closely as possible to an exercise regimen but that too might take a few hits.

    Weigh-in: high frequency, morning, first thing, the day of the week doesn't actually matter for me - my weekdays are similar to weekends with regards to life pattern, food, etc.

    Workouts: as much as possible, consistent routes and locations - weather and temp are uncontrollable but will be recorded. Bike, run, gym are the core activities.

    Nutrient timing is a good question - I'm going to leave it as an open variable. I do not want to force myself to a specific eating schedule as that lead to bad places for me. I could record time between meal and exercise, but frankly, given the variability of food prep I'm usually going to be doing stuff 1 hr after a meal at least or fasted.
    Anyway, parameter to track.

    Clarification, I'm assuming NCNF is normal carbs, normal fat. How does that period differ from baseline?

    It's the same. Let's say my "NCNF" is CFP 45% 30% 25% and the LCHF would be CFP 10% 70% 20%.
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    As far as the actual experiment goes, I feel like I'd want to break it up into 3 segments: a high carb period, a transitional period, and a low carb period. I don't think I'd let my current diet or performances into the experiment as my history isn't as controlled nor as intentional as I'd want it to be for this sort of project.

    I think I'd probably run the high and low carb periods for 8 weeks and the transitional period for 4-6 weeks, but I'm really just pulling those numbers out of thin air. I think some of it would depend on how often you were working out, and thus how quickly meaningful data would be compiled.

    Next, I'd try to eliminate as many variables as I could. I'd decide on an eating pattern and stick to it for the entirety of the experiment. I'd also decide when my workouts would happen, and stick to that throughout. I view it much like I do my weigh-in days... always the same day(s) of the week, always the same time of day, etc etc. to rule out as many variables as possible.

    Next, I'd keep my workout routines consistent throughout the experiment. I'd pick a couple of routes to run, a couple to bike, and that would be my test arena (bike and run are important to me, YMMV).

    Then I'd record my cals, macros, sleep and workouts data as thoroughly as possible. At the end of the experiment I'd plot the data and end up with a bell curve for each of the 3 periods. That should give me a reasonable feel for both what I could consider the norm for that type of nutrition, but also how extreme the extremes could be.

    The thing I struggle with, at least conceptually, is how to isolate the impact of nutrient timing from overall carb level of the diet.


    At least, that's the approach I'd take going into it all. I'd probably last about 3 days before I said eff it.

    6 month total? I'm not going to last that long. I need to keep this also as realistic as I can to assure adherence too.

    Looking at 4 weeks baseline.
    6 weeks LCHF.
    6 weeks NCNF.

    I'll try to define what these mean and also put together my exercise and eating plan. I don't plan to eat the same thing or eat at the same time throughout - as meaningful as consistency might be, being able to live through this as normally as possible is also important. I'll try to stick as closely as possible to an exercise regimen but that too might take a few hits.

    Weigh-in: high frequency, morning, first thing, the day of the week doesn't actually matter for me - my weekdays are similar to weekends with regards to life pattern, food, etc.

    Workouts: as much as possible, consistent routes and locations - weather and temp are uncontrollable but will be recorded. Bike, run, gym are the core activities.

    Nutrient timing is a good question - I'm going to leave it as an open variable. I do not want to force myself to a specific eating schedule as that lead to bad places for me. I could record time between meal and exercise, but frankly, given the variability of food prep I'm usually going to be doing stuff 1 hr after a meal at least or fasted.
    Anyway, parameter to track.

    Clarification, I'm assuming NCNF is normal carbs, normal fat. How does that period differ from baseline?

    It's the same. Let's say my "NCNF" is CFP 45% 30% 25% and the LCHF would be CFP 10% 70% 20%.

    So are you looking to see if there is an effect of after LCHF? Or are you just looking at it as two comparison groups, or are you comparing both groups to baseline?

    Now I'm curious if you'd see a difference between how you feel at baseline and NCNF.

    Hm.
    edited May 2016
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    auddii wrote: »
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    As far as the actual experiment goes, I feel like I'd want to break it up into 3 segments: a high carb period, a transitional period, and a low carb period. I don't think I'd let my current diet or performances into the experiment as my history isn't as controlled nor as intentional as I'd want it to be for this sort of project.

    I think I'd probably run the high and low carb periods for 8 weeks and the transitional period for 4-6 weeks, but I'm really just pulling those numbers out of thin air. I think some of it would depend on how often you were working out, and thus how quickly meaningful data would be compiled.

    Next, I'd try to eliminate as many variables as I could. I'd decide on an eating pattern and stick to it for the entirety of the experiment. I'd also decide when my workouts would happen, and stick to that throughout. I view it much like I do my weigh-in days... always the same day(s) of the week, always the same time of day, etc etc. to rule out as many variables as possible.

    Next, I'd keep my workout routines consistent throughout the experiment. I'd pick a couple of routes to run, a couple to bike, and that would be my test arena (bike and run are important to me, YMMV).

    Then I'd record my cals, macros, sleep and workouts data as thoroughly as possible. At the end of the experiment I'd plot the data and end up with a bell curve for each of the 3 periods. That should give me a reasonable feel for both what I could consider the norm for that type of nutrition, but also how extreme the extremes could be.

    The thing I struggle with, at least conceptually, is how to isolate the impact of nutrient timing from overall carb level of the diet.


    At least, that's the approach I'd take going into it all. I'd probably last about 3 days before I said eff it.

    6 month total? I'm not going to last that long. I need to keep this also as realistic as I can to assure adherence too.

    Looking at 4 weeks baseline.
    6 weeks LCHF.
    6 weeks NCNF.

    I'll try to define what these mean and also put together my exercise and eating plan. I don't plan to eat the same thing or eat at the same time throughout - as meaningful as consistency might be, being able to live through this as normally as possible is also important. I'll try to stick as closely as possible to an exercise regimen but that too might take a few hits.

    Weigh-in: high frequency, morning, first thing, the day of the week doesn't actually matter for me - my weekdays are similar to weekends with regards to life pattern, food, etc.

    Workouts: as much as possible, consistent routes and locations - weather and temp are uncontrollable but will be recorded. Bike, run, gym are the core activities.

    Nutrient timing is a good question - I'm going to leave it as an open variable. I do not want to force myself to a specific eating schedule as that lead to bad places for me. I could record time between meal and exercise, but frankly, given the variability of food prep I'm usually going to be doing stuff 1 hr after a meal at least or fasted.
    Anyway, parameter to track.

    Clarification, I'm assuming NCNF is normal carbs, normal fat. How does that period differ from baseline?

    It's the same. Let's say my "NCNF" is CFP 45% 30% 25% and the LCHF would be CFP 10% 70% 20%.

    So are you looking to see if there is an effect of after LCHF? Or are you just looking at it as two comparison groups, or are you comparing both groups to baseline?

    Now I'm curious if you'd see a difference between how you feel at baseline and NCNF.

    Hm.

    The idea is to see how I feel, perform between baseline vs LCHF then LCHF vs NCNF and secondarily, baseline vs NCNF. I stuck that second NCNF in there to try and see if any changes are primaryly due to the diet or "something else." I might need another LCHF period tagged on after as a follow up.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    You may have covered this already, but how are you tracking performance? Subjective feel, heart rate, speed, endurance, recovery? Any metrics planned?

    My stumbling block in figuring out a sensible way to do it is that I am in a training plan, so expect my fitness to improve over the next few months (even if just a little), and would want to increase training hours/distances. I think as a result I will wait to do a similar experiment until the winter.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    You may have covered this already, but how are you tracking performance? Subjective feel, heart rate, speed, endurance, recovery? Any metrics planned?

    My stumbling block in figuring out a sensible way to do it is that I am in a training plan, so expect my fitness to improve over the next few months (even if just a little), and would want to increase training hours/distances. I think as a result I will wait to do a similar experiment until the winter.

    Metrics are subjective feel, HR / pace, speed, how do I perform at 15 and 20 km. (I need to do a summary post.)

    I'm on a plan too, so expect to increase distances and hrs over period (this test doesn't stop me from living otherwise) hence the second non LCHF period. If my fitness doesn't improve over the 6 week LCHF period then this WOE is a wash for me.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    Hmm. That might be a possible way to do it.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,180Member Member Posts: 9,180Member Member
    How are you planning to measure your performance?

    It has to be in a way that controls for fatigue as well as overall fitness, if we're going to learn something.

    On a bike this is possible if you have a power meter. You can measure your acute and chronic training loads, from which you can find your training stress balance (good approximation of fitness vs freshness), and finally you can compare that against your 20-minute mean maximal power which is a good indication of performance on a bike. Then you "only" have to duplicate your fitness levels for each branch of the experiment, and figure out how to control for sleep and other factors.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,180Member Member Posts: 9,180Member Member
    It also makes me think that I should look at pace per HR.

    You'll have to drink the same amount of coffee each day, run at about the same time, and not get fitter.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    It also makes me think that I should look at pace per HR.

    You'll have to drink the same amount of coffee each day, run at about the same time, and not get fitter.

    No, I don't - this is a personal experience, not something published in a journal - having a reasonable sense of what works for me based over an extended period of time and intended to help me stay consistent with logging and exercise is a sufficient purpose. Hence the personal crossover - the assumption that I do get fitter (independent of diet, based on exercise stress) over a period can be review over the two non-LCHF periods, one before, one after.

    As to acute and chronic training loads, it's possible to use a running TSS calculation or TRIMP (TrainingPeaks or SportTracks or the sufferscore from Strava).
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Not a criticism, because I love this stuff, but I'm not sure what this has to do with the experiment at hand? Are you planning endurance training and want to participate within your specific condition?

    I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. Here is my point:

    We know that glucose is the primary energy source. In order for muscles to use any type of energy source, that energy must be converted to glucose first.

    More research required here - muscles can be fuelled by fatty acids too, to name but one. That's the whole point really. Muscles contain fat reserves - intramuscular triglycerides - too.

    So the whole fuelling cycle emphatically does not have to go through glucose.

    Could you expand on that? Maybe I am missing something, but my understanding is that fat (dietary or body) is converted into glucose first, then that glucose is used by muscles (or glucose from carbs, protein, or glycogen).

    You have some gaps in your understanding.

    Fat tissue releases free fatty acids into circulation when insulin levels fall (lipolysis). You probably need a biochemistry textbook or similar, but here's a study looking at fatty acid utilisation in leg muscle and another write-up at http://www.jci.org/articles/view/17303

    Your heart likes to run on fatty acids too - see http://physrev.physiology.org/content/90/1/207

    Hope that helps @midwesterner85 but we're a bit off-topic now.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    moe0303 wrote: »
    Would body fat percentage be a factor to track?

    Not really. I'm not doing this as a weight loss effort.

    My diet during the entire period will be slightly below maintenance and I'll try to continue to lose weight. As a fat loss protocol it would make sense to track bf% but I don't see an interesting end point comparison as I'll lose little bf during the 4wk period (maybe 1%?) and I won't be able to have a reasonable comparison with n=1. Particularly since FFM weight loss with these diets requires some expensive tools to measure since the induction period results in water weight loss.

    And @yarwell, I don't have access to portable respiratory gas analysis or a treadmill rig. That would be cool. Anyone got an extra $28K sitting about?

    They're a lot less than that but I was hoping you had somewhere local that could do it - we have a sports shop that does tests for more like $50 a pop which would at least allow you to know you were fat adapted.

    I'll take a look around.

    What I've seen here are 60€ tests that are currently criticised as ineffective tests for lactate threshold. I'll read up.

    http://www.sportclinic.ch/htm/660/en/Cardiopulmonary-exercise-testing-VO2max-test.htm?Disziplin=19397&Bereich=19398 perhaps - it mentions CO2 measurement that not all do. The RQ / RER at your typical endurance exercise heart rate would be the interesting metric. (ignore the advice to carb up ahead of the test !!)
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,180Member Member Posts: 9,180Member Member
    It also makes me think that I should look at pace per HR.

    You'll have to drink the same amount of coffee each day, run at about the same time, and not get fitter.

    No, I don't - this is a personal experience, not something published in a journal - having a reasonable sense of what works for me based over an extended period of time and intended to help me stay consistent with logging and exercise is a sufficient purpose. Hence the personal crossover - the assumption that I do get fitter (independent of diet, based on exercise stress) over a period can be review over the two non-LCHF periods, one before, one after.

    As to acute and chronic training loads, it's possible to use a running TSS calculation or TRIMP (TrainingPeaks or SportTracks or the sufferscore from Strava).

    It's also possible to calculate running TSS by comparing your threshold pace against your actual pace for a run, and then dolling out the appropriate number of points based on the intensity factor you get. :)

    I understand that you want to learn in more detail about personal performance, not publish in a journal. So if your aim is to learn, what's the point of looking at how your pace relates to your heart rate if you know your heart rate will be affected by several factors that have nothing to do with your diet or performance? It sounds like a red herring to me.

    I'm not trolling, I'm asking because it sounds pretty important to me. You're talking about putting in a lot of work to do an experiment, you might as well get as much as you can from that.
    edited May 2016
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    It also makes me think that I should look at pace per HR.

    You'll have to drink the same amount of coffee each day, run at about the same time, and not get fitter.

    No, I don't - this is a personal experience, not something published in a journal - having a reasonable sense of what works for me based over an extended period of time and intended to help me stay consistent with logging and exercise is a sufficient purpose. Hence the personal crossover - the assumption that I do get fitter (independent of diet, based on exercise stress) over a period can be review over the two non-LCHF periods, one before, one after.

    As to acute and chronic training loads, it's possible to use a running TSS calculation or TRIMP (TrainingPeaks or SportTracks or the sufferscore from Strava).

    It's also possible to calculate running TSS by comparing your threshold pace against your actual pace for a run, and then dolling out the appropriate number of points based on the intensity factor you get. :)

    I understand that you want to learn in more detail about personal performance, not publish in a journal. So if your aim is to learn, what's the point of looking at how your pace relates to your heart rate if you know your heart rate will be affected by several factors that have nothing to do with your diet or performance? It sounds like a red herring to me.

    I'm not trolling, I'm asking because it sounds pretty important to me. You're talking about putting in a lot of work to do an experiment, you might as well get as much as you can from that.

    Ok, thanks for this more detailed question.

    I think that over a period of time (6 weeks is going to be about 24 runs, 8 gym sessions and 4-8 cycling session) I'll see an improvement in pace in general related to fitness, weight loss, etc. on average. Some runs better, some worse but overall, my pace improves slowly but consistently. Based on a bunch of external elements my HR at a pace will vary (fatigue, heat, hydration, sleep, etc...) but a lot of my running is HR driven.

    About half of my training is done at <80% HRMax - in this range, while keeping my HR below that - will I see improvements in pace in the different diet sections and if so, at what rate? The factors I can't significantly control might be a hot July and a cool August for example, or as you noted, inconsistent caffeine consumption or absorption so a lot might just get lost in the noise. But, it would seem, according to what I've read so far that HR shouldn't shift much.

    One of the things I've seen with HR is drift at pace. Particularly trying to run a specific distance at a pace results in upward drift over time that if I don't watch will make me hit a wall. That type of maximal performance running is also something I do at times. What happens on different diets? I have no clue. I might come to the wrong conclusions if I have 12 PR attempts that result in my blowing up each time? I honestly don't know.

    I do think that threshold pace against actual pace is definitely an interesting metric (and throw in terrain factors, but we'll try to keep those constant).

    Maybe HR IS a red herring. I'll measure that, learn that and move on.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,180Member Member Posts: 9,180Member Member
    Threshold pace vs actual pace isn't something I invented, it's part of Training Peaks and Golden Cheetah as a way to assign TSS in order to build the Performance Management Chart. I know some people use a metric called "gradient normalized pace" to fix the problem of hills.

    I know that the "drift" you see between HR and pace happens to everyone. I'm coming from a cycling background; we measure this as the "drift" between HR and power. Some software calculates this for you automatically by taking your average HR and average PWR for the first and second half of a ride, and then giving you the ratio. (Seems overly simplistic to me.) Most people consider a drift value of less than 5 % for a steady effort to be an indicator of good fitness.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    Threshold pace vs actual pace isn't something I invented, it's part of Training Peaks and Golden Cheetah as a way to assign TSS in order to build the Performance Management Chart. I know some people use a metric called "gradient normalized pace" to fix the problem of hills.

    I know that the "drift" you see between HR and pace happens to everyone. I'm coming from a cycling background; we measure this as the "drift" between HR and power. Some software calculates this for you automatically by taking your average HR and average PWR for the first and second half of a ride, and then giving you the ratio. (Seems overly simplistic to me.) Most people consider a drift value of less than 5 % for a steady effort to be an indicator of good fitness.

    Yep, I'm a user of TP/GC and SportsTracks. I know that strava uses a gradient normalised pace.

    Cardiac Drift is a funny thing. Yesterday on a 2 hr run, I had a hard time getting my HR up for about 5km, then as the day got a lot warmer (and I also hit a nice rush) I saw both influences of drift, pace, heat and gradient. You do what you can with the numbers...

    I also have an extensive cycling background - I can confirm that the HR PWR ratio calculations are overly simplistic and make assumptions about constant efficiency and all the other parameters we've mentioned.

    We'll see what we can squeeze out from the numbers.
  • goldthistimegoldthistime Posts: 3,171Member Member Posts: 3,171Member Member
    Gawd I love this thread. Good luck EvgeniZyntx, and thanks for sharing.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    Of possible interest, there's an article in the current (April '16) edition of Alan Aragon's Research Review about analyzing the effect of HFLD diets for Australian Football League athletes.
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