|Vespa CV-25 and Junior|
The goal of all of this is to get the body to burn fat for energy instead of the 1500 calories or so of glycogen it has available on an average day. By burning fat you can reduce/eliminate your need for calorie ingestion during training (which has many benefits), reduce muscle fatigue/post workout recovery and increase sustained performance during longer events. In order to prime your body for burning more fat Peter advocates a low carb diet. This is especially interesting to me, being a larger runner, as I find dealing with calorie and fluid requirements for longer runs to be quite daunting. I've already had some great results experimenting with reducing my daily carbohydrate intake and using the product on runs over the last few months.
Some of the books Peter recommended:
New Atkins for a New You
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
Dr. Eric Westman
Weston A. Price Foundation
He recommended using the following formula for heart rate based training, which is a bit more aggressive than standard Maffetone Method based sessions.
180 - age + 15
Peter advocated making sure to take a VERY LONG TIME TO WARMUP in each training session to ensure the body will burn fat over carbohydrate. He also emphasized the importance of fluid and electrolytes for ketosis (fat burning). I could be mistaken, but I believe he said he ran Western States on up to 60 oz of water and 1500mg of sodium per hour. These number seem huge, but if the body isn't also trying to digest food at the same time I can see how this could be possible and a requirement to sustain such high effort for nearly 24 hours, 100 miles and temps up to 115 degrees. He also recommended UVB treatments for athletes, although I didn't have time to discuss this point with him.
If you are not used to eating low carbohydrate, using VESPA during the transition can reduce the side effects a person may experience during the first couple of weeks (brain fog, lack of energy, craving carbs etc). He recommends a rare steak and a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream the night before a race. I didn't have a chance to write down much else, but I hope to have more information to share as I continue experimenting with the product and my diet. Since I already have to be gluten free, my carbs aren't very high to begin with, but I've made a point to drop them even more and replace those foods with more healthy fats and proteins. Using VESPA, I have stopped needing to take in gels during a run and my recovery seems to have improved tremendously between workouts.