Category: Exercise

Dr. Perlmutter Goes Running with Olaf Sorenson

Long-Distance Running on a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet

Humans are natural endurance athletes. While the concept of “carb loading,” or the use of sports drinks and gels in endurance events are increasingly popular, human physiology is perfectly set up to use fat as a fuel for endurance exercise.

Olaf Sorensen, seen here in the blue shirt, is a 40-year-old long-distance runner who will be running a marathon soon. What’s unique about his upcoming endeavor is that, first, his goal for this event is to beat his grandfather’s Olympic qualifying time of 2 hours and 40 minutes. But what is particularly unique about Olaf’s plan is that he plans to accomplish this feat on a high-fat, extremely low-carb diet. He will essentially demonstrate to the world that being in a state of ketosis (burning fat as opposed to carbohydrates) is an extremely efficient human adaptation permitting long stretches of efficient physical activity.

Olaf does a lot of his running either barefoot or with minimal footwear, again emulating our forebears. I really appreciated his instructions when we ran together. But while I’m definitely dialed in on the keto adaptation part of the story, I’ll likely stick with my running shoes.

We will be following Olaf’s progress and will soon provide information about the movie being made about this incredible athlete.

For more on applying this lifestyle, read my blog post on how to balance your intake of fat, protein, and carbs.

UPDATE: In May 2017 I had the chance to catch up with Olaf and see how he’s doing. 

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