I've been doing strength and conditioning training for the last 4 months whilst adopting the Paleo diet from the outset, this has yielded positive results and I'm very happy with how things have gone. I will soon be starting to train for my first marathon (eek!) and when I do my training regime will alter dramatically. Instead of doing weights 3 days a week I'll be running 3 days a week with a side helping of strength training at weekends.

Is the Paleo diet still a good choice for marathon training?

Update: My typical daily diet


  • 3 x Eggs
  • Optionally 2 x Bacon Rashers

Post Training Snack

  • Protein Shake w/whole milk


  • Large portion of Chicken
  • 2-3 Portions of cooked vegetables
  • Optionally a flaked Salmon Fillet on the side if I've trained particularly hard in the morning


  • Pork Medallions
  • 2-3 Portions of cooked vegetables
  • Optionally some Sweet Potato Mash

Protein Shake before bed

Thanks in advance

  • 2
    There is no single "paleo diet", as paleolithic humans ate various things based on location, season, exact time period, culture, etc. Could you provide the exact details of the diet you're following? Apr 8, 2011 at 13:49
  • 3
    Not that this Stack Exchange site isn't a great source for info, but you may want to check out paleohacks.com. They have a similar Q/A engine for Paleo-specific questions.
    – blue
    Apr 9, 2011 at 4:51

3 Answers 3


You'll need to pay attention to the amount of carbs you're eating; while the basic paleo prescription tends to run lower carb, you'll want to eat things like yams and sweet potatoes pretty frequently. I would recommend Loren Cordain's The Paleo Diet for Athletes as a good resource for more specifics.


The phrase that comes to mind is "earn your carbs". If you're training for a marathon you're certainly earning 'em. I'd add yams, potatoes, or fruit to every single meal you listed.

I'm not sure why you're relying on another protein shake before bed. Real food would be superior for the simple reason that supplements are meant to be, well, supplementary.


That's quite a fad. And you can't be sure that it's a good choice.

The fact is that the energy you lose is replenished by carbs.

Yes, there is a mechanism by which you can get energy from fat but it's not quite clear by which extent you can learn to use this pathway "fat -> enefgy" instead of "carbs -> energy".

However, while writing this answer, I have recollected a research relating to this topic. Low carbohydrate, high fat diet impairs exercise economy and negates the performance benefit from intensified training in elite race walkers

I think that this sheds some light on the topic.

A takeaway: you can but your performance will decrease.

Quite weird, that despite the topic is hot, as I know, only this serious study has been conducted so far.

  • Here is a good commentary article on the research mentioned above: drbubbs.com/blog/2018/2/… Jan 29, 2019 at 17:43
  • You can edit that link into your answer, which preserves it from possibly being deleted. Also, while the primary glucose replenishment is via carbs, there is a metabolic pathway that can replenish it via protein.
    – JohnP
    Jan 30, 2019 at 20:39

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