I love how Khai has taken it back to a simpler life. I found that growing my own vegetables was very rewarding. So I can only imagine how rewarding it is to take further steps down that road. I also respect his views on training, running should improve your health not harm it. If you enjoy the training, then you can enjoy your races too.
Khai Foo. Instagram: @kfoo1. Blog: http://butyoucannothide.wordpress.com/
Who are you? I’m a forty-something husband, and father of two young boys. We recently moved from Toronto to a small island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada as part of an attempt to live a simpler life and be more connected to the fundamentals of life: food, shelter and nature. We have a little bit of land which is allowing us to get closer to our food supply – we’ve started growing vegetables, wild-harvesting off the property and raising chickens for meat and eggs. Technology has allowed me to run my company, which has global reach, from this small piece of paradise.
What is your exercise background? I didn’t start running seriously until I was 41. I dabbled in all types of sport in my youth before spending about 15 years playing competitive ultimate. By my thirties, after beating myself up for many years, I actually swore I would never run again (by choice) and didn’t, for a solid decade. Running kind of snuck up on me: after relocating to Toronto from Vancouver, I started running to get in shape to play city league ultimate, mostly for the social side. Then someone recommended I read “Born to Run” (not the Springsteen bio)… and now I’m running ultra-distance races.
What are your exercise goals for the future? My main goal in running is to do it in a way that is sustainable and promotes my overall health for the long term. Sure, I want to challenge myself, but never at the expense of killing the enjoyment. I’ve come to believe that running slowly for longer distances is, in fact, a sensible way to run, especially as I get older. So I spend 95% of my time at MAF heart rate or below. This year I’m training for the 193 km Fat Dog 120 because, well, I don’t really know, but I try not to overthink it. Hopefully I will complete it and then see what happens next.
What are your nutrition beliefs? I came to low-carb for the running, and stayed for the health. I was initially drawn to it by the idea of becoming an efficient fat-burner for endurance events, but the more I learned, through reading and experiencing the changes in my life, the more I realized that it was not some radical fringe-diet for cross-fitters. I was actually moving towards “normal”. Going low-carb/keto is not about turning diet on its head, it had been topsy-turvy to begin with. I don’t get too stressed about the macros, but generally eat less than 100 grams of carbs a day. When my training load gets heavy, like it is now, I just eat more, and make sure there’s a lot of fat included. After several years of experimenting, I have settled into a way of eating that takes cues from traditional diets: exclusively whole foods with emphases on trying to eat locally, nose-to-tail, fermented foods and fresh vegetables.
Anything else? My journey into running and more “normal” eating is a few years old now and my experience so far is that it is slow and gradual process. Sure, there was a “honeymoon” period where change was substantial and somewhat drastic, but since then, with consistency and persistence I have seen my running and general well-being improving steadily in what I see now is a life-long pursuit.
As a side note, the body’s ability to adapt to fat as fuel is truly remarkable. I’ve been fortunate to be able to take Metabolic Efficiency Tests for the last couple of years and the results have been astonishing and enlightening. You can read more about my journey on – butyoucannothide.wordpress.com
Thanks to Khai for his time.
I am also an Ambassador for IAMRUNBOX, which produces products to help the run commute community.
Photo Credit: Khai Foo
You can catch me on:
Instagram @ ketogenicendurance
Twitter @ ketoendurance
Facebook Page: Ketogenic Endurance
Reddit sub: r/ketogenicendurance
Strava Club: Ketogenic Endurance – open to anyone on Strava who likes the Ketogenic Diet or LCHF Diet.