All about running. By runners, for runners.

Episode 142 - Prof Tim Noakes

Released: Wednesday 26th September 2012

Prof Tim Noakes discusses his latest thoughts on carbohydrates. Yuki does the double, there’s a promising racing return for Andrew Lemoncello and our most inspiring Magic Mile ever. We take a look ahead to this weekends Berlin Marathon. Tony brings us his weekly trials, the podium is full and training talk is about being strong in the head when the going gets tough.


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Show Notes

00:00 - INTRO

- Tom's been Barrow parkrunning

- Martin's been New Forest Half marathoning

- Thanks adidas for helping us bring the show to you every week for free.

- The best Magic Mile ever - Well done Nigel Palmer.

09:48 - NEWS

- Boston Marathon 2013 open for qualifiers (BOSTON MARATHON)

- Yuki zips up his PB doubling mansuit. (JAPAN RUNNING NEWS)

- An IAAF World Half Marathon Championships? (RUNNERSWORLDUS)

- Toni Reavis BLOG

- Victory comeback race for Lemoncello. 

- Men's Olympic marathon Champ takes 8 weeks off (ALLAFRICA)

- Poor Gilbert Kiptoo (MARATHONGUIDE)

- This weekend it's the Berlin Marathon. (PREVIEW) Mutai shooting for a new WR?


10 ways to stay psychologically strong and on track in marathon when the going gets tough.


- GoodbyeWatfordBridgeRoad

- Spot the Marathon Talk tee shirt in one of the videos...

- Archie, At The Hairy Dog or Hague Bar Blues


In what could be one of our most controversial interviews ever we're joined for the second time by Professor Tim Noakes as he shares his latest thoughts on nutrition and fueling for exercise and general health.

1:18:40 - RAVE

Dave Heywood raves about small places with plenty of races (Utah!)

1:19:46 - CLOSE and LAUNCHPAD

- Marathon Talkers are running everywhere (well almost!)

- Tom's long running

- Martin's eating fancy nosh and organising a series of free children's mile races in Bournemouth.  CASTLEPOINT FUN RUN.

1:26:18 - END

  1. David Anderson
    Posts: 3

    Great show lads, first time I listened, just ahead of the Kielder Marathon, my fourth and second marathon this year.
    I wasn't too sure with professor Noakes though buying expensive gels without having tried them in training?
    maybe it's OK for a shorter run but we all know the training and preparation involved for a marathon.

    Secondly his point about Omega 3 and 6 fats is well expounded but he seems to miss the point that they can come from plants and seeds as a direct source rather than passsed down from from animals with the risk of
    contamination (e.g Mercury in fish) and without the bad saturated fats found in meat.

    As for the Atkins diet there is plenty of evidence here

    David Anderson VCAC(Vegetarian cycling and athletics club)

    Avatar 10th October 2012 20:27:43    
    Stephen Ferguson Says:

    C'mon that link doesn't constitute "plenty of evidence" on low-carbing. Noakes isn't describing the Atkins diet, and the Atkins diet is specifically not a high-protein diet (it's low-carb, high-fat, mid-protein).

    You need to be looking at these guys:

    Avatar 10th October 2012 20:36:26    
    Stephen Ferguson Says:

    Or Peter Attia:

    Avatar 16th February 2014 08:43:09    
    Lee Davis Says:

    Really enjoyed this podcast. Only just getting to it now, but listened to the interview twice this week. Seriously agree with Tim as I struggle to control my weight, but with a lower carb' diet I keep good control.

    26th September 2012 16:05:13
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  2. Emmy Hannon
    Posts: 132

    I've just caught up with this episode and wanted to ask. Prof. Tim Noakes mentioned that you need to know if you're carb tolerant or intollerant but my question is how can this be determined? Is it solely through a medical test? or is there another way?

    3rd October 2012 14:01:20
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  3. Paul Rudin
    Posts: 161

    A number of people advocate taking the "two week test" - see e.g. Basically you put yourself on the kind of diet being advocated for two weeks and see if things change for the better.

    I'm a bit sceptical of this kind of self-evaluation - the placebo effect works!

    Avatar 10th October 2012 20:30:05    
    Stephen Ferguson Says:

    Two weeks isn't enough - "fat adaption" takes a minimum of 2-4 weeks. You'll suck for that time, but should see a performance increase afterwards.

    4th October 2012 07:47:40
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  4. Paul Henry
    Posts: 73

    Really Interesting Interview with Prof Noakes.

    Id like to point out that eating a diet higher in fats, does not necessrily mean your doing the atkins diet.

    It also doesnt preclude you from eating lots of vegetables.

    I have reduced my carb intake by cutting out the High GI Carbs and replacing the calories id get from them with calories from healthy fats.

    I am not really paleo, because i still eat lots of things like lentils and beans, peas. And i do like brown rice or whole wheat pasta ocasionally, on the weekend, especially after a long run.

    Avatar 6th October 2012 08:14:58    
    Christine Mckinlay Says:

    There are thousands of "diets" out there; aside from Paleo, gluten-free seems to be trendy at the moment. BUT! They all return back to the same basic tenet- eat a diet full of fresh , unprocessed foods ( that dont have an ingredient list) and you are basically gluten free, almost paleo by default...... There's an interview with Nell Stephenson on last weeks IMtalk who is a paleo nutritionist and a 3 hr marathon runner, Kona qualifier. Quiet interesting how she points out that as endurance athletes we DO need carbs but its what type of carbs and when to eat them. I still struggle with the concept of how the hell to fuel training 18+ hours a week for an Ironman solely on fats+ proteins.. I could do it and also race on it but of course may not get the performance I'm looking for and given the time and energy that goes into my once a year A race ironman ( as a working athlete with a full time job) I am reluctant to try it out. Guess I'll have to wait til off season. Would be keen to hear how anyone else is getting on if they are trying it though as I did agree and see the science with a lot of what Prof Noakes was saying :)

    Avatar 14th October 2012 14:11:57    
    Joe Vose Says:

    As a long distance triathlete you would probably benefit most from a high fat diet. Fat has twice as much energy per gram than carbs or protein, so you should be able to get the same amount of fuel from less volume of food. Even though Prof Noakes is on an extremely low carb diet he still eats some carbs, in your case you should probably time your intake of those carbs with your intense sessions. As well as experimenting with your carb intake finding what suits your training needs.

    4th October 2012 16:59:30
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  5. Julia Thorn
    Posts: 67

    i think i missed something here. please spell out for me what this diet allows, or rather encourages, me to eat. i cant believe i should be eliminating carbs, having once tried a week of eating no carbs i was practically passing out after three days.
    i used to hold tim noakes in extremely high regard but i find his recent pronouncements on eating and drinking to be a bit suspect. i certainly never find there are too many water stations during marathons - i drink from them all, sometimes 2 cups and i have never come near over-drinking. so i don't fancy having my eating routines turned upside down too.

    27th November 2012 14:22:49
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  6. Gareth Irvine
    Posts: 40

    Julia the idea isn't that you eliminate carbs totally. The idea is that you reduce the amount of processed carbs you eat, increase your protein and ......shock more FAT!!!!!

    I began my journey at the start of October cutting down the amount of carbs, ie cut out bread with my daily soup at work, reduced my pasta & rice intake etc. and replaced them with full cream milk, cheese, eggs and meat.

    I still eat a fair bit of carbs but not as much as I used to. I have lost 10lbs, i had no initial energy drop, in fact i got more energy, no mid run energy crashes or gingerbreadman style stops, beat my parkrun PB time in a freedom run and knocked 74sec off my 10k PB. I am lighter, fitter, faster & stronger than I was and my cholesterol levels have dropped despite eating more FAT!!! Inc sat fat.

    I was a 50-60mile a week dedicated clubrunner with half marathon PB of 1:25:13, 10K 38:56 & 5k 18:16 before changing the way I eat so wasn't a novice runner. I was a little stuck in my performances tho and something needed to change. It has changed massively for the better.

    28th November 2012 04:44:15
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  7. Paul Rudin
    Posts: 161

    It's a while since I listened to this episode, but if I recall correctly Prof. Noakes did qualify his remarks but pointing out that not everyone is carb resistantant, and if you're not then the low-carb thing might not be for you. On the question of drinking his prescription is to drink to thirst. That's not to say that there shouldn't be plenty of water available in marathons... you can get very thirsty when you're running - especially if it's hot. But the point is that you don't need to drink pre-emptively, so to speak.

    28th November 2012 17:24:25
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