Endurance athletes on the whole carry too much body fat—a consequence of carbohydrate dependency eating and overly stressful training patterns.
Endurance athletes engage in workouts that routinely exceed comfortable intensity and reach the medium-to-difficult intensity category. These workouts are slightly too difficult to optimize aerobic development, too long in duration, and conducted too frequently, with insufficient rest and recovery before the next dose of chronic stress. They are typically followed by the need for copious amounts of carbohydrates on a daily basis to avoid an inevitable crash and burn.
When you follow the traditional path of high-carbohydrate eating and chronic endurance training, you become trapped in a round-the-clock pattern of sugar dependency and fat storage (or at least lack of fat reduction). Breaking out of this cycle requires recalibrating your approach to endurance training and competition to escape the disastrous sugar-burning trap and to reprogram your genes in order to become a “fat-burning beast.” This is the framing principle of the primal/paleo/ancestral health diet that has become popular among ordinary and athletic folks alike in recent years.