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A New Dawn

Posted Oct 18 2010 12:00am
October is here, and yes it's halfway over and this is my first post. It's time to be honest and open about a few things though, starting with September.

September Totals:
Swim: 4 swims, 4112 yards
Bike: 4 rides, 159 miles
Run: 7 runs, 36.3 miles
Strength: 2 workouts, 30 minutes total
Yoga: None at freaking all.

In September, I did the half ironman and a 5k and that was about all. I'm into solid offseason mode and enjoying it. I'm also enjoying eating anything I felt like through September. MAYBE 1 workout a week. Same trend through the first half of October too.

I totally blew off the Pinehurst Oly. Offseason, I am fat and slow and out of shape. The truth is that I was pretty overweight and sluggish through the half ironman too. This year I timed my peak (NOT on purpose) about mid-summer, maybe even early summer. This obviously did not bode well for the late summer/fall racing.

I love October. The leaves, the cooler temps, it finally feels good and looks good outside after months of that hell we call summer in the deep south. Normally this time I'm dying to get out on the bike, climb some hills, see some leaves. Instead I'm getting excited about the orange halloween boxes at the Krispy Kreme. I'm still loving the college football, the baseball playoffs, all that stuff is great. but my body... not so much.

I have decided that I cannot push this 200 lb + body any faster than 18 mph consistently on the bike. I cannot push this 200 lb + body any faster than about 9 minute miles while running. I need to be more aerodynamic in the water to swim faster. That means this belly has got to go.

Racing Weight:

Last night I finished reading the book . It was very good overall. It is not a diet book as much as it is a book about your diet and how it relates to your training plan. The author is a nutritionist and avid triathlete, and he really does know his stuff. As a nerd, I could certainly appreciate how much science went into this plan.

The book's plan is based around a 5 point system
  • Improve your diet quality
  • Balance your energy sources
  • Timing Nutrition
  • Manage your appetite
  • Training Right

The basic approach is to keep a 60% carbs, 20% fat, 20% protein macronutrient mixture. Which really means to eat a shit ton of vegetables. I can certainly get on board with this. The author likes to give food types a point system where you can add up what you eat instead of feeling like it's a restriction.

I like the parts about timing nutrition around your workouts. The funny part is that most of the log entries are simply suggesting "a balance of high quality foods". You go high carb, mid-protein, and low fat before and after the workout, then get a good balance with your other meals.

He also likes supplements, which I find unusual since the rest of the book is all about grass fed and organic everything. But still I'm willing to go along with it. I know the Gatorade I've been using has way to much sugar.

I was expecting the training chapter to be more concise. It basically came to the conclusion that high intensity interval style training and medium intensity long slow distance (LSD) workouts in commbination will provide the best weight loss formula for both carb stores and fat stores. So you mean I need to do an interval run, a tempo run, and a long run every week? Good thing I haven't been doing that for the last year. Oh wait.

Basically, this book breaks down the same thing every other book says with science. and the science is cool. And he is a big advocate of tracking both nutrition and workouts.

My Plan:

I'm starting today. It's monday. I started an account on Training Peaks , and I'm logging everything. Even that I drank 6 cups of coffee at work today. I'm actually cutting down on the coffee, so I'm hoping that tracking it will help.

The starting point: 10/18/10 Monday Morning Nude Weight (MMNW): 208.6 lbs

This is a far cry from the 195 of the spring that got me into those tiny jeans. But I'm not interested in tiny jeans. I'm not interested in fit of anything. I want speed. The racing weight theory is that thinner leads to faster. and when I was 135 lbs I was running sub-6 minute miles all the time.

The finish line: 160 lbs goal weight

There is always bounce back, so I'm going to try and get down somewhere in the 150's and then allow a "comfort release" to stay around 160. I know this means losing almost 50 lbs. and that ain't easy or fast. But it is time.

I'm going to get there slowly and by making smart choices. Calories in, calories out. I'm only going to run through the winter. Sure I might occaisionally bike or swim just as cross training, but abandoning my last tri of the season was really a precursor to totally running dominance. The book does a good job of examining the different endurance sports The author is my same height, and has the same basic build by his own description. His starting point was also right around 210. He is now very comfortable and fast at 157. He purposely keeps a different weight and uses different supplements during tri season than when he's just running.

Today I took in 1781 calories and burned off 823 with a fast 5 mile tempo run after work.

Get a body fat scale. I just picked one up and haven't figured out how to use it yet. The biggest goal of getting lean is to get (for me) down to a single digit body fat percentage. The program is supposed to keep your muscle and help shed just the fat. We should already be in pretty good shape as endurance athletes. So muscle is there, just bring it to the surface.

Eat real foods, mostly plants. During the time when I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted, I put down a lot of chicken wings and drank a lot of beer. Both are off limits. A vegetarian or mostly vegetarian lifestyle will provide the fiber and carbs needed to hit the 60% mark. Veggies are carbs any way you can get them. Fruits are carbs, and they are really good. If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, you're not really hungry. The author stresses calcium intake as well, so be sure to get plenty of milk and yogurt. Whole grains are great.

Watch the calories around normal times. After getting into the office I would eat a Fiber One bar (150 calories) around 10:00, then a PowerBar (240 calories) before working out over lunch. Lunch is sensible, but sometimes also had a protein bar on the way back to the office after working out. then a 3:30 snack, another energy bar (Clif Bar anyone?) before the post-work workout, then maybe another protein bar. Now I'm going to start out with only one workout a day, and one energy bar before. I still need to get new supplements for pre-during-and post- workout consumption. But the total of the three should not exceed more than 150 calories and must contain a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Most gatoradeish drinks have no protein. This should make a huge difference.

No spring marathon. This is a tough one, as I love a spring marathon and really want to run the Tobacco Road full marathon again. But marathon training does not promote weight loss. Get lean to get fast means a bunch of 5k, 10k, and half marathons. My main goal for next year is still Ironman Florida. So the summer and fall will bring on all the century rides and full marathons that I can handle. Until I see 160 lbs, it's all running and no long distances.

At 190 lbs, I'm getting my next tattoo. I need a mid-point motivator. And I'm not going to reveal what it's going to be, but I've wanted it for several months now. And I haven't seen 18X lbs since around the time we got married (12 years ago), so this is a real milestone.

I made the best snack tonight. I started with a piece of wheat toast, and added ketchup and mustard, and some texas pete. Then topped it with a Boca Veggie burger, and topped that with a fried egg. It. Was. Amazing. Small carbs from one piece of bread, but good protein in the veg burger and egg, and some fat being fried in olive oil.

Olive oil and avacados are your friends. So are nuts, specifically almonds. Limit the use, but don't be scared of them. I'm also going to start taking fish oil supplements and adding flax seed into my morning oatmeal to be sure I get enough fat.

At 160 lbs, Lance Armstrong is considered to be one of the heavier cyclists on the pro tour. I have no hopes of Lance speed, but I know the correlation between body weight and speed. Body weight and Ironman have a special relationship too. So am I crazy or do you think this sounds reasonable? Get a copy of the book if you want to try it. I'll be glad to share my tracking along with anyone else if you want to give it a shot too.

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