Friday, August 28, 2015

Endurance Atheletes and The Blood Sugar Battle

Call me a little late to the party...but I am starting to figure out what makes my body tick.  And more importantly, not tick.
The highs and lows, the fueled up and famished, the green smoothies and cupcakes...two sides to ever coin in the endurance athlete's body.
While I've taken great pride in my diet (it's not perfect, but it's pretty good)...I have come to realize that I am still a slave to my blood sugar.  My solution?  Fat.  Lots of it.  Lots of creamy, good fat.
Of course this all started reading Ben Greenfield's book last summer.  The first time I read his book Beyond Training, I took note of his high fat approach and moved on.  But then I began to read more how endurance athletes (ultra marathoners in particular) are taking to approach and stoking their endurance engines by training their bodies to tap into their almost unlimited fat stores.  Worth trying?  Sure.
For the time being, I'm keeping it simple.  My mornings are starting out with a good, fat filled breakfast.  I've keep to eggs, avacados, full fat milk, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and a few other gems (though not all at the same time).  I've been trying to keep the carbs low and keep the body in its "fat-burning" mood from the overnight.
What I've noticed:  I don't hit blood sugar spikes in the morning.  At all.  No need to a 9:00 smoothie.  I'm full and satiated until lunch.  Lunch, I bring in some carbs, but again, I've been trying to keep the body in fat burning mode.
My experiment is only a week old...but I am excited to see where it goes and how it may (or may not) help me.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Steelhead 70.3 Race Report

I must say...I didn't have the perfect race.  But I raced perfectly.  

I spent the summer with the big goals and small goals in mind.  Racing Steelhead 70.3 fit neatly into the larger, big picture goal of world domination at the 2018 Lake Placid Ironman.  Summer goal...get some bike power...enough to average 20+ on the 56 mile leg...and be able to run "well enough" off of that.
I short...mission accomplished.  I had a great summer of training...mostly having fun, running long (highlighted by an amazing 20 miler through the Tetons) and pushing the big gear on the bike.  I made a calculated decision NOT to swim much.  Once...sometimes twice...a week.  Just not enough time.  I figured I had the least to gain by time in the pool.  One day I hope turn my attention to knocking 10 mins off my Ironman swim time...but not this day.  I also spent A LOT more time strength training...and I really think that it paid huge dividends in the swim and bike portion.  The lead up to the race was spot to a forth place sprint finish two weeks prior to race day and knocking out a ten mile run one week out with ultra-running legend Rob Krar.
The water had a little chop on race morning, but the swim went out without a hitch.  Not fast...but easy and smooth.  I hit mile 20 on the bike in :57 mins.  I had vision of a serious PR, until I got a flat at mile 23.  It was a slow clumsy fix...and I was left with a slightly under inflated front tire, but I was back on the bike in 13 long minutes.  Hammering.  And passing.  Not including the flat, I average 20.5 mph.  Goal accomplished.  Well...almost.  
The stomach was a little off as I entered the run.  I took a few miles to get water and real calories into me.  Once the stomach settled, I was able to pick up the pace.  In my mind I broke down the 13.1 mile run into four 5ks...and then 1.1 miles of glory.  Each 5k I ratcheted up the pace.  The final 5k found me hammering around 7:00.  I finished at 5:30...knowing my actual race time was around 5:15.  Very happy to handle to events of the day and optimize my efforts.  It wasn't the perfect race.  But I turned it into the best it could possibly be.  In that regard, I actually would put this one up there with one of my better efforts.
Next up...I've got a few ideas.  And a few surprises.