Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Dawn

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 Racing Weight. 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.


GeorgiaSnail said...

I got that book a couple of months ago and it found it's way onto the shelf before completion...perhaps it is time to bring it back down. I am looking to get down to the 170's, I can't even think about a sub 3:30 mary until then...I've been stuck between 195-200 since July. You are right, the long miles makes for large caloric intake. Maybe we can figure something out when you are in Atlanta next month.

Sun Runner said...

I enjoyed this whole post but there was one thing that perplexed me:

and some texas pete

What is "texas pete"? Is that some weird Southern foodstuff like the Australians' Vegemite?

I've also had it with the 15 or so stubborn lbs that crept onto my frame since I ran NYC a year ago. They have got to go if I have any hope of running another BQ time.

I'm going to get the Thunder Road Marathon out of the way and spend the winter doing what needs to be done to get back down to the nice low-150s I was rocking last fall.

Wes said...

Taking off the weight is a balance of trial and error. Eat too much, and you lose nothing or your gain. Eat too little, and your body goes into starvation mode and refuses to give up a single fat cell.

Follow the over all guidelines in the book, but you have to discover the secret that unlocks the key to your success. It all starts in your mind.

There is solid evidence that HIIT and tempo type work burns more calories in a shorter period, but there is a place in this world for LSD. Balance is not achieved on veggies alone.

and dude, really? give up the beer? :-)

Viper said...

It'll take a lot of discipline, but you can do it. No harder than when you quit smoking. Cheers!

Amy said...

I have similar goals - I want to be leaner, better, faster, etc. Not running this summer do to Damian has been pretty hard on my body since I was still eating like a runner. And now that I'm completely immobile, I need to do something before I creep back up too far.

My nutritional balance will be a little different than yours - more lean protein focused than carb focused (I have low albumin in my blood, and I need a LOT more protein than most people), but I am planning on losing 30 lbs by summer and racing a lot of shorter races, all leading up to a (maybe) fall marathon.

We can be partners in crime...errr...weight loss! :)

Good luck! I know you'll do well - you're so determined & meet all your goals!

teacherwoman said...

A lot of descipline indeed! But, I know you can do it! You are a determined bugger and I will look to you for motivation and such! (It wouldn't hurt for me to lose 10-15 pounds)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

You can do it!! I want to buckle down and lose another 10ish pounds before I start training for any sort of endurance event again. You're right, being lighter will make a big difference with running speed. Food is just so good, though. Sigh.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Um, when i Saw your blog post title, I thought, NOOOO!! IS HE A TWI-HARD... It made me think of those stupid Twilight books. I think one is called New Dawn or something like that...


Good luck w/ the weight loss. I know you can do it. I like the poitn approach as that is what made me successful when I was doing weight watchers. I kind of wish I was still doing WW but I don't want to pay the membership fees... I should check out this book, though... I know my eating habits can improve (I say this after eating a Dilly bar from DQ. Lovely).

I'll be cheering you on from afar! You can do it dude! I am also hoping that I will lose some weight this winter. Marathon training was great but it obviously wasn't great for weight loss. but I didn't gain any so taht makes me happy.

sarah said...

Lance is HEAVY?! Are you SERIOUS?! He looks fit to me. Pfffft.

You can totally do it. Veggies are yummy!! lol If I can do it, you can, too!! Looking forward to reading about your progress.

Tryon Running Club said...

What a great post! I shared with the Tryon Running Club. Nutrition is one thing I just can't seem to dial in. Last winter, I put on 10 pounds during marathon training -- you can't help it - you are STARVING and burning so many calories. I was chowing all the time. But I'm sure I didn't have that right macronutrient combination. I agree that mixing up the running and not relying on LSD for calorie burn is the way to go. I have the Tanita Ironman scale (for 5 years) and it calculates body fat, body water, bone mass, etc. and I love it. It is amazing that when my weight goes up a few pounds AND I'm running, I see body fat go down. Best of luck and draw on that endurance resume of yours to keep you moving forward. You are an AMAZING athlete. Not many folks can put all those medals and race finishes on their own resumes! Now it's about the fine-tuning... Best of luck!!! - Scarlette

Anonymous said...

Long time no chat! I haven't heard of that book before but now my interest is piqued. I am definitely trying to lose a few pounds myself. For speed and let's be honest, tiny jeans!

So cool that your lover runs w/ you. I would be over the moon if mine ran w/ me!

Alisa said...

I definitely think speed and weight is correlated. I'm thinking I could go faster if I was smaller, lugging around 165 lbs is a lot---even for a tall gal. My happy weight is low 150's but I haven't seen that number since 2007.

I might have to check out this book!

I have the same question as sun runner, what's texas pete?

I'm excited to follow your journey, hopefully you'll give good tips =). And I CAN'T wait to hear all about your IMFL training!!!!!!!!!

chris mcpeake said...

I am actually reading this book right now. Stick with it you are doing great

Lisa said...

I struggled trying to get the final 10 lbs off for over a year. They came off easily when I decided to quit drinking entirely back in April. It was like a secret diet pill. But I guess it's just calories in, calories out. I read something recently that mentioned it's often overlooked how easy it is to pile on calories in alcohol. Anyway, my point is, that I am sure if you are serious about it, you can get your weight where you want it to be. But you'll have to be honest with yourself about where the calories are coming from. When I had struggled with the 10lbs, I was looking in the wrong places to cut back.