Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Detailed training log for the week is here.  I knocked out a 4+ mile run today and feel that I am slowly, but finally getting back into training instead of injury rehab.

The Olympic Games are coming to a close, I’m sad to say.  The luxury I have of working from home extended me the opportunity to leave the television tuned into the action practically from start to finish.  This morning I woke at 4am local time in order to watch the men’s marathon live and in its entirety.

Congratulations go out to the winner Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, who held off two powerful Kenyans, Abel Kirui and Wilson Kiprotich, crossing the finish in 2:08:01 and averaging a blistering 4:53 per mile.

I had high hopes for the U.S. marathon squad, and Meb Keflezighi did not fail to deliver, finishing fourth with a time of 2:11:06, only three minutes and five seconds off the winning pace.  Unfortunately both Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman succumbed to injury and were unable to finish the race.

Cesar Lizano, the local representative from my adopted nation of Costa Rica made the country proud by finishing strong in 2:24:16.  Lizano was trained by Mario Fraioli, the senior producer at Competitor.com.  Fraioli wrote a series of articles chronicling the coaching process with Lizano as they prepared for the Olympic games, the latest of which you can read here.

Kenyan runners in action

photo credit: john burnett/npr

John Burnett with NPR has an interesting article about the dietary habits of the elite Kenyan runners.

“It is a paleolithic diet,” says Dr. Vincent Onywera, senior lecturer at Kenyatta University’s Department of Exercise Science. “It borrows heavily from our forefathers who lived on fruits, vegetables, roots and lean meat.”

That should be good news to those who follow the Paleo diet, Primal Blueprint, as well as vegetarians and vegans.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to two people who are proving invaluable in my injury recovery and half marathon training.  Jeff Galloway was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic team and is also a monthly columnist for Runner’s World Magazine.  He is the founder of the Galloway Marathon Training Program, and emphasizes a run/walk interval method for both training and race day.  I highly recommend that you take a look through his website and give the run/walk intervals a try, especially on your long, slow run day where you will most likely be able to run farther and recover faster with this technique.

Jeff Galloway at Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon

Jason Fitzgerald is a competitive runner, published author and personal coach.  His website, Strength Running, is full of no nonsense, detailed information designed to make you the best runner you can be.  The links, articles and resources on the website will give you an entirely different understanding into the mind of a professional running coach and how to design programs that are appropriate for your goals and adaptive enough to change as you do, both mentally and physically.  A+ plus information organized and delivered in a clear and concise manner!

Here’s a quick excerpt from a recent article:

Elite distance races prove that you can’t be “just a distance runner” anymore. The ability to kick is mandatory in today’s racing world.

But just because it’s necessary for elite runners doesn’t mean that you can avoid sprinting during your training. Besides being able to negative split your race, sprinting also helps your running in many ways: it recruits more muscle fibers, makes you stronger, improves your running economy, and lessens the chance of injury.

Training suggestions:

  • Run 4-8 strides after your easy distance runs. Strides are about 100m long and have you start at a jog, build to about 95% of max effort, and slow to a stop. Run them barefoot on a grass field for increased foot and lower leg strength.
  • If you can run hill sprints, you can do them 1-2 times weekly on a moderate effort day (these are a bit more advanced!)

I hope everyone enjoyed the Olympic games and that at least a few of your favorite athletes were able to bring home the gold.

Make the coming week your best week of training ever!

Weekly Training Summary

Posted: July 22, 2012 in food, injury, running
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I’ve posted my weekly training summary for 7/16 – 7/22 over at 10N84W

Let me know how your training is going.  What are your goals, strengths and sticking points?

training food

Staying well fueled and fed for training

Are You a Runner

Posted: July 10, 2012 in food, lifestyle, misc, running
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Or Are You Someone Who Runs

I hate questions like this.  Our lives are categorized enough without also having to tick off the boxes in a checklist that some unknown people have compiled in order to determine if we truly are worthy of the title: runner.  Having said that, I do often think about my goals in regards to physical training, and I have to admit that running, while an important aspect of my plan, is not the pinnacle, be all and end all of my aspirations.  Does that mean I’m not a runner? Hardly.

See the full post here.

Eat and Run Preview

Posted: July 8, 2012 in events, food, misc
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Read the full post here.

Last night I prepared a feast for my family.  A rack of ribs, dry rubbed with salt, pepper, herbs and chopped garlic rested in the refrigerator for a few hours while I sang karaoke on the XBOX with my wife and kids.  Music is by far one most entertaining methods of learning a new language.  Listening to my ten year old daughter belt out Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ was priceless.  After the jam session, I slathered the ribs with a mixture of Black Swan, Kiss of Death hot sauce, olive oil, and filled the pan with about a quarter inch of beer.  I wrapped the pan in foil and then we all watched the UFC 148 event during the painfully long two hour cook time in the 300 degree oven.

BBQ ribs

2 hours at 300 degrees and wrapped in foil equals rib success!

Practically Paleo

Posted: July 3, 2012 in food, lifestyle
Tags: ,

Roughly 3 months ago I decided to make a change.  I was pushing 190lbs on a 5 foot 10 inch frame, and while no one had mistaken me for obese my body composition was definitely softer than ideal.  In addition, although I was reasonably strong due to an inconsistent, yet sincere application of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program, I was under no illusions about the lack of aerobic conditioning I possessed and the potential risks associated, especially for someone over 40 years of age.

To Wendler’s credit, his training regimen does recommend hills sprints, sled pushing, and other metabolic and aerobic conditioning drills.  For whatever reason I mentally wasn’t ready to make the commitment.

During the years that I focused on strength based training my diet was a mess.  In a blind effort to consume calories for the repair and growth of muscle tissue, I crammed down potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and meat at every opportunity.  Paranoid that I wasn’t meeting a recommended daily intake of protein of roughly 1.5 to 2.0 grams per pound of lean body weight, per day, I also consumed at least 1 protein shake per day.  On any given day this might be mixed with water and ice, milk, ice cream or fruit juice.

In other words, my diet resembled a train wreck at a nuclear facility on Black Friday.  And I felt like it too.  But I continued, regardless of the bloating, aching joints, skin blemishes, or gastrointestinal distress.

Paleo diet inspired meal

Minus the flour tortilla, today’s lunch was Paleo perfection.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was a family vacation photo.  Spring break at Hacienda Piñilla in Tamarindo, a city located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica’s pacific coast.  I will spare you the gruesome experience of viewing the actual image, but rest assured that middle aged, male breasts compressed beneath a skin tight, rashguard style surf shirt is not flattering.

I make a partial income from local photography assignments and I’m still surprised at how oblivious we can become regarding our own appearance until we view ourselves in a photo.  There is something different, detached almost, in the photographic experience, than say looking at your reflection in a mirror.  I lied to myself for years while looking into the mirror.  One family snapshot rocked my self image and confidence to their foundation.

Many of you are already familiar with the Paleo diet or primal lifestyle as it’s known in some circles.   So I will not bore you with a tedious repetition of all of the facets or components.  Let me provide you with a quick and dirty summary: eliminate all processed foods, flour, bread, grains, legumes, beans, dairy and sugar (except for example those naturally occurring in fruits) from your diet.  Eat to your heart’s content all of the vegetables you like, along with several servings of protein rich foods and fruit per day.  Throw in some nuts and seeds along the way, as well as being mindful of your Omega 3 vs Omega 6 fat consumption, and you’re all set.

There are many flavors of the Paleo diet circulating the bookstores and internet, and you can find slight variations among what is recommended or prohibited, as well as variations in the level of intensity or commitment demanded by their respective authors.  Let me address this issue by simply sharing the two resources that proved most helpful to me: Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution, and Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.

If you’re interested in making a lifestyle change, and not simply starting a crash diet, these two publications should be more than sufficient to peak your interest and get you headed in the right direction.

I have followed the paleo/primal guidelines for just over three months.  Starting weight was 190 lbs and I am currently 175 lbs, plus or minus 2 lbs of water weight on any given day.  Some may not feel that 15 pounds is a significant enough change in three months time.  Some readers may be struggling to lose their first 10 pounds.  Let me emphasize something I think is critical to keep in mind: each person’s goals and execution will produce different results.

My personal goal is to level off at 170 lbs and assess my appearance, level of fitness, and the effort required to maintain that weight through a combination of exercise and diet.  I am searching for an ideal balance among several variables and I am flexible enough to realize that may happen at any number on the scale, not necessarily a random number I chose because it sounds nice.

If you decide to make a change in your life the best advice I can give you is this: know your own personality.  Are you someone who can make drastic lifestyle changes over night, cold-turkey?  Or do you need to ease into things, gradually eliminating evil and adding good along the way?  More than what exercise protocol or diet you follow, knowing the answer to that question is the key to success.

Let me know how things go for you!

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