Friday, May 14, 2010

Coach Mike: Definitely A Memo To Self...

Ninety-nine percent of the time this space is intended for workout tracking, so folks who are interested in what we do have a vague idea what occurs at a "typical" track workout. But...every so often the track workout gets inadvertently spit-canned because it's overcome by events outside of our control: aches & pains, weather, youth groups, the WRONG pair of shoes, & so forth. Sometimes it's the Almighty's way of telling us we should take a night off. Sometimes the message is to go do something more fun (which we did last night; a brief dinner/discussion of social media, followed by an hour at the PJC pool) than track stuff.
Coach Patrick McCrann from Endurance Nation/Marathon Nation has been laying out the cool stuff in a fast & furious manner this month, so I'm passing this along as information to the masses, as well as a reminder/memorandum to self. Enjoy! See you all at the track either on Saturday morning/Tuesday evening, or Sunday morning on the road.
As a former clydesdale who is now twenty pounds lighter (at least on race day!), this topic is near and dear to me. Thanks to some body composition breakthroughs, I was able to have one of my best running seasons ever after a winter of being injured. Hard work and training aside, a significant part of endurance sports success revolves around managing your weight. I had a pretty crazy hip injury that prevented me from running and cycling for the better part of November, December, and January. After a few weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I started looking for ways I could still improve if all I could do was swim. After a quick scan I quickly realized that my biggest limiter (pun intended) was my weight.
At 6'2" tall I was 205 lbs which doesn't sound like much, but I was definitely sporting extra weight on my frame. Nothing bad, but I knew I could be better. At the same time, I had zero interest in dieting. Even though my workouts were less impactful, I still enjoyed eating. And I (like most people) don't self regulate well when it comes to denying myself food. So here's how I cracked my own code and began reining in my weight. Here were my key rules:* Managed portion sizes -- I wasn't really hungry for that whole bag of chips; it's just that I had a whole bag of chips next to me. I began to combat this problem by spending time repackaging my lunches into more reasonable portions and downsizing my meal plates from regular to salad sized. Even if it meant another trip up, it was a conscious trip. (There was a study in the journal Obesity about patrons at a Chinese buffet which reinforced this same concept...the bigger people used bigger plates...which meant they felt compelled to both fill & empty them. MB)
* Nutrient dense foods -- I stopped eating energy bars, granola, and trail mix as snacks and seriously upped the amount of fruit and vegetables in my daily diet. In fact, I could eat unlimited fruits and vegetables...with the high level of fiber and water content, I literally _had to_ stop after a few pieces.
* Proper hydration -- Research has shown that the body's prompting for fluids is often misinterpreted to be a food craving. And besides, a well-hydrated stomach is a high-functioning one. * Quality, sensible meals -- No more ridiculous appetizers or large rice/bread portions. Eating out was for salads (they are better than mine!) or a great piece of fish, etc. Double vegetable sides or something creative like hummus, etc. Desert only on the binge day!
* Take one day off -- Don't lock yourself into an irreversible commitment. Give yourself one day a week (I picked Sat b/c of my long ride), where you can eat whatever you want. This helps you stay sane...and could even help you lose weight. How? Spiking your caloric intake one day a week can help prevent your metabolic rate from down regulating

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