Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday 26 miles. Specific Block + diet thoughts.

am) 13 miles.
wu) 5.5 mi.. 6 miles in 33:45. 5:37 pace with HR average 168 (my goal for the marathon will be 165-170). Windy and cold with patches of ice still on the trail. cd) 1.5 mi..

pm) 13 miles.
wu) 5 mi.. 7 miles in 39:57. 5:42 pace with HR average 168. cd) 1 mi..
Pretty good day. The second run was much more comfortable (obviously it was slower). I felt better though.

There has been much asked in regards to diet lately. While I admit that I may keep things too simple... I will say that we should all keeps things simple. Although I am a shameless caffeine addict I do flip out if I see hydrogenated fats and or high fructose corn syrup in foods. So I am flipping out frequently. Diet and Geico insurance.. so easy a caveman can do it and we should all do the same (except cavemen didn't have cars). But alas, we aren't caveman anymore, we're "evolved".. so things aren't so simple. But if we evolved in to the humans we are now by eating healthy and walking everywhere.. then am I to believe that we as a race are devolving? Maybe our brains are continuing forward, and mine may soon actually make it out of the pond and sprout legs, but I look around the world and I think that we as a race are physically going backwards. As we pollute our bodies we stop the process of evolution, or rather we divert it... but in what direction?
This could very well be a digression of thought (which I suppose is fitting for the subject?) but Tool, one of the most thoughtful and lyrically underrated bands out there made me think of this post with their song "right in two"... they are all over my i-pod and I do many of my hard miles while listening to them.
Although this song is more about Man killing God.. the lyrics make me think about how we as humans are on the top of the food chain because we are so superior.. we have evolved to the point where we have many choices.. and what do we do? We choose..

"Angels on the sideline,
Baffled and confused.
Father blessed them all with reason,
And this is what they choose?

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs they make a club,
And beat their brother down.
How they survive so misguided is a mystery.
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability,
To lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here."

I honestly do believe that diet is (or can be) the most simple aspect of our daily life.. but we also need to understand that most people's daily life is so full of chaos and unhappiness that the lines of simplicity become blurred... some people's lives may seem like there is nothing simple about it. But fighting the good fight doesn't have to be painful.. it just takes some tweaking.
~ Calories in VS. calories out (or as the First Law of Thermodynamics states, energy cannot be created or destroyed; rather, the amount of energy lost in a steady state process cannot be greater than the amount of energy gained). So, if you tell me that you are not over eating and you aren't losing weight.. then you're not from this planet. We all have a metabolic requirement to sustain our life functions, eat according to this number.. not by what your brain is telling you (but that's overly simplified).
~ Which leads to the next issue with eating.. our mental state. We all have emotions and hormones that affect our "wants". Some people shop for comfort. Some stick a needle full of boiling 3, 6-diacetyl ester of morphine in to their eye or burn a hundred chemicals and put it into their chest cavity.. but most of us eat. We eat out of boredom, we eat out of grief and depression and we eat because we think we need to.
~ To lose weight, you must change your thinking. Weight management is about making a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. It's not going to happen if you rely on diet after diet to lose weight. To achieve success, you need to become aware of the role eating plays in your life, and to learn how to use positive thinking and behavioral coping strategies to manage your eating and your weight.
If something triggers your brain to binge eat.. then you need to deal with that issue directly. Whether that be an asshole boss, a terrible commute.. whatever! Face the issue, don't put a McDonalds band-aid over the wound. I'm not saying you should put your AK-47 in your lunch box tomorrow.. but life is too short to stay at a job that isn't satisfying. Maybe take a different road home after work... or listen to a book on CD.. or classical music. Or start your own business. You have choices.
~ Find out if you are over eating by keeping a food log and educate yourself on what you are actually putting in to your body. Count calories at least for a week. This is, in my opinion, the #1 thing you should do..
~ Try to change your thoughts about what food is actually for. As an athlete, food to me is sustenance for workouts and recovery from training. I of course eat foods that I enjoy (peanut butter, Pierogies, burritos) but they are also foods that are not detrimental to my training. And to be honest.. a tar thick cup of coffee is about the most perfectly satisfying thing in the world.. right next to a really nice glass (or bottle;)) of Pinot Noir. I have also found that the longer I stay away from crap the less I want it. If it's possible to look at food more as sustenance rather than a pleasure thing, then good.
~ You need to be willing to commit to the change in diet. This involves both an awareness of what needs to be done to achieve your goals and then making a commitment to do it. If you have entered a marathon or an Ironman this year.. then you need to place your diet BEFORE your training. If you're willing to buy a $7000 bike, hire a coach and do the training.. then why wouldn't you also commit to the diet? I will guarantee that your diet will have a FAR more profound effect on your race times than a bike that is 30 grams less.
~ Motivation is another big factor that sort of falls in to the previous principle.. one of the funniest (and dumbest) commercials I have ever seen is a scene of a guy finding out that his diabetes may be causing his erectile dysfunction . He all of a sudden wants to take his diabetes seriously. So, I guess if DEATH isn't a wake up call then not getting a boner is? Motivation. If you simply want to look good in a pair of jeans then maybe you should think more about how a healthful lifestyle will extend your life or increase the quality of life at least.. and along the way you may accidentally slip in to those jeans?


Adam Marks said...

Excellent thoughts in particular the part relating to athletes willing to invest in coaches, new bikes, technology, etc but aren't willing to commit to the fundamentals of diet & recovery. I have been following both your and Chuckie V's blog in the past few days and have taken away some great information. Thanks a heap and all the best with your racing and training.

Doug said...


I've been lurking your blog for some time now, but am finally going to stick my head in.

Do you know of a good way to determine (or at least estimate) our "metabolic requirement to sustain our life functions"?

The reason I ask is that I'm a marathoner turning triathlete in 2008, and I've been really surprised at my increased appetite since I've added swimming and biking to the mix.

I've put on a few pounds in the past several weeks, but since I feel healthy and still appear to have my obscenely low body fat I've been attributing the gain to muscle mass. Regardless, your post prompted me to get your thoughts on it.


JP Flores said...

good stuff Lucho, I couldn't agree more on all counts.

Food logging is huge. I had a overdose of work/stress/life period where I put on 50 lbs...logging my food and taking a hard and HONEST look at what I was putting in my body on a daily basis helped me get back on track (and lose all 50 lbs).

Chuckie V said...

Lucho, you TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY nailed it on the head with this one and it's my sincere hope that this will also drive it home for those reading. Now I've got to go check out Tool!

Doug...methinks the scale is the best way to determine our metabolic requirements. Lucho's thoughts may differ, but an accurate weight scale is all it takes. Well, that and a little time to track your weight. When you train enough (very subjective) you're body will probably know where it wants to stabilize itself.

Also, it's normal and expected to gain weight as a runner coming into triathlon. The sport demands more a little more strength and you rarely see world-class swimmers and cyclists as thin or light as their running counterparts.

GZ said...

Excellent post Tim. Didn't you have a link to calculate BMR at one point?

I think another point to throw in the mix here is our society's focus on fat versus fit. Those that tend to focus on fat (and loosing it) end up on binge or yo-yo diets ... often losing focus when they don't get the success they want - which is an appearance. The appearance is not what you are striving for - fitness is (and in the case of those who reading this blog, significant fitness is). The focus on fitness gets the results. This takes a longer term, more disciplined focus than what most in our society can appreciate and effectively manage ...

Lucho has laid out goals that have objectives over four years. He is one of the few guys I know who thinking about what he puts in his mouth today - and how that effects his goal four years from now. True - food does a have short term use to get you through the day, recover from the workout, prep you for the next, but it requires (as TL states) a shift in thinking about its role in your longer term development.

See you at the Oatmeal Fest Tim - I won't be eating the Oatmeal - not because it is not good but simply because I have some at home. Be interesting to see who shows up!

Lucho said...

Excellent points.. the fat vs. fit thing is good. I did have a link up before. It's a fairly good metabolic calculator that will get you close (not exact) for your caloric intake recommendations.
With there being money at tomorrow's race there should be a couple good runners show up.

ckotte said...

Excellent post. I couldn't agree more with you on "lifestyle" change. I came from a very athletic background to being a workaholic traveling husband, father, etc. I had what seemed to be a great lifestyle but in my opinion my priorities were out of whack. I now try to continually view food as a source of fuel...and am far more educated about what goes in the body.

I do think people need to address the "emotional" aspects of eating vs. the point of eating. We eat for fuel...plain and simple.

Keep up the posts! Great read.


Matt said...

great blog. The weight control is a tough nut to crack for me. Thanks for the calculator link. Because of a mild case of hypothyroidism, I tend to use that as an excuse for not losing more weight considering my workouts. But I think it's simply not being a disciplined eater/human.
I need to do more reading!

stageracer said...

I am so there with you on Tool. Maynard's writing is so thought-provoking that when I first listened to them, I thought my head would explode. A Perfect Circle has the same consciousness to their music as well.

Great thoughts on nutrition and the inability of people to KISS!!!!!! Keep it up!!!

scott said...

Always eijoyed an alternative take on you know this guy??

kerrie said...

hmmmm, interesting...the whole de-evolving thing makes me think of an article I read recently which has to do with kids and how americans(not canadians ;) ) are creating a "nation of wimps". This is the link:
Kind of interesting if you think about the big picture...
However, no matter how much it makes me de-evolve, I'll never give up my coffee, pinot or my chocolate...