"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Going Paleo

After an exciting win and PB at the Woodstock Hallucination 100, I've been feeling...  sluggish.  I logged 28 miles the week proceeding Woodstock and 64 miles the week after.  My legs were being impetuously stubborn, while my heart rate and pace wasn't too far off what I would expect, the effort was overly difficult.

Between peaking, tapering, racing, and recovering, I think I've lost a little bit of fitness.  Maybe.  Or maybe mentally I'm out of the groove.  This always seems to happen to me after a 100.  This post-race burnout gives me a huge deal of respect for people who can string together multiple hundreds within a month, 2 months, or even a year.

After some serious beer drinking, football watching, and general chillaxing, I've decided its time to re-establish my base.  Lots of slow running with my heart rate monitor to gauge effort levels and really focus on staying in my aerobic zone.  Once a week I plan on hitting a hard tempo run or track workout to try to maintain some speed while hopefully re-establishing my base.

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got"  I'm not sure why this phrase keeps popping into my head.  Ever since I decided to wear my Hokas just for the heck of it at Woodstock, I have been interesting in changing some things up and trying some new things.

I've been a firm believer in being a carbohydrate monster to support my training.  Which is nice, because carbs are cheap, simple to prepare, easily available, and delicious.   But, in the spirit of trying new things, I'm going to try to paleo diet, with some minor adjustments for an athlete.  Its been a couple of days now, and so far I am really enjoying the new diet.  I'm not sure if there is a specific reason for trying the Paleo, maybe eating a higher fat diet will increase my fat metabolism, maybe not.  It has an almost asthetic appeal to me, as it just makes sense - eat like our ancestors who didn't have to deal with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  This really seems like the way we were "meant" to eat.

One thing that had me very interested in this diet is that the authors are both scientist, and the book (which I've owned for years) does an excellent job of promoting the science along with the philosophy.  The general goal is to remove processed foods from my diet.  I also noticed today that everything I've eaten this week has been gluten free.  I'm cheating a little bit and still making a recovery smoothie after my runs that has milk in it, as well as allowing myself some simple carbs after a run.

Weird things I've noticed:  I haven't needed a cup of coffee in the morning as urgently as usual.  I've eaten 4 dozen eggs so far this week.  My energy levels have been more stable than I recall them usually being.  I smelled ketones towards the end of my 10 miler today.

Food that has made up my week includes:  Almonds, grapes, bananas, oranges, apples, eggs, steak, nectarines, fish, carrots, potatoes, peppers, hummus, green beans, frozen fruit and vegetables, walnuts, fish, onions, olive oil, butter, and salads.

Some things are less paleo than others.  I don't know if potatoes or carrots are very paleo, but I'll never restrict nutrient rich fruits or vegetables, no matter what a diet calls for.

I'll update the ole' blog with my progress with the diet, some recipes I've come up with, as well as how it seems to be influencing my ability to train at 100+ miles a week. Also, I like this blog Primal Living

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