8 days – Brecon Beacons 45M Ultra Run
5-6 Feb – Double Iron Lanzarote
I’ll admit I don’t have the strictest of diets and (as my girlfriend will testify) I have been known to binge-eat when the occasion takes me! But I do keep an eye on my weight and religiously record it every morning alongside my resting heart rate.
I have a few qualifications in nutritional weight management, sports nutrition, and have carried out various trials and comprehensive (under Target-Fitness) nutritional analysis’ of athletes up to professional level. So I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Of course there is this distinct separation between what I say and what I do!
Anyway, the daily recordings mean I can keep a lid on any potential increases in weight over the medium-long term. I’ve picked up a few tricks over recent years that enable me to enjoy some favoured ‘snacks’, while at the same time ticking the nutritional boxes that allow me
– to fuel my training up to the ultra-distances
– to cover all micronutrient requirements, especially vitamins A, C and E which are the major anti-oxidants
Speaking of anti-oxidants: From my nutritional analysis’ and studies I’ve realised vitamin A is a safe bet on a generally balanced diet, whereas potential improvements can be made in development and strengthening on the immune system from high levels of vitamins C and E. I won’t provide any details here. Along with the supplements from my sponsor Elagen (who have been awesome over the last two seasons and I’ll provide a blog on them at some point) and a recent seed addition to my diet (I won’t elaborate as it’s early days, and I have to keep some secrets to myself), my immune system has been much stronger than in recent years.
I always maintain a decent/high level of fibre in the diet. It’s important to keep the tracts clean as it were! The most important meal being breakfast, for which I have a high-fibre cereal with (high-fibre) seeds. Occasionally I will have a high protein breakfast, especially if I am on a hard training week (intensity as much as volume).
As the chart below shows, after the racing season I have been on a weight loss program of exactly -0.1kg over every week from 72.5kg to 72.0kg. This has been fine, and enabled me to fuel the ultra runs and bikes. However, I have started to introduce more protein in the diet (while easing back on carbs) to try and shift a little more weight and get down to 70.5-71kg, which is around my race weight. Risky process, but there has been a direct correlation in the days I’ve done this over the last 1-2months, and particularly this week where I’ve turned the screw even more. As long as I feel energised for my training sessions then I know my macronutrient balance is fine. This week I’m heading for a 1kg loss to 71.1kg.
I had a great civil service cross country champs on Wednesday. Having eased back on Mon and Tues I hit the inevitable ‘crash’ syndrome. It even forced me to start the race on 90% optimal effort (I normally race optimal from the gun and fight for my position). I picked the pace up on the second (of three) laps and increased from there on. The result was my best position in the champs to date (beating three people who were ahead of me last year) and actually enjoying the event without collapsing at the finish with heavy legs and arms. Having said that, I haven’t had to come off the back of a double ironman, swine flu and all-night 80mile off-road run like last year!
I recently received my RoadID wrist band and have to say I’m quite impressed. RoadID provide various accessories that you can wear while out training that detail personal information/identification that would become invaluable in case of an accident. Ok, it’s the first time I’ve ever actually bought a product that I never wish to be of any practical use but, just like wearing a helmet, you can never be too careful! If I ever did have an accident I would wish my next of kin to be notified immediately. Having said that, the products are very stylish. I have the elite wrist band in black (above).
Visit www.roadid.com and check them out for yourself.