Saturday, September 25, 2010

Training Strategy, Weight Loss, and Long Run of the Week

The week started off with a success on Tuesday when I decided to cancel my 50K training run and just do whatever I felt like. It ended up working out beautifully as I knew it would...

I woke up on Tuesday feeling hungover from a rough 13 hours at work the day prior. This was coupled with a strenuous 20 mile-4 hour training run on Saturday, and another 2 hour 15 minute run on Sunday. Tuesday was NOT the ideal day to put myself in the ground on a 30+ mile training run on the steep trails of Jefferson Memorial Forest. I decided to take the morning easy and get some chores done and then I took a nap at 2. I ate a bit more than usual to abate the hunger which was consuming me, and upon waking from my nap, I decided to hit the trails and run. I ended up doing 14 miles, the first 6 of which were just below threshold, for a great run, and I left the day feeling charged for my 30 miler later in the week. Good work...I still managed to get in everything without stressing about anything. The ground work was laid for a 30+ mile day on Friday.

So for the last few weeks I have altered my diet in hopes in dropping a few pounds to hit a good race weight for the Pinhoti 100 on November 6 and 7th. All through September I have been doing mostly long slow miles, and nothing has been above threshold. I have managed to lose about 6 pounds now, and my body fat percentage is at rock bottom from 6.0% last month down to 5.0%-5.2% this month. I have gone from 154 pounds to 148. It has actually been easy to lose weight, even eating 2600 calories per day.

During long slow distance runs, the body burns mostly fat for fuel, so I have not been outrageously hungry like usual. I am still putting in 12 hour training weeks, but the low intensity doesn't cause the same starving sensation that high intensity workouts do, even during 3 hour runs. I have given up cereal at breakfast, and now just eat my bagel, egg and soy sausage sandwich. I have increased the amount of beans and vegetables I eat daily as well, which has been pretty easy by just throwing a bag of italian veggies, (lima beans, carrots, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower, green beans), in the microwave at lunch everyday. I have stopped eating late night snacks before bed and also bumped at fat percentage to 25% daily calories from 20%, which keeps me full for longer.

During these long slow runs, I have been using EFS First Endurance Sports Drink for carbohydrates to help power the run. I guess you could say this models the "Just In Time" inventory method, of acquiring supply on demand, and only when needed.

So I set off yesterday, (Friday), on my longest training run of the last few months, a 30 mile epic at Jefferson Memorial Forest. The night before the training run, I realized my weight was below 149, even after dinner, so I was responsible and decided that fueling more was the wisest option. I scarfed down some brown rice and broccoli, as well as a serving of oatmeal, regardless of the clock reading midnight. I definitely needed that fuel and burned it off quickly during the start of the run.

My new Montrail Mountain Massochists arrived in the mail on Thursday just in time for Friday's epic. Definitely the most substantial shoe I have attempted to run in during the last few years, I usually opt for more minimalist design, but I have heard many positive remarks about the Massochist and I wanted to try them out. The first few miles I was wondering what the * was I thinking, but by the mid-way point at mile 17, I had realized the reviews weren't wrong. I liked them and decided to finish the run in them instead of swapping out at my car during my one resupply point.

I had a great nutrition strategy for the run, and will set the same parameters next time. I used one bottle of sports drink, (1st Endurance), per hour, and also ate a powerbar each hour. I have chosen Powerbar over Clif Bar due to its lower count of fiber making it easily digestable as well as its lower fat content. This equated to 340 calories per hour, which is right on the science in regards to most studies findings that endurance athletes should ingest approx 300-400 calories per hour. I also drank one 16 ounce bottle of water per hour, and would have drank more had I had the opportunity for more than one resupply.

The day started HOT and DRY, sunny and dusty. I began to feel the effects of the heat about mile 17 when I reached my car to resupply. I took a 15 minute break and chugged a liter of cold water and at that point, I felt better. The dizziness subsided. The sun was overtaken by cloud cover at this point in time too, which added to my comfort and recharged me to finish strong for the last 13 miles.

I ate mostly gels the last section during hours 5 to 6, because I ran of out Powerbars. I felt the effects of my lack of adequate caloric consumption too. In the future, I am going to do several more 6+ hour runs with the Sports Drink, Powerbar, and occasional gel each hour and see how that works due to big successes yesterday. My energy levels stayed strong, and would have been through the roof up to last mile had I not ran out of powerbars the last hour.

This week upcoming is a rest week, so nothing over 1.5 hours is planned, and we'll play it by ear to see what happens.

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