Saturday, December 14, 2013

Getting Back into the Swing of Things and Moving to the “Dark Side”

Its been a few months now since the events of Powerman Zofingen and my last update. Not a great deal has been going on since that race. Trainings been inconstant with back to back races thrown in for fun and experience. 

The first race of of my back to back weekends was MurrayMan long course triathlon. The plan for the race was simple, get through the swim, have a solid bike as a test for the following weekend, get through the run without to much muscle soreness and most important of all finish! I can say that I achieved all of these points. One thing I can say about the event as a whole is that its a must do race. Its a relaxed, well run event.

The following weekend it was off to Shepparton 70.3 where i was doing the bike leg in a team. the plan for this race was even simpler, ride a solid even paced 90km and dont go out like your riding a 6km prologue. I was over the moon with my ride based off, a) hitting my targets and b) riding 2:15 based of the current fitness levels. Also was able to gain experience working with other riders legally, and I mean legally. I was sitting around 15m back from the wheel in front just to be safe. This is usually something that I don't get to experience that much with how far down I’ve come out of the water in the past and my bike strength.

Looking forward few the next 6 months, my race schedule is just about locked in. My next race is Challenge Melbourne, then its followed by Southwest Sufferfest, maybe Challenge Batemans Bay finishing up with Cairns 70.3 being the goal race for the first half of the year. Each race building up to Cairns is about gaining experience and executing the goals set out.

Motivations been up and down since coming back from Zofingen for one reason or another. Today was the best session I’ve had in a few weeks after dealing with being on call. Strangely enough the motivation came from hearing about to new Powerman events in europe and watching video from this years Powerman Zofingen. I guess long course duathlon is what still really drives me the most, unfortunately I don't see myself being able to get across to europe to race anytime soon so its up to me to find new motivation points.  

Ok time to move to the big change Ive made recently in an attempt to improve my performance. My Diet as been turned upside down and I have decided to give the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) approach to eating a serious go. Now Im not going to go into the whole argument about why everyone should or shouldn’t do this but I will explain some of the driving factors in why I have gone down this road. If you want to know more about it all, I’ve found Dr Tim Noakes is probably  one of the best sauces of info on this subject. There are plenty of podcasts out there where he goes into great detail in a non complex way about the subject.

First driving factor behind this was during exercise fueling. This never used to be an issue for me until the last big stage race I did as a cyclist. Suddenly I was struggling getting in the fuel on the bike and actually had better results from taking very little to nothing in. Now move to triathlon, its still something I’ve had issues with and now that I’m racing over 4hrs all the time it becomes important to get it right. Eating and adapting to a LCHF diet will  basically allow me to race with minimal carb intake during an event, virtually eliminating the chances for GI distress and minimizing the chances of bonking.

The other big driving factor is weight or more correctly body fat management. I have always had to high a body fat % for the level that I was competing at. the leanest I’ve ever gotten was around 15% in my cycling days, which at my body weight still meant i was lugging around 7-10kg of excess body weight thats doing nothing for me. This diet should allow me to help reduce my fat stores as my body will be primly looking to burn fat as an energy sauce.

There are a couple of cautions to this diet that I will point out that I’ve come across. Firstly its prob best to start this way of eating in the of season. It takes time to adapt, upwards of 4 weeks, so start slowly on the training load as your body will still be looking for glycogen to fuel it. Your performance will also potentially go backwoods for starters as well due to this but once adapted should the increase above previous levels in most people. This is something I’m testing, its going to take time but everything I’ve seen on it the mid to long turn gains outweigh the few short term losses.  
Until Next Time