Thursday, September 11, 2008

I am weak...

Friday’s morning run started out with a surprise. I felt better than good! My legs, body and mind were all agreeing that it was a beautiful morning to run to work and that’s what they did.

I had planned yesterday to make this morning my longer run of the week when the alarm went off. But at 5am after a restless night of sleep I made the decision that an extra hour of snooze time would be time well spent. When I climbed out of bed an hour later I expected to feel some soreness after yesterday’s hard interval session and the run home that it came as a shock that my legs felt exceptionally good.

During the run this morning I really tried to keep this run easy and not get too carried away pushing the effort so that I can go into the weekend feeling as fresh as I can considering that I have run about 75 miles this week since last Sunday. My running this week has gone great and I want to have a good hard run tomorrow and back that up with a long run on Sunday morning to complete the week on a high note.

Diet -

On the diet front, things had been going well all week and stepping on the scales yesterday I could see that I had lost a few pounds since last weekend but sadly I caved in today. During another work colleague send off I slipped and ate some very non-paleo foods. I also had lunch with an old colleague at a local Indian restaurant and ate some more non-paleo but terribly yummy food stuffs. I’ll call this my day of reckoning and will get back onto it tomorrow. Dinner will be a salad! I am weak!!!!


Thursday (PM): 5.8 miles (0:46) – nearly all of it uphill. Completely empty!

Friday: 6.3 miles (0:45) – nice and easy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're back!!!

We’re back!!!

Well that’s what my legs were telling me this morning. And it was great to see that they have returned and they are feeling stronger than ever. I find it amazing that I have to run close to 60 miles in four days with 1-2 higher intensity sessions thrown in to get some life back into them but that’s exactly how things have gone down.

I went into yesterday’s run with some doubt about how the run would go. I was right to be a little concerned as from the start my legs felt tight and heavy from the previous day’s killer hill session. Running with a couple of fast dudes kept me honest though and didn’t allow me to slack off for one second.

I don’t know why (but perhaps it has something to do with my enjoyment for pain and suffering) but even though I felt like I was struggling I was the one that was pushing the pace at the front. We started off easy through the first few miles as we talked about our previous training and races and upcoming events but shortly after I barely uttered another sentence or sound other than the occasional grunts. We covered 9 miles in just over an hour but then if that wasn’t enough we left the road to head onto the trail which parallels the river and we started surging the small climbs and the pace got faster. I’m already looking forward to next week’s run!

Personal stats-

Weight: 166lb and dropping

Feeling: Great

Sleep: 6h good

Legs: Awesome


Wednesday: 12.8 miles in 1:27 – I was hurting.

Still to come -

Thursday: Track session (lunch) and run home (PM)


Feeling good is good enough!!

Breakfast: Typically 3 eggs (any style) with spinach, mushrooms, etc, piece of fruit (cantaloupe, orange, berries, etc) + coffee

Snacks: apple, mandarin, almonds, carrots, etc

Pre-run (2 hours prior): Some form of carbohydrate (fresh and dried fruit about 200-300 calories worth) - need to experiment more here.

Post-run: Will try and get in 20g PRO and 80g CHO to optimise recovery. Oatmeal, dried and fresh fruits, smoothies, protein drinks etc.

Lunch: Typically tinned fish w/ small salad

Dinner: Typically meat (kangaroo, beef, chicken, pork) w/ vegetables

the midway point...

Well I'm midway through what is quickly becoming a big week. I pulled up feeling good this morning after yesterday's hill session which came as a welcomed suprise as I had planned to meet up with a couple of faster runners after work.

I decided not to go out for a run either this morning or at lunch and instead try and go into this run feeling as fresh as I was going to get with only day between my last hard session.

I have been reading what I can find on the internet about the Paleo Diet for Endurance Athletes as I am still waiting for the book to arrive. It was purchased as a birthday gift and has mysteriously got lost in the mail somewhere. What has got me interested is the ideas about the various stages and I look forward to get a better understanding when I get the book.

I have been trying to follow along with what little information I have. So today I followed typical paleo eating for breakfast and lunch and two hours prior to heading out I consumed some high GI carbohydrates in the form of a couple of organic date and coconut rolls that I discovered in the local fruit markets. I had better be careful as they are a little addictive. I did however check the nutrition label and try to stick to no more than 80grams of Carbohydrates.

I won't go into the details about the run but it was tough. We covered almost the half marathon distance on a rolling course in about 1hr 27mins. The last 4 miles were covered in just over 24 minutes which brought me a little undone and brought on the dreaded bonk. Strangely enough when I started falling apart I started running faster as my sole goal was to get done.

Thankfully the car was full of healthy goodies and a large bottle of water and I consumed most on the drive home. Food included an egg salad wrap which I scored from the leftovers of a meeting at work, a banana, several organic date and oat rolls and a litre of water.

Returning home I continued with the recovery nutrition theme and enjoyed a smoothie which I made for the kids consisting of milk, honey, cocoa and goji berries.

Monday, September 8, 2008

tuesday hills...

My legs are starting to come around again. After what has been a very long period of recovery following my marathon and ultra races in July and August I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I logged my fifth run session in three days and it was a tough one. The session called for hill repeats and looking around I found a nice hill close to work. During my initial investigations I checked it out on the computer and I was thinking that it was about 8-10% gradient but after running it today and checking the map again it turned out to be in the range of 13-15+% gradient. The last 120m was a real heart burster!

During the final two repeats I’m sure I maxed out my heart rate as I started feeling the light headed sensation of working at close to 100%. Great stuff!

Starting to feel fit again and this is getting me excited to run. Tomorrow evening I am meeting up with the fast guys that I ran with last week and I’m looking forward to getting smacked.


Almost predominantly fruit and nuts today. Post-run meal consisted of a tub of berry yogurt (high protein and fat) that I picked up earlier from the fruit market.

1 slice of fruit loaf with 100%PB and a banana (pre-morning run)

3 mandarins

2 apples

150g dates

200g almonds

250g yogurt

60g goji berries

Tin sardines

Think I’ll pick myself up some kangaroo steak for tonight’s meal…

Sunday, September 7, 2008

cresting mount fatigue...

Another weekend has come and gone and I can at least say that I found some time to get out and run. With father’s day on Sunday my wife encouraged me to get out for a long run before the day of family action started and that’s what I did. While the scheduled run was for 2hr 45mins or something I decided to just get out and start with getting in a 2hr run and see how I felt. Well I never really felt that great but after 2hrs time spent recharging the soul I felt much better than I have in weeks. Followed that up with a full day of family action including a game of ten pin bowling and a couple of hours spent at the indoor climbing gym. Recovery sessions? Maybe.

So with a long run yesterday which I struggled with over the last 30mins it came as a surprise during today’s run to see just how good I felt. On Monday’s schedule are two easy runs with one including some strides at 90% effort. After an easy 20mins I found a nice stretch of road before the turn around and started opening up with the 80m of effort. All my focus was on maintaining good form and picking up the pace gradually with each subsequent effort. During the first I started feeling lose and by the last I felt like I was flying with very little effort. My average pace during the strides this week was also much improved by about 30sec per km. Hopefully this indicates that I am finally cresting the mountain of fatigue. Getting excited to get out and train again.

I still have loads more running to get through this week.

Personal stats-

None recorded. I don’t think I will bother about the daily weigh in at this stage.


Saturday: 35mins with 6k hard - struggled in the wind and rain.

Sunday: 2hr long over undulating terrain – the hills during the last 30mins felt like walls.

Monday: (noon) 45mins (6.5 miles) w/ 5x80m strides @ 90% (1min jog) – and then I felt great!

(pm) 60min run home w/ 30mins on long climbs

Tuesday: (am) 40min easy run to work (pm) Big Hill Session!!!!


I gave myself the weekend off. I enjoyed a nice Thai meal with my wife during which a bottle of white was consumed and followed this up with an ice cream cone. I was hoping to get in a long run the following morning so wasn’t too concerned about my over indulgence. During the week while at work I usually find it easier to make good choices but at home with the family during the weekends it is easier to consume meals together which we all enjoy. More often than not they contain a few extra carbohydrates to replace my depleted glycogen reserves.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

day 5...

After a long day at work, a hard running session and three hours spent at the shops picking up some clothes for the children and a gift for father’s day by the time I got home I was completely stuffed. That is when I weakened to the smell and look of the blueberry and white chocolate scones that my wife had made. There were also some very yummy biscuits that contained apple and cinnamon. A favoured combination of mine and even harder to resist. I gave into temptation and enjoyed every morsel. I can’t be 100% primal and continue to enjoy some of the happiness around me from time to time. My wife and young son spent yesterday cooking together and I was excited (as my son was) to enjoy his offerings. Very special indeed.

After the late night eating though as much as I tried not to, I fell asleep sitting on the lounge while my wife finished reading the last of her book.

So where is this all leading? Well when the alarm went off at 5am to get up for my planned weekly long run of 2.5 hours I hit snooze put the alarm under my pillow and sleep through the next two wake up calls. When I got out of the house at 6:30am it immediately felt like the right decision was made. I struggled through a 30 minute shuffle around the neighbourhood and hopefully that will now allow me to recover before the weekend of intensity that I am now planning.

Now that today’s focus will be on recovery tomorrow’s plan for a long tempo and big hill climbing session – think about 90 odd minutes of solid work in the middle of a 2 hour plus session is back on the agenda. Sunday will hopefully be the long run that I missed today but at a somewhat easy pace.

With the sessions getting longer, harder and more specific the next step in my education will be on the recovery side of things. I am going to try and go with the small window prior, during and immediately after my sessions to get in all (well most) of my carbohydrates needed to fuel my workout and replace the glycogen that I use during the session so that I can go into the next session ready to perform at an optimum level. I am also going to look at using recovery aids such as cold baths, hot/cold, compression garments, massage, etc and see if that helps too.

Personal stats-

Weight: 168lb (still no change)

Feeling: Tired

Sleep: 6h

Legs: 6/10 they feel good but rather lifeless.


After three solid days of back-to-back-to-back it came as no surprise when I got out the door that I was a little less than enthusiastic to run either long or fast. With the well-worn Nike Frees on I tried sticking to the grass verges and enjoy the increased cushioning to give my legs a little break. The cool of the winter rain was a refreshing way to end the run.


The email reminder about the morning tea for charity at work made me think today was going to be a little less than primal. Perhaps a traditional low fat, low protein, high carbohydrate eating plan typical of most endurance athletes is the order of the day. I will be interested to see how I perform during my training over the next day and two. If they go well then I will look at eating more carbohydrates prior to hard intense sessions and reserve the low-carbohydrate, high protein and fat days for the days when training is low intensity, highly aerobic and on recovery days.

Breakfast: 3 hard-boiled eggs and 2 blueberry and white chocolate muffins with butter + black coffee

Snack: goji berries

Morning tea: where do I start – homemade pastries, date scone, gluten-free chocolate cake (made with 85% dark choc), lemon cake, and a few others a less grandeur

Lunch: yoghurt w/ berries, date/coconut rolls (better not buy these again except to carry while running perhaps)

Late lunch: 200g salmon, carrots, tomato

Dinner: bacon and spinach quiche w/ salad

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

day 4...

Yesterday I really made sure to get in enough energy for the anticipated 90+ minute run and really focus on nailing my post-run recovery. Stepping on the scales this morning I think I got it right. No change in bodyweight from the day before and I am feeling great. My legs aren’t even as sore as they have been day-to-day over the last few weeks. And this is where I have noticed the greatest benefit of eating primal. I’m not exactly sure what, how or why my recovery is boosted but I’m not going to argue about it.

Sessions lasting about 100 minutes also seem to be my training sweet spot. They get me fit and leave me feeling good.

I also noticed someone commented on the primal compromises for athletes post and I need to read it more closely when I have some free time but he made some interesting observations. I can confirm after having my VO2/lactate tested only a few weeks back that following a lower carbohydrate diet limits your ability to sustain speeds close to or above your VO2max speed. My aerobic system is very efficient though. The lactate test produced some interesting results and I need to explore this topic further to see what’s going on there. Do you need more carbohydrates to be able to handle and produce higher levels of lactate?

Personal stats-

Weight: 168lb (no change from yesterday)

Feeling: Great

Sleep: 6h broken

Legs: 7/10 feeling a good tired, no niggles.


After a great run yesterday I’m hoping that my session at the track (or on road) will be as successful. Coach has given me some hard sessions over the last few weeks and what’s coming up over the next three days should leave me nice and toasted and looking forward to an active recovery day on Father’s Day (Sunday).

On today’s schedule is a solid fartlek session of descending intervals from 10 minutes in length down to 30” all out. I’ll start at 10k race pace and work my way down aiming to run faster throughout the session. Can’t wait!

I think I might be in for some new shoes. I have been doing all of my running in a pair of Adidas Adizero RC racing flats and they have been great but I am looking for something that is light but has a little more forefoot cushioning for some upcoming time on the trails. Perhaps some mountain races during the summer months coming up.


Diet has been going well and I will continue to refine it until I get it right.

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs w/ mushrooms and spinach, carrot, a handful of goji berries + black coffee

Snack: banana, apple

Post-run: Up'n'go drink, banana and goji berries. Will try and get in 20g PRO and 80g CHO to optimise recovery (?).

Lunch: 200g salmon, carrots, tomato

Dinner: Warm Moroccan lamb salad

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

day 3...

Personal stats:

Weight: 168lb (-4lb…I was nearly 172lb 3 days ago)

Feeling: Good

Health: Good

Legs: Good

Injury: slight Achilles tendonitis (getting better)



Session: Run (MLR)

Time of day: 4:30pm

Course: streets around work

Shoe: Adidas RC

Distance: 14 miles

Run time: 1:40

Comments: Met up with 2 very fast dudes after work. Great run!



Breakfast: fried mushrooms, peppers, spinach w/ 2 eggs and corned beef + orange

Snack: carrots, apple, figs

Lunch: cold meat, ½ avocado, tomato, carrot

Snack (2h prior to run): bananas

Pre-run (10mins): Sports drink

Post-run: bananas, goji berries, walnuts

Dinner: bolgnaise w/ steamed broccoli





day 2...

 Personal stats:

Weight: -2 pounds (from yesterday)

Feeling: Good

Health: Good

Legs: Good

Injury: slight Achilles tendonitis



Session: Running (HM pace tempo)

Time of day: 4:00pm

Course: bridge to bridge river loop

Shoe: Adidas Adizero RC

Distance: 7.1 miles steady

Run time: 46:30

Comments: It felt harder than it should. Struggling to regain fitness and speed that I had prior to July’s marathon.



Breakfast: roasted corned beef and ¼ cantaloupe + black coffee

Snack: carrots (2)

Lunch: sardines, ½ avocado, tomatoes (2), apple and figs

Pre-run: figs

Post-run: figs, banana

Dinner: cold meat w/ green salad and steamed broccoli

Late snack: apple, carrot (2)


Day 2: Early start

After discovering that my wife's bike had been stolen from the bus stop where I had chained it up for my ride home last night meant that...