Running log

  

7.4 mile run (12km) even jog pace 10 minute mile with first mile or so at 11 min. Saw this sunrise on route in Hackney. Did not expect it. Only when I got home did I realise how stunning it was!

Also want to share a quirk in case anyone gets this and thinks they’re on their own. I get very hungry on long runs (not met a runner runner who relates. I’m more of an all rounder runner than a runner runner and maybe my blood sugar hasn’t adapted). So started with a 2 mile run very slow, warming up, waking the muscles and joints up, waking the metabolism up and working out what my hunger needs are for the next few hours, then had a coffee and porridge, let that digest for 10 minutes but not too long and carried on my way. 

This is shock horror for many runners. Running with food in their stomach is vile and repulsive. But for me running on empty is vile and repulsive. Porridge is like sweet air to me; it’s digested before it hits the stomach. We’re all different and have to understand that we have varying metabolism and blood sugar needs.

My dad is a life long runner runner, marathons, the lot. He can’t understand what I’m talking about and looks horrified when I stuff my face with low and sometimes high GI carbs before a run. Same with an ex pro triathlete who took me on a 60 kilometre bike ride in the mountains in Abruzzo a few years ago; I had to stop and grab an emergency couple of glasses of milk because I felt so hungry I was too weak to carry on. He was astonished. I felt great after and continued to the end and he felt sick at the idea of milk sitting in my stomach whilst on a ride. Of course it wasn’t sitting it was digested in minutes!

I was so impressed with his ability to do DEEP cardio, those hills and mountains were around 1200m above sea level. Steep, deep cardio. And he’d just had a classic Italian breaky; espresso, some bread, butter and jam. Makes me feel weak at the idea! A light civilian carby breaky then 60km bike ride up mountains!?

The point is we’re all very different and feeling different can make you isolated like you’re doing something wrong and stop you training. I’m trying to demonstrate that we shouldn’t let shock horror looks on people’s faces (especially experts’) allow doubt to creep in. What I need to do is find or create a protein bar/snack that I can take with me and is soft enough to digest whilst out on a run.

Then I did 5.5 mile run. By the end of the 5.5 mile run I was ravenous and had a homemade smoothie and strangely enough it filled me up. Just for an hour. 

I say strangely because there was virtually no protein content or calories but lots of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and nutrition. Sometimes the ‘protein hunger’ can be a vitamin and mineral hunger. Maybe. Also you can continue training on a smoothie.

Outdoor Conditioning: 

  • 25 chin-ups 
  • 10 pullups 
  • 60 leg raises on parallel bars (40 of which are straddle leg raises and 20 straight leg). 
  • 20 step ups on high log.

Indoor (at home conditioning and light weights):

  • 200 crunches
  • 25 v sit
  • 100 press ups (inc. 20 triceps press)
  • 25 deadlift (25kg)
  • 30 shoulder press (16kg)
  • 20 bicep curl (2 x 8kg)
  • 20 standing row (15kg)

And a good stretch. All exercises broken down into however many reps I could do in a row. Breather. Then carrying on.

Felt good after! Clean detoxed and buzzing. Was supposed to be doing admin. Avoidance techniques can get you very fit.

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Animals

  
You know when you take a moment with an animal that they are feeling, sentient, intelligent creatures. Stood here for a good 10 mins, acknowledging each other, contemplating. Beautiful and gentle. 

Pushing each day to eat less animal protein and move towards vegan. Hopefully 2016 I can smash this. 

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Protein

  
The key to training is fuel. It goes against the notion of ‘dieting’. At first it can seem confusing. Stuck in the 80s or even 90s: to lose weight = eat less calories/food. 

A look of fear passes over their eyes. You’re going to make me eat more?! Then resistance, defiance even. If someone starts training, regularly, twice a week, from zero activity, the body is in shock. It needs sleep and quality fuel to adapt (and lots of stretching and Epsom Salt baths). You need the quality fuel to train so you can become fitter (more efficient heart and lungs), grow new muscles and gradually burn excess fat as your body becomes a leaner meaner machine.

But you can’t train on empty! The idea that you can simply burn the fat you have on your body and eat the same amount of food is a ‘diet’ mentality. Which is phasing out. Training for fitness, strength and health means eating seriously and employing long term changes not rapidly reducing calorie intake then increasing again after the ‘diet’ period has finished.

Protein intake must be increased to replenish and recover the muscles after training. This is critical. You work your muscles when you train: they tear and over the following 48 hrs are in recovery. The pain you experience after training is the process of your muscles rebuilding and growing and creating a more ‘toned’ body. 

The amount you increase by is personal and you must become your own body expert as you start to take your physical person seriously. Listen to all experts but always take advice with a ‘pinch of salt’, be aware of your own quirks, integrate expert knowledge with your own understanding of your body. Experts are experts in a topic but you should be an expert on your own body. Someone you’ve never met before but is a trained professional is going to give the best knowledge they have in their area of expertise but you can’t expect them to know the details of your body. That’s where you begin to take responsibility.

Official advice is 19-50 yrs 55g and over 50 yrs is 53g protein per day, see Gov guidelines on nutrient intake.

Vegan and vegetarian advice is similar with 50-60g per day. In the fitness and strength training world advice differs dramatically from this. Protein requirements depend upon your body weight and the amount of training you do (more body = more muscle = more protein and more training = more protein):

Sedentary body weight in kg = grams of protein.

Medium intensity/cardio workout; body weight in kg x 1.5 = grams of protein

High intensity/strength training; body weight in kg x (2, 2.5 or 3) = grams of protein. Depending on which fitness or muscles experts you talk to.

This is where the journey of becoming fit doesn’t just change your body but your mind as well. You start to learn through trial and error what your body needs. How much extra protein you need when you train and also find out how much you need when you’re sedentary. This is the key to maintaining a healthy weight or rather a healthy tone and body fat.

I have to eat A LOT of protein and no matter how much endurance cardio I do I still can’t eat refined sugar or flour without it affecting me negatively (internally in my digestive system and superficially with fat immediately going on my stomach!) Carbohydrate intake has to increase too which is a whole other topic for another blog.

Vegetarians and vegans have to adjust their protein too and there’s plenty of options available. Because meat has such a high protein content it’s easier for meat eaters to meet the extra protein requirements from training. 

Both meat eaters and veggies have to be scientific about their food intake and the best way to start is by keeping a food diary 3-5 days and calculate how much protein you’re eating at the moment. Then compare to your weight in kilos and note down any activity. Don’t change anything. From here you will have your foundation protein intake. You’ll be able to see if you’re eating above or below the basic requirements and whether that works for you.

For example person A weighs 70kg, on a sedentary day they require 70g of protein. When they train to medium intensity and do cardio like running or cycling or swimming they might require 1.5 x 70 (body weight in kg) = 105g of protein. If they do a weights session they might need 2 x 70 (body weight in kg) = 140g of protein.

The latest thoughts on nutrition and weight loss are more focused on satiety (how full you are) than calories. Protein fills you up. So when your body reacts to training and especially the first month or so into training you get a deep dark hunger. This is likely to be a protein craving and your body is crying to be refuelled so it can rebuild and grow muscle. If you don’t increase your protein intake you can end up eating the ‘wrong’ foods like sugar and other refined carbs that won’t feed your muscles but further increase body fat.

Another point to bear in mind is there’s evidence to show that too much protein in a sedentary lifestyle could be damaging to health yet also when your ill sometimes your body requires more protein to recover. Complicated isn’t it! Little by little you can work out what works for you. 

Protein shake recipe: almond milk, banana, (organic) peanut butter, (cold extracted Pulsin brand) whey protein. Blend together between 30-40g protein.

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Food

   

So much information out there, science meets medicine meets food companies and profit. Public Understanding of Science is the official name i.e. what science research papers conclude vs what the public understands. What lies in between the two? Newspapers, tabloids, New Scientist, Facebook articles, gossip, TV, self-declared fitness and nutrition gurus/personal trainers (!) and general food fashion and trends. 

Even if you’re a qualified dietician or nutritionist, research into nutrition, health and weight loss is fast and furious and therefore difficult to keep abreast of. You have to personally dig into papers and compare to government advice; research on the net, look at the official, look at the unofficial, then relate to your body and quirks. Yep you have to be your own expert.

When it comes to food the most natural form and the least amount of time from Earth to mouth will provide you with the most nutrition and fuel (frozen foods freeze time in a sense). The colours of fruit and veg have a tantalising effect on our minds.  Alluring. This is a healthy food mind connection and something you can trust. A deep instinct to replenish vitamins and minerals in the body through contrasting and vivid colours.

There are no short cuts in the fitness game. You have to buy the food, prepare the food and eat the food then… You can train. And of course you can’t forget the importance of positive intent when cooking!

Food deliveries can help http://www.organicdeliverycompany.co.uk 

http://www.trainhealbreathe.wix.com/personaltraining

Frosty

  
3 mile morning run 10 min mile, nothing major, wakes you up, implants visions of beauty in your mind. Misty ice kingdoms. Reminiscent of fairy tales and children’s books. Gets the blood flowing, fresh oxygen going and the mind expands. Now to numb the mind again and get some admin done. 
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