Monday, March 12, 2012

Corrective Actions Taken

Last week was a tough one…  Last week was the second week in a tough 3 week block that is a key block in getting ready for Las Vegas.  The first week of the block was executed perfectly – or so I thought.  Little did I know that during this whole week the train was going off the track little by little.  I nailed all of my key workouts, culminating with the biggest day of the year so far on Saturday March 3.  Cody, Chris and I started the day with masters swim at 6:30, joined by Jaime and Kathy.  Then the three of us rode down to do the hour of power rides at 9 and 10 with some other EPC’ers.  These are fast group rides with quite a lot of race efforts in them.   After about 3.5 hours in the saddle fighting the wind, we ran for an hour through Bear Creek Park with some hard 6 minute efforts.  I made it through the day, but it took its toll.

I felt fine on Sunday, getting a 4km swim in and then on Monday I nailed my hard hill run.  Tuesday is when the wheels sort of came off.  I just had no energy, so I skipped my AM swim and barely made it through the trainer class Tuesday night.   I didn’t sleep will Sunday or Monday night, so that didn’t help.  The bigger problem, I think, was a macronutrient deficiency.  The great thing about the Paleo diet is that you are eating food that your body has evolved to eat.  That naturally means it is higher in protein and healthy fats due to a caveman’s tendency to hunt and kill animals as opposed to grow crops.  It also means that it is naturally lower in carbohydrates than the typical American diet.  This generally is a healthier approach.  However for an endurance athlete it means you have to make a concerted effort to get, natural, minimally processed carbohydrates into your diet.

When I went back and analyzed my diet, I had been getting about 0.6 gram/kg of protein, 1 gram/kg of fat and about 3-3.5 grams/kg of carbohydrate.  At a minimum I should be getting 5-7 grams/kg of carbohydrates every day and 10-12 grams/kg on big days like Saturday. 

The net result of all of this is that I had to take Wednesday completely off, only do an easy spin on Thursday, and an easy strength session and stretch cords on Friday.  I was back to my normal energy levels on Saturday and was able to hit the masters swim and hour of power ride again.  On Sunday I had a really good race simulating run of 4.3 miles averaging 6:40/mile. 

Lots of fruits, both fresh and dried (apricots, dates and raisins are best since they usually don’t have sugar added, which would make them definitely not Paleo) are being added back to my diet.  I also started taking First Endurance Optygen which helps with energy among other things.  I have already noticed a difference and I’m going to make sure to monitor things much more closely in terms of my macronutrient balance in addition to the overall caloric intake. 
Paleo diet carbo loading!  Yum!

I’m really looking forward to hard work this week before a recovery week next week.  I always hate missing workouts, but had I pushed through last week there is a good chance I would have ended up in a hole that would have been really difficult to dig out of and may have missed more than 2 key days.  Sometimes you have to listen to your body rather than fight it.
Jaime was also feeling run down, so we are adjusting her program down a bit since she really needs to build her aerobic base more than add intensity.  Broad bases make for higher peaks!  She also needed to be getting more carbs, hence the massive amounts of bananas and other fruits.

Best song this week...well it happened to be on the radio on my way to the first 6:30 masters class.  Jack Johnson's Banana Pancakes came on, which reminded me of Hawaii, which is why I"m working so hard - to make it to the Xterra World Championships in Maui.

The first crack at qualifying is just over 1 month away at the West Championships in Las Vegas.  Jaime is going to race the sprint race for her first tri in 2+ years!  Can't wait to make the trip!  Also on tap is a weekend in Fruita at the end of the month.  I'm very ready to get in some riding on dirt!

Train smart


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