Tag: nutrition

PERSONAL TRAINERS EAT CAKE TOO

With apologies to all the PTs out there who are close to perfect (in PT terms, that is (I know a few of you – am dead jealous)) I’m feeling the need today to rant a little. With health and wellbeing at the forefront of pretty much everything these days the personal training (PT) industry is booming – and with it the judgments, oh, the JUDGMENTS!

Obviously it still remains to be said that personal trainers are, in the main, NOT PERFECT! **oh horror** Fairly confident most of you know that already, but after a comment to me this week along the lines of ‘you need to do a few of your own workouts’ I’m on the defensive. I never thought I’d have to say it, but apparently so, so here it is: PERSONAL TRAINERS ARE HUMAN, TOO!

In the interest of total honesty and to remove any doubts, I’m going to put it out there:  I constantly …

– watch my nutrition just like you do;
– lose the plot;
– have cake-and-biscuit days (maybe peanut butter days or kilo of chocolate days);
– lose the plot;
– find it hard to get out and exercise;
– have duvet days/maybe weeks;
– have weeks when I can’t be arsed to move;
– lose the plot.

The comment, I have to admit, made me really angry, although I ignored it at the time. I’d love to say I brushed it off but obviously not or I wouldn’t be writing this five days later haha, but it did make me realise how often we are judged as PTs and expected to be a ‘perfect’ weight (whatever that is), a ‘perfect’ shape (?), stronger than our clients, faster than clients??

I have news for any of you who may be in doubt: our physiology is not enhanced such that we don’t put on weight. We, too, have to work our backsides off to get and stay fit, we struggle, we have up days and down days … we are completely human (most of us, anyway). We are not gods. Not all of us can do pull-ups (I speak for myself at least), we don’t all run sub-25 parkruns, we lose races, we fall off our bikes, drop kettlebells on our feet, face plant at the end of the renegade row set and can fail spectacularly at challenges. Sorry for disappointing.

Good, then. I’m glad that’s sorted. Now it’s time for you to go smash some new goals. As the saying goes, it won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it.

As for me, I’m off to eat some more cake before I plan for my next 70.3 #human #balance #living

FOUR WEEKS TO IRONMAN …

Been an interesting three weeks since I last posted. Training building building building – with one or two hiccups, but what would training be without hiccups, right?

Weeks 7-to-go and 6-to-go were interesting and devastating at the same time. Basically, … remember when I said that if everything went pear-shaped on race day, that my goal was to know that I could never say ‘It’s all because I missed that one workout’? Well, that little goal went to pot somewhat as I received the most devastating family news that knocked me for six – and threw my headspace right out of the game. A 2-hour run turned into a 2-hour walk (token gesture) to try and get some perspective. Having said that, looking at my diary, I muddled blindly through all the other sessions that week – culminating in Steyning Tri (http://rawenergypursuits.co.uk/) on the Sunday.

The tri was not officially on my training plan but was, I think, constructive – just as a learning curve. Certainly it was that! I road tested my precise Ironman clothing once again – and am happy with all of that! The weather was bloomin’ awful – wind, rain, yuk, yuk. I certainly learned some valuable lessons!

Lesson 1: When you set out your transition gear, cover all with a bin bag so you don’t come out of the swim and be greeted with sopping socks, water-logged cycle shoes – and that thermal hat you were going to wear under your helmet to ensure warmth? Yep – that was soggy, too!

Lesson 2: When you set out your transition gear, cover all with a bing bag so you don’t come off the bike and be greeted with an optional pair of sopping socks and WATER-LOGGED TRAINERS! At the very least, put your trainers upside down! I actually had a second pair of trainers in the bottom of my transition bag and I pulled those out (because running in wet Hokas is like a weight-training session!) – but I also had to then run in bare feet, which culminated in unwanted blisters!!

Hey ho – can’t complain. Every day’s a school day and this was GREAT in terms of education!! I fought my hardest and still came in last overall (no surprise there – that’s my usual spot, anyway).

Swim was slow but slightly thwarted by the man in front who hadn’t read the rules that said ‘if your feet are touched by the swimmer behind, stop at the end of that length and leg them past’. After three lengths of swimming practically on top of him and tapping his feet and being ignored, that last little straw broke (stress week (see above)) and I grabbed both ankles and pulled him backwards – and overtook! #lanerage Sorry haha

Swim: 19:45 (800m)
T1: FOUR MINUTES (4:04) And no – I STILL wouldn’t come last. Did make me laugh, though – serious clothing issues and time wasted being pissed off that all my clothes were soggy
Bike: 1:25:59 (40km) – actually quite pleased with this – not the average speed I was looking for but considering the weather and my state of mind I was very happy with this.
T2: TWO MINUTES (2:12) – still far too long (should’ve been about 30 secs) but I really wasn’t chasing times (as you can tell)
Run: 46:52 (8km) – Yeah – I was ok with this. The run was actually quite hard but I didn’t walk anywhere so happy! Just one niggle: my new, favourite and absolutely my Ironman Cairns choise of shoe – the most fabulous On Clouds – https://www.on-running.com/en-gb/shop – they SQUEAK when the surface is wet!!!! Annoying beyond belief!! (Now got ‘dry weather’ shoe choice and ‘wet weather’ shoe choice because they nearly drove me mad!! haha. Oh well … all in all:

TOTAL TIME: 2:38:55 

Six weeks to go

That thing I mentioned about devastating news and my headspace? Yup, this was the week it sank in – and I sank with it. Decent swim set on Wednesday and forced a respectable brick session on Thursday but the rest of the week was, unfortunately, a right-off. This’ll be the week that comes back to bite me. Having said that, I’m not going to look with regret. It wasn’t laziness or apathy …. I just could not emotionally get in the game and I’m going to accept that what it is and move on.

Five weeks to go – BIG WEEK!

Big training week. And yes, I’m BACK!! So much out of my control, concentrate on the things that ARE under my control, e.g. my training.
And indeed, a big week it is. 2 x 5+ hour bike rides, interval sessions, bricks, Iron distance swim … and a long run (which I’m about to do soon as I’ve finished writing this!)

Great week – and plenty more learning going on. Hit a big wall on my bike on Wednesday, which sent me back to Mark Laithwaite’s AMAZING series of articles on raceday nutrition – a must-read for any endurance athlete. Read the latest one here – and link to the previous ones (http://iancorless.org/2015/05/06/race-day-nutrition-part-seven-marc-laithwaite/)

I’ve learned to stop stressing about my speed on the bike. I need to settle down and just enjoy the race day that’s coming. Don’t make the cut-off? Sod it, I’ll do the run anyway and still cross the finish line. I need to just keep training, keep the consistency and know that I’ve done all I can do.

Back in open water again – what an amazing feeling – but how hard is it to swim in a wetsuit!!! Argh! Am I the only one who just finds this HARD?? Oh well – just got to suck it up and get on with it. I’ve tried once again to focus on increasing my stroke rate these last couple of weeks – but when I look at the stats afterwards it appears I am going NO faster. Now, this might defy logic, but I guess that when I increase my stroke rate I’m reducing something else somewhere. Technically, I’m doing something wrong. Conclusion: When I increase my stroke rate I don’t go any faster BUT I get tired more easily so I’m going to stick with what’s working with my lower stroke rate for now (too late to be changing technique – need to just focus on distance now).

Long bike on Monday was lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng. But it got done. Long bike on Saturday with the BTRS group  –http://brightontriathlonraceseries.co.uk/ – was FABULOUS. 40 miles on a mostly beautiful route in and around the South Downs, lovely company and very useful race day chatter (thank you Steve McMenamim – https://www.facebook.com/steve.mcmenamin.9. Dropped the group back at base and continued on with Keith Jackson for a further couple of hours. Is this guy strong on his bike or WHAT!! The first half an hour I was getting very frustrating because I was struggling so hard with the headwind and could NOT keep up no matter what I did. Why have I just got NO POWER in my legs? It just will not happen. Does my head in. Anyway, after half an hour – and making it clear to Keith that he should power ahead and not get frustrated waiting for me (would meet him at the end) … I decided to quit stressing and just focus. Had a great ride after that – apart from a tumble off my bike. Case of miscommunication. Came to a fork, I knew I needed to turn left, then had a last-minute change of thought and decided perhaps it was a right turn? Didn’t quite manage to communicate this to my bike, which continued left, while I turned right!! Interesting! Desperately tried a slow-motion uncleating of my right foot, followed by a roundhouse kick to an imaginary head to set up my impressive midair flip which would result in me landing lightly on my feet before my bike hit the ground. I think it needs more practice. I didn’t quite make it. Scraped and bruised knee and a pulled calf muscle from the failed uncleating business *sigh*.

**Wee note to car drivers** When you see a cyclist falling into the middle of the road it would be very much appreciated if you would take a sec to roll down the window and yell a quick (even if insincere) ‘You allright’? – rather than merely driving AROUND ME!! Is this a good time to be grateful you didn’t just drive over me?

OK. That’s all the news for now. That’s it. I think this is kind of the official countdown now – FOUR WEEKS TO GO!

Is it time to pack yet?

Vegan Experiment Day One

What would a vegan do? Hmmmm – good question. And what am I doing even pondering this question, you might ask? Well, here’s the thing …

Although I’m extremely healthy and my weight and BMI are all well within a healthy range, my knees suffer tremendously with few pounds that I waiver away from my ‘ideal’ weight. I’ve gone off track and had a few binges and ridiculous eating weeks and have been struggling for the last few weeks to stop eating garbage (albeit in between healthy mealtimes!). I’m just losing the plot and the final straw was last weekend’s ultra injuries, which were not only due to, I believe, a ‘glute’ problem, but also the extra pounds I was carrying.

Enough is enough, but I’m a very weird game-player when it comes to dealing with my health. I know exactly what needs doing but I’ve been trying this for the last few weeks and have failed miserably. If you continue to do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got, right? So something has to change – radically – and what’s the last thing in the world I ever thought I’d do? Yes, that’d probably be ‘eat vegan’. So that’s what I’m going to do for a couple of weeks. I’m going to eat vegan. Because it’s alternative (to me, anyway), it’s different, it’s a million miles away from what I normally eat and it’ll force me to re-think what I’m eating, to look carefully at food and to take a massive interest in my nutrition to ensure I understand what I’m doing and I’m getting all the nutrients I need! Fascinating, huh? No? Well, I think it is.

Today has been Day One and yes, I’ve spent most of the day wondering ‘What would a vegan do?’ It’s a long time since I’ve carefully examined the nutritional content of almost every supermarket food I picked up, with the exception of all the fresh fruit and veg. I’ve had so much fun. It’s been enlightening, too. Granted, the idea came to me after reading Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run (http://scottjurek.com/eatandrun/). I’ve mentioned this book quite a lot recently but I think that’s only testament to how much I’ve enjoyed it. The drive and determination of this man is nothing short of inspirational and it’s hard to read it and not want to get up and go for a run afterwards. Of course, the book also heavily advocates a vegan diet and yes, that’s where the inspiration came from for my radical nutrition challenge, but I’ll readily admit that I certainly have no intention of ‘going vegan’! Firstly, I’m far too fussy an eater to be able to sustain the diet for any length of time – and secondly, I have no intention of giving up wearing leather shoes/boots or being quite so radically environmentally-friendly. I do my little bit but I’m far too shallow to commit to the whole vegan ethic.

So I’ll stick to my own personal challenge to try something totally different. I’m a great believer in thinking that the magic happens outside the comfort zone and it occurred to me that I’ve always thought of this in physical terms – but why not nutritional? A vegan diet, I can assure, is certainly well outside MY comfort zone, but I’m looking forward to new knowledge, a real shake-up in my eating habits, reinforced awareness of the food I’m putting into my body and the effect it has, and plenty of fun (and hopefully energy) along the way.

Today, I tried soya milk for the first time ever!! Yes, really! I’ve always had a mental impression that it would taste revolting. I think it’s the idea of getting ‘milk’ from beans – what an odd concept. Well, I was thrilled to discover how wrong I was. It actually tastes rather like a sweetened cow’s milk – or not too far off it. Discovery No. 1 of the day has been positive.

Discovery No. 2 was the fact that I could actually survive a whole day without dairy. Blimey, I never realised how much dairy I actually consume.

I kept my food very simple today. I had a smoothie for breakfast, soup and bread (gluten and dairy-free) for lunch, fruit for snacks and roast veggies and wholemeal rice for dinner.

Looking forward to what I’ll discover tomorrow lol

Why obesity is rife!

Despair kicked in today as I was waiting in the bakery and a mother in child in front of me had the following conversation:

Mother: I’ll get you a carrot cake
Child: Aww no, I don’t want carrot cake. I want a doughnut.
Mother: You can’t have a doughnut. I’m not going to buy you anything with sugar in!

*sigh*

Is it no wonder obesity rates have soared? Where do you start?? Note that this lady was actually very well dressed and spoke ‘right proper like’ (kidding) – no, she really DID speak in intelligible English and she was obviously trying to make an effort and do something ‘right’ for her child!!

Where did it all go so horribly wrong?

p.s.  Another wee gem I heard this morning … Somebody asked ‘How much wheat is there in a banana?’

*sigh* I rest my case …

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