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Workouts

This will be a fun post!

No, seriously. We’re having the best time.

To review, I’m shooting for an Iron-distance race in 2019 or 2020. This summer’s goals are a sprint race or two, and an Olympic distance (double the sprint length). And I’m planning to do it as a keto-fed, fat-burning, intermittent-fasting machine.

My workouts are built around the progressive training that incorporates all 3 sports. If you Google Triathlon Training, you’ll find dozens of plans, and there are trainers everywhere who are capable of taking you to that level.

I’ve trained for and participated in 3 Iron-distance races, each time with a little different training schedule. This time I’m building my own. Keep in mind I’m not competitive, which just means that my goal is to finish, and suffer as little as possible, not to establish any records or win any awards. (Although this is funny – I’ve won my division in this race before because no one else was in my category!)

Here’s what my training looks like:

Every week, on Sunday, I plan my workouts (and food) for the week. I have to work around the weather (bike rides), the lap lanes at the pool, my work schedule, social events, etc. And I have to stay flexible when life happens and scuttle the whole week and start over sometimes.

With a tweak in length/distances from week to week, this is what I schedule each week (blog posts to come about each session):

Two 45-minute full body strength training exercises

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Not me

 

One tabata sprinting session

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Not me.

 

One bike ride

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Me

 

One swim session

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Not me

 

Two walk/runs

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Me. And my honey.

 

One brick (2-sport workout like swim/bike or bike/run) or one long bike ride or run

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Tri humor. Try humor?

 

One rest day

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Definitely me

You can see that there are days when I have to have 2 workouts to fit them in to the week: strength training and swim in one day, sprints and walk/run in one day, for example.

Right now, these workouts are little more than 30-minute sessions each. As I build, some will become longer (although some, like the strength training, will stay 30-45 minute sessions).

Additionally, these are simplifications of what I’m actually doing in the workout. If I were to drill down, for example, in the 30-minute swim sessions, it would reveal that I’m working on form, sprinting, technique, breathing, etc. Then I’ll add open-water swims to the basic schedule. I’ll write posts further detailing each of these as I go.

There’s the overview. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have equal parts structure and flexibility: without both, I’d never get the workouts done. The least worrisome part is what occurs within the workout time – getting there is more than half the battle.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more news about Iron Training 4.0!

 

 

 

 

We Tri Together.

There are those days.

Those days that have so much meaning, so much joy.

Today was one of those days.

I’ve blogged about racing with my kids. (Amy, Sam). I’ve tried to express what it means to me to have the children take an interest in what I do, to the point of training for, and competing in an endurance event.

Today was the icing.

Today I completed a triathlon relay with my honey and my grandson.

I recently blogged about a race that my grandson attended and cheered me on, and expressed an interest in joining me. We found a race that worked with our schedule.

Today was that day.

Most triathlons allow for a relay team to participate in the 3 sports: Swimming, Cycling, and Running.

The Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon is a popular, long-standing race in the Tennessee area. While Chattanooga is relatively close to Murfreesboro, it made more sense for us to go a day ahead, stay in a hotel, and be ready for the 4:30am wake-up alarm.

We divvied up the legs like this: Gammy on the swim, Eliott on the bike, and Aden as anchorman on the run. It’s a Sprint distance, so not too taxing.

Before I can get to the 4:30am wakeup call, we need to review a little race prep.

I’ve posted here that I’m in training for an Iron-distance triathlon in 2019 or 2020. I’ve posted about my training and nutrition, and I’ll post more as I do a deep dive into each sub-topic.

This race, however, was relatively chill. Short, fast, no pressure. Me in the water (400-yd swim), Eliott on the bike (14m), and Aden bringing us home (3m).

But it was the first opportunity for us to participate together, as a team, in a relay.

So off we head to Chattanooga.

First stop, Team check-in.

We get bibs, bike numbers, swim cap, the usual. Weather threatened a bit, but didn’t muck up the whole affair. We stayed in a sexy hotel, The Chattanoogan, in a beautiful room that was comfortable and convenient.

Eliott and I implemented a 42-hour fast beginning with dinner Friday night, and ending at lunch on race day. All kinds of posts to come about that.

Our resident 14-year-old opted to fuel his race a little differently:

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Here’s his choice for night-prior dinner – bacon double cheeseburger, french fries, and Mountain Dew. You can see my and Eliott’s lemon, salt, and water shots.

Then to an early bedtime, with this snackage happening in the bed next to ours:

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Allow me to describe:

a couple of ziplocks of the prior’s day Krispy Kreme donuts

peanut M & Ms

his greasy bag of leftover burger and french fries from 5 Guys

sweet tea

Frito Honey BBQ corn chips

Haribo gummies

Hershey’s kisses from the desk check-in bowl

Digestion of steel. Whatever.

The next morning brings a 4:30am alarm to get down to the race site.

65198986_10219387139890064_8447122106159726592_nGammy has the first leg, so this means a pretty brisk 6:45a jump into the Tennessee River.

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My unsure-about-this-non-wetsuit-legal-water-temperature face.

This is a sprint triathlon – the shortest 3-sport race you can participate in. And short it was.

6 and one-half minutes later, I’m out of the water.

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Notice it’s a couple of minutes PAST sunrise.

Then it’s time to put the timing anklet on our bike leg racer.

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And off he goes

After a blistering 14 miles, we have one more exchange to go.

Our anchorman, grandson Aden, 14, takes off out of the chute, and reappears before 9am:

Who in the HELL is doing this hideous camera work?

Anyhoo, a fabulous day out on the circuit with my honey and my grand.

And if you wonder if we ever indulge and eat anything besides meat and vegetables, the answer is yes.

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Breakfast of insulin champions
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This ain’t keto.

All in all, a wonderful day. What a joy and an honor and a privilege to get to watch this boy experience the delight that is triathlon.

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Yes we do. Yes, we do.

Thanks for reading.

Food first.

What is keto? I can’t begin to blog about my training without beginning with nutrition.

I know I’m going to bungle this, but I’ve always believed if you can’t clearly articulate a basic understanding of The Thing*, you don’t have a full understanding of it. So here goes my extreme layperson version:

When we eat food, our bodies begins a series of chain reactions to process the food that goes into our stomach. One of those reactions is to deal with the rise in our blood sugar (blood glucose) that occurs when we eat certain foods. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar a lot, protein raises it a little, and fat raises it almost not at all. Our meals and snacks are usually a combination of all 3 of those macronutrients, and acids and enzymes go to work breaking down the food during digestion.

Our bodies carefully monitor the sugar that is in our blood, and it has some choices about how to maintain the level it wants. Our pancreas secretes insulin, which directs the body to put a certain amount of the glucose into our muscle cells, and when those are replenished, the rest gets stored in the liver and fat cells for later use.

A keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet that results in lower insulin levels. A consistent reduction in carbohydrates results in your body going into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This means that the body burns fat instead of glucose, because a) there’s limited glucose to burn, b) there’s plenty of fat available, and c) the fat storage hormone insulin is low enough for our bodies to access the fat in all of our jiggly fat cells. The fat we burn can come from what’s on our plate or what’s on our body.

The fewer carbs that we eat, the more consistently we can reduce our insulin response, and the more we become fat-burners instead of glucose burners.

This is far too simplistic an explanation to describe the many components, down to the cellular level, that are active in our organic, self-replicating bodies.

We humans have the ability to burn sugar or fat. As long as we restrict the sugars/carbs going in, our body is forced to seek sources of energy elsewhere. Not only does this give us a steady stream of energy (even lean folks have enough body fat to fuel for hours), we don’t experience crazy hunger surges. We can only store so much glucose in our blood and in our muscles, and once that’s depleted, and insulin is low, the body resorts to burning fat for energy.

There are some great analogies that help us picture what is happening when we are fat-burners instead of sugar burners.

Here’s Dr. Jason Fung on his fridge-in-the-kitchen/freezer-in-the-basement analogy (video version). And this is it in blog form.

There’s another illustration that describes switching from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner is similar to reworking a mechanical engine to burn a different type of fuel.

I’ve also read another comparing burning sugar to burning twigs and leaves, and burning fat is a big log on a nicely-banked bed of coals.

At some point all of these analogies collapse, as analogies do, but you get the general idea, and maybe one of these would be helpful.

I think my explanation was a little messy and wordy. You would be much better served hitting up a few good Google search links to get a more comprehensive understanding of ketosis and the ketogenic diet. Both of the following are awesome, but heavy on the science:

This site is called ketoschool:

The concentration of glucose in your blood is the critical upstream switch that places your body into a “fat-storing” or “fat-burning” state.

This site/blog is among my favorite: Virta Health  – it’s LOADED with good information and clear science.

I’ll post more extensively soon about what I specifically eat, but it’s pretty simple: meat, fat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and low-carb vegetables.

I don’t want to finish without adding this little thought: I’ve been working on understanding nutrition science for years. I’ve experimented with paleo, primal, and all the buzzwords in this category. It’s taken me a while to get it all dialed in, and I’m still tweaking and learning.

I’ll also write a post soon about what I would suggest if you are just starting out, because this way of eating (WOE) is so drastically different than the standard American diet (SAD), I think it would be overwhelming to jump from SAD to keto.

I’ll repeat my disclaimer here that I fully embrace that there is more than one way to skin that proverbial cat. This is what has been working for me and my body and my training.

Thanks for reading.

*This works with financial investments, studying for the Bar Exam, defending your non-evidenced beliefs, and explaining your politics. 😉

 

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