Tag Archive | "marathon"

Slow Carb Eating – Personal Experiment

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The world of food and diets – Slow Carb, Gluten Free, no “White”, no sugar, Paleo, my question was how would they work for a long distance endurance athlete?   Author, vagabonder, and entrepreneur, Tim Ferris discusses this approach to eating – slow carb in his best selling book the 4-hour body.   He does not advocate long distance endurance training and is more of a HIT (high intensity training) and strength focused approach.    One thing you have to like about the Ferriss style is he tries everything to disrupt his body.

The slow carb diet is defined by Wikipedia (excerpted by Tim Ferris):“The Slow-Carb Diet is based on eating foods with a low glycemic index. It can be summarized as the elimination of starches and anything sweet (including fruit and all artificial sweeteners) and a strong preference for lean protein, legumes and vegetables. The main foods are eggs, fish, grass-fed beef, lentils, beans, vegetables (like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, radish), mushrooms, fermented foods and drinks (natto, kimchi, sauerkraut), unsweetened tea or coffee and water. Calorie-dense nuts and legumes such as pecans, chickpeas, hummus, and peanuts are allowed under careful portion control. Plain coffee is allowed, but all milk products are to be avoided except cottage cheese.”    Unlike Paleo – beans are allowed and recommended for carbohydrates and protein (lentils are a favorite).  Also, one day a week is the fun day and consuming anything without limits to food types and quantity is recommended. 


Ferris claims, “without doing any exercise he lost 25 pounds of body fat in 6 weeks.”    As endurance athlete, not doing any exercise is never going to happen.  This approach does not agree with my mindset and many friends and colleagues.   The idea of rushing to get the most benefits in the shortest amount of time is find for some, including Ferris but personally these longer training sessions are the most fun.   However, it was worth examining in detail through a personal experiment to see how my body would react with heavy training and the slow carb approach. My biggest concern, would I get sick of eating the same things over and over again?

Personal Slow-Carb Experiment with Training:  8 weeks with an average of 20 hours training (75-80% endurance running, cross country skiing, cycling and 20-25% weight and intense plyometric training).   60 days of continuous training and active recovery sessions every other week – hiking on the trails.

Daily routine:

4AM – Eat immediately after getting out of bed – 1 chicken breast and a bean salad (same thing every day)

1 cup of  Kimera Koffee (touted to help with energy level, athletic performance and concentration and it does!)

Multi Vitamin: Hammer Premium Insurance Caps, Endurance Amino Caps

3 Omax3 Fish Oil capsules

60 ounces of ice water

After workouts – Hammer Recoverite and Cocoa Elite, 40 ounces of water

Mid morning snack – Bean salad

Lunch – Green salad (Kale, parsley, dill, arugula, olive oil, salt, pepper, avocado and either pork, beef or chicken with the salad)

Mid afternoon snack – almonds

Dinner –Green salad, olives, and extra protein (meat, fish, chicken, pork).

So it was fairly basic diet but without any alcohol, juices, sugar and anything white.  I did include alcohol on the weekend – red wine.

Early on I noticed that recovering from the hard weight workouts was difficult the next day so I increased both proteins (through food and recovery drinks) and more carbohydrate from greens and lentil salads.   It just took a bit of tweaking to get the right balance of food to be able to push through the next day’s workouts.

One big concern was that losing body weight quickly might reduce power wattage on the bike and added in extra weight work – specifically the magical kettle bell.   It’s amazing (with good form) the overall body impact that a simple kettle bell swing can do!

Personal Test Results in 8 weeks: 26 pounds of weight loss and significant increase in muscle mass.   Clearly this was enhanced with all the strength work.   Overall body fat dropped significantly and without getting very scientific with water weight analysis, skin calipers the easiest way to determine it is with the “clothing check”.  Pretty simple, when your clothes start feeling very loose body fat is being converted to muscle.    A great motivator especially as we all know the feeling of just a bit too tight with the cycling shirt in the early season!


Power wattage on the bike has increased in the 15-18% range with power/weight ratio, but the key was clearly ramping up the quad strength workouts.

Overall, I was very happy with the slow-carb approach with additional protein and carbohydrates.   The best part of the program is that when you get hungry, just eat and this was crucial during the long training sessions for adequate recovery.

As the race season approaches, consider slow carb as it might assist you with your fitness goals.   Looking forward to the next 8 week slow-carb and training push leading up to the Trans Am Bike Race with one new tweak –  the addition of cold showers every day!  See what happens.

Race Perspectives from the Sidelines Crewing at the Florida Double Anvil Triathlon

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The annual gathering of ultra triathletes to the warm weather and sun of Florida is always a welcome sign that spring is almost here.   This year’s annual Florida Double Anvil Triathlon moved the confines of the triathlon mecca of Clermont, Florida. Clermont has a rich history of the triathlon and the famous Great Floridian Iron distance event. Hard to believe it’s been around 26 years already.


Steve Kirby – race director, stellar volunteers and race team positioned the race in the beautiful park of Lake Louisa. It’s always amazing how things come together when we don’t try to hard and just let things flow.  Personally, I had a trip planned with business and was able to help out and crew for an athlete on the back end of my business trip and was so worthwhile as always, helping out athletes and an event.


The race consisted of the typical “double iron distance” 2.4 miles of swimming in Lake Louisa (no gator problems!) 224 miles cycling through an out and back loop of approximately 6 miles, then the fun of 52.4 miles of running.  The park offered the athletes locations to stay in cabins at the race site to eliminate going back and forth to hotels and the race “pit” area housed all the transition, crewing, food, etc. and had plenty of room to see the athletes.


A few observations for those of you considering the double iron distance, this bike course is not as flat as “typical” Florida terrain, and it has a few shorter grades but the road conditions are superb.  After riding many miles on the course, I noticed clearly that there was not even a bump on the course. However, I did not ride 224 miles as all the athletes racing so I can’t fully appreciate what the small little grades felt like late into the evening!

The run course consisted of a 2 mile loop vs. an out and back with some off road sand that clearly slowed down the run splits. Steve Kirby mentioned that hewill examine other quicker options for 2017.


Crewing for an athlete – Andres Villagran (2nd men and 3rd overall) and working the bike turnaround during the graveyard shift was such fun.   It’s such a different perspective to see athletes grinding and racing hard lap after lap from the sidelines.    Interestingly, of all the athletes and teams competing, I hardly noticed any major suffering.    Of course, internally in the mind of the athletes I am sure their legs and lungs were hurting just with the significant distance covered over 24-36 hours.   The crews were fabulous and the diversity of minimalist vs. maximalist in terms of everything athletes brought was incredible!    I clearly took a few notes on ideas of things to consider for future races – most importantly the lay back chairs for the crew – not an athlete as it would be impossible to get out of one of those when very tired!


The food worked wonders every lap for the athletes as always especially when new food was cooked –thanks to the great team preparing everything day and night.

It’s always interesting to examine the race performances by the athletes and the bike pace in this year’s event was over the top.  The top men and women were pushing so hard on the bike.   Many were gritting their teeth and especially noticed this when I was riding the course – truly amazing!


19 athletes toed the line for the race and 5 teams going at it with constant racing.   The team-racing concept clearly was not easy, go a few hours then rest then repeat over and over again.      14 athletes finished the solo and a great showing by our women!     The second overall finisher was Maria Simone and hats off to an amazing race – she was pushing hard constantly but I will always remember that smile every loop.    Our men’s winner – Juan Carlos Sagastume was strong on the bike and run to claim the top spot with a time of 24:55.   Andres came from way back in the field after the swim, (as normal) with his signature “catch as many athletes as possible” flying run to take second for the men.    It’s was a great pleasure crewing for Andres and similar to Maria the signature smile and ease of letting things flow was his signature – borrowed bike and absolutely no walking at all on the run!

Congratulations to the ladies – wow super efforts from Laura Brock (2nd), Danielle Winkler (3rd), Colleen Wilcox (4th) and our very young Laura Knoblach (5th). Yes, 5 women starters and all finishers and with Maria’s amazing effort the women were incredible and great to see more than just 2 or three women competing.

The men’s results from 3rd -9th place:  Johan Desmet, Pascal Morin, John Lee, Erik Hanley, Joey Lichter (CLEARLY Joey had the Super Crew of all time!), Michael Ortiz (just a fabulous run), Goulwenn Tristant.


The team challenge was great watching as each team had a different strategy in terms of rest and racing and clearly this was about team fun, racing and competition.   They were all going after it and the start and stopping from each athlete clearly showed it was not easy at all.

For those considering moving up from the Ironman distance, this is definitely a great first time double attempt as the course is not brutal – but like many events, and this year was no exception – significant rain can occur and come prepared, especially for your crew. The race is convenient to Orlando International airport; the overall costs are reasonable (in the south of the US), close to Disney for post race crew and family fun.

Most importantly, time and again one of the main reasons so many ultra triathletes continue to come back and race is the family and community that is part of every single event.  The crews, families, volunteers and athletes make these events full of lifetime memories.

HIW and HIT Efforts – Intensity leads to Results

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What can you do as an entrepreneur and/or an athlete for results in a shorter period of time? Practice a weekly discipline of High Intensity Work (HIW) and High Intensity Training (HIT).

The results of pushing hard in work and in training for short amounts of time will have impact in 3-4 weeks. When adding these intense sessions together (not every day as it can lead to burnout and injury) the amount of actual work completed and fitness gains can be dramatic. It’s important to track the results and I suggest keeping a simple log.


  1. Take the number one item from your daily task or project management system item (If you don’t use one – load one of the great low cost online tools onto your computer ASAP to ensure accountability tracking – Trello, Base, Basecamp, Zoho, etc. ) that will have the most impact on your business and intentionally focus on completion.
  2. Do not focus on anything else, absolutely no distractions and establish a specific time you want to have it completed (make sure it’s a realistic time frame).
  3.  The timeframe should be short for this intense effort of work. This could be as simple as crafting your message before speaking to an irate customer and rehearsing all the potentials before your call. Intensive preparation will lead to better conversations.
  4. If it’s a difficult task, expect it to be mentally exhausting.
  5. Repeat this 3 days a week and in 1-month compare the results of your business – the results will happen.




HIT training continues to receive positive feedback with respect to results from study after study of athletes. The biggest challenge for many endurance athletes is to simulate race pace conditions.  Yes this hurts big time! However, the results will come quickly with a regular weekly workout regime to include 2-3 HIT sessions.  As difficult as it is to push through the pain and required focus, they are mentally challenging. The efforts are in the 90-95% of maximum heart rate ranges – expect difficulty for sure.


Focus on weakness areas whatever sport you currently compete. Below is an example for a cycling HIT session:

Total time 1:00 – 1:15 – Long HIT Interval sessions

  1. Warm up 15 minutes, then complete 5 X15 second spin-ups and: 45 recovery after each spin-up
  2. Complete 2 sets of the following:
  3.  3 X 3 minutes at 90-95% of maximum HR or Power rating with a full 3 minute spinning recovery between each 3 minute interval. The “hurt locker” effect will occur the last minute of the interval. Push these hard.
  4. Take a full 5-minute recovery between both sets.
  5. Recovery for the remainder of the workout.

Monitor results over a 4-week time period of 2-3 HIT sessions per week. HIT training will increase efficiency of how the muscles use oxygen and will increase performance.

Consider adding a combination of HIW and HIT every week and business and fitness results will occur in shorter periods of time.

Race Review: San Luis Obispo Marathon

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On April 22, 2012, the Inaugural San Luis Obispo Marathon and Half Marathon runs through the quaint college town of SLO, out into the vineyards of the Edna Valley and ends at the iconic Madonna Inn where the SLO Life Expo will be in full swing. The weather is great for running, in the high 60′s to low 70′s on average.

Race Director Samantha Pruitt is a certified Race Director and an experienced endurance athlete. Samantha’s next race is the IronMan Arizona in November 2011.

The Marathon and Half Marathon courses are loop courses. The 5K race is an out and back course. All courses are closed and will be clearly marked with course marshals on course. There will be plenty of clean, sanitary bathrooms at the Start and Finish lines as well as every aid station on the course. Cell coverage is available on course and a photographer will cover at key areas of the race. Water and sports drink will be available at Start and Finish, as well as on course. Coffee will be available at the Finish Line Expo.

Aid Stations will be positioned every 2 to 3 miles on the course. There will be sport drink, water and at Mile 9, there will be a Goo product.

The San Luis Obispo Marathon is a Team In Training event, with five California Chapters participating. The Marathon is also offering local training. The course has rolling hills and athletes should train on hills when possible. First-timers should do some hill training to feel comfortable with the course.

For those traveling to the event, there is a local airport and Amtrak station in San Luis Obispo. There are plentiful hotels near the race start line on Monterey Street and around San Luis Obispo.  There are great beaches and a Children’s Museum, to enjoy with the family!

The Marathon costs $110, the Half Marathon is $85 and the 5K is $35. Each athlete receives a recycled tech t-shirt and recovery food at the finish. Finishers will receive a medal. Each athlete will receive a free shuttle pass to get to the Start line and then back to their cars parked in outer parking lots.

Yes, the SLO Life Expo will feature the best of the San Luis Obispo lifestyle, with fresh food products, wines from our wine country, local beer, the outdoor lifestyle and live music. The Expo begins on Friday and runs through race day. The event has pledged to be “green” making the Athletes For A Fit Planet sustainability pledge.

The athlete will love the beautiful course, weather, race amenities and the Expo. It provides a great destination package where athletes will come to run and stay to play!

For More Information contact Heather Hellman, Event Director at No1spud@gmail.com or visit www.SLOMarathon.com


Volunteering Time in our Passion

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For many endurance based athletes the personal goals in the early years may include improving times/longest distances, setting a personal best time, qualifying for certain events, finish a specific race series, getting fitter and changing lifestyle, etc. One thing to consider in the future is to personally “give back” to the sport and spread the personal passion of endurance sports to other’s.

As we race over the years, the focus for many is to continue to promote the sport and make sure the next generation of younger athletes remains in the sport. I speak with so many athletes and one ongoing theme is that with the growth of all endurance sports what are collectively doing to make sure the momentum lasts into the future. It’s a lifestyle and for many not just about participating in the events.

Here are a few items to consider to help others and the sport disciplines that we love:

  1. Write a blog with training advice not a story about yourself
  2. Volunteer to help someone with personal one-on-one coaching and compete in the same race. This will help them stay motivated as well
  3. Volunteer at a race
  4. Set up local community fun run to promote exercise
  5. Race to raise money for a charity
  6. Become a “voice” with idea’s and not personal agenda’s within the various running, triathlon, cycling non-profit organizations. Don’t just sit on a board, participate
  7. Participant in forums to spread information about specific events
  8. Volunteer as a coach for a local children’s track, swimming, or cross country team
  9. Host a free camp for athletes and invite several speakers to discuss specific training topics along with group workouts
  10. Lend out training books, online software, various technology devices, wetsuits, equipment to new athletes so they understand all the specifics of the sport. Also, offering assistance with goal setting to newer athletes while creating personal value

Embrace the passion of “Giving Back”!



RaceTwitch.com partnership with Limassol Marathon in Cyprus

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