Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2 Simple Rules on Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate intake is key during races...but it also needs to be a key part of your diet during training. Two simple rules which I'm stealing from Ben Greenfield are below:

1. Don't Go Hungry. If you are going more than 4 hours between meals, it's likely that your blood sugar levels are dropping very low. When this happens, and you eventually do eat, you're more likely to eat more and to eat more carbohydrates. As a result, your blood sugar levels rise more rapidly than usual, resulting in a big surge in insulin levels. So rather than waiting to eat until you're about to gnaw off your arm, give yourself a rule of snacking or eating at least every 3 hours. By planning, preparing, packaging and pre-cooking, you'll ensure that you have adequate snacks on hand to make this form of triathlon carbohydrate intake happen.

2. Choose Carbs Wisely. The more quickly a sugar is released into the bloodstream, the faster your insulin levels are going to rise. Some carbs are "quick-release" carbs and include more sport drinks, candy, cookies and sweet tasting compounds. Other carbs, are "slow-release" carbs, and the best ones are lean dairy foods, vegetable carbs like carrots and squash, nuts and seeds, pears, berries and green apples. For proper triathlon carbohydrate intake, choose the quick-release carbs only before, during and after exercise, and use the slow-release carbs the rest of the day.

With these two simple rules, you can suddenly have enormous control over your insulin levels, your health, your performance and your body ­ and although there is obviously much more to consider when it comes to carbohydrate intake, these two rules are a good place to start.

7.39 miles in 54:34 (7:23 min/mile pace)
Avg. HR = 161 bpm
The temperature was only 65°F when I took off this morning, which was a nice break from the usual 75°-80°F that I've been running in lately. I made an effort to run at a pace that was just above what I would consider comfortable. That being said, my heart rate didn't really get into zone 4 until the last mile or so. It was in zone 2 (154-162) and zone 3 (163-168) for the majority of my run...and I felt good. Check out my split chart from RunKeeper below:

2 minute warm-up
1/2 mile (864yd) in 16:27 (32:54 min/mile pace)
Total workout: 960yd in 18:48
I signed up for the Tom Sawyer Sprint Triathlon today, which consists of a 1/2 mile swim, so I wanted to see what estimated swim time I should put on the registration. I marked the 15-18 minutes box...which would be a huge improvement over my time from this race in 2008, which was just under 21 minutes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finally, Some Signs of Speed!

My running pace has been showing some signs of improvement over the last few weeks. I'm not sure what to attribute this new found speed to, but I'm sure it's a combination of the increased interval work and a little dose of confidence. Maybe it's the horrible run splits during my last few triathlons that's causing me to push it harder. Either way, it's nice to run at a comfortable pace and still be well below 8 minute miles. Of course, now that I've come out with this, I'm sure I've jinxed myself and my run tomorrow will be terrible!

January 23, 2009: Ran 5.1 miles with a pace of 8:48 min/mile
March 3, 2009: Ran 4.2 miles with a pace of 8:18 min/mile
May 22, 2009: Ran 4.0 miles with a pace of 8:08 min/mile
July 10, 2009: Ran 8.0 miles with a pace of 8:24 min/mile
Sept 15, 2009: Ran 5.0 miles with a pace of 8:18 min/mile
Nov 24, 2009: Ran 4.4 miles with a pace of 8:18 min/mile
Feb 17, 2010: Ran 7.4 miles with a pace of 8:00 min/mile
April 18, 2010: Ran 6.9 miles with a pace of 7:54 min/mile
June 23, 2010: Ran 6.7 miles with a pace of 7:42 min/mile
June 26, 2010: Ran 5.7 miles with a pace of 7:35 min/mile

As you can see from the list above, over the last 18 months, my pace has increased. I'm feeling good and today's little short runs to and from the track were my fastest yet...and my heart rate isn't through the roof. Let's hope this continues.

1h30m on the bike
35 minutes before Spin Class
45 minute class with some good hill intervals
10 minute cool-down
Avg HR = 130 bpm
Max HR = 147 bpm

Ladder intervals
Warm-up (ran to the track) - 1.37 miles in 10:03 (Avg HR = 147) 7:20 min/mile pace
400m -  1:26 (147) 5:45 min/mile pace
800m -  3:25 (158) 6:52 min/mile pace
1200m - 5:00 (161) 6:42 min/mile pace
1600m - 6:52 (163)
1200m - 5:07 (161) 6:51 min/mile pace
800m - 3:13 (161) 6:28 min/mile pace
400m - 1:23 (163) 5:33 min/mile pace
Cool-down - 1.37 miles in 9:50 (162) 7:10 min/mile pace
Total Workout: 6.74 miles in 1:01:46
This ended up being the same total distance that I cover in my 1 mile repeats, but this time I just increased the distance by 1 lap each interval, building up to 1 mile (4 laps) and then counting back down. I varied the rest time between each interval based on how long the interval took. I tried to keep the rest to approx 1/3 of the interval time. I still need to work on making myself sprint the entire interval. I tend to start off fast and then catch myself slowing up during the interval. I need to work on my focus.

1776 yd (1 mile) in 32:09
First 1/2 mile - 15:58
Second 1/2 mile - 16:11
This is a pretty quick pace and I didn't feel like I was going that fast...just one of those days where it all came together and it felt like I was gliding through the water. Still waiting for this to happen on race day!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Training on the Road

I have to travel out of town once in a while for work, but I try not to let my training slip while I'm away from home. You can run anywhere and most hotels have a fitness center with a bike. So I was able to get in a decent run and bike while in Chicago the last 2 days.

Ran 5.68 miles in 43:13 (7:36 min/mile pace)
Left from my hotel around 6:15am and headed down a road basically until the sidewalk ran out, then I turned around and ran back. Ended up being a pretty good distance, but considering it had just rained, it was very hot and humid.

Biked for 1h10m and covered just under 20 miles. The indoor bike I usually ride at the gym pretty closely simulates a road bike. That wasn't the case with the bike at the hotel this morning. It was I little cumbersome, but I did get to watch SportsCenter while I was riding, so it wasn't all bad.

Sitting at Midway right now getting ready to head home!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Build Phase

Training during the Build Phase (which I'm in now) should start to become more like the event that you are training for. During the Base Phase, I spent lots of time in heart rate zones 1 & 2. Now, my workouts take place in zones 2, 3 & even sometimes in 4 & 5 during interval work. Here are my HR zones for running:

Zone 1 (Recovery) = 60-73% of max HR (134-153 bpm)

Zone 2 (Endurance) = 74-81% (154-162)

Zone 3 (Tempo) = 82-84% (163-168)

Zone 4 (Threshold) = 85-93% (169-180)

Zone 5 (Anaerobic Max) = 94-95% (181-183)

Zone 6 (Full Capacity) = 96-100% (184-189)

During my Base Phase runs, I would watch my HR monitor closely to make sure I was never above 162 bpm. If it was getting too high, I would slow back down to lower my heart rate. How that I'm in the Build Phase, I keep an eye on my HR, but my runs now involve focusing on my speed/tempo rather than HR. See my workout report from this morning's run for an example.

1 mile repeats with 3 minutes rest in between
Warm-up (ran to the track) - 1.37 miles in 10:08 (Avg HR = 144) 7:23 min/mile pace
1) 6:39 (160)
2) 6:47 (162)
3) 6:46 (164)
4) 6:40 (167)
Cool-down - 1.37 miles in 10:10 (161) 7:25 min/mile pace
Total Workout: 6.74 miles in 1:02:20
I felt pretty good during these intervals. My average HR during each interval is a little misleading because during my recovery between each, my HR had time to drop back down to near resting...then it takes about 400m before it gets back into the threshold (zone 4) range, causing the average to be lower.

5 minute warm-up with some drills
1/2 mile (888 yd) at race pace done in 16:01
Total workout: 1104 yd in 21:15 (34:49 min/mile pace)

6.67 miles in 51:17 (7:41 min/mile pace)
Avg HR = 163 bpm
Max HR = 177 bpm
This was an out-and-back run. The first half (out) was done in 24:33 (7:22 pace), the second half (back) was done in 26:44 (8:00 pace). This is quite a significant difference. I was watching my HR during the run and noticed that during the first half, it was hanging out around 158-164 (zone 2-3). Then on the way back, it started to climb and stayed in the 168-172 range (zone 4). This range is tough to maintain for very long periods of time, thus the reason my speed slowed so much on the way back. This was a good little test of my threshold pace. I think the temperature may have been a factor it was already 82F when I ran at 5:20am!!

5 minute warm-up with some drills
20 minutes of swimming at race pace with a few 48 yd (1 lap) speed intervals mixed in
Total Workout: 1296 yd in 25:33 (34:41 min/mile pace)

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Finally Summer!! Uh...wait...

Today is the first official day of Summer, i.e. Summer Solstice. Even though the temperature has been in the high 90's for what seems like the past month, we can now say that it's summer time according to the calendar.

Today also marks the longest days of the year. There will be more sunlight today than any other day this get out there and use some of the nearly 15 hours of sunshine that we will be blessed with today! Oh, and if you are a Hippie and live in the UK, go check out Stonehenge today.

14.81 miles in 1:58:27 for a pace of 7:59 min/mile
Avg HR = 155 bpm
This was my last long run before my next race (Cardinal Harbour Half-Ironman) on July 17th.
Most of my runs for the next month will be shorter runs with some tempo and speed work built in. I was happy with this run yesterday morning and really enjoyed being out in the middle of nowhere as the sun was coming up. It was a great start to a great day!

1h25m with and Avg HR of 125 bpm
Good 30 minutes of getting my legs loose, then a 45 minute spin class (lots of long hills and some speed intervals at the end) in the middle and a 10 minute cool-down to finish it off.
40 minutes of legs, abs, back and biceps

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beating the Heat!

It's hot. If you live in the Louisville area this is not news to you. It's been over 90F for the last week and looks like temperatures will continue to top 90F for at least the next week. So what affects does this heat and humidity have on your body as you run or bike?

Recently, in a group of elite cyclists completing just a 30-minute time trial in moderate heat of 90F, their overall power output was lower by 6.5% than when performing a time trial in a thermo-neutral environment of 73F. So yes, even in elite cyclists and moderate heat exposure, your performance decreases.

So how do you combat this? Get your body acclimated to the heat. When you exercise in the heat, many physiological compensations occur. In the heat when you begin exercising, your body starts to produce extreme amounts of heat. As a matter of fact, when you begin exercising approximately 70-80% of your total metabolic contribution is produced as heat – signifying how easily your body can heat up and the importance of dissipating the heat that is produced.

I won't bore you with the details, but your body cools itself by sweating and turning your skin into an evaporative cooler. However, there is a point when you can no longer sweat, causing increased heating....this is when you become dehydrated. When this happens, water starts to be taken from your muscles and skin at an expense to maintain your blood volume. Getting acclimated to the heat increases your blood volume and your total fluid available for sweating.

It takes between 7 and 14 consecutive days of moderate exercise in the heat to get acclimated. But these gains can be lost just as quickly. So get acclimated leading up to your race and be sure to drink plenty of water while in the heat. If you become dehydrated, you will undo any acclimation your are building.

2h15m on the bike.
Good workout between zone 2 and zone 4.
45 minute spin class included in the workout.
Avg HR = 124 bpm

2h25m on the bike.
Tried to keep my HR in the high zone 2, low zone 3 area for this one.
Lots of speed and power (hill) intervals. Legs were burning!
Avg HR = 127 bpm

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Heat Continues

It's been 25 days since it didn't reach at least 80 degrees....and 6 straight days in the 90's....with a forecast showing 90's for the next 10 days (this is as far out as the forecast goes!).

I've had enough! Even though I do the majority of my workouts early in the morning, it's still in the high 70's with enough humidity to make a sauna jealous. No matter what I'm wearing, it's going to be drenched in sweat about 30 minutes into my workout. Then it sits in my hot car all day...anyone know where I can buy air fresheners in bulk??

The biggest issue that I have with the heat is staying hydrated, especially on long runs. On the bike, I can pack up to 48 ounces of water and/or Gatorade. I don't have this luxury when running. I've tried running while carrying a bottle, but it doesn't work too well. A friend of mine (check out his blog here) recently suggested that I try using NUUN. It's a tablet that you drop into water to create an electrolyte drink without all the sugar of a Gatorade.

James was kind enough to give me a tube of tablets last week. I used NUUN during my race last weekend and drank another water bottle mixed with it before my run this morning. I'm not really sure if it's having a positive effect on my performance, but I haven't felt dehydrated yet when using it. I'll keep trying it on these hot days, after all, it can't hurt!

2h5m on the indoor bike. Being the day after the Back to Health Triathlon (heat made it feel like the Back to HELL Triathlon), I just wanted to see how my legs felt. I did a 30 minute warm-up at easy pace, then worked pretty hard throughout the 45 minute spin class, then finished up with 50 more minutes in zone 2. Surprisingly, my legs felt pretty good.

After a pretty good bike workout on Monday, I was ready to do some 1 mile intervals. The run over to the track felt pretty good, but once I started trying to run hard and fast...I knew I was in trouble. My legs just wouldn't respond. My heart rate wasn't very high (about 10 beats slower than it should have been for an all-out effort), but I just didn't have the leg strength to run fast enough. So after only two very slow intervals, I decided to call it a day and jogged back to the gym at hit the pool. Here's the workout:
Warm-up - 11:13 (HR = 135 bpm) 1.37 miles (8:11 min/mile pace)
1) 7:09 (HR = 152)
2) 7:28 (HR = 152)
Cool-down - 10:51 (149) 1.37 miles (7:55 min/mile pace)
Total workout - 4.74 miles in 45:43

5 minutes of warm-up and drills
1/2 mile (888 yd) swim at race pace (17:00)
Total workout: 1152yd in 22:51 (34:54 min/mile pace)

I was a little nervous about how my legs would respond only 24 hours after they told me to shove it when I tried to do some sprints. I wanted to get in a long run, but I didn't want to fatigue my body anymore if it was still in recovery mode. For this reason, I started out my run at an easy pace and then once I reached the half-way point, I decided that I felt good enough to increase the speed on the way back. Here's my pace chart from RunKeeper for today's run:

The 5.45 miles on the way out took me 44:50 (8:13 min/mile pace) and as you can see, it included a big down-hill run. The return leg (which required going up that same hill) only took me 42:54 (7:52 min/mile pace). My legs felt good, so I pushed it the last few miles. The legs will definitely enjoy tomorrow's day off!
Total workout: 10.90 miles in 1:27:43 (8:02 min/mile pace).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Back To Health Triathlon Race Report

Official Results:

38:24.5 - 11th out of 13 in my age group
1:07.8 - 4th out of 13
1:19:42.6 - 8th out of 13
0:39.9 - 2nd out of 13
56:46.6 - 6th out of 13
2:56:41.4 - 8th out of 13 / 56th out of 130 overall

I'm not really pleased with my race, but it was a "C" priority race for me (meaning that I didn't taper or rest leading up to it), and I just planned on using it as a training I'll just give a quick report and move on!

My swimming in the open water is still horrible! I was actually slower this race than the half-ironman last month. Funny thing is, I actually thought that I was swimming faster AND straighter yesterday...guess not. I will say that this swim was the most physically demanding that I've even done. The swim started in two waves, men first, then women. So approximately 90 of us men all started the swim at the same time. I was kicked and punched more times that I ever imagined would be possible. It literally took about 10 minutes into the swim before I was able to get into a good rhythm. I was shocked when I looked at my watch exiting the water...I seriously thought I would be done around 34-35 minutes - seeing 37 and some change was a disappointing way to start the day!

On to T1 - no problems here. I'm getting pretty efficient in my transitions. I even stopped to give my one year old almost one year old daughter a kiss!

Saying the bike course was hilly is an understatement. It's littered with small and large hills. There's literally hardly any flat ground. I started picking off people on the bike from the beginning. By my count, I passed approximately 18-20 people and was only passed once near the end. I took in a gel and drank a bottle of water with NUUN in it during the ride. I felt good the entire ride (with the exception of going up the hill on mile 10). According to my bike computer my top speed was 38.9 mph. Not too bad for a road bike! Here's the elevation profile:

T2 was very fast and smooth. I racked my bike and had my running shoes on quickly. Looks like I had the 9th fastest T2 out of 130 people. At least there's something positive I can hang my hat on!

The run starts out by going up a huge hill. This is not good for the legs after being on a bike for over an hour! Most people walk up this hill, but I was determined to run the whole thing, so I didn't want to start off by walking...despite what my legs tried to tell me! I got into a good jog, but that first mile (all uphill) took me 10 minutes. The whole run course is rolling hills, so it was hard to get a good pace going. The second mile is when the heat started to hit me. I was taking two waters at each for for dumping over my head! Second and third mile were done at 9:15-9:30 pace. At the turn around, I was around 29 minutes (9:30 min/mile pace). I knew that this was way too slow, so I decided to crank it up a notch on the way back. I still stopped at every station to get water, but the sun was brutal. No shade anywhere! I did the second half of the run in a little under 27 minutes (around 8:40 min/mile pace). This still isn't fast, but it's faster.

I was happy to be done with this race. Although the distance wasn't as long, it felt more difficult than the half-ironman I did last month. I'm not sure if it was the heat (lots of heat-related issues for people on the course - I even saw two people on the way home that had pulled off the road to puke), or the hard week of training leading up to the race, but either way it was tough. The fact that I feel pretty good today and I don't have much soreness tells me that the struggle on the run was more related to the heat than fatigue. Oh well, I'm ready to move on to the next one!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back To Health Triathlon

Unofficial time - 2:56:48

Tough race. Here's a little hint:

Issued by The National Weather Service
Louisville, KY

Sun., Jun. 13, 2010



Yeah, it was hot!!
Full race report tomorrow.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm competing in the "Spine Center Back to Health Triathlon" this Sunday. It's an Olympic Distance [1500m (0.93 miles) Swim, 40K (24.85 miles) Bike and a 10K (6.2 miles) Run] Triathlon. This race takes place at Taylorsville Lake State Park, which was also the site of the Half Ironman that I did last month. So while I was familiar with the area, the bike route for this weekend's race only shares a few miles with the race from last month.

If possible, I always like to bike and run the course before the actual race. This way not only will I know where I'm going and what to expect, but I know if I can push it on early hills, or if I need to hold back based on what the rest of the route looks like.

This morning, I loaded up my bike and headed down to Taylorsville around 5:30am. Sunrise is officially at 6:19am, but I know that it's light enough about 10 minutes before that to ride. What I didn't plan for was the fog! The fog was so dense driving down there that there were several times I hit the breaks just because I couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of the car! Early morning rides mixed with fog are not a good combination. So I had already decided that if it was still foggy when I got there...I would just wait it out.

Buy the time I reached the boat ramp (where the bike portion will start), the fog had dissipated quite a bit. I knew that it would take me 10 minutes or so to get out of the park onto a main road, so I decided to go ahead and take off.

Visibility through the fog was not an issue, if fact, it was just a little hazy by the time I made it out of the park. The biggest problem I had was the moisture that was still in the air. Everything on my bike (including me) was soaked in just a few minutes. After about 5 miles into my ride, my glasses were completely covered with a film of water. I couldn't see was like trying to drive a car without windshield wipers. I know what your thinking - just take the glasses off. However, riding without glasses is a bad idea. Not only could bugs fly in your eyes, but the wind is brutal on your eyes when you are going 35 miles per hour without any protection. So I had to go the rest of my ride with my glasses half-way down my nose. Allowing me to see the road, but still somewhat protecting my eyes.

I accomplished my goal of riding the bike course, and it's going to be a tough one. I didn't push it too hard this morning, but there are lots of hills. I ran my RunKeeper app on my iPhone during my ride - check out the profile: (my speed is in blue, the red line in the background is the elevation)

10 minutes of drills (single arm, catch-ups, fist swimming)
15 minutes of swimming at race pace
Total Workout: 1248yd in 25:08 (35:26 min/mile pace)

15 minutes while I waited for the rain to stop so I could run! Did a little chest, arms and shoulders.

Tempo Run
First 30 minutes at easy pace (approx 8:15 min/mile pace)
Second 30 minutes at race pace (approx 7:45 min/mile)
Final 20+ minutes at easy pace
Total Workout: 10.14 miles in 1:21:27 (8:01 min/mile)

24.90 miles in 1:21:19 (18.37 mph)
Avg HR = 134 bpm

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bike Safety

A friend of mine, and fellow triathlete was hit by a car while riding his bike last week. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet and all of his injuries were external (lots of missing skin and bruises), and his bike is toast - but it could have been much worse!

He was doing everything right. He was riding with traffic and signaled by putting his left arm out before making a left hand turn. He even looked back and saw that the truck was slowing down. He went to make his turn and quickly realized that the truck wasn't slowing down quite enough!

Following traffic laws isn't always enough to stay safe while riding. Here's some other "rules" that I always follow:

  • Pick your route wisely. If you live in an urban area, get in your car and take your bike to the country. There's a lot less traffic (and traffic lights). You will also most likely get in some good hill work too!
  • Don't EVER listen to your iPod or radio (or Walkman if you still prefer cassettes). You need to be able to hear when cars are coming up behind you.
  • Stay as far right as you can. I don't like to ride on the shoulder (right of the white line) because it's full of debris that would love to give me a flat tire. I ride just to the left (2"-3") of the white line. When I hear a car coming, I will move to the other side of the line if there's room. Then once it's past, I move back on the left side of the line.
  • Practice looking behind you without swerving. This takes practice, so practice it while there are no cars around. When you hear a car approaching, the last thing you want to do is look back to see where it is and end up swerving right out in front of it!
  • Watch for cars coming the opposite way making left turns in front of you. You drive a car, you know how it is when you are trying to make a left hand turn. You look for a gap in the cars...and most likely won't notice a bike. So when you are riding, keep this in mind. Look for cars getting ready to make a left hand turn and just go ahead and stop if you aren't sure whether or not they see you.
  • This leads to me my last tip. If you, as a bike rider, are going to make a left hand turn, you are going to have to cross both lanes of traffic (since you should be riding on the right edge of the road with traffic). If there are cars coming up behind you, or coming towards you...just wait. There's no need to risk your life to make a turn and stay on your "planned" route. Stop and wait. Or ride past your turn, let all the traffic clear, then turn around and go back to where you wanted to originally turn. 
1h45m on the bike. I was able to attend my first spin class in almost a month and it was challenging. We did some intervals to get the heart rate up and mixed in some longer, sustained effort legs. I rode for another hour after class at a zone 2 level.

1 mile repeats with 3 minutes rest in between
Warm-up (ran to the track) - 1.37 miles in 10:39 (Avg HR = 148) 7:46 min/mile pace
1) 6:37 (161)
2) 6:50 (162)
3) 6:51 (163)
4) 6:45 (167)
Cool-down - 1.37 miles in 10:23 (157) 7:34 min/mile pace
Total Workout: 6.74 miles in 1:03:09
I usually do my 1 mile repeats on a stretch of road that I have measured. Today I decided to use an actual track and run 4 laps (1600 meters) for each repeat. Special thanks to Waggener High School for leaving the gate to their football field/track unlocked!

15 minute warm-up with some drills mixed in
1 mile (1776 yards) swim at race pace in 34:11
Total Workout: 2448 yards in 49:15 (35:25 min/mile pace)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

End of Base Phase

Today marked the end of my second round of Base Phase training...thankfully! This high volume / low intensity stuff is tough. Not only does it require more time, but moving at a slow rate of speed doesn't do much for your confidence level either!

Tomorrow I move on to the Build Phase, in preparation for my next Half-Ironman on July 17th. Build Phase will allow me to mix in some "race pace" training, so my speed (and confidence) will be increasing in the next few weeks.

44:30 miles on the bike in 2:17:05 (19.39 mph)
Avg HR = 131 bpm
This was a little bit flatter course than I've been taking. I went back over and rode the course I used all last was a nice change of scenery!

Ran 13.90 miles in 1:57:50 (8:29 min/mile pace)
Very Challenging route with lots of rolling and a few big hills. Still managed to keep my heart rate in check.
Avg HR = 156 bpm

Elevation and speed profile from today's run:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Don't Eat What You See On TV

The June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association discusses a new study comparing the nutritional content of food choices influenced by television to nutritional guidelines.

Researchers analyzed 84 hours of primetime and 12 hours of Saturday morning broadcast television over a 28-day period on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.

No big surprise here. Investigators found that a 2,000-calorie diet consisting entirely of advertised foods would contain 25 times the recommended servings of sugars and 20 times the recommended servings of fat, but less than half of the recommended servings of vegetables, dairy, and fruits.

In fact, the excess of servings in sugars and fat is so large that, on average, eating just one of the observed food items would provide more than three times the recommended daily servings (RDS) for sugars and two and a half times the RDS for fat for the entire day. 

Although most people do not claim to base their diets solely on the advertised foods, researchers say they've learned through previous studies that television is a primary source for nutrition information in America.

So a good general rule would be to avoid eating any foods that are advertised on TV!

13.44 mile run in 1:49:43 (8:09 min/mile pace)
This was another run in my endurance building heart rate zone. It took me about 25-30 minutes until I felt good. I was able to keep my heart rate in zone 2 for the entire run and my speed was a little bit better than my runs last week (8:21 and 8:29 min/mile pace) at the same HR. My average HR ended up being 155 bpm for this run.

4h20m on the bike in HR zone 2. The Memorial Day holiday really messed up my training this week. Instead of my normal long ride on Monday, I did a long swim...which was nice, but it left me behind on my bike training for the week. I'll do another long ride in the morning to try and catch up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wheat Bread vs. 100% Whole Wheat Bread

We fired up the grill a few times over the Memorial Day weekend. A few burgers, dogs and even some brats were consumed. Of course, those fine "meats" need to have a place to sit, so we naturally included buns. After eating on Sunday afternoon, we were standing around and I noticed that there were both "Wheat Bread" and "White Bread" buns. Most people assume that wheat bread is more healthy and think that they are doing themselves some good by going with the wheat instead of the white.

I picked up the packages and compared ingredients. The first ingredient on both was "Enriched White Flour". 

Be aware that a bread that calls itself a wheat bread but does not say that it is whole wheat means that it is a combination of whole wheat flour and enriched white flour and for that reason it will contain a lesser degree of fiber than with breads that are deemed whole wheat breads. 

If a loaf of bread is made from 100% whole wheat then “whole wheat” or “whole grain” will be the very first ingredient that is listed on the bread label. Whole wheat bread makes use of all three parts of the wheat, which includes the bran, the germ and the endosperm, and whole wheat bread contains the most fiber of all breads. 

With all this being said, even "100% Whole Wheat" bread isn't the healthiest that you can get. While it's probably the best option you can find in a grocery store, it still most likely contains High Fructose Corn Syrup and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil...both of these are bad. You're going to have to go to a health food store (such as Whole Foods) to find a really good bread...but unless you go there on a regular basis, it doesn't make much since to stop in once a week just for bread.

So next time that you are pushing your cart down the bread isle, take a second to look at the ingredients of your normal may not be what you think!

Ladder intervals (2 lengths, 4, 6, 8 & 10) with 30 seconds rest between each
4:01 warm-up
2 lengths - 34.27 (23:44 min/mile pace)
4 lengths - 1:17.42 (26:53 min/mile pace)
6 lengths - 2:09.66 (30:01 min/mile pace)
8 lengths - 3:01.00 (31:36 min/mile pace)
10 lengths - 3:44.24 (31:17 min/mile pace)
35 minute steady swim at a comfortable pace
Total Workout: 2982 yards in 58:43

1 mile repeats with 3 minutes rest in between
Warm-up lap - 1.2 miles in 9:27 (Avg HR = 143) 7:52 min/mile pace
1) 6:32 (163)
2) 6:35 (165)
3) 6:44 (168)
4) 6:53 (168)
Cool-down lap - 1.2 miles in 10:08 (157) 8:26 min/mile pace
Total Workout: 6.4 miles in 59:24
This is the same interval workout I did last week with one key difference. I rested for 3 minutes between repeats instead of just one minute. I was listening to a podcast while on the indoor bike last week and I heard a trainer mention that he has his athletes do intervals with a 2:1 run/rest ratio. Meaning however long the interval takes, rest for half of that time before the next interval. The added rest clearly made a difference for me, as I was able to keep them all under 7 minutes.

2 minute warm-up
8 minutes of drills
13 minutes of swimming at race pace
Total Workout: 1200 yards in 24:52

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