30 day update on Primal Blueprint

 Low-Carb Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Weight Management  Comments Off on 30 day update on Primal Blueprint
Jun 032013

primalblueprintSo about 30 days ago I posted that I was going to make some pretty fundamental changes to my health and wellness plan. I researched quite a few different eating and living philosophies that meshed well with my low-carb lifestyle. I was pretty firmly committed to the concept that sugars spike the blood sugar levels causing fat storage, so I wanted to find an eating plan which supported that theory. Thankfully there has been a lot of progress on that front in the last few years. Gone are the days where the Atkins diet was the only alternative for someone seeking a low carb lifestyle. While I have enjoyed some success over the years with Atkins, I never could really get it to stick. I would lose the weight when I went into benign dietary ketosis, but then gradually would all come back as I introduced grains and refined sugars back into my diet.

It was also important that I find something that I felt was sustainable from an ease-of-use point of view as well as a food consumption point of view. As you know from my prior article, I decided to go with primal blueprint. This is very similar to the Paleo diet, but is slightly less restrictive when it comes to dairy.  There is also  an emphasis on organic foods, stress free living, and exercise which more closely resembles the type of activities that our ancestors would have been naturally enduring in the more primitive world.

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Primal blueprint lunch

 Weight Management  Comments Off on Primal blueprint lunch
May 032013

About to dig in to a solid primal blueprint lunch! Organic chicken, non-nitrate ham, baby spinach and sweet potato. All tapped off with some extra virgin olive oil. Yum! The drink is unsweetened almond milk with a quarter cup of blueberries and a quarter cup of strawberry.


Power 90 Spring 2013 Day 1

 Power 90 (Spring 2013), Uncategorized  Comments Off on Power 90 Spring 2013 Day 1
Apr 282013

The last time I checked in on my weight loss log was August 2012.  At that time I was 168 pounds and 20 percent body fast measured using the US Navy Body Fat calculator at a height of 5’9, weight 168, neck 15 inches and waist at belly button of 35.  Since that time I have lost a half inch around my neck and gained an inch around my belly and gained 7 pounds, three of which are muscle.  That brings my current stats up to 22% body fat.  Needless to say this is not making me very happy, especially considering the effort I expend on a daily basis to attempt to remain fit.

So in the last few months I’ve embarked on a couple of different experiments in order to push my body fat percentage down.  I know of course that I can apply the techniques used in Lyle McDonald’s body recomposition.com and push my percent body fat down, but that technique does not support a lot of aerobic activity and since that is an important part of my life I’d rather not go that road.

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Trail running in Florida

 Running  Comments Off on Trail running in Florida
Apr 162013

Trail running in the Captain Forster Hammock Preserve near Vero Beach Florida. I found the trailhead by accident and decided to follow it. I’m glad I did, although the run was longer than I had planned. It was sure is nice to running in the shade though!


 Posted by at 10:32 am

Spring training, regaining your mojo

 Running Information, Training  Comments Off on Spring training, regaining your mojo
Apr 112013
Worn out

Worn out

I guess this is technically the first normal spring training season I have had since I started running in 2010.  Spring of 2011 I was finishing up my Boston Marathon training and was running 40 miles a week and getting ready to taper, hardly a normal situation to be in on ordinary year. Spring of 2012 I was recovering from my Achilles heel injury and was basically starting over from scratch, also not (hopefully) a normal spring training season.

So here we are, spring of 2013. I had a successful fall spate of half marathons and then a very pleasant late fall early winter running schedule.  But as the winter progressed and the weather worsened I was forced to spend more of my running time on the treadmill then I’d like.  Although my monthly running log looks reasonable, there is no doubt to me that I did not maintain my fitness from the fall.  Perhaps it is the fact that I run in the Chi running style, but a treadmill run for me just isn’t the same as a run outside.  I don’t find it is interesting, and that results me being less motivated to run. Maybe I’ll run a little less one day or skip a day, or cut my long run short. So in the end, I have to admit that going into spring I have some catch-up to do.  I don’t think this is at all unusual, in fact if anything I am guessing this is very usual.  One of my running buddies doesn’t even run it all during the winter time and I hear that story quite a bit.

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 Posted by at 12:24 pm

Taking stock

 Running  Comments Off on Taking stock
Mar 202013

Winter is waning and I can feel Spring in the air.  Notwithstanding there is a snow storm predicted for tomorrow which is threatening to drop another 6-8 inches of white anti-running material all over the roads.  I was waxing a bit contemplative about running when I read an post on the Daily Mile from a fellow runner that has “lost her fire” for running recently.  It got me thinking about why I run, why you run and why anyone runs.

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 Posted by at 6:02 am

Cold long run

 Training  Comments Off on Cold long run
Mar 092013

20130316-110044.jpgBright and sunny day post snowstorm.  The roads were narrow and the shoulder was basically slippery snow.  I just had to get outside after too many days on the treadmill.  After 8 miles and many near misses with crazy car drivers I gratefully arrived back at my house.

Combining Half Marathon Training with Low Heart Rate Training

 Running, Training  Comments Off on Combining Half Marathon Training with Low Heart Rate Training
Mar 052013
Boston's Run to Remember

Boston’s Run to Remember

I wasn’t planning to run any races this spring, instead focusing on my fitness and heart rate training.  But a friend asked me if I would be interested in running with her at Boston’s run to remember, and I said that I would.  I quickly checked to see if it would be possible to fit in a 12 week training plan for this half, and I saw that it was.  This will be my friend’s first half, and she is planning on “Gallowalking” is (run/walk intervals).  So I am not overly concerned about my ability to stick with her or complete it, but I still want to make sure that I am as fit as possible for this endeavor.  Since I already committed to myself to do all my spring training as low heart rate running, I have decided to combine both the training plan and heart rate training into one program.  This means that I will be deviating a bit from the standard training plan to accommodate my low heart rate training.

As I discussed in a prior article, low heart rate training requires that I do the vast majority of my running slow enough to keep my heart rate within a specifically calculated zone.  Normally, half marathon training would incorporate both pace runs and tempo runs as a way to build the cardio necessary to compete at higher levels.  I usually use Hal Higdon’s training plans as a base and then modify them as necessary to meet my needs.

So I went over to his site, and took a look at the various offerings available for half marathon training. I decided to go with novice level II, although it is possible that it’s time for me to move up into the intermediate training plans. Since I am not training for any kind of personal record for this spring, and I am still recovering from some lost conditioning this winter, I decided to take it easy and go with the novice level II.

Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Plan

Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Plan

As you can see in this chart, Hal’s plan recommends one day of pace runs per week, plus a 5K and 10K race in the plan.  I’ve decided to drop the two races from the plan, and do the pace run only every other week.  This lets me focus on my heart rate training to build my conditioning, while still building my stamina with the overall mileage increase each week.  I am leaving everything else exactly the same, including rest and cross training recommendations in the plan.

I think this approach is very solid from a training point of view, especially if you buy into the benefits of low heart rate training. One of the downsides of this approach, however, is that there is very little running done at your race pace, which could potentially undermine your confidence that you could sustain a race pace when you need it. It is sort of a leap of blind faith that your conditioning will be there when you ask for it during race conditions.



Run Slower to Run Faster

 Running Information  Comments Off on Run Slower to Run Faster
Feb 102013

heart rate (2)I have long suspected that I train at higher heart rates than I should.  When I go out for a run I generally start out with a short walk, then a jog and by the time I am at a half mile I am running at a fair clip.  I have learned how to listen to my body and know when I am running too fast to sustain my distance goals for the day.  When I reach that point I pull back and run just below that line, which nowadays is about a 9:30 pace.  I usually end my run with the last half mile at my 5K pace (around 8:00 pace or so).  I stop at my driveway completely spent and hope that I am recovered enough to do it all again tomorrow.  Little did I know that all that running wasn’t doing my fitness as much good as I thought.

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Blizzard of 2013

 Running  Comments Off on Blizzard of 2013
Feb 082013

20130210-090232.jpgI decided to try to get a run in just before the blizzard hit in force.  It had started snowing and there was about 2 inches on the ground.  The roads were pretty clear though, so there wasn’t much issue with traction at all.  So many people had stayed home and off the roads and were huddled in their houses that I really didn’t see anyone out and about.  I ran one of my favorite 5 mile loops which takes me past a frozen lake and 2 smaller ponds.  I snapped this picture with the snow covered frozen lake behind me.