My new diet

I try to avoid grains and foods with added sugar now. This diet, in conjunction with some new ways of thinking and exercise, has helped me lose around five pounds.

img_1259

Today’s hotel breakfast of yogurt, orange, and coffee.

I’m still allowed to eat meat, eggs, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruit, fats/oils, and legumes (although the only legume I would seriously consider eating is soybeans, since I’m not a huge fan of most other beans). So it’s not terribly restrictive, although there are many cases where I’d love to have a nice bowl of teriyaki chicken over rice.

Some of the benefits of this diet:

  • Proteins and fats tend to be higher-satiety foods than starches
  • Cutting out foods with added sugars removes many “hyperpalatable” foods from my diet. Hyperpalatable human food tends to override our natural weight-regulation mechanisms
  • By reducing the variety foods I eat, I run into diminishing marginal returns more quickly and get bored of the foods I have available.

Another useful tip I have used in conjunction with this diet has been to eat only when I’m “actually hungry,” which I test by asking myself whether I’d be interested in eating an apple or piece of grilled chicken. If the answer’s “no,” it’s likely that I’m hungry only because some hyperpalatable food is in front of me.

A typical day for me is:

  • Breakfast: Soylent (bland enough that even though there are carbs in it, I don’t tend to overeat it)
  • Lunch: salad with chicken, bacon, and cheese; no dressing
  • Dinner: generally I would get delivery, and it might be Indian food (tandoori chicken!) or Thai food (without rice). Of course, I always eat healthier when my wonderful girlfriend cooks something from scratch!

Snacks tend to include yogurt, string cheese, fruit (apples, bananas, and tangerines), and tuna fish (in oil).

Many of these ideas are due to this post.

Intervals August 30th

This summer, the university has been renovating the parking area near the track. While I was away from running, they planted new trees, but they yet haven’t filled the root areas with dirt.

trees

Is this a liability issue?

They’ve also started to sprinkler the “grass” (which seems like synthetic wood chips for now, likely surrounding seeds?) aggressively. I was not above getting sprinkled on the way back.

sprinkler

I did 2 miles of intervals today, my standard 0.25 mile intervals. My target pace for each quarter mile is 1:30; I’m still a bit above that. I was hitting max HR during the intervals, so I feel pretty good about that.hr

Overall, I spent about 24% of my time in interval mode, and 76% of my time in recovery:pace(This breakdown is by pace, rather than heart rate, which, due to lags, doesn’t correlate well with the actual amount of time I spent in each cycle.)

Bike problems

Took my bike for a spin today. For various reasons, I’m not going to get into what happened to it. I’ve decided to let the matter sit until I move to a new location, as I don’t have time to deal with getting it fixed.2015-08-29 14.00.07

Until then, I have my road bike. That bike needs to be fitted better, as I found my hands going numb during my Ironman. Basically, I just need to have my babies spend a while in the shop.

Thoughts on heart rate training

There seem to be two approaches to training for speed: tempo runs and intervals. Intervals get your heart rate into its anaerobic zone, while tempo runs hit your “threshold” aerobic pace (almost anaerobic).

I’m a bit confused as to how to implement both of these techniques, however.

First, high-intensity interval training is supposed to hit 70% – 90% of your maximum heart rate during the “work” period. But 90% of my max HR of 190 is 171, which is well within my aerobic zone. Things only start getting seriously anaerobic at around 185; at least in the sense that I seem to be able to run at below that pace (under serious chest pain 180+) for at least a few minutes. So does that mean I need to up the intensity of my intervals from 171 to 185+, to keep them anaerobic?

Second, I often get my HR up to around 180 on runs. This seems close to anaerobic, and definitely higher than the “tempo” pace mentioned on Strava (153-169). I’m torn between the definition of a tempo run as one that is run at your threshold anaerobic HR, and one that seems to agree with things I’ve read elsewhere.

So the questions are: do I speed up my intervals, and/or do I slow down my tempo runs?

Morning Mile

After yesterday’s workout, which hit my heart rate max for a long period, I decided to do a short one today. A shorter run would help me recover, and also help me spread my mileage across the week. Ideally, I’ll run 7 miles this week. It wouldn’t do to ramp up too quickly and get injured.mile times

Today’s mile time of 7:16 was a bit slower than usual. The above plot shows basically no improvement in my mile times over the last two months, measured over a consistent course. Hopefully I’ll be able to break out of this rut, which to some extent was created by my Ironman training/getting distracted by work.