Category: Health

Stepping Up The Nutrition Game

Recently I followed an online course at Shaw Academy called ‘Sports and Exercise Nutrition – What Fuels Energy Systems’.
I had the luck that I found out about it through an online action, so I paid €5 instead of €395.
If you would happen to stumble upon it through Groupon or whatever, I’d say go for it, because I learned a lot from it in function of my long distance running.
There’s a lot of trivial info, but seeing it all aligned and being able to adapt it for yourself helps a lot.
Just to show what I’ve learned I’ll show you the calculation I did for myself and some conclusions I’ve made because of it.

Some sideinfo:

  • I weigh ~72kg
  • 1g CHO (carbohydrates) = 4 calories
  • 1g PRO(teïnes) = 4 calories
  • 1g fat = 9 calories

First step: finding my CHO intake

I’ve put myself in the ‘Competitive – moderate’ because I do 3-5 training sessions between 1 & 3h.
This means 6-8g carbs/kg

Second was my PRO intake

A bit harder to find
I chose ‘Moderate intensity endurance athletes’ with a range of 1.2-1.5g/kg so I had some room to manoeuver…
The course went into length about the PRO intake and said you can safely up it to 1.8g/kg without side-effects, …
They give a fuller feeling when eaten, so I figured, if I eat too much of one of the macronutrients, it might as well be my protein.

Total Calorie intake = RMR (Resting Metabolic rate) * PAL (Physical Activity Level)

I’m 28 & male ==> (15.3*72)+679

Chose Moderate ==> 1.7-1.9

I averaged everything out, soooo …

RMR * PAL = ((15.3*72)+679)*1.8 = 1780.6*1.8=3205.08 calories/day (before I ate about 2500)

CHO average = 7*72 = 504g ==> 2016 calories
PRO av g= 1.35*72 = 97.2g ==> 388.8 calories
CHO+PRO = 2016+388.8 = 2404.8 ==> 800.28 remaining ==> 88.92g vet

At running days I try to go higher on the low-fat/high-carb ratio than on non-running days.

This is all very theoretic of course, but I’m roughly a month into this new calorie regime and have noticed that:

  • I run better
  • I’ve lost a bit of tummy fat (my hardest region)
  • crave less junk food (I eat/ate too much crisps in front of the TV)
  • I get to eat more, because it’s “better” food and do not need to starve myself.

If you happen to have questions about this, feel free to hit me up in the comments.

My Lactic Acid Test

About 2 years ago I went running on a treadmill and had my ear pricked every 3 minutes.
What I learned there was that my base could be a lot better and that the shape I was in at that time did not offer a good breeding ground to do a sub 3:30 marathon.

I proved the advice wrong (barely), yet I feel I could not have achieved it without the test itself.
Running on heart rate is golden for me, it gives me a sense of security and supports me on a day-to-day basis.

About 2 months ago I went for an update, this time “in the field” (on a track is more correct).

The general idea was the same: run at a specific intensity, pause, prick some blood, put down the timings and go running at a somewhat heavier intensity.
Difference was at treadmill they crank up the speed, here I needed to watch my heart rate constantly.

So I managed 6 times 2k and shortly after that I had to push it all out over 600m to find my max HR.

For the number minded people: a comparison. My take on these numbers are underneath.

2013 2015
Recovery 134-143 <140
Z1 144-155 140-155
Z2 156-161 155-162
Z3 162-167 162-169
Z4 168-173 16-17.5km/h*
Z5 174-182 >17.5km/h*
Anaerobic threshold 168 @ 14.2km/h 168 @ 15.15km/h
Max HR 182 @ 16.8km/h 183 @ unknown (didn’t press my Garmin button properly)

* The 2 tests were with a different firm, the second one opts to only give speeds at intensity levels as HR can fluctuate too much in their opinion.

So after 2 years it turned out that:

  • The last year or so I did my long runs too slow
  • My speed really picked up
  • I have consistent zones once above my threshold.
  • There is still room for improvement on my total capacity, which means I should be able to get even faster.

Good times coming 🙂

Any of you ever did some test like this?
Did you think it upped your trainings?


My Carb Loading Is The Best

So in preparation of my Half Marathon this Sunday I’m carb loading.
Nothing as serious as with my marathons and ultra’s, but carb loading none the less.
Usually I do this with some plain pasta during the day, but I found a recipe on the Alpro site that looked very interesting.

The Recipe for the oatmeal pie, link later

In dutch it was called (roughly) oatmeal pie, but I sure like the English name a whole lot better!
Choc’ Chip Triffin

I had everything I needed except for the peanut butter and I used Chocolate Soy Milk instead of Regular Soy Milk.
It makes it some heavier, but the taste is the best 😀

Choc chip triffin

So this is my snack for today and tomorrow, if you like it, don’t be shy to let me know.

Do you carb load with some baked goodness? Have some nice recipes to share?
I’d appreciate it if you’d leave them in the comments!


Weight graph – All the way through the holidays

Short follow-up after this post from halfway through the holidays.

I managed to be back on my pre-holidays on January 3 with the help from MyFitnessPal and common sense 🙂

My running regime will be stricter again now and I plan to up my monthly mileage, so the fixation on my weight will be a little less from now on.

Just wanted to give an update and ensure everyone it is possible to maintain your weight through the holidays with some perseverance.

Happy running all!


I Had My Blood Checked Out

About five years ago my cholesterol was too high.
Being a healthy young man of about 22 years old at the time, this was not a good thing.
Running wasn’t as present in my life as it is now, but I did go for a run now and then and had plenty of exercise every sunday leading a troop in my Scouts.
I didn’t smoke, but could eat more fruit according to the doctor, so I did.

Since then I check my blood on a yearly basis, the cholesterol is no longer an issue, but I do think it’s a good idea to check if my vitamin levels etc. are OK during the winter.

So Tuesday I got pricked and today I called for the results.
Doctor said everything was fine instead of being somewhat low on iron, my iron reserves, vit. B and D and folic acid.
Not daring to ask what ‘Not Fine’ people’s blood looked like I listened to the advice.

Take a multivitamin with added iron everyday and a vit. D supplement weekly.
Should solve everything and even help with the fatigue I’m often feeling.

So cheers to my doctor and off to the pharmacy.
I’m curious if I’ll notice the result soon or at all.

Do you take supplements during the winter? Do you feel the effect? I’m somewhat sceptic, but all I can lose is some money, I guess…

Weight graph 29122014

Weight graph – halfway through the holidays

It’s  a hot topic for everyone during the holidays: your weight.
Halfway through the holidays I’m already looking back and will try to give you some pointers if you have gained just a bit too much.

My graph looks rather good, I peaked during ‘The Days’ but as you can see it went straight down again afterwards.
This is how I did it, maybe it can help you.

  • You can go all the way during the holidays. It’s no fun holding back when you’re together with family and tons of delicious food. I don’t know for you, but I say ‘no’ to a lot during the year, so I see this as a reward. Come here chocolates 😉
  • I know this is too late for Christmas, but it might help for New Year: be extra careful the days/weeks before.
    My “pre-holidays-diet” gave me some reserve, which meant that even the highest number on the scale during these days did not give me guilt.
  • I did not drink alcohol.
    This is not easy, but it’s a choice I made and once I committed to it, it wasn’t all that bad. No alcohol, nor did I replace it with sugary drinks, but drank mostly water.
    Kept me hydrated, gave me a fuller feeling (less eating without having to say NO) and a lot less sugar consumption.
  • Went running after the holidays.
    I got one run after the holidays, combined with a ‘light eating day’ and that one stands for my biggest drop in weight after Christmas.
  • Be extra careful the first days after.
    I already told I’m working with myfitnesspal and even though I’m not always as meticulous as I should, it gives me a very decent idea if I can eat a snack or not.

Once again: happy holidays and enjoy the time together with family and food! 🙂