Recovery Week In Review

As I stated at the beginning of last weeks goals, my primary focus was on recovery(here).  I set two base goals, one to plan and organize my training from the end of this recovery week til my next big hurdle the Tour De Cure (Donate Here only a month left!!! ) and the second was to get my nutrition in order.  I feel I achieved both goals this week and even got in a few light recovery week workouts.


Recovery Week totals. The total column is a summation starting from October 2012.

Since there is much I want to cover in this wrap up I will tackle the workouts first.  I focused on mostly recovering this week and I am not sure if I messed up somewhere, as all my workouts felt sluggish.  On Wednesday I did an easy run and could not put together long running sprints of more than a few seconds and had one of my worst paces in a long time, closer to sixteen minutes for a mile.  Then on this past Saturday I decided to celebrate the gorgeous weather we were having by going for a ride.  After twelve miles I felt wiped out and achy.   I figured with a light week I would start to feel stronger by the end of the week and now I fear its going to take time to build back up for my next event.  It might just be residual effects from the race week or maybe I did loose some edge.  Will have to figure that out as I figure out my goals for the coming week.  One of the only areas that things felt good was in the swim.  I decided I had not continuously swam 1600 meters/yards in a while so I decided this was as good of a time as any.  I ended up finishing it in under thirty five minutes, which was way better than my previous times.  Swimming wise, the Olympic distance triathlon is looking good.


Me in my singlet, yes I still have a non-flattering mid section but its a work in progress.

Me in my singlet, yes I still have a non-flattering mid section but its a work in progress.

The secondary big focus for this week was on nutrition.  After I completed my first triathlon I realized I had allot of weight left to loose and that I would get stronger if I was able to loose it.  While I know I have been gaining muscle, I have plateaued at 300 pounds and a 46/48 inch waist. I have been at this point for months and while I have not gained, I have not lost.  The first questions I asked myself was I eating too much or was I eating not enough.  The answer came down to a bigger issue, I really do not know.  In the past when I lost weight and inches the success came from tracking and realizing what went in as food and came out as energy, but without properly tracking my food intake or calorie expenditures I honestly had no idea where I was at with my food.

For legal purposes and before going further, realize I am just an obsessed amateur triathlete and I have not professional degrees for anything nutrition and health related. What I say below is my opinion and understanding from internet research.  

 When I track my eating and burning I am strictly against the beloved BMI.  I feel its too simple and misses body type consideration. I prefer and have used with success the Basal Metabolic Rate and associated calculations to figure calorie goals.  This number is basically an estimate of how many calories you need to consume to stay at your current weight if you did nothing but sleep.  I usually use this site which uses age, height and weight to give you an estimated BMR total.  My base number of calories is 2597 currently.  Next there is a link to some other formulas that allow you to calculate in level of activity.  I usually choose the lower and get 3116 calories to maintain my current weight.


Weekly weight chart. I have been down this low before,but usually this shoots back up again.

I of course simplify the process of adding in my workouts and exertions by using the MyPlate web application from  On there you can specify your goal loss and then track your calories consumed and burned through activity.  It uses the same calculations from above and has proven to work well, as long as I track everything including calories burned through workouts.  I like to know my sedentary base so on cheat meals or when I decide to be a little loose with my diet I have an idea for the upper limit of calories I allow, 3116 as the application sets the deficit amount as your target and does not give you this number unless you set it to loose 0 pounds.  So basically I just have to put my weight in weekly(I do it daily) and each day put in my workouts and food eaten.  As long as I am close I am happy.

Weight loss really boils down to a matter of creating a deficit, but not too big of a deficit.  One of the hard things with triathlon training is the shear volume of calories that are potentially being burned per day.  Allot of what I have read from triathlon coaches often points out a common problem most amateur athletes have is not eating enough.  From what I can tell personally, if I have a deficit larger than 1200 calories, my body will slow down the weight loss.  So I aim for an average of 1000 to 500 calorie deficit.

Weekly nutrition

Weekly consumed and burned calories per day. The goal is to never go over 3100 and never below 2100.  The values are based on estimated consumption and exercise levels.

Looking roughly at the past several months of not tracking, I think my issues with my current not gaining or losing resides from the following:

  1. Too loose of eating.  By not tracking I often would take liberties figuring I was working out without knowing my consumption totals.  I love pizza and junk food, but it needs to be in moderation and accounted for.
  2. Not enough food.  I think some training  periods I was burning through some massive calories and I think often I was not eating enough calories by quite allot.  I did not track it so I do not know the specifics, but I can roughly guesstimate that I was missing over 1200 calories per day.  These were often long bike/run days.
  3. No tracking.  Nuff said, want to lose it, need to know what is going on.

One thing I think I did well was eating pre and post workout nutrition.  I feel I had this balance correct, if anything.  My solution is of course to get back to tracking the burned calories and the consumed calories.  I still give myself lee way but with the tracking I am a bit more careful.  When I decide I want pizza or fast food, I know there is a maximum number of calories I am limited to for the day and I use that as a guide(Currently 3100 calories).   I also figure out my food and work outs the day before or in the morning so I know what I can and cannot do food wise.

Overall a good week.  Not sure if I am supposed to feel this sluggish in my workouts, but will see how things progress heading into the next training phase.  I feel good about my first week of tracking my food and working out again and I am interested to compare the stats in a few more weeks to see where things need to be tweeked and altered to fit into the reality of my workouts.  I would say a good first week back from my first triathlon, hopefully this muscle fatigue does not last!  Til next time.



  1. Good recap and its surprising how different people are. I had a recovery week as well and outside of a grueling bike ride into a strong head wind, I felt terrific. In fact I felt stronger than before the race as if my body was ready for the next level of improvements…

    On the weight, have you ever considered a Paleo eating style? I’m not religious about it, nor do I stick with it 100%, but after starting it last year its made a world of difference in how I eat, what I eat, and how I feel. And I’ve maintained the lowest (and healthiest) weight in the past 20 years.

    1. I have looked into paleo diets, but I figured I would go back to what worked for me losing 360 to 300 pounds. As I am diabetic I also have to try and balance the carbs and proteins to keep the sugar from spiking.

      Not sure what is up with the sluggishness. I wonder if I have taken it too easy.
      Loved your race report, lets go get the second race of the season!!!

  2. This is really really helpful! 🙂 Thanks, I think we’re in the same place–you’ve just taken a step I maybe have avoided out of fear of failure. . . maybe. [probably]

    1. Before I even started triathlon training, when I was 360 I did nothing more than put my food in the application and kept track of what was going in and out. That got me down to 300 pounds. The trick is triathlon training burns some serious carbs.
      I would at least list your food and start getting an idea where you are at. I had a mediocre food weekend, but because I tracked it, it would have been worse if I did not track it. I planned for pizza on Friday and made strategic decisions. Also, I know my base BMR if sedentary so I know how many calories I can get to.
      Hopefully next weeks goal review will show continued favored results!

      1. I will try to do that again. I used to be on WW, but I got tired of paying . . . and I hit a plateau and it really didn’t give much guidance at all. It’s just counting–and I’d rather count calories, not points.
        So I started doing my counting on FitBit (since I have one anyway). . . but I got tired of putting in recipes or guessing. I think I’m going to have to suck it up and start doing that all over again.
        Thanks for the post. I’ve put it permanently (!) on my firefox header (or whatever they call it) so I will go back and read it over and over again. . . Thanks, and keep up the great work!

        1. At least get your basal metabolic number and then shoot for close to that. I would not fret too bad about every little nuance, just aim to get it close and up for accountability sake. I like to put it all in in the morning, just to get a daily plan how my food habits will go for the day.

          1. Great idea!

  3. Also, and you didn’t mention it here, you want to make sure that most of your workouts are in zone two to burn that fat. Keep it up brother, I think you’ve got a really good plan. The key will be the deficit. Keep at it, you’re doing well.

    1. Good point regarding heart rate zones. I left it out as I usually target triathlon specific heart rate zones like an hour or two in zone 3 on the spin bike for endurance and a couple of hours in zone 2 for base building and some interval work (HIT training) which works to give good benefits as well. It get so complicated when you are working out to train and not working out specifically for weight loss. The important thing is that I track it.

  4. […] today I wrote up a summary of last weeks recovery week (here).  Overall I had a good recovery week even though I feel like I slowed way down.  I will have to […]

  5. kruzmeister · · Reply

    You are doing great Chatter, don’t read too much into a sluggish recovery week, it could be that you are just a little tired from all the hype and build up pre race and this is your body and minds time to take a breather before the next lead in. As others have said, your plan is solid. The only thing I would add is don’t forget that besides how many calories you eat it is about the quality of calories you eat too. Calories from real food are sustaining, muscle building/repairing and help to level out your blood sugars, refined foods or processed food calories are more often than not empty or junk calories, mean you can eat and eat and eat them and never feel full. That’s what I love about eating paleo (not trying to convert you, just saying how its worked for me). My meals now are all real food and full of quality calories, you can eat a lot of it and still not meet your calorie intake in regards to BMI, but if I eat junk calories I can fill them very quickly and still not feel like I’ve eaten anything. Maybe do some research into that and see if it would benefit you. Also since eating paleo I have had no problems with my blood sugar and I was borderline diabetic. – Simone

    1. There are so many things to discuss in a well thought out diet, I did not even discuss the importance of quality. Good point. I looked over the paleo diet and in some ways I am close to the Joe Friel style, specifically tailored to endurance athletes. I try to make sure my meals are nutrient dense. I do eat grains and starches occasionally, but the focus of my diet involves allot of whole foods like fruits, vegitible and nuts as well as high quality lean protein sources. I am not a saint, but try to make good solid food decisions. Its one of the things I like about the daily plate/livestrong site, it allows you to see the split on the food you are eating. Thanks Simone, you are an inspiration.

  6. It’s not a good fit for me, but have you tried Weight Watchers? It seems to be a reasonable plan for many people with enough flexibility to eat what you like, and it definitely takes where you’re at into consideration.

    1. Due to my triathlon training I often find the best option for me is to work on my own and take into account all the numbers. Its not really that hard once you get used to it and often works pretty good. It got me from 360 to 300, so I am going to stick with what works for now. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  7. […] Recovery Week In Review ( […]

  8. […] Recovery Week In Review ( […]

  9. […] Recovery Week In Review ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: