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.
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.
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.
I of course simplify the process of adding in my workouts and exertions by using the MyPlate web application from livestrong.com. 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pre-Taper Week Brick Phase By The Numbers (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Nautica South Beach Triathlon Recap (fitnessandfrozengrapes.com)
- Nutrition for Improved Athletic Performance (epicahealth.com)
- First Triathlon Done…Not Quite the Race I Was Hoping For (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)