Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Back into running - nice and easy does it

It feels like a long time (probably only 3 weeks) since I completed a proper run but early this morning I was back out there doing a loop of one of my favourite routes - from Brighton Marina along the undercliff pass to Saltdean Lido and up over the cliffs for the return journey. Only a 9km loop, which I completed in 55 minutes - nice and easy - mostly zone 1 at a slow pace of 6 minutes per km. I sped up at one point to get the pace below 5 minutes, just to remind myself I could still do it, but did not overdo it.

Fortunately I did not experience any pain, neither from my coccyx or right heal (injuries I picked up after being knocked off my bike). The plan is to build back up with some strength work, short intervals and get back to my normal 5 and 10km race times, so I can enter some local races during the winter months.

During this morning's run I used the opportunity to catch up with a couple of podcasts that I enjoy. Interestingly both were about the same subject - discussions around carbohydrate vs. fat. The commentators both came to the same conclusion in that they thought to much emphasis is placed on eating and using carbohydrate for the main energy source when are bodies should be using fat. Apparently your carbohydrate reserves provide around 2,000 calories of energy whereas a typical athlete (body fat less than 20%) could get as much as 17,000 calories of energy from fat - enough for 3 Ironman events!

They were quite critical of the 'low-fat diet' and the increase in sugar intake over recent years. There does seem to be more and more evidence for the Paleo type diet, not simply for weight reasons but also greater efficiency in training (better 'bang for your buck').

I think I eat a relatively well-balanced diet and where possible try to minimise the processed foods and sugary snacks, however I still have cereal for breakfast (normally something like Special K) with a banana sliced on top, and often grab a bagel and peanut butter for a mid-morning snack. I also eat a fair amount of pasta, rice and brown bread - may be it is time to do a bit more research on the alternatives.

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