Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 what are you up to Nate?

2011 is looking extremely good. How about that for a positive start to this entry? I’m talking both about generally – I’m feeling very focused, creative and excited about everything in my life, and also specifically about body and mind fitness. I have made some changes last year which I am starting to reap the rewards of now.

Last year I went over to an extremely strict low carbohydrate diet. I had already cut out a significant amount of starch and grain based carbohydrates, so it wasn’t a big change to go over to a diet based on a maximum of 21 grams of carbohydrates and high fat diet. I am sure it is a much harder process for those who go directly from a 1960s-style carbohydrate rich diet over to Atkins or a similar lifestyle. I found it quite easy. I’ve been rewarded with a completely stable body weight and incredibly stable energy levels – even whilst heavily exercising or endurance running.

A recent change I made to my training is incorporating base fitness, interval and circuit based training into my schedule. Initially this was by taking a course called “Nike Training for Runners” at the local branch of the Scandinavian gym franchise “Sats”. It is really just clever marketing for interval-based core or base level fitness training. We did 9 separate exercises as intervals at an extremely high intensity – running leg kicks, hopping and landing on one foot whilst holding balance, superman push-ups and other types of exercises. Interval training is something I have been sorely lacking. I was rewarded  with huge speed benefits on my runs. I had been getting slower and slower on my all of my training runs and races since my peak in 2009. This has completely kicked me up onto a new level. I shaved 5 minutes off my 10 KMs and up 20 minutes from my 21 KMs! Unfortunately the Nike training has now ended for the season but it has been replaced with cross-training – another circuit-based session which is more focused on core strength and performed using the Japanese tabata method of intervals. This is looking promising too. I have become really inspired by changing my training methods after these gains and I have introduced one day a week of hill intervals again. Roughly speaking this is 10 km of hill runs with 6 repetitions of 0.8 KM sprints up the hill and 6 repetitions of 0.8 KM downhill recovery. My heart rate seems to be around 120-130 on the recovery and up to 170 on the uphill sprints at the moment. After my 1st of May race I will be introducing Yasso 800s which will be something completely new. The definitive definition and information seems to be on Made To Run. I’m saving these for training for the Oslo marathon in September.

I have a 21 KM race coming up which I am running in Exeter on the 1st of May for the chance of supporting my brother’s first ever half-marathon race. I’m so proud of him. He completed his first 10 KM last year and now he has hopped right into the half. It is going to be so much fun running with him.

Talking of which – here is an excellent calculator which can help with your own training. The Training Pace Calculator is particularly good.

It is going to be a good summer.

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