Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend workout roundup

Now that I've got new format for the blog, I'm planning to devote the weekend to an update on running and to anything interesting going on for us in general.

This week was a pretty strong training week for me. I had a good interval workout Tuesday and tempo run Thursday. I think this was the first week where I really felt like the FIRST plan was really working as it was supposed to. Meaning that I felt refreshed and ready to work hard on Tuesday and Thursday rather than feeling like all my workouts were a steady grind. Yesterday's long run was not the best, but I got out there and did it.

But there was an important lesson in this. I had a bad workout on Saturday (at least in part) because I deviated from my training schedule. I ran on Friday even though, according to my plan, I should have swam or taken a rest day. The problem was that I let my eating habits throw everything off. We went out for pizza for a coworker's birthday on Thursday, and there was chocolate sitting around in the kitchen in the afternoon. Needless to say I overate on Thursday, and the anxiety of overeating caused me to over-exercise on Friday, which caused me to have a crappy workout Saturday.

An important part of training is keeping good notes (hence this blog and my training log) to see trends and identify what works and doesn't work. I need to keep in mind that what I eat isn't just about what seems appealing at the time, but that it can have a profound affect on my training. I need to eat in a way that allows me to be able to take my easy and rest days as they were meant to be taken. If I don't, then I ruin my hard days. Rather than trying to make exercise drive my diet and my body composition and running myself into the ground, I need to put my focus on my diet and let my training and body composition flow from that. I need to remember that, in the regression equation of what I look like predicted by what I do, r-squared for diet is .8 and r-squared for exercise is only .2. And getting that under control will let me rest and train hard without guilt.

And so begins my primal diet experiment. From today through Wednesday I'm going to experiment with not eating any grains or dairy (except for milk in my coffee). Four days was enough time to feel a big difference when I went off Diet Coke, but Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and we'll be in Chicago over the weekend so I'm allowing the experiment to end before then so I'm not setting myself up for failure. I figure one of a few things will happen.

1. I'll really feel a difference, either in my digestive health or mentally about what I'm eating, and I'll have no problem sticking with it.

2. The review will be mixed, and I'll try picking it back up again after the weekend.

3. It'll really suck, and I'll have to decide if I want to try to commit to doing it for two weeks (this was how long it took Joel Friel to feel better when he switched to paleo) to see if I can make the switch.

So even though I don't want to go on and on about it, I may put a little diet blurb down with my workout blurb if I have something interesting observation about it.