CCM Diary: Eat to the Beat

It’s supposed to rain on and off all day, with more “on” as the day progresses.  That’s a good enough excuse to let me to skip today’s ride in the hope that I’ll have fresher legs for tomorrow’s run.  Feel free to comment derisively below.

I weighed 150 when I started keeping track at the end of June.  One of my training goals was to drop a few pounds before Cape Cod.  I haven’t been over 148 since the end of August.  Last week my weight crept back up to 148, but a few days away from anniversary celebrations and it dropped again.

For me, keeping my weight down is conceptually easy.  All I have to do is skip pastries and other sugary stuff and eat normal portions at home instead of going out for enormous restaurant portions.  In practice those are the things I like most so my success rate varies.  As long as I don’t go overboard, I do OK.

Yesterday I broke down.  The croissant and brownie I ate are reflected in today’s number.

I also listened to a recent MarathonTalk podcast yesterday that featured Dr. Tim Noakes’ new opinions about carbohydrates and running nutrition.  Tim Noakes is the author of possibly the thickest, and definitely the nerdiest, running book in existence, Lore of Running.  It’s almost 1000 pages of detailed scientific information about physiology, training, racing, injuries, world-class athletes, and more.  I don’t agree with everything in the book, but it’s worth having if you’re at all serious about running.

Noakes’ interview starts about 43 minutes into the show.  He has apparently become a fan of the Paleo Diet, at least for himself.  The diet recommends eliminating grains, dairy, refined sugars, and processed foods from our diets, replacing them with low-fat proteins and plenty of low-sugar/starch fruits and vegetables.  That contradicts the common wisdom that distance runners need extra carbs to fuel their efforts.

He says it works great for him.  He even skips extra carbs while he runs, though he admits he never runs any further than a half-marathon.  Noakes says he’s done a lot of reading on the subject but all the evidence he provides is similarly anecdotal, which I thought was odd for someone with his reputation.

I wasn’t convinced.  I’m going to keep eating my GU on long runs.  I’ve run without them and with them and I have no doubt that “with” works better.

Tonight, I’ll be helping with timing for “PR Night” at the Casey’s Thursday Night Run.  On PR Night, we start a countdown timer slightly before the highest PR and each runner starts their race when the timer hits their PR.  If you finish before the timer hits zero, you set a new PR.  Slower runners get a chance to win for once, and there’s usually a larger cluster of people finishing at about the same time which makes for extra excitement for the runners and extra headaches for the timers.  It’s a lot of fun.


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