The Sugar Rush …

This week was a pretty big week in our house, it was the 20th anniversary of my wife and I’s first meeting and also our 17th wedding anniversary, so with something to celebrate we went away for a few days alone in the sunshine and it was a great little break to really kick back and relax. No training was done but we ate well and had a great time just thinking of nothing and letting the world go by.

BUT, one of the big things to come out of the week and quite accidentally too, was that I seemed to have kicked the sugar habit ….. hopefully for good, but I went the full week without any sugar in my coffee’s which for me is something big …. I had managed to cut down during the course of this year to the point where I was only putting in about half a teaspoon but now I think I can manage easily without any at all.

sugar

Again, its only a small change, but its a significant one … all the small changes to your diet do make a difference and I am really pleased to have done this now. I will keep it up and make sure I don’t slip back into sugar mode, but I am really pleased they had no sugar for that first cup of coffee I had on holiday … that was the starting point.

Next weekend sees the Wigan 10km race and my first running race for about 4 years, so I go into it with no real expectations other than a nice hour run around closed streets in my home town, so not much that doesn’t work there is there? I will be aiming to get around in under an hour which I should be able to do … a week without running needs some attention and I will probably go for a little easy paced run later today or tomorrow once I have caught up on enough sleep …

Choose Your Fuel …

Sports Science has taken over the world – we see everything scrutinised and everything is analysed and pages and pages of data are produced. Now I am a data lover, data is great and it gives you lots to think about and this aspect of sports science is brilliant.

But there is a dark side to sports science … the dark side ┬áthat sells sugary rubbish to athletes to “boost their perfomance” and to “unlock their potential” … you see it all the time, short 5km races with people guzzling energy gels …. it is this are that the marketing departments have jumped on and taken advantage of … the marketing companies that make “sports drinks” and “natural health drinks” and all the association of fizzy drinks with being cool, trendy and sporty – that has to change.

A recent visit to a cafe highlights what is wrong:

Drinks

Row upon row of sugar and carbonated death juice … only water and milk as real drinks of any benefit – but this is what is offered to consumers – a terrible state of affairs.

I am embarking on something a bit different for my marathon training, I have already road tested it a little on the bike where I can now ride 3-4 hours on just a bidon of pure water, no gels, no bars and no carbs needed, just a solid healthy breakfast of eggs and salmon. I haven’t tried this with the running, but I am pretty sure the same adaptations can be gained over a period of time and that will help me fuel properly for the marathon itself.

It’s a big question, but can I run the marathon without any food at all and rely just on water ? Not sure ?

If I need food, then what food should I have and how much of it will I need to have ?

It will be an interesting journey back to old school running and something that I am looking forward to as the cold months close in.

 

Small Changes Matter …

You cannot make wholesale immediate changes and expect them to work. Everyone knows that, if you do then you are doomed to failure, but when it comes to planning for next year there are changes that I need to make.

First off lets tackle the subject of weight and the changes that are needed there.

Diet Changes

 

As a family we grabbed hold of our eating last winter and made some commitments that have already produced some amazing results. We decided to #EatClean, which basically means that you eat fresh and as natural as you can, avoiding processed foods and reducing the amounts of carbs that you eat each day. We hardly eat any potatoes or pasta now, and every day see’s lots of green vegetables and meat and fish and of course my two favourite “superfoods” … eggs and tomatoes, rarely a day goes by without me having eggs and tomatoes.

It was think change of mindset that started us off on a much healthier eating regime, but it wasn’t done overnight, we made small changes over weeks and those small changes matter.

Gone are the days of cereals and toast for breakfast, gone are the days of packs of sandwiches for lunch … it really had been uplifiting. The children love it too, I can’t remember the last time they had a “yellow meal” … you know the one, chips, chicken nuggets, smiley faces … all that crap …. my boys now prefer hearty stews, salmon and white fish and asparagus and sanfire … really great building blocks as they grow older.

BUT, and there always has to be a but, there are still lots of things we get wrong … there are still lots of times when work or life in general makes it just too easy to grab the takeaway and bottle of beer or wine, and its those instances that we need to tackle now, that and the dreaded killer of athletic performance and life in general … SUGAR.

So my small change today, was to reduce my sugar intake in my coffee …. so I had half the day with sugar and half the day without and you know what, it was alright, early days yet, but if I can reduce that one sugar per brew right down to nothing then over 7 months that will have an impact … if I can stay away from the Chinese and Indian “treat” at weekend, that will have an impact and if I can reduce the beers and wine right down, that will have an impact …. small changes, done over time, not all together … that is the way forward.

Join me and change how you think ….. “Eat Clean” is now my mantra … not gonna obsess about it, but I will try to follow it as much as I can and not beat myself up about it too much if I have the odd slippage.

Finally for today, I am pleased that my legs are good after yesterdays run … it was only a little run I know but it was my first for over 5 months, and I expected some pain today but I have no soreness and am quite ready to go again, so a good start indeed.

Tomorrow sees a gym and core day with Jonny (my eldest) who went out and ran 11km last night, cos he fancied it … oh to be 16 again eh !!!