Getting it right

This last week has been a real challenge as I have not been preparing the food myself. I have run out of supplies e.g quinoa, Udos oil. I have eaten what has been given to me and this has included some toxifying foods and meat. I noticed after having risotto and pumpkin I became irritable and had to go to bed earlier than normal. It was the extreme fatigue which really irritated me.

I have mastered my lunches which are prepared the night before. I have salads with humous and cottage cheese and vary it with various non wheat breads. I get enormous energy, do not get the post lunch slump, and feel full for at least 5 hours. These are forming the staple of my food for the day and I enjoy eating them regularly.

On weekends lunches are different and I have been eating more eggs than normal. I need more variety in my diet and this is the very next step I must take. I want to find meals I enjoy eating, support my lifestyle and give me lots of variety. It is up to me to make this happen and then follow through with it, even when other people are not eating the same foods around me.

I will now look for the recipes and meals I lilke. It might take a while but I see this as the corner stone to my whole ambition to change my nutrition for good.

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Observing my eating habits over the week

This week on the diet I have been observing what happens as I go through the week. I eat best when the food is prepared in advance. An example of this is having lunch made for work. I save time buying food and I know I am eating green foods with a good mix of carbohydrates and protein. I eat dinners late as this is when I get home. Some nights it is as late as 9.30- 10pm. This is not ideal and I must find a way to improve in this area. When I eat late at night there is a social element to it so it is more difficult not to eat. In the mornings I am waking up tired from eating late and going to bed late. The result of doing this is rushing to work and eating toast in the morning instead of whole grains.

I notice I am dehydrated during the day. I am not training regularly anymore and not drinking as much. To help this I will buy bottled water again and observe how much I am drinking.

I will take my pH measurement this week and test how acidic or alkaline my body is at the moment. My big test will be to change this over the next 2 weeks.

I want to get Omega oils and multivitamins as I know these have helped me in the past.

Starting again with nutrition and building motivation

I had planned on starting the thrive diet but work got so busy and I have found getting the food I need and having it available at the right times was a block to building momentum. I also found there was a lack of variety in my diet and to learn more recipes took time and energy.

I have done blood analysis almost 8 years ago and now I am seeing brochures of people bringing this into mainstream commercialism. I know poor nutrition, stress, and exercise will reduce cellular function in my body. The idea of attempting to stick to this thrive diet was to see how I got more energy from it and looked healthier.

I have to admit vegetarians look skinny and their skin does not always glow with vibrancy. Some I know seem to compensate the missing variety in their diet with chocolate and cheese. They seem to eat more than is healthy for them and I wonder if this is the body saying it needs more of a food group vegetarians are not giving their body’s.

When I have tried eating vegetarian in the past I have lost a lot of weight. My body has a high metabolism and working as a physiotherapist increases this throughout the day. As an Ironman my physiological testing showed high fat burning at the heart rate I sustain when I am working. Whenever I add exercise  to my work I lose even more fat and can look too thin.  No two people have the same fat burning capabilities and I have found what my body does to help shape what I will do with my nutrition.

My purpose for getting back on track with alkalising my body is to see what happens to my weight, energy levels, how I look, and building an athletic body by training in the gym. I am about to have a baby in 2 weeks and my long distance training days are over at the moment. I have decided to switch to developing a good looking body (body I am happy to have) which has energy and is sustainable. The training I will do is gym training with a small amount of cardio training to enter a team triathlon this year on the 27 May (Nuffield Triathlon).

I will endeavour to document weekly but with a baby this may vary from time to time.

I want to help people by describing what happens to me as I go through the next 30 days. This has been difficult for me to do in the past and I know a lot of my clients have the same blocks to achieving the bodies they desire. Some people have personal trainers to motivate them and keep them on track. I want to learn how to make this create this change in my life even though I work full-time and am about to become a father.

Latest research findings on cramp in sport/ triathlon

In the July edition of 220 Triathlon there is an article on page 77″The science of cramping” which discusses the research into cramping and how to manage it.

In summary:

The research comparing triathletes and athletes who get cramp with those that don’t identified a common risk factor is exercising at unusually high intensity during a race, family history of cramps and a history of tendon/ ligament injury. Currently there is no exact known reason why cramping occurs.

Studies have found a 6% carbohydrate sports drink can delay the onset of exercise induced muscle cramps in endurance activities, but not prevent them entirely. Low levels of magnesium are linked to increased incidence of muscle cramps. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to help sufferers of “night cramps”

Take away tips:

1. Gradually increase training intensity. Remember unaccustomed fatigue plays a major role in muscle cramps.

2. Stretch regularly, paying particular attention to hamstrings, calves and any other muscle groups that are prone to cramp.

3. Use carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks during longer training sessions/races and/or during recovery, and ensure you consume plenty of calcium and magnesium rich foods.

4. If you’re a long term sufferer of cramps, consider magnesium supplementation.

Personal experience dealing with cramp

I completed the Switzerland Ironman last year and did 1 year of intense training. This year I am doing the Etape De Tour  and increasing my bike mileage from 4 hours to 8 hours on the bike and training 3-4 times per week. I will be going to Portugal to train on my bike in the hills and the heat.

I have suffered from cramp occasionally after exercise but also during exercise. The cramp usually affects my hamstring or calf muscles. I noticed when training for the Ironman muscles were getting tighter in the early stages of training. At this time I was starting to train 6 days a week and running and then cycling in consecutive days. My calves got so tight I had to walk down stairs sideways.

I went to get massage weekly and this helped but I noticed my legs were still very tight with continued training. My experience does fit with the article details above. I usually got the cramps if I pushed hard on time trials or at the end of long hard bike rides. The cramp could occur after training if I had a very hard training session. To get rid of them I stretched and in the end I was massaging my legs immediately after training to loosen them. I also wore compression leggings and this certainly made my legs feel much better.

The most important finding I discovered was the use of Magnesium supplementation. I went to New Zealand and was given a product from the salt Lakes of Utah. I started using it and noticed my legs felt significantly looser. My ITB, calves and hamstrings felt at ease and much better after training. the magnesium was better than the massage in terms of preventing muscle tightness.

I continued to take Magnesium through my training. I added it to my  alkalising drink I took through the day and also to my electrolyte drink in training. In my Ironman I did not suffer cramp during or after the race and my ITB friction syndrome did not occur.

I think I was suffering cramp because of the change in intensity of training and number of days trained and I was sweating out salts in my body and not replacing them in my diet.

Recommendation

I am a physiotherapist and an Ironman and I think the information in the article above is spot on. I would try magnesium supplementation, get massage and look after your nutrition. Stretching and self massage is important as you don’t have the time and resources to get a trainer and massage therapist to work on you everyday. If you do then get them in everyday.

If you would like contacts in the fields of stretching, nutrition, triathlon training do contact us here at Physical Edge and we would like to help in anyway we can. Got to love triathlon.

Week before Middle Distance Race: Alkalising my body, visualisation and carbohydrate loading

I did a 1.5 hour easy ride today in high cadence and high gears. It felt relaxing and the hill climbs were comfortable. I have definitely adapted well over the last few months of training and the speed work and hill climbs have made a difference  to my bike riding.

I know my change in nutrition supplementation has definitely made my legs and body feel stronger on the rides and I can breathe easier. I had a medical examination by a doctor and he explained our bodies have a surplus of alkaline minerals which act as a buffer to counter the acid formed when we exercise, eat acidic foods, breathe pollution, get stressed etc. The buffer aims to keep our bodies at an optimal PH of 7.365.

I had a blood test and my blood Ph was 6.5 which is acidic. I found walking upstairs made me breathless and I was told this is my heart rate increasing due to the acidic environment.

Over the last two weeks I have been adding Mega Greens to my water and adding an ion booster (magnesium and chlorides). I have been eating more green foods and reducing the heavy carbohydrates. I now eat wholegrains for my carbohydrate intake.

I remeasured my Ph this morning and it was between 7.25 and 7.5 which is optimal according to the test strip colour chart. I am noticing the difference in how my legs are feeling during racing and after racing. I get much less tightness in  my right hamstring and, unless I am pushing hard, the left calf feels good.

This week I am starting to carbohydrate load. My coach has given me instructions to eat slightly more carbohydrates than normal. In three days time he will tell me what to do before the race.

My medical examination also showed I had an increase in Creatine Kinase (CK) which is an enzyme which breaks down muscle. This is normal in muscular training and I have was told to take an antioxidant. I started Monavie again and this has a powerful naturally occurring antioxidant called the acai berry. If you want to find out more about this product go to my website or email me at http://www.physical-edge.com.

This week I am starting visualisation. I am creating the pictures, sounds and feelings I will have for the rest of the week, travelling to the event, registration, race day and post race. I have to get my brain out of thinking reality and into dreaming and imaging how I want everything to go. I have used it before and it was very effective for competition.

This week I plan to sleep well and prepare early for travel. I drop my bike off to my friends house in three days as he is driving down to cornwall.

I practiced changing my bike tire yesterday and the gas cylinder with fitting device did not  inflate the tire. I blew two canisters trying to work it out so I went into Putney cycles and they got it working by pushing the tire valve hard into the fitting device. I bought 4 new canisters but will only take two with me on race day.

There is a lot to organise before a race so leave plenty of time incase emergencies occur. I have left it one week so far and having all my jobs written down on paper helps get it clear in my head.

Three days of training before I travel to Cornwall. Still excitingly nervous.