Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Week: Putting the 'Eat' in Triathlete

Friday, September 24

It was fantastic to be able to train in Las Vegas this week, although riding the “little hills" was a humbling experience. I forgot how hard it was to ride up a mountain! The weather here is outstanding. It’s dry, and about 66 degrees in the morning. Since the race is in Arizona, the temperatures are very similar. The sun comes up early enough that you can get out at 6 a.m., when I bike and run in the hills. I had a really good ride of 60 miles on Sunday. Overall, I trained Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

With all my training, I did get a blister from my new running shoes. That’s why you buy them early, so you can train in them. I have it covered up for now, so I can cycle, but not run. Physically, I’m feeling good. I’m still a little congested from last week, but it’s almost completely cleared. My energy is really good. These next 8weeks have to be really intense, with a focus on running and swimming

I’m currently 15 pounds above my ideal racing weight at 200 pounds. I need to get to 180 or 185, which will happen easily if I keep my diet clean. I weighed 155 in my first Ironman, a stark difference. I’m a lot more muscular than I was 26 years ago. Even in the 14 marathons I did before that, my weight was only between 170-180.

I was actually a strict vegan at my first triathlon. I started incorporating meat when I moved to Boca Raton, where there aren't many vegetarian restaurants. I haven’t eaten beef or pork since 1977. Even tuna looks too much like steak to me, so I eat white fish or trout or salmon instead. I can’t stand the smell or consistency or ground meat, like hamburgers or even turkey burgers... The one exception are the ground chicken meatballs from Whole Foods.

Normally, I eat 5 meals a day (3 meals and 2 snacks), but it’s tough to get good snacks while traveling. Plus, in Vegas, you have to drink a lot more water all day long because of the dry climate. So I’ve been drinking less coffee, more water. I have to have completely clean my nutrition up for the next few weeks.

This Week's Diet Log

Breakfast: A spinach omelet (8 egg whites and 3 whole eggs or 6 egg whites and 2 whole eggs) with one slice of whole grain toast and 2 cups of coffee

Midmorning Snack: Nuts and fruit, or pure protein like turkey slices. Today I had chicken salad around 11 a.m

Lunch: Protein, no carbs. Salmon, turkey breasts or chicken with salad or 1 vegetable

Mid-Afternoon Snack: Unfortunately I've been pretty lax with my snacks this week, due to travel. One day I even had 2 slices of pizza, which is really unusual for me. I usually opt for nuts and apples, or a protein bar on rare occasion. (You’re much better off if you can get turkey slices from a deli or some tuna, because artificial proteins don’t fuel your body as well as real food.)

Dinner: I ate dinner in restaurants every night this week and had fish or chicken with 2 vegetables

You can still train as a vegetarian and get sufficient protein. I recommend yogurt with nuts, and a salad. Vegans can have a salad with tofu. Good options for both vegetarians and vegans are garbanzo beans, vegetarian chili, black bean soup, and lentil soup.

As I continue training and get closer to Ironman Arizona, my diet will become more strict. Every day, I try to work harder and make improvements in all aspects of my training. This has been both an experiment and experience, and I look forward to seeing the outcome.

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