I tease my boyfriend that I need to go to his house and cook for him at least once a week so he can get his one serving of vegetables per week in...there's a grain of truth to that comment.
Dave's DietDave consumes what I consider a "Bachelors diet". Heavy on the carbs - most are simple carbs: oatmeal w/whole milk & brown sugar, Nature Valley granola bars, bbq sandwiches, potato salad, burgers, fries, a ton of pasta, mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, eggs, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, etc...you get the picture.
I need to mention that Dave is thin. His legs are muscly and his stomach is as flat as a board. If I ate his diet - I'd look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy...life just isn't fair. ;)
It seems a lot of guys don't make any effort to eat fruits and vegetables. My son, Ricky bragged on Facebook that he hadn't consumed a single vegetable while his wife (she's vegetarian) was out of town for 3 weeks. But then he remembered he had eaten pizza and that's a vegetable, right? As his Mom - I'm so glad he has Catherine in his life. :)
Dave says: "my diet isn't that bad". I mean he's not eating fast food, donuts and consuming massive amounts of Coke so that comment is true - it's not THAT bad. He's a grown man and it's not my job to dictate what he eats. But, how good is it for endurance running?
My dietMy diet isn't perfect by any means. I do keep track of my food consumption on Fitday. Last year my mtn bike coach for the Breck Epic, Lynda Wallenfels, took a look at my diet and gave me some guidelines for optimal recovery and fuel for endurance. I generally try to stick to that when my physical activity ramps up. It's an effort for me to get 5+ servings each of veggies and fruit - I definitely have to pay attention and prepare/plan my food to get that many servings in. If I'm weak on anything - it's the discipline to get that many servings consumed.
55-60% carbs from mostly fruits and vegetables and limit grains - I do eat sprouted grain bread and sprouted grain tortillas and quinoa.
20-25% from fat - good fat like avocados and nuts
20% - protein from lean meats
FUEL testDave set a goal to run a 50 mile trail race on September 30th. The Bear Chase. He's been putting in 40-45 miles per week to get ready. However; in the last month he was feeling really run down and not very energetic.
After some researched he decided to hire Craig Howie (winner of the 2011 Leadville 50) to coach him from now until the race. Craig recommended a FUEL test and a LT test from Boulder Center of Sports Medicine in order for Craig to optimize Dave's training.
I did a FUEL test a couple of months ago. I thought the information was valuable and it has enabled me to consistently fuel properly for the 4 half marathons I have completed. It was interesting the difference in our tests.
My test shows that are endurance pacing (10min mile pace - 12min mile pace) I burn 69% carbs and 31% fat - this enables me to replenish from 200 - 300 calories an hour and will keep me from away glycogen depletion for over 8 hours. For racing half marathons, I feel my fat utilization is just fine - but if I want to compete in marathons or ultra distances - I would like to bump up my fat utilization to 50% -60%. The nutritionist at BSCM showed us the chart of an elite marathoner and their fat utilization was in the 60% range before they hit LT.
|69% carb burn & 31% fat burn at endurance pace - green indicates fat burn percentage|
Dave's test shows that he's burning pretty much ALL carbs - even at a slow endurance pace! Fueling his body with simple carbs has taught his body to ONLY use carbs. What this means for him - is he *might* be able to fuel for 4 hours but after 4 hours - he will be glycogen depleted. That might work for a marathon, but no way will that work for a 50 miler.
|All fueling for Dave comes from carbs - no fat burning going on|
Drastic times call for drastic measuresDave has 3.5 months to prepare for the race. There is a 2 prong approach he can take to up the fat utilization.'
1. Shift to Paleo style diet. One of the experts at BSCM, Adam, did this as a test and was able to switch to over 75% fat utilization in ~2 month time period. Adam recommended that Dave start inching his diet to the Paleo style. The Paleo diet is basically lots of lean meats,fruits and vegetables - no processed food, grains, rice, beans, oats, dairy...you get the picture. A huge change in mind set. I told Dave - "well - if you don't do the race you don't have to change your diet". However; he's adamant about doing the race and is committed to changing the diet.
2. Train at slower paces for longer durations and try to force a bonk to tap into fat stores. Here's a good article on "bonk training". Basically, you go out for an intense workout with eating anything in the morning and force a bonk...immediately replenish your carbs but for the rest of the day eat low carb and then go out for a 2nd workout at a moderate pace.
I am thrilled Dave is willing to make this change in order to achieve his goal. I am very proud of all he is doing with running and his prep for the Bear Chase 50.
I can't wait to see what kind of plan Craig comes up with for Dave...you can bet that I'm going to be closely following along and maybe incorporate some of his suggestions into my running...or maybe not...
Dave will probably retake the FUEL test just before the race to dial in his race day nutrition. For the sake of solidarity - I've agreed to go Paleo with Dave. Actually, whenever I'm trying to lose weight - usually in early Spring in order to lose the extra winter pounds I take the Paleo approach. I can definitely stand to lose a few pounds right now - so Dave and I will be into the Paleo thing together. It's going to be interesting.