Olympic Triathlon training

This training will prepare me for the San Angelo Triathlon on August 14, 2016. I have selected a 16 week training program developed by Garmin. It is a heart-rate based training program lasting 12 weeks. It will focus on around 4-5 endurance workouts per week. I will add in 2 gym days, focusing on the simplyhumanlifestyle.com protocol of heavy lifts increasing weight/decreasing reps each week (press, squat, bench, dead) and add in core work and other workouts those days. I will do the least amount of swimming, instead using some of those workouts to strengthen running due to the difficulty of the running course of this race.

Nutritionally I will focus mainly on plants, limited grains and sugars. I will be almost exclusively vegan, with exceptions for occasional fish, cream, and butter. Back to basics, nothing crazy. Real food. I will not focus on fat adaptation for a race of this distance.

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Previous Training Regiments

Half-marathon training
January 4 – April 23
RACE CANCELLED ON APRIL 9

This training will prepare me for the Run the West half marathon. I have selected a 16 week training program developed by Garmin. It is a 6-7 workout per week program: 3-4 runs (alternating between z2, interval, and pace runs), and 3 strength (from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Fitness program). This is a long program for a half-marathon, but it will hopefully do several things for me.

  1. Slowly develop my aerobic base
  2. Prevent injury
  3. Prevent muscle loss
  4. Prepare me for longer races throughout the year
  5. Get me back to a good race weight (180ish lbs).

After running this race, I will immediately work toward 1-2 sprint triathlons, at least one Olympic tri, then perhaps a full marathon by the end of the year. This is all TBD.

Nutritionally I will focus mainly on plants, limited grains and sugars. Back to basics, nothing crazy. Real food. I will not focus on fat adaptation for a race of this distance.

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90 day cut
8/24/15 – 11/22/15

The goal of this plan is to cut down weight (25-30 lbs) and to slowly work back into a state of fitness in which I can begin normal endurance training in the early spring to take part in a full 4-6 race season next year.

I will do moderate endurance activities, but focus on strength based training based out of Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Fitness plan. I intend to work out 4-6 times per week.

Nutritionally I am going back to what I know, and that is plant based. I will limit my consumption of meat to fish (which I don’t like that much to begin with) and occasional grass-fed, local beef, only because we have a lot of it left in our freezer that I can’t bring myself to throw out. I will also eliminate almost all processed sugar and will limit wheat consumption. I will begin the first 30 days of the cut by cutting out 100% of land-based meats, and will eliminate all alcohol after my surgery on September 3rd. That surgery will limit my gym time and some other activities, but I will remain nutritionally focused. I have 3 business trips during this time as well. I will allow myself some freedoms on these trips, but not go crazy.

This cut will end the weekend before Thanksgiving. I have not intention of loosening up at that point, but this gives me a firm beginning and ending.

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12 week olympic triathlon training
7/6/15 – 8/17/15 (stopped due to medical issue)

This 12 week program will take me up to the Stonebridge Ranch Olympic Triathlon.

I will follow a 12 week program designed by me based of the successful training I did for Redman 70.3. The training program typically consists of 5 endurance workouts per week, 2-3 days of strength training and core work. I will utilize prescribed strength workouts designed by Mark with simplyhumanlifestyle.com. This is a volume based schedule which will require approximately 8-12 hours of training per week. Training will alternate between distance, intervals, and/or target HR zone training.

Nutrition wise I will focus on a nutrient dense, plan-based diet. My main sources of nutrients will come from vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, nuts/nut butters, seeds, oils (primarily coconut oil), and a few beans and legumes. I will incorporate occasional animal products in the form of free range, local eggs, grass-fed beef, and fish. Animal products will be used sparingly with attention given to quality and source. I will follow these guidelines for the vast majority of my training, with a few rare exceptions:

  • not dining out at restaurants (will be required during travel)
  • Limited grains (may do minimal grains on/prior to heavy training days)
  • no processed sugar

I will not count calories. I will focus away from starchy foods, but may eat rice, oats, etc. on heavy training days.

My initial plans (subject to change as needed) are to fuel during exercise with Generation UCAN, salt-sticks, Nuun tablets, whole foods (almond butter, tart cherries, almonds, coconut oil, etc), and limited sugars for carb replenishment (Vega gels, honey, chomps, shot-blocks, etc).

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Cut
12/15/14 – 5/1/15

My previous program was highly inconsistent due to my crazy life with kids/work/travel. I am not saying this will improve a great deal now, but I believe I am now to the point where I can dedicate more time to this.
The goal of this plan is to lose fat (while building lean muscle as possible). I also hope to start building up a little more cardiovascular endurance with a few slow sessions on the bike or running/walking. My workouts will focus on heavy weight training 2-4 ‘s per wee, focusing on compound movements (press, squat, bench, dead), and mobility. I will add 1-3 sessions a week of slow run/walks and bike. I will also mix in some speed work or high HR workouts (time permitting).

Nutrition wise I will focus on a real food, plant-based diet with added high-quality animal products.

 I will follow these guidelines.

  • limited grains- I will include limited quantities of rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and quinoa at times.
  • little to no processed sugar
  • Mostly real, fresh foods (not out of a box)

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Metabolic “fixing” with a crazy schedule
9/23/14 – 10/31/14

This training will look very much like my previous plan with a few exceptions. I realized that I bit off more than I could chew with the crazy schedule of twins, work, etc. This training program is being designed with Mark from Simply Human Lifestyle. The training is meant to build muscle mass, lose fat, and work on my metabolic efficiency that is out of whack due to lack of muscle, stress, erratic sleep, etc. My workouts, for the time being, will be 3-5 times a week and be around 30 minutes in duration. I will focus on one main lift per day (press, squat, bench, dead), mobility, and some walking or slow running/biking in small quantities. I will also mix in some speed work or high HR workouts (time permitting). After MUCH discussion and debate, I have decided, at least initially, to include more animal products than I have in the previous 3 years. This is due to several reasons which I won’t detail here, but the main one being we are wanting to have discussions with our children about responsible meat consumption as they get older, and we want to give them the opportunity to eat certain foods at home so they make good choices in the future. Any animal product I consume will be of high quality and sustainable if possible (i.e. grass-fed, free range, organic, etc.).

I will still consider myself to be plant-based. My other main sources of nutrients will come from vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, nuts/nut butters, seeds, oils (primarily coconut oil), and a few beans and legumes. I will follow these guidelines.

  • limited grains- I will include limited quantities of rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and quinoa at times.
  • little to no processed sugar
  • Mostly real, fresh foods (not out of a box)

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Strength training
5/2/14 – 9/22/14

This training was implemented due to my inability to build sustainable muscle mass and lose fat. It will focus on slow, heavy movements and aim to build lean mass. I will refrain from racing longer distances until I feel I am metabolically in a “good” place. Diet wise, my main sources of nutrients will come from vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, nuts/nut butters, seeds, oils (primarily coconut oil), and a few beans and legumes. I will follow these general dietary guidelines for the vast majority of my training:

  • limited grains- I will include limited quantities of rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and quinoa at times.
  • little to no processed sugar
  • limited animal products (will be limited to free-range/local eggs, heavy cream, occasional fish, and occasional raw cheese)

Half-marathon training
2/24/14 – 6/28/14
CUT OFF EARLY ON 5/26/14

This training will serve two functions: the first will be to prepare me to run the Run the West half marathon on 4/26/14 and the Easy Rider Triathlon on 6/28/14. Second, it will serve to reestablish a base level of fitness to prepare me for the remainder of race season. It will involve a focus on strength training, and a lot of zone 2 training, and some speed intervals. Strength training will be based on mass-building body weight and traditional weight training moves.

Nutrition wise, I will follow a similar to that of my half-iron training last summer. My main sources of nutrients will come from vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, nuts/nut butters, seeds, oils (primarily coconut oil), and a few beans and legumes. I will follow these guidelines for the vast majority of my training, with a few rare exceptions:

  • limited grains (may do minimal grains on/prior to heavy training days) – I will include limited quantities of rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and quinoa at times.
  • no processed sugar
  • limited animal products (I will eat free-range, local eggs, heavy whipping cream, occasional fish, and even less occasional raw cheese)

My long zone 2 runs will be fueled primarily with whole foods and Generation UCAN, and my faster speed work will be fueled by whole fruits such as berries, bananas, etc. I will sparingly (never a full recommended serving) of different plant-based or isolated protein powders at times. Mainly because I have them and don’t want to throw them out.

NOTE: this was terminated due to complications with new babies and the inability to train as effectively as needed.

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Base strength training
10/7/13 – 12/13/13

This is a loose program that will incorporate 3 days of weight training per week, along with 2-3 cardio sessions a week (swim, bike, run), mostly in zone 2. I will also incorporate some yoga and mobility work. The program will focus on heavy weights and low reps. Most of the weight workouts will be less than 30 minutes in length.

Diet wise I will continue to focus on plant-based foods, low grains and sugars. I will add in occasional animal products in the form of full-fat yogurt, grass fed cream or butter, local pastured eggs, occasional cheese, and occasional (2-3 servings per month) fish.

This program (in some variation) will last up until my hernia surgery scheduled for December 18th.

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12 week Half-Iron training
7/1/13 – 9/21/13

This 12 week program will take me up to my first 70.3 race: Redman Triathlon.

I will follow a 12 week program designed by level II USAT coach Mike Ricci to bridge Olympic distance to HIM. The training program consists of at least 3 workouts per week in each sport, 2 days of strength training and core work. I will utilize either the prescribed strength workouts or CrossFit Endurance WODs. This is a volume based schedule which will require approximately 10-16 hours of training per week. Training will alternate between distance, intervals, and/or target HR zone training.

Nutrition wise I will focus on fat adaptation, but not ketosis. I will eat a primarily plant-based diet with a lot of dietary fat. My main sources of nutrients will come from vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, nuts/nut butters, seeds, oils (primarily coconut oil), and a few beans and legumes. I will follow these guidelines for the vast majority of my training, with a few rare exceptions:

  • not dining out at restaurants (will be required during some business trips)
  • no/limited grains (may do minimal grains on/prior to heavy training days)
  • no processed sugar
  • limited animal products (I will eat free-range, local eggs, heavy whipping cream, occasional fish and even less occasional raw cheese as needed)

While I will not count calories, I will aim for approximately 600 calories of carbohydrates per day (around 150g) to assure that my body is getting the amount needed for basic functions while training. I may eat more on/before heavy training days.

This program will be a time where I will experiment greatly with race nutrition. My initial plans (subject to change as needed) are to fuel during exercise with Generation UCAN, salt-sticks, Nuun tablets, whole foods (almond butter, almonds, coconut oil, etc), and limited sugars for carb replenishment (Vega gels, honey, chomps, shot-blocks, etc).

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Triathlon Season
Feb – May 2013

I’ve gone back and forth between total veganism, ketosis, etc. I’ve been reading books, blogs, and listening to a ton of podcasts. I’ve been listening to a lot of info from Ben Greenfield, who I really like. He speaks out rather candidly against CrossFit Endurance (which is what I have been following). The thinking behind his arguments are that CFE WODs tend to leave your body constantly overworked, and that you need more traditional weight based training on occasion. He also talks a lot about not training in zone 3 – which is where I found I have spent most of my training time. I thought I was in zone 2, however after testing, I found that I was right around 11:00 mpm while staying in zone 2. I will definitely focus more on zone 2 in the future. I will alternate this with zone 4/5 interval training.

Diet wise is where I have had the most indecision. Ben Greenfield made a point in a podcast that really made my decision for me. He said “don’t trade health for performance.” I feel that if I go for all out ketosis I am in danger of doing this. I have made too many gains in the past 18 months with a plant-based diet to abandon it at all. I feel that although I had some good gains in my 21 day grain/sugar fast, I was still relying on too many ingredients that are not plant based. Those I know or follow that are seeking ketosis have begun relying on animal proteins frequently. While I think ketosis is possible without doing this, it would be difficult. I still am unwavering in my feelings about most animal products (red meat, chicken, pork especially), and have no plans at this time to add those back into my diet . . . ever. Saying that, I will still remove most/all of the sugar and grains from my diet especially during race training. The only animal products I will consume are the occasional fish and eggs, and the even less frequent grass fed butter and heavy cream. I will implement these three ingredients sparingly, not daily. Once I lean down quite a bit I will limit these ingredients even more (focusing more on total veganism).

So, all of that to say, here are my plans that will take me through May, until I begin my HIM training.

Training:
Endurance training:
1-2 interval sessions per week (alternating sports)
5-6 zone 2 sessions per week (alternating sports)

Strength training:
3 workouts per week = 2 – 3 CFE WODs, 1 traditional low weight/high rep weight or core workout

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21 day Grain Free-Sugar Free
January 2 – 23 2013

Beginning (1/3/13):
Weight: 184.2
Body Fat: 13.82%

Finish (1/23/13):
weight: 174.6 (-9.6)

DETAILS:

For the month of January I will be completely giving up wheat and all sugar/sweetener that does not naturally occur in fruit. I am doing this for several reasons.

  • I am reading the book Wheat Belly  and am curious about what giving up wheat will do. I am aiming to get rid of the remaining belly fat I have left and get as lean as possible before my first race in March. I believe that grains and sugars have been holding me back from reaching my full fat loss potential.
  • I am playing around with the idea of becoming fat adapted (ketosis) for my long race(s) and training this summer. I want to begin experimenting with my body before then to find what does and does not work.
  • I believe that I may be fairly insulin sensitive. Getting rid of high impact GI foods should tell me if I am correct.

I have read a lot and have friends who contend that losing fat and lowering carbs cannot happen without inclusion of lean meats. Knowing what I know about meat and what it does to the body, I will stick with a majority plant-based diet throughout this process. I will not be fully vegan (see below), however will rely heavily on non-animal based sources of nutrients along with occasional eggs and fish. I will also make an attempt to lower my carbohydrate intake considerably during this process. I will replace many of the calories I formerly obtained from carbs with mostly fat and a little protein. While I will not do a lot of calorie or macro monitoring, I will aim to take in around 1700-2000 calories per day with a protein/carb/fat breakdown of approximately 20/30/50%. I will focus more immediately on exclusion of grains and sugars opposed to immediate fat adaptation and carb elimination. I plan to accomplish this by following this diet approach:

  • Focus a great deal on green leafy vegetables, squash, a few carrots, onions, and other non-starchy vegetables.
  • Eat a lot of nuts, seeds, and nut-butters.
  • Eat 1-3 servings of oil (coconut, EVOO) per day.
  • Incorporate full fat grass-fed butter and/or heavy cream 1-3 days per week in my breakfast. This will consist of 100% fat, therefore will not contain casein (the cancer-causing protein found in dairy). Depending on how this goes, I may cut it out based on performance.
  • Eat eggs and/or fish (salmon, shrimp, or sardines) 1-3 days per week.
  • Limit my intake of fruits high on the GI index (bananas, mango, raisins).
  • Limit/eliminate legumes and beans (I may experiment on occasion with adding these in to see how they impact performance or body composition).

I will begin each day more than likely with a green smoothie, eggs, almond butter, or bulletproof coffee.
Lunch will be a salad (possibly with sardines), green smoothie, or soup.
Dinner will be salad, fish, cooked veggies, or soup.

This is almost a paleo diet without the meat, but since paleo people are very particular about what is and isn’t allowed to be classified as paleo, I will refrain from calling it that. But if you want to read a good take on it you can find that HERE.

I will do this without exception (other than one possible night with friends that is already in the works) for the entire month of January. I will travel a great deal at the end of January and first week of February, but after returning home I intend to continue with this approach for the most part depending on the results from this month.

As always, I will document daily food and training.

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Marathon Training
August 6 – December 9, 2012

This training will prepare me to complete my first full-length marathon: Dallas Marathon on 12/9/12. I will use a hybrid of 3 programs: Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2, No Meat Athlete Marathon Roadmap, and standard CrossFit Endurance. My training will be somewhat divided into two distinct sections. The first section will both prepare me for the marathon, but more immediately for my first triathlon, the Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon on 9/30/12. My typical week prior to that will consist of 3 CFE WODs (workout of the day), 2 bike intervals, 2 swimming intervals, 1 running interval, and 1 long run. After the triathlon, I will shift heavily to running, reducing my bike and swim to 1 interval a week, and 3-4 runs. Throughout the entire program I will have one complete rest day per week.

Diet wise, I will continue to follow a mostly vegan, mostly VFBNS eating plan. I will have one “loose” day per week. You can read about why I follow this method HERE.

As always, I will document daily food and training.

DALLAS MARATHON RESULTS: 4:19:52

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7 day juice fast
July 21 – 27

Completed in preparation for marathon training. 7 days of nothing but fresh fruit and veggie juice.

Beginning of juice fast
Weight: 184.4
Body Fat: 13.74%

Day 2
Weight: 182

Day 3
Weight: 181

Day 4
Weight: 178

Day 5
Weight: 178

Day 6
Weight: 175

Day 7 – FINAL
Weight: 175.2
Body Fat: 13.28%

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70 day cut
May 14 – July 22

Overall results:

Beginning – end = total change

weight: 191.8 – 184.4 = 7.4 lbs
bf: 15.63 – 13.74 = 1.89%
chest: 39.3 – 39 = 0.3 inches
belly: 37 – 34.75 = 2.25 inches
waist: 36 – 35.1 = 0.9 inches

The point of the current cut is to prepare myself and get myself in the best shape possible to begin my full marathon training on July 28th.  I do not want my marathon training to be a time of fat loss or obtaining a higher level of fitness. Instead I want only to focus on endurance and speed.

My goal for the current cut is to bring my body fat % down to 10-12%, and my weight down to around 180 to begin marathon training.

I am following CrossFit Endurance (CFE) three sport training. This includes:
strength/conditioning WOD (workout of the day): M, T, W, Th, Fr and/or S
3 sport training:
Mon: interval swim
Tue: interval run
Wed: interval bike
Thu: interval or timetrial swim
Fri: interval or timetrial bike
Sat: interval or timetrial run
Sun: rest

Food wise I will follow a 100% vegan diet for the first 30 days (5/14-6/13). I will only eat non-animal based, minimally processed foods throughout the week, focusing primarily raw or lightly cooked foods. Since I am not doing this out of any philosophical animal rights reasons, I will include raw honey in my diet at times.

After the initial 30 days of the cut I will eat VFBNS (veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds) with the exception of fish up to twice a week (salmon, cod, shrimp). Sunday I will allow myself a “loose” day, where I can have minimal dairy (carob almonds, etc.). At the end of the cut (starting on day 69) I will complete a 7 day juice fast.

To see my reasoning behind this read my About me page.

I am currently getting a great deal of recipes and info from the Thrive Diet by Brendon Brazier,  and Super Immunity and Disease Proof your Child books by Joel Fuhrman.

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60 day cut (11/11 – 2/12)

For training, I’m followed the Insanity workout program, mainly because it’s cardio based, and loosely resembles a CrossFit program. While my last training regiment was based solely around performance, this was solely based around fitness outcomes, mainly body fat. My starting body fat was 15.86%. My goal was to bring that to below 11% realistically, 10% ideally. I estimated that my weight (currently around 194) would be around 180 for that to occur. I was probably right, but I drank so much juice that I think I lost some muscle tone during the cut. I ended up at 178.4 lbs, 14.23% bf. Total weight loss was 15.6 lbs, body fat loss was 1.63%.

During the last 4 weeks of the cut I was incredibly strict with my food intake:

  • 100% vegan for 30 days (ending around 2/8). Absolutely no compromise.
  • No refined sugar as much as I can help (no dessert foods at all).
  • As little/no refined carbs (white flour, white breads, crackers, etc).
  • 2 purely raw days weekly: Tue/Thur. I will only eat raw, uncooked foods. This will include a lot of juicing. No coffee on these days.
  • Sunday will be my “loose” day. This will be the only time I allow myself any of my junk vegan foods, like Nana’s cookies. I will still limit myself on Sundays.

Food wise I usually follow a Vegetarian diet, with very occasional fish (rare). I eat minimal dairy, only in the form of soft cheese, but usually only once a week or so. To see my reasoning behind this read my About me page. While I do not usually count my macro nutrients for several reasons, mainly being that I don’t think it’s that helpful and it’s a hassle, I will do so for at least the first week of this program. I have counted calories enough overt the years to gauge what I take in daily, which is around 1800 – 2100, about 12-18% from protein. My goals for this cut will be around those calorie levels, with my protein/carb/fat breakdown being somewhere within 5% of 15/25/60. I believe I can take in less calories than most people training do because I eat mostly raw, easy absorbing foods, yielding the need for less calories. I eat almost no sucrose (refined sugar), processed foods, or refined carbohydrates. I focus my diet on raw vegetables and easily cooked whole foods.

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Speed Training: 10/11 – 11/11

I’m currently on a speed training regiment for an upcoming 8 mile race on Thanksgiving day.  The training is based on an intermediate running conditioning program developed by Hal Higdon. My current goal is to run a sub 70 minute 8 mile. That is not too daunting to some, but for someone with extremely slow genes, that’s lofty. My usual week looks like this:

Sunday: long run

Monday: strength

Tuesday: intermediate run

Wed: speed work

Thurs: short run + strength

Fri: rest

Saturday: cross training

RESULTS:

Turkey Trot: 70:39 (8.23 mi)
Weight loss: 8.6 lbs
Fat: .23%

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