I had a funny experience this morning with my usual Thursday computrainer interval day. I got up at 5 am foam rolled, stretched (active), and did a plank for 1 minute and 1 plyo movement and I was ready to go. I had a great night sleep and we go...on my way to a new PR for my 30 minute time trial wattage. Got on and warmed up and went for it. About 5 minutes in I realized my 30 minute time trial was quickly turning into a 3 x 5 minute session with 3 minutes rest. I felt horrible after the first 3 minutes. I soldiered through,,,just like a good endurance athlete does. At least I had the sense to just cut it short. Anyways, I thought, what happened. I felt good, had a good nights sleep...what could have gone wrong? Then I realized this can be explained.

The night before I ate a decent meal at 4:30 pm. Then I basically relaxed for the rest of the evening. I thought....I need to lose some weight so I am not going to eat anything tonight even if I get hungry. By 8 pm. I was feeling a bit hungry but sucked it up. Then the crappy interval session happened this morning. What I had come to realize was that I broke one of the training rules. DON'T TRY TO LOSE WEIGHT DURING INTENSE TRAINING. It is a good formula for bonking. Now if I had done a 2 hour recovery ride at 150 watts instead of my 30 minute TT attempt I would probably have had a great workout, increased my body's ability to burn fat (according to Bob Seebohar...see post below), and gained some base endurance.

The moral of the story is.... intense interval training or competition phase is not the time to decide to lose weight. First off you will bonk or just have sub par efforts. Secondly you will probably not lose much weight anyways as your body will rebel and you will end up doing what basically amounts to a tempo ride at max effort which really sucks from a mental point of view.

Early in the season is the time to get your diet under control and coordinate that with your base training. More to come on this issue as I digest more of Bob Seebohar's book. Again, what Bob is espousing isn't really anything new but he has a knack for explaining it and presenting it in a way that is easier to understand and a way that can be realistically incorporated into one's life without counting calories and obsessing.


"Metabolic Efficiency Training" Book Review

After meeting Bob Seebohar and attending his clinic on Nutritional Periodization and Metabolic Efficiency Training and Testing at "TriFest 10" this past weekend I have begun to re-evaluate my athlete's, as well as my own nutritional needs. Bob's book is exceptional and sheds a new light and common sense approach to helping athletes and fitness professionals develop a periodized nutritional plan that is easy to follow and that makes sense.

Bob's first 4 chapters are dedicated to determining one's personal Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP). This can only be done by being tested on a metabolic cart that measures both oxygen uptake as well as carbon dioxide output. This is the point where we stop obtaining your energy from fat and start to burn more and more carbohydrates.

Bob's theory is to determine where that point is (MEP) and then introduce training sessions and dietary changes that are periodized and designed to move that MEP forward in order to "train" your body to burn and rely more and more on fat stores for energy rather than carbohydrates. As a result, you will experience less GI distress from over feeding during your races and as a result be able to dial in your nutritional plan more accurately for your event. For those that don't race you will be able to lose more weight in a healthy and safe way.

One of the coolest things about Bob's book is that he provides a realistic nutritional plan that is based on a visualization of a plate of food. No calorie counting or obsessive counting of fat grams.
Based on this plate you are to fill certain portions of it with either lean protien and healthy fats, fruits and vegetables and yes....some whole grains depending on what training cycle you are in.

Bob turn's the supplement world and sports nutrition world up on its head with some of his pre and post training dietary recommendations.....But you know what....he makes perfect sense and reinforces what most have known all along....Less really is more. I have included my own example of Bob's Preparatory Cycle Stage of his periodized nutritional plan. It is very simple....First, get tested to determine your MEP (If you even have one,,,,, as some do not due to too much intensity in their training.) Then determine at what paces or power outputs you are burning the most fat at. Then train at these recommended intensity levels in your Base I and II periods and follow this nutritional plan below. No need to count calories or grams of fat....just get a circular plate of average size and fill it according to the pie chart you see below. Get Bob's book to see how the other nutritional stages are organized or visit his site to learn more.

I realize this graph is difficult to read and for some reason can't be enlarged. The blue section is made up of carbohydrates obtained from fruits and vegetables and should encompass most of your plate during all your meals in the Prep or Base stages. The red section is made up of lean protien and healthy fats. Notice no whole grains or sports nutrition products are to be used during this Prep Nutrition Cycle. Something most sports nutrition marketers would argue against...However, those products are introduced later in the periodization cycle....but not to the extent that most are using them at the present time.


Tri Fest Conference

I just got back from attending the TriFest 10 conference at TriSports in Tucson. I went into this conference really not expecting much more than just receiving my 7-8 CEU's for my USAT and USA Cycling coaching licenses. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. I received so much more than that from an array of outstanding coaches and experts in their respective fields. Click the link to the left and scroll down to the "Conference" section in order to view presenters. From the first presenter ,Tim Hawkins from windhawk to the last presenter, Tom Demerly of, the entire conference was top notch and extremely informative from a coach's point of view. Getting bike fit secrets from Tom Demerly and open water swim race strategies and specialized swim training techniques from Steven Munatones just blew me away. I can't wait to get with my athletes to share this information.