Category Archives: Medical/Special
For some days I am back to Hilpoltstein. Due too that I switched my bike workouts to spinning, since I no longer have a bike around here. Yet…
It all started yesterday evening – preparing some Pasta for a friend and me:
It tasted good and in the end I also had an Aperol sour, went back to the Pension, where I sleep and… had a hard time to wake up at 10:00 am, which is way too late for me. Don’t ask me why – seems I needed the sleep.
This time training was a horror to me: It was extremely difficult to raise my pulse above 120 bpm and even more beyond 130 bpm. Sweat on my shoulders, my muscles burning, I take some water, see my pulse watch and while still spinning – 105 bpm. OMG, increase speed, stand up, everything hurts, my stomach turns and… 110 bpm, where 120-134 bpm is my target range.
No matter how much I did, it was almost impossible to get my pulse above 120 bpm and once I sat down on the bike (still pedalling) my pulse dropped like a brick below 110 bpm.
By times it felt as if I am close to faint – still I was determined to finish this one nonetheless. I know for sure it was not due to the instructor, maybe the Aperol sour? Maybe just not feeling ok? No clue but I just felt like thrown into the corner, unable to get up.
Now some Latte Macchiato’s later I am feeling better and think about going for a run. Yet I had nothing to eat so far (afternoon). Yet I also don’t feel like getting something to eat.
This is a weird day. Somehow, somehow I believe it is also an effect of Coach Ralf’s training, which was explicitly aimed at making me have a greater power output at lower pulse rates.
This gonna be interesting – let’s see, if I go for a run – I might shoot a current picture of Challenge Roth transition zone #1 and maybe also of Rothsee Triathlon festival transition zone.
Things happen… After the MTB tour 3 days ago I had a pain in my lower back. A pain, which didn’t leave me except… when I went swimming on Wednesday. Right into the pool and the pain was suddenly gone. Right after swimming it returned. By now I can’t sit straight anymore.
Even worse I have a running session for today. Let’s see what my doctor tells me.
Yet I will do the running, even if it means to crawl the distance. 🙂
This annoys the hell out of me.
Today was a ride on my bike scheduled. Well it’s cold outside, but as we all know: nothing stops a TriAddict. So I prepared… Don’t be fooled by the look in my eyes: it’s not despair but dedication, sheer dedication…
So off we go for a ride on auntie Kate – 1:30 hours away from dusk. A smooth start and overall today’s goal is base endurance. Right uphill at the start and I feel pretty warm. But then comes the even part – straight forward and… the wind. A cold wind from the front and from the side cutting like scissors over the skin of my face. My feet becoming cold until… until I can’t feel my toes anymore.
Onward, forward through the cold. After half the ride I realize that I even forgot my water bottle – this might become ugly… Onward through the cold – a good ride, were it not for my feet and especially my toes, which I didn’t feel at all (yes I had warm socks and neoprene bike shoe cover – figure those saved me from the worst).
Yet I remember the song I listened to, when I stopped feeling my toes (how fitting the song’s text… And please ignore the model in the vid…).
Yes I arrived at home, safely but the surprise was yet to come:
At once I warmed up and my legs and feet hurt due to the sudden warmth all around me. My legs almost feeling as if on flames. And then, then my toes warmed up. Imagine a thousand needles piercing your toes at once for 10 minutes and you feel each single needle simultaneously. That’s about how I felt.
I smiled, knowing it was good.
Did I enjoy? Yes!
Will I do again? You bet!
Several people recommended that doctor to me, so I went there for my appointment. I expected a doctor and Triathlete. I got the most straightforward and blunt advises possible.
So I took my time to swallow on those.
Anyway – one after the other:
- During interview the doctor already expected some kind of burnout.
- During diagnosis he found:
– my upper thigh muscle being inflamed
– tissue already stiff
– lack of stretching of my legs overall
– joints and movement being perfectly fine
- Then came the really blunt part about training, over-training, burn-out,… That part lasted about 45 minutes (the other part only like 15 minutes).
Truth be told: I am aware he is right. Also this kind of… blunt speech proves to me that it was all about health – my health. Well – he came through.
What is happening now?
- I will take my recovery time.
- I have to take a slightly different approach.
- I need to find a way to not push my body too extreme. I still believe that this aspect of pushing is something good overall, but I need to learn where I have to stop in favor of my own health.
There might be some more changes in future, but all in due time. For now: recovery… and enjoying that I don’t feel pain, while sitting still.
My training plan for now is about running. Something which is very good since I need to improve running, while running helps me loose more weight easily. All that happens by now. Running slowly is by now always below 7:00 min/km (remember how I fought with myself to run less than 7:00 mins/km?) and weight is dropping still.
Also training wise I learned some important lessons – most important the saying of quality of training also applies to running. And quality of training is exactly what Coach Ralf is pushing for now. Let us see…
Also I am now used to running more and more. My joints feel 100% ok (never had issues with those) only my muscles complain by times. Since I am running a lot it is difficult or more like impossible to know how far I have come now. Therefore I am curious on my first tempo test after some days of relaxing. Let us see if I have such a time soon…
As a summary: I am still alive and kicking, while training daily. How do you fare?
There is an issue close to everyone encounters when loosing weight. At first weight drops fast and suddenly it stops, one even gains weight, even though nothing (apparently?) changed. I got my very own experience and view on this issue…
I took the time to think about what you wrote up here – about not loosing weight while maintaining a diet and workouts. I am not an expert, but I do have that “dangerous” half-ok-knowledge. Well probably more than most fitness instructors or trainers anyway. But? What was it to me, what is my experience, how did I or how would I handle what you outline? Not loosing weight despite being disciplined?
The answer is: From your words I experienced some of it. So I answer in a list of options, where some options might apply simultaneously. I do not claim the list to be complete at all:
- Deception (love that word) – happy makers: Oftentimes I worked out, but did not lose weight. Most time I dropped me a “happy-maker” for working out that good. Loads of chocolate or similar. Other times I slacked with nutrition (which was ok alone), but I also increased the times of meals without really noticing it. An ok meal or a meal with a taste of sin (carbs) once a day is ok, but 2-3 times a day… not. Solution is to simply not take happy-makers. It is crucial to know it and be honest to oneself.
- Deception – drinks: On another occasion I was drinking too much juices like 2-3 litres a day. Juices make you fat, likewise for white wine and beer. Let us call them “fluid carbs” – they come in every form and kill your plans to lose weight dead cold. Solution: switch completely to water – go out and find the water that tastes best for you.
- Deception – healthy food: Similar applies to healthy food like yoghurt. Yes, a normal, unmodified healthy yoghurt. A small one might be ok, but once I did not have the times for meals, so I took the bigger yoghurt but dropped the proper meals instead. Yoghurt in larger amounts make you really fat. Solution: decrease amounts of healthy fat-making foods.
- Deception – fruits: And to top it off, let us assume you live healthy and good, nothing of the above applies and you take those healthy fruits, apples, oranges, bananas, like one each 3-4 times a day… Apples, oranges and especially bananas in excessive amounts make you… fat. It is simply due to the Fructose, a low chain carb in fruits and in case of banana the whole banana being made of a low chain carb. In fact a banana is the fruit which comes close to those dreaded chocolate bars or even brownies when it comes to calories. Solution: one apple, one orange is enough a day.
- Deception – lieing to oneself: This is unfortunately the most common in my case. I believe I do it ok, I somehow know I do not, but I can not confess to myself. That one hurts, it also hurts the ego. Since people around saw the effect that I lost a lot of weight already, I am unable to confess to myself that I fell back in past patterns. Yet people see I do. Realizing this one can be a bloodbath to your ego. It simply hurts that one almost needs to cry (or just does). Keep in mind – it is human and I have this one more often than I am able to confess. Solution is to me a bible verse (no, I am not very religious, yet this one is grand to me – my lie-to-me-mantra) – “And thou shall learn the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
- Changes due to workout: It is well-known that muscles weigh more than fat. So when someone works out while loosing weight and takes it serious – by then there comes a time, where the body suddenly (in my case over 2 month) heavily builds up muscles. In my case my shoulders grew drastically, my thighs lost in size, but still became much heavier. Despite my still existing fat I could see most single muscle strains below my skin and feel how stiff and hard my muscles became. It seemed to me that the structure of my muscles changed drastically. So I still lost weight, but gained excessive muscles. This is a much wanted effect to me, which I pushed by also taking BCAA. Solution: accept it.
- Changes due to fluid management: A major issue when loosing weight is drinking enough water. Coupled with heavy workouts the body might lose litres of sweat. If you forget to drink enough and only replace parts of the lost fluid… By then there can come a time where you workout less and the body gladly takes more fluid hence not loosing weight. Solution: always drink enough. It is for everyone at least 3 litres a day. In heavy workouts it is MUCH more. Days where I am spinning instructor and go running I drink up to 6 litres a day.
- Changes due to salt: Taking less water than needed and using salt is a dangerous issue. Salt increase tastes and is able to partially replace the “feel-good” feeling we had when we were fat and killed that Schnitzel with french fries or cakes or or or (yes, I exaggerated – you know your own poison much better than I do). Not drinking enough keeps salt in your body. Salt is binding water in your tissue especially. Hence you gain weight. Solution: reduce salt input. Keep in mind that there is a lot of salt in food you buy.
- Reaction of your body – jojo-effect: That one is well-known too. When you lose weight your body starts with energy management. This comes in positive and unwanted aka negative forms. One of the worst forms is your body shutting down operations. Eg. you feel lazy, tired,… quite often. When you need long rest after workouts. When you tend to sleep more than 9 hours a day. Sex drive is less or stops almost completely. This one is quite obvious for men, but can be much less obvious for women. One or all of those and much more can be signs of a beginning jojo-effect. This can and will – if you don’t fight it – stop your workouts or reduce them and make you gain weight sooner or later. Solution: start immediately with a proper super-meal, the meal you love most and commit your sins, make sure you are sated but not full, then push yourself the day after, increase workout amount heavily, force yourself to not be lazy, while actively listening what your body wants. Be extremely narrow-minded on your diet, but make sure to eat a lot, especially salad and meat (proteins).
- Reaction of your body – rest: Loosing weight comes in steps to me. It seems the body has a lot to do. Especially when workout amount increases, the body drives crazy. Suddenly loads of vitamins and minerals are missing. Special forms of salt are needed. Special food is needed (eg. for me it was loads of lamb and sea fish, which I needed). In those times the body either rests with loosing weight or does overall weird things. Some of those things were actually funny, some frightening. Having shaking cramps was on the more frightening side. The phase where I was farting extremely for almost a week was funny to me (and frightening to others 😉 ). In this option you just go on and ignore that you don’t lose weight. Solution: accept this phase.
- Reaction of your body – health: There are a lot of health issues. And of course since I am not a doctor I do not know all of those. Yet I know that eg. issues with ones thyroid can heavily contribute to weight issues too. Solution: see a doctor for a proper check-up. Yep, I did that too.
The most positive effect, when pursuing the path of weight loss with diet and workout comes after some time. The time, when the body is used to both. By then your body looses weight from itself. That one is really cool – even if you are out and do nothing for a day or two, you lose weight. It is just that you are hyperactive during that time (I am told that a “normal” partner loves that – or aspects of it). This effect seems to last for close to 2 weeks without too much workout. Yet this effect needs heavy workouts before and after so that it goes on. Once the body is used to this and all fluid, vitamin, calory management,… is settled, by then it is really cool and every day is a happy day.
So far my experience. I hope it helps someone.
Good job Martin on the training and losing the weight.
I can’t get my eating and training right to where I can lose weight. I can maintain like crazy, but I can’t lose and train. I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong. Kinda frustrated with that. I LOVE the way muscle feels opposed to flabby squishy flesh.
Did your coach help you with training and diet?
the question you raise is a major issue to me too. Your answers upfront:
- I am quite well-read on diet as well as on nutrition overall – well-read like also knowing a lot of what most nutrition components do to a body from fat, carbs to vitamins, different kinds of salts and so on. So no, I had no specific advice. I only adjust my diet on advice I understand.
- It seems nutrition and training is also something for “believers”. Ask 10 athletes and you hear kinda 12 religion-like confessions on diet.
- On what is wrong, the answer is dead simple: loosing weight is only about energy deficit. It is: Lower calory intake than calory usage. The difference is the weight you lose.
Let me start with “rules” – listed again at the bottom of this post.
Rule of thumb
- NO modified food whatsoever
- NO short chain carbs (only maybe to start in the morning or directly after sports).
- LOW carbs overall
- NO carbs in the evening (no exception there)
- Calory and carb input overall is deserved by training
Upfront: it all assumes a healthy person, since I have no experience on how health interferes. Except for excess water in one’s tissue especially in the lower legs. So including this, here is what I do, the commandments by which I live:
- Carbs: Drastically reduce carbs, especially low chain carbs like sugar, flour, bread, noodles, but also potatoes, most sweet fruits as well as rice. If one takes carbs it is long chain carbs aka full corn. I took a long time to find full corn food that tastes well. Greatest issue are full corn pasta – most taste like sh… but I found a brand being great.
- Fat: reduce fat. Not extremely since I use fat to feel sated, yet I reduce it. I try to use unmodified fat like butter, olive oil, but no calory reduced butter or margarine. I am aware of butter calories, but I am not willing to eat modified food. I will write about modified food at the bottom.
- Proteins: increase protein intake. Most of my food consists of vegetables and proteins aka meat. Close to no pork, but a lot of turkey, beef, calf, fish (preferably salt-water fish) and lamb.Mostly prepared with olive oil.
What do I eat then?
As mentioned above I eat a lot of meat with salad, but also cauliflower, broccoli, paprika, beans (yet also some sorts got huge loads of carbs, be cautious), I also eat normal food by times, even pizza, but I do it normally after heavy workouts and while being aware that I gain in weight what I eat in eg Pizza.
What do I drink?
I drink a lot of coffee (my addiction) with milk on anything else I drink only water and sometimes Coke Zero. I also drink juices but this is mostly after workouts, when I can barely walk anymore. When I am finished off by training. It brings me back on my feet.
Day times In the morning I am relaxed with carbs, most times, like 4-5 days a week, I have nothing in the morning. If I do, it is on most cases oat flakes in milk with some honey (CARB INVASION). Yet this breakfast keeps me going for the day if need be.
At noon I always think about carbs and avoid those already. Fish or meat with vegetables and/or salad serves well. If extremely hungry I even go for eg. greek food since it offers excess meat compared to the rest. If at all carbs I prefer rice over potatoes, but also try to reduce rice input.
In the evening I heavily rely on meat and salad/vegetables only. Yet again I often run in the evening or almost night, so I can not eat too much anyways.
Type of diet?
It is not a specific diet even though some people would call it “low carb” or DHCF or… whatever. The general idea is to eat more like our ancestors (hey, that is what our body is built for) and especially unmodified food (yes, Coke Zero is my sin in that regard). I have an increased carb intake in the morning, a fair amount at noon and close to no carbs in the evening (ideally zero). The carbs are needed to keep me going for work and training. If I don’t, it can happen that I fall asleep anywhere I am after heavy training.
Modified food is something I heavily avoid. I tried to, I started to look at contents and I am scared by now. Modified food gives me the creeps. Examples are: fat-reduced butter, fat-reduced milk, fat reduced yogurt, fat reduced cheese, calory-reduced bacon, calory reduced juice, calory reduced cakes,… – that food gives me the creeps!! Why? It is all about taste. By taste our body decides what it needs. Funnily our body reacts to tastes accordingly, sometimes even if the tasted ingredient is not present. Common example is fire/hot to chili, but similar applies to sweet for sugar (insulin production) and a lot more. Also if fat is reduced almost always sugar is added and a lot of salt. Coupled with substitute components this modified food sounds to me like poison: none knows for sure what it does to your body long-term.
Like most of my readers know, I workout quite a lot. Right now I am at 14-25 hours training a week. Where training is intensive endurance and interval training. Most training is riding on my bike, running and swimming. Normally in GA1 or GA2 (base endurance 1 and 2). In my case it translates to a pulse of 130 – 145 during training steadily. With 134-138 being the average.
Workouts adjust my diet by increasing carb input. Yet not excessively and only directly after workout if at all.
I did not list sport bars, which I rarely but sometimes use eg on long bike tours. 3-5 hours on one bike tour at 20 mph + you really, really need calories. But that is reserved for heavy and excessive sports. Even on 10 mile runs I don’t use sport bars and no gel packs either.
TriAddict special case
As mentioned above water in my leg tissue was an issue. By now I know it is due to lack of movement, body fat and excessive salt usage. Move a lot, reduce salt input, drink a lot of water, control weight and it is all good. Really was that easy! Seriously I had no ankles when I started. Two pieces of wood nailed together resembled more an ankle than mine.
This time is gone – I can see my ankles again. Excess water in my leg tissue is almost gone.
This way of diet might sound difficult since a lot of food someone knows is reduced or taken away. Take my word: it is your lack of imagination in the beginning.
Rule of thumb – again:
- NO modified food whatsoever
- NO short chain carbs (only maybe to start in the morning or directly after sports).
- LOW carbs overall
- NO carbs in the evening (no exception there)
- Calory and therefore carb input overall is deserved by training
Nuff said – just read Scott Ransom’s part on preparing for Kona and I am shocked in awe for the sheer dedication.
Read more here.
Somehow… somehow I still can not stop training, it is never enough. Today I was lazy – I only offered a spinning instructor lesson of 1.5 hours. Since I am instructor I refrained from more training today for myself: I had told my people that today would be exhausting. Their comment?
“Today`s spinning unit with you (me) times four = Challenge Roth.”
I loved that statement… (Mark me that statement was by people who know exactly about Duathlon/Triathlon and Challenge Roth).
Spinning the American way
To my American readers: I “adjusted” my spinning lesson. How? You might recall the Magnet Nike add:
By now I found the complete song by Fisher:
That song has an interesting power for riding a bike and so I use it for the beginning of a spinning unit as well as for the end. My people now know when it gets serious and when to calm down. Somehow, somehow this song is a tribute to my American readers – a short moment in my spinning lesson, where I think about you reading my blog and where I smile: Beth, Shonnie, Christi, Scott, Mike and many,many more. When that song plays, you are somehow there in the spinning lesson for a brief moment.
Thank you for taking the ride with me – in times where work overload stops me from posting and in times where I can not stop posting several times daily. Posting about my addiction: Triathlon.
To those who like to know: here an idea on how spinning can be like – actually the style in the link is somehow similar to how I do it:
I am still around Roth, work does not allow me to go home right now. Still I am feeling good down here. The only thing I miss? My TT-bike I miss, so I increased the amount of spinning units drastically to stay fit on the bike (3-4 times spinning a week + Mountain bike training apart from daily running and swimming). Yes, I still enjoy my workouts. As soon as Coach Ralf is back in action I will try to turn this amount I have now into my regeneration training amount. Right now I do not try to figure out, what that might mean for next month Triathlon training…
Running is a blast – it improves daily now. Some days I am out running up to two times a day. Last run (yesterday) hit me at 6:19 min/km. So I am about 2-4 weeks away from my “long-term” goal of being below 6:00 min/km. Considering my weight-loss, I am sure to get below 5:00 min/km this year. Finally I get to interesting times – yes, I am happy about it.
I got my fight with my wager. Not with my partner I had the wager with, but with the Triathlon club responsible for races and rules. It seems there will be a funny twist to this story. I am still laughing on what is going on and will tell you all about it here once I sent my next letter.
Seems as well as if I will translate the whole correspondence and everything around so you get the drift on what is going on. A small hint: today I learned that a soft breeze of app. 3 miles/hour is actually a gruesome storm, which makes buoys drift apart in mere seconds on a secluded area of a lake covered by tress all around. This of course is the reason for the longer swim course. Yes seriously! I call it: the Frankfurt Triathlon swimming mind storm! (Really stormy that stormy storm is.)
And just because people are less… stringent on the truth on my complaint I started to verify each and every statement by officially available and confirmed data. Seriously – they try to pull my leg. This is exactly the point, where people get me started. I am all in for an honest statement: “Hey, something was wrong!”, “We work on that!”,… A statement like that and I am ok. No need to be the troublemaker for serious and honest people. But pulling my leg and trying to make me shut up by means of… “bending the truth” is plain not wise – promised!
I love this sport and will not allow anyone to spoil it for me this way.
I am ok and kicking still – more than ever. IM Frankfurt casts its shadow and I am already anticipating it, knowing it is close already – much closer than it sounds with 310 days to go…