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When your body is telling you to rest…

23 Mar

It happens to us all…we work hard, train hard, and push and push – until our body finally kicks back and says STOP. That’s been me for the last 5 days – sick with flu and absolutely no training- it sucks!

I have a fairly demanding job, life and top that with trying to train hard I knew when having a few days away from work that I would cop it. I woke up on the first day and felt under the weather and went downhill from there.

Normally with running if it is in my head and not below my neck I will train, but this went straight on my chest so I stopped. You know when you get that rattle in your chest when breathing? Yep that’s been me. I have been a bit fed up but it has also been good to stop.

Still not feeling great so just waiting until my body allows me to train again, and in the mean time I have been reading and working out my next phase on training and getting my eating back on track after having a few days of not eating LCHF all the time. 

There are heaps of articles about running and sickness. A few things I have learned over the years based on my experience are:

1. If it doesn’t feel 100% right and not like a normal cold then go to the doctor and don’t train until you know things are ok and you feel better.*

2. If it is any sort of sickness that travels to your chest slow right down or stop training.

3. Enjoy the rest. It is clearly your body saying you need it.

4. Don’t stress it and panic you’ll suddenly gain a gazillion kg just because you haven’t trained for a gew days. Seriously if you rely on training that much to maintain your weight you have issues. Diet is the most important and training is secondary. 

5. Use the time to plan your goals, think about how things are going and be productive if you really can’t have a few days not concentrating on training. 

6. Feed that cold with food and water. Stay warm and hydrated. I am a shocker at drinking water but have guzzled lots the last few days.

7. Stay well. Feeling better and recovering from a cold/flu/virus is more important than going back to training sooner. Especially if you have a race coming up or when you are sick. If you do have a race and wake up feeling unwell take it easy and don’t push it (or if feeling really bad – dont run it!!) hard as it could end up far worse than just a few days off training. 

*I’m not a doctor and I always write based on my experience, so ALWAYS seek professional advice and do not take my posts as any form of that..if unwell please see a doctor.

Anyway next time I post I am hoping to be back running and feeling better! 

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Product Review: SIS Immune, Hydro & Whey Protein @ScienceInSport

4 Jan

As you may know I made a radical change to my diet in April last year, and now eat a Low Carb High/Healthy Fat diet. It’s going really well but it has been an issue where running has been concerned, as gone are the days of taking my Science In Sport energy gels which I used in my last marathon and training and I have been slowly learning how to run on fat rather than carbs.

So when Science In Sport got in touch to ask me whether I would like to try some of their product my immediate response was ‘umm I follow a low carb high fat diet so I can’t use any of your products’. I was wrong.

They have an awesome selection of products that are low carb that I can still use and are great to supplement running lifestyle. So a week or so later the following arrived:

My Review Disclaimer

Below are my reviews of the products sent to me –  but before I start please note I haven’t been paid to review these products – all opinions are based on my own experiences – good and bad, and I always say to people – try for yourself – this is just my experience!

GO Hydro tablets 

Go Hydro by Science in Sport

Go Hydro by Science in Sport

The GO Hydro tablets were the tablets I was most excited to try – as being in a hot Aussie summer and being a shocker at keeping myself hydrated I was hoping that they would help me with both of those issues.

The packaging size is small and compact and the tablets look meaty but they aren’t when you drop them into water – they simply fizz away and are less confronting than a giant pill. These little tablets provide fast hydration, are low carb (yay) and are designed to be taken before and during exercise. According to the marketing blurb they have precise levels of sodium and other electrolytes to hydrate you during intense exercise – and only 9 calories per serving – I don’t care about calories but I was concerned they would taste too artificial.

Trying them out

So I figured – what better a time and place to try out the tablets on a hot Queensland day on the trails! So I made my drink up the night before and put it in the fridge – and then had some with my usual pre training drink.

General thoughts

The taste was not at all artificial compared to some of the fizzy tablets I had tried. Berry flavour and went down a treat.

I did find that I felt good on the trails – whether that was solely due to the hydration tablets or the fact that I had actually hydrated I don’t know – but the times I have run with these tablets now I have felt good and not struggled from a dehydration point of view.

Pros

  • Packaging is small and compact, and the tablet fizzes and can be taken quickly if needed on the run.
  • The taste was nice compared to a lot of products out there. Light and not too ‘artificial’
  • Low carb 0.9g per tablet.

Cons

$6.99 for 20 – but I think that’s fairly market rate for such products

Immune tablets

Science in Sport Immunity tablets

Science in Sport Immunity tablets

The next tablets I tried were the Science in Sport Immune tablets. These again came at the right time as I was feeling quite unwell before Christmas with the heat, training and working hard – I was generally quite run down.

The tablets are aimed at helping the body to maintain a normal immune system during and after intense exercise and contain iron and vitamin c as well as sodium.

I popped a tablet a day as per the directions. I don’t normally take many vitamins and I did feel better, and found I was able to get through the day at work a little bit easier.

The taste was a bit more artificial than the GO Hydro tablets but I realise now I was only drinking half the amount  of water – 250ml not 500ml which wouldn’t have helped – but the taste for me was not as nice as the hydration tablets.

Pros

  • As with the GO Hydro tablets the packaging is small and compact, and the tablet fizzes and can be taken quickly if needed on the run.
  • I like the fact that the tablets are a great way to get some vitamin C into me and Iron which I have often lacked and I prefer a drink than a tablet.
  • Low carb 0.5g per tablet.

Cons

  • Again – $6 for 20 – but I think that’s fairly market rate for such products
  • The taste was a little bit ‘artificial’ for me.

Whey Protein by Science in Sport

Science in Sport Whey Protein

Science in Sport Whey Protein

I have a love/hate relationship with whey protein. I realise it is good to have protein post exercise and it is good for lean muscle mass – but I have never been a big protein powder person. A lot of my friends gulp it down and swear by it but I have never really taken it regularly.

The whey protein that Science in Sport sent was strawberry flavour so that was a good start for me! It is low carb 1.8g per serving and has a good amount of protein per serving – 23g.

The great thing about this product is that it is completely gluten free and is suitable for coeliacs too. And, if you are a professional athlete it has been triple tested for banned substances.

I started having it after training sessions to help improve recovery times. I simply added a scoop to water with one or two strawberries to keep it lower carb. Normally I would have necked a nice ice cold glass of milk but when trying to keep carbs down that is a no no on some heavier carb days.

It tasted ok and had a fairly natural taste – but it still felt a little bit artificial but I guess there is only so much you can do when there is a ‘flavour’ added. The consistency if you make the drink according to the recommended recipe on the tin is fairly thick so I added more water to mine to make a bit more runny. It filled me up and gave me a nice snack post exercise.

Pros

  • Like the fact it has been triple tested for banned substances
  • Low carb 1.8g per serving and a good amount of protein

Cons

  • $50 for 1kg – seems a lot but I realise that is around the market rate and you do get what you pay for.

Summary

There are lots of products out on the market and I always tend to gravitate back to the ones I have heard of. Like I mentioned at the start of my article it was Science In Sport’s products that got me through my last marathon. I figure companies that have good reputations know what they are talking about! These are just my opinions of the products I tried but I suggest you look for yourself.

For more information about any of these products have a look for yourself on Science In Sport’s website.

Race Recap – the Dubbo Stampede

11 Sep

I realise it has been a while since I last wrote. I don’t know sometimes how people manage to keep up with everything – I have been finding having a full time job, studying,  a toddler going through trying moments, trying to fit in training as well as numerous other things have kept me away from writing – so since I last wrote I ran a race and I’m going to tell you about it now.

LCHF Update 

I’ve been following a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) way of eating for a while now – I would say properly now for almost 4 months. As a result I have dropped some weight and changed my whole way of thinking about food, carbs and training. It has been a struggle trying to run hard without carbs – but as my body slowly adapts to fat it is becoming a bit easier. So I entered the Dubbo Stampede 10k and it was the furthest (bar the City to South) I had run fairly hard as a race.

Dubbo Stampede

I love Dubbo. I have very good friends that live there so it was an excuse entering the race to go and see them too. It’s got a great country atmosphere and everyone I have met there I always feel like I have known them for a long time!

The Stampede had a number of races within the event including its first year of a full marathon and part of the race was to be around the Dubbo Zoo which I have been to before and it is excellent.

Starting the Race

The Half Marathon and Full had already gone by the time I started my 10k. I was dressed for the north pole as it was really cold for me – although I had to smile lining up with people that were dressed in tiny shorts and singlets – it was clear who the visitor was!

The event was really well organised and I had my coffee and cream prior to the race and lined up ready to go. I took off fairly steady and kept an even pace – I felt quite good considering I had no carbs inside me and quickly got into my running groove. The first section of the race went outside the Zoo and was on a small incline, did a loop back and then it was into the zoo. I felt great except I found I warmed up so ended up having to lose a couple of mins trying to take my gilet off and pinning my number onto my top.

Inside the Zoo was great. I got to see heaps of animals – waved to the rhinos and was still able to push fairly hard although I found my energy started to wane a little bit and it was becoming harder to push – if I slowed back I was ok but I really wanted to push but found I just couldn’t.

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-9-27-45-pm

Pushing to the finish

Helping People in Need

When I ran the Twilight Half Marathon a while ago I ended up stopping to help a young boy who was in trouble…can you believe the same happened this time…. I think I have a radar for it as again I spotted a young boy – he only looked maybe 9/10 – maybe he was a little bit older but I spotted him staggering as he was running, then stopping and he looked like he was really not well. His face was flushed and his breathing didn’t look good – so I asked him if he was ok and he said “No”. I asked him if anyone was with him and he said his Dad was way back.

He was starting to get teary so I stayed and walked/jogged with him until we found a steward and I left him with the steward and carried on my race again. I struggle with it all as Yes I know we are all there to run a race but it made me sad that no-one had stopped to see if he was ok and is a good race time really worth not helping someone in trouble??

Anyway I got to the last km and decided to push hard to make up some time. I then saw the finish line and pushed as hard as I could. A girl was running next to me and she looked over at me and pushed – so I was like ‘ok honey – it’s game on!’ the inner competitor inside me woke up and I pushed all the way to the finish in front of her – childish I know but it felt good 😀

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-9-28-02-pm

Finished!

All in all I did an ok time – aware that I lost a few minutes here and there – but I do feel confident that I could maybe start to push my distance back up again not relying on carbohydrate. My dream is to do another half marathon or marathon but fat adapted… I know lots of people that have I just have to now put the work in…. watch this space….

 

Slowing things down with #lchf and running

9 Aug

It’s been an interesting few weeks in life, work, and training – and I think this week things finally caught up with me. The last 7 days have been literally like running through treacle where energy and training has been concerned.

I found a few days running I literally felt like I didn’t want to get out of bed, when I woke up I felt like I had had no sleep and I generally struggled with motivation to train. Many people will argue it is because I am not having ‘enough’ carbohydrate – but I have been eating low carb high fat for a while so it would have happened sooner if that was the case. But at one point it felt debilitating and my husband even took our son out for a few hours on the weekend so that I could sleep – and sleep I did – 4 hours during the day!

I’m coming out of it now and have deduced (I’m no doctor but I do know my body) that it was all down to not enough water and just generally being run down and tired with work, training, life – I think we all have those moments. So it has been back to it today with training, and then I’m training with my friend tomorrow to pick things back up. I also treated myself to a new pair of Kayano’s this week to give me an extra spring in my step 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.56.05 pm

New shoes! Enough to put a spring in anyone’s step!

I think as a parent working full time sometimes we underestimate how busy our lives are – I know I do anyway – and I keep pushing to do things and have finally had to take a step back and say ‘ok – what do I have to let go of here, and who do I have to say no to?’ – running stays of course! I need it for my sanity!!

I had a think and here are some tips for if you don’t feel like training….got any other suggestions? Feel free to share in the comments 🙂

Running motivation

4 tips for when you don’t feel like training

  1. Don’t force it. 

I do find sometimes that when I feel like I need a rest and I then go to the gym I do feel better – but sometimes I know to take a rest. I think if you are feeling generally stressed and like you just need a breather then take one! The gym will still be there when you get back – but sometimes you need a rest and in not feeling like training it can be your body’s way of telling you to rest or that you aren’t firing on all 4 cylinders – alternatively if you aren’t enjoying your training just have a rest too – you don’t want to resent your running!

2. Do something different

If you find that you are tired of doing the same thing all the time and it is really becoming an effort – why not shake things up a bit and do something different? Run outside if you are a treadmill runner, or do some running drills or fartlek or what about trying out a trail run.

3. Run with someone else

I find that running with someone else has been amazing during winter as when I would have happily stayed in bed under the duvet – knowing someone is waiting for me to meet them to run has made me accountable and forced me to get up and train – I have always felt better for it – unless coming down with something.

4. Work towards a goal

Having a goal to work towards will do wonders for the motivation. I remember when I was training up for the Gold Coast Marathon last year I braved all sorts of cold and heat to get my training done – and not training wasn’t an option! I was focussed on getting to the start line 🙂

LCHF and Running – Update

4 Jul

I realise I haven’t written again in a while. Life is so busy – I have been falling behind on a few things but I am trying to be more organised! I have had a lot of people asking about my Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle and how I am finding it as a runner – so I thought I would post an update as today’s post.

It has been almost 12 weeks since I embarked on the unthinkable – running on less than 25g of carbs a day! The reason why I started came about from doing a lot of reading about low carb high fat diets, and generally feeling sluggish and unwell from having a lot of carbohydrate. I wrote a little bit about that in a previous post.

It hasn’t been 100% easy

12 weeks in and I am not going to say it has been 100% easy especially being a sociable person but I am almost 7kg lighter and have run one race whilst transitioning which was a challenge! But on the whole I feel much better and I don’t find it a huge issue – I don’t feel like I have a ‘brain fog’ anymore I actually feel more awake and alert!

It took a while to feel comfortable eating lots of fats i.e. butter, coconut oil, cream, bacon etc where normally I would watch my intake of all of these things – my friend who is a PT was fairly sceptical but even she said just the other day she was amazed at the results. I have had a few hiccups when I have been out and realised that there is nothing I can eat or have been to friends for dinner and didn’t want to appear rude so ate what was in front of me – but I jumped straight back on the wagon the next day and it has all been fine. I have found now the best way to handle the eating is to take my own food and that works a lot better, and I take a packed lunch to work – so all good – although the day they all ordered pizza and cake was tricky but I sat with my salad and LCHF bread whilst everyone munched pizza around me!

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

The LCHF lifestyle has meant I have lost weight which is an added bonus

Difference in running 

The biggest issue with my running I have found is that I am generally at the moment a bit slower than I was and am running probably about 1 minute slower per km than I used to – but from an endurance point of view generally I feel great as long as I run at my slower pace. From reading a lot and hearing about other people’s experiences this is fairly normal. The trick now is to move over from burning glucose to burning fat and then in theory things should improve.

The MAF Method

At the same time I am also experimenting with the MAF method which was created by Phil Maffetone whose theory helps from an exercise point of view to train at the appropriate intensity to develop your fat burning aerobic system, improve health and perform better. My banting (LCHF) coach has encouraged me to do this to help with switching my body over but I am not doing it all the time so not sure whether it will work – it means taking your age off 180 and then that is the maximum heart rate you can run at. I found it very difficult and looked ridiculous running as slowly as I was but apparently it works. So we shall see on that one.

On the whole I feel great and am very glad I have switched to this lifestyle so far but I still have a fair way to go with my running as it takes time to get the speed back – but with two 10k races coming up next month we’ll see whether I have improved or not!

If you are intrigued by a LCHF lifestyle don’t just listen to me as I am certainly not a qualified nutritionist or doctor so always consult a professional if embarking on something new – but have a read of a few books and articles as it is always good to read for yourself.

In a previous post I posted some books that had turned my thinking around – I have listed them again below – they are not affiliate links – I just want to help point interested people in the right direction!

Further reading

Gary Taubes – Why We Get fat 

Tim Noakes – Real Meal Revolution

David Perlmutter – Grain Brain

William Davis – Wheat Belly 

 

Low Carb High Fats and Running

31 May

I’ve been running since 2001, and even before then I exercised. Exercise and diet have always been very important to me.  For many years I have eaten healthily and run a lot but yet I have always felt that has never been representative in how I look. I even remember when on a business trip – being at the hotel gym with my boss and he said “You’re running pretty fast on that treadmill for someone your size!” I remember wanting to jump off the treadmill and give him a piece of my mind – but I smiled sweetly and carried on running.

Could carbohydrates and sugar be the issue??

I had lots of tests a few months ago and everything appeared normal, but my husband and I were convinced that sugar and carbohydrate might be playing an issue as I seemed to have more issues when eating carbs and also sugar. My husband tested the theory out and went on lower carb eating regime and lost a lot of weight and suggested maybe I could try to see if it helped cutting out most carbs – but as a runner I never contemplated giving up my carbs as – how would I get the energy to run!?!?

Low Carbohydrate High Fat 

Whilst I was contemplating how to really get my weight sorted once and for all we started to read about a Low Carbohydrate High Fat lifestyle – the benefits of it, and also how many many athletes run on it today and have outperformed their high carbohydrate training days.

The facts seem to be pretty much a no brainer in the sense that low fat high carbohydrate diets are not the way to go and since the seventies when the the food pyramid  was changed to incorporate more grains – there has definitely been a correlation between the rise in diabetes, alzheimer’s and high carbohydrate diets.  LCHF diets are now recommended for diabetics, dementia patients and also epilepsy patients*.

I decided I needed help so a few months ago I enlisted the help of a nutritionist who was pro fat adaption and low carb, but I found  they ended up being in disagreement with what I wanted to do so I turned to The Real Meal Revolution which I found out about thanks to our friend Google. Run by Professor Tim Noakes the program (and there is a great book too) is a 5 week program coaching you in how to follow a LCHF lifestyle – with not only recipes and carb counters – but a forum and videos too – so for $56 I snapped it up and am went through the program and lost a good deal of weight as well as feeling great. My daily diet now consists of eating less than 25g of carbs a day. I’m sure for some people that would be shocking and ‘wrong’ but I feel great and am managing to run on that also.

Stepping up the training

running the park run

It wasn’t my usual pace on the Park run but I pushed hard considering I didn’t have many carbs and was still fat adapting.

I lay low on my training for a couple of weeks to get used to it and to fat adapt (get my body used to burning fat rather than glycogen) – I picked things up a week or so ago and I ran a parkrun and a 13.5k trail run with no aching afterwards! I had a cup of coffee and 3 tbsp of cream (I don’t like the recommended bullet proof coffee recipe of coconut oil and butter – makes me gag) before training as my breakfast and managed to push on parkrun and up and down the trails – I was quite amazed.

I’ve met a few people on this journey that run on LCHF and it’s really encouraging to see how well they have done so that’s my post for today. I know that for many people they believe in high carb diets as runners – but this is what I do and it’s working for me 🙂 Anyway watch this space, and if you see the words LCHF pop in my blog posts I am referring to Low Carb High Fat and the way I eat.

Bye for now 🙂

*please note that I am not a doctor or a practitioner in nutrition – this is purely based on experience, opinion and books I have read. Please always consult an expert or medical practitioner before embarking on any new diet or regime. 

Further Reading 

Some great books that my husband and I have read around LCHF and carboydrates – these are NOT affiliate links.

Gary Taubes – Why We Get fat 

Tim Noakes – Real Meal Revolution

David Perlmutter – Grain Brain

William Davis – Wheat Belly