I am officially starting to freak out! Day one, week one is around the corner and I have a major problem. Before I get overwhelmed and crumble under the pressure of a training schedule which has not started yet, I need to take a step back and evaluate the positives.
I give myself a big tick here ✔ okay okay, maybe a big tick is a tad of an exaggeration. I’ll say I’ve been eating well overall. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve had a few too many wins at McDonald’s Monopoly than I care to admit. Apart from a few hiccups, I have been avoiding high sugar/fatty foods and eating mostly fish, red meat and fruit. Although the eating has been clean, the calories I am consuming are no where near what the program requires.
In Australia and I assume majority of the developed world, the cost of quality meats are very expensive. Especially when I have to eat around 2000 calories a day just to maintain my puny frame. When red meat, cheese and seafood are considered luxuries, what is a poor endurance athlete to do? Consume carbs of course and plenty of them.
I am an advocate for healthy eating and no, I’m not taking about fad diets. I’m talking about healthy eating, you know the boring stuff ?!?! Balanced meals that contain the five food groups; Fruit and Vegetables, Grain, Dairy, Proteins and Fats. I can already hear you pleading: “If only it was that simple”. Let’s agree that it’s not that simple; as a quick google search of the word “diet” nets us 1.5 billion reasons otherwise. Information overload is rampart in our digital world and it is easy to become overwhelmed. I consider it the modern day equivalent of having all the gear but no idea. Don’t worry, I am guilty of this too; Keto, Mediterranean, Protein and even the Carnivore diet – I’ve tried them all. Did anything work you ask? Yes, no, maybe? One things for sure, nothing worked long term.
Up and down like a yo-yo has taught me one thing – there is no substitute for exercise and a balanced diet. As my training will soon involve long distance running, swimming and calisthenics (gyms are currently closed), carbohydrates will become my number one macronutrient of choice.
Carbohydrates. Why do I need them and where should I get them from?
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap for more than a decade and will continue to be a polarizing topic. There should be no debate that active people who want to boost mental focus and physical performance need to meet those energy needs with the right carbohydrates.
Carbs are our primary fuel source. They provide energy for muscle function and act as the main fuel for the brain. When you don’t take in enough carbs, your body does not run efficiently or effectively. Think of carbs as the fuel for your body’s gas tank. If you don’t eat enough carbs, you’ll slowly run out of fuel, which means low energy, decreased focus, and even nasty mood swings.
When carbs are broken down, glucose (the primary fuel for the brain and the body) is made available. The more processed the carbohydrate, the faster the glucose (sugar) reaches the blood stream. A natural food rich in carbohydrates ie; sweet potato will provide more stable energy and less of a glucose and insulin spike. Uncontrolled blood sugar has been linked to an increased risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a negative impact on the brain.
Not all carbs are created equal. Avoid processed carbs such as white breads, pastas and baked goods. These have a high glycemic index, meaning they’re digested quickly and absorbed immediately, sending your blood sugar level sky high. The problem is; you crash quickly and end up feeling sluggish. Instead, choose the least processed carbs available. Low or moderate glycemic foods cause the body to do the work to extract the nutrients in the foods and the gradual release helps regulate blood sugar. Think “Brown and Close to the Ground”, a reference to both the colour of the carbs and where the food was grown.
Choose carbohydrates and grains with at least 3 grams of fibre to stabilize energy and help keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. Great choices include steel cut oats, quinoa, kamut, lentils, 100% whole wheat bread and oats. Include fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains for their fibre and nutrient density.
Finally, your meals should revolve around nutrient-dense colourful foods. Remember to choose the least-processed form of carbohydrates. If you opt for pasta or couscous select the whole wheat option. If you reach for rice, opt for brown or wild rice.
Final score for eating right – 2 out of 3
Oh my, where do I start.
How did exercise become such a big part of my life? Why am I willing to suffer everyday? I wasn’t always like this before, what on earths got in to me? Hold up, let’s ignore that rabbit hole for the moment. I think its better we focus on my training for the PTG (Physical Training Guide) which is going to kick off from Monday 26th of October.
What have I been doing to prepare for the PTG? I’ve been running, running and running. Its easy to see what my problem is. It’s similar to a triathlete running seven days a week and completely ignoring the other two disciplines. For the love of God, I am in a world of trouble.
I did a PSP (push up, sit up and pull up) session the other week and was feeling sore for three days. I’m supposed to do a session every second day and twice on Friday. This is not looking good, if I was gambling man I’d say i’m dead in the water.
Speaking of water, I might actually be dead in the water if i’m not careful. I’ve only managed to fit in one swim session a week. I’m not swimming anywhere close to the distance I was this time last year. Fortunately, the PTG does its best to build you up slowly. I must admit that the going gets tough quickly and as they say at the NSWC (Naval Special Warfare Centre) – the only easy day was yesterday. No truer words were ever spoken once the PTG is underway. In case your wondering what NSWC, (note to self – stop with the acronyms) has to do with this blog? I am planning to undertake the official training for the special operation unit known as the SEAL/s (oops, there I go again).
No praise can be given for my exercise effort. The lead up to the program can only be described as poor. No excuses necessary, I can’t think of one reason why I couldn’t complete PSP (oh my goodness, stop) sessions in the local park except for sheer laziness.
I can’t put off the training any longer because once Autumn starts it’s cold in Melbourne, Australia.
Final score for exercise is a generous 1 out of 3
Waking up early for training
This is where my major problem lies. I need to get the first session of the day in before work starts. That means waking up early, I know I can do it. My situation is better now in comparison to this time last year. I work from home, the park I run in is literally a stones throw away and I can easily get the sessions done before work starts. I’m currently battling two problems, going to sleep early and waking up early.
I have never been someone who jumps out bed and is ready to tackle the day. I was the kid that literally needed to be dragged out of bed to go to school. Unfortunately, not a lot has changed over the years. I was fired from my last job for coming in late (long story) and I’m rolling out of bed as the clock strikes 9 to start my current job. Yes, the situation is dire. If something doesn’t change and fast I won’t be completing any of the goals I have set for myself.
You should be able guess my final score for waking up early 🍩 – doughnuts!
How am I going to address this potential roadblock ?
For starters, I am going to review the blog post I wrote on waking up early – Oh the irony! As much as I stand by my own work, this problem is ingrained in my psyche and I need to bring in the big guns to address it. As I’m planning to complete a military inspired workout regime, it is only right that I adopt a military technique to solve this problem.
Tomorrow is the grand final holiday in Melbourne, Australia – yep, we get a day off for a sporting match which isn’t played until the following day 🤷♀️, no complaints from me. On my day off tomorrow, I will write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP – I promise that’s the last one), for my evenings and mornings.
The procedure will include the time the set task will need to be completed. Here is a draft of what I’m envisioning;
- Exercise immediately after work 🙄
- Feed Jazzy the Cat
- Have Breakfast
- Dynamic Stretch
- Static Stretch cool down
- Start Work
The above is a very basic draft and clearly needs some refinement and additional information. I will think about it more tomorrow and expand on the details. The way I see it right now; drastic times call for drastic measures. I have three mornings left to start waking up early or the parties over before it began.
I feel like this blog post has heavily focused on my shortcomings and I want to end on a positive note for everybody at home.
Apologies for my poor editing skills, I did my best with the limited ability I have. I hope you can see what I’m getting at. The image on the left is my run time from yesterday’s date 22/10/2020. The scan on the right are my times from 12 months ago, almost to the day.
If I was too plug the first run time from 2019 into a pace calculator, it would spit out 8:31 min/mi. Things are definitely moving in the right direction, all I have to do is keeping working hard and ignore the noise around me.
P.S I would really appreciate if you could please leave a comment letting me know the type of content you enjoy best. Alternatively, drop me a line about how you mastered the art of becoming a morning person and leave some hints and tricks in the comment section.
I hope you enjoyed my post and I hope to see you again soon.