Monday, February 28, 2011

Wow, It's March

Happy March
I can't believe it's March already.  Crazy.  I have my first triathlon of the season this coming weekend - the Desert Triathlon Olympic distance in La Quinta, California.  La Quinta is out in the Coachella Valley about 20 miles east of Palm Springs. says that it's going to be in the 80's out there this weekend.  That's fine with me as I bet that puts race time temps in the mid 60's.  Perfect.  Well almost perfect.  Because I'll also bet the water is going to be freezing.  From last year's race report:
"There was no way that the water was 65 degrees as advertised. No chance at all. Maybe 60, probably 59."
Well at least this year I am going out there with a full sleeved wetsuit.  Worst case, I'll just have to deal with face freeze.

February was a weird month for training.  Sure, it's a short month.  But more importantly, I didn't ride 3 of 4 Saturdays - one due to the Surf City Marathon and two due to rain.  So my bike volume is way down.

Yet despite a relatively light month volume wise, I finish February really tired.  My legs especially are feeling it.  I'm not injured and thus not in any real pain, but I'm sore and overall I'm feeling a bit lethargic.

I'm guessing it has something to do with an increase in running.  Though January and February where up a manageable 20% against the previous two months in terms of running volume, I noticed that my running in the middle two weeks of February was up 35% over the previous two weeks.  This is mostly due to the fact that I needed something to do when I couldn't ride.  My overall run volume for the month would have been about 110+ miles had I not been so tired in the last week.  And this Sunday, when I did get a chance to do a longer ride, I suffered big time.

So my plan is to take it really easy this week, and use this Sunday's race as a launch for my final 12 week push to Hawaii.

Here's a couple of other "rules" I'm going to enforce going forward:
  • Take a day off every week.  I've been known not to do this.
  • If I'm tired, I'm tired.  I'm not going to force anything.  I'll either slow down, cut back, or get some more rest.  It will all work out in the end.
  • Swim more.  I need to.
Speaking of recovery, I'm also experimenting with a few things.  The seed of this experimentation is due to my tummy.  Over the last 6 weeks, my stomach has been really pissed off during workouts.  Some days were OK, but some days were really awful.  In fact, I'm still surprised that I made it through the Surf City Half without a visit to the porta-potty, considering that every other long run I've done lately has required a detour.

One thing that I've noticed about my body as I've lost weight and got into much better shape is that (perhaps ironically), it is more sensitive to change.  So when I sat down and thought about what might be causing the GI issues, the one thing that stood out was the big canister of whey protein I got for Christmas.  It's the first protein supplement I've ever used and I was using it almost every day.  And it's the one big change I've made to my diet lately.

So it's time for some trial and error.  First off, I've switched to soy protein.  Google "soy protein vs. whey protein" - there's quite a battle going on as to which is better.  Both camps make impassioned arguments, but the one thing that consistently came up was that whey protein is absorbed faster by your body than soy protein.  Also, there are a few amino acids in whey that are not found in soy.  But I've been taking an amino supplement for awhile so I'm pretty sure I'm covered there (just need to double check).  Bottom line?  I'll take the slightly slower absorption if it means I can stop doing long runs with a roll of toilet paper looped through my fuel belt (yes, I did this).

Even though there was an unplanned bump in terms of run volume, it's not really an anomaly.  I need to step it up for June, so the soreness is something that needs to be dealt with.  More experimentation - I'm also trying a Glutamine based supplement.  Glutamine is key when it comes to protein synthesis as well as muscle and tissue repair.  In other words, Glutamine is pretty much a major key to recovery.

Essentially, I have invented my own recovery drink.  For the past couple days I've been mixing the soy protein and the Glutamine with 16 ounces of water and downing it right after my workout.  I have high hopes.  The problem is it tastes like crap - as it stands now it tastes like watered down vanilla mixed with something else I can't identify but I know I don't care for.

Maybe I'll experiment with flavorings this weekend.  And if I get it right, I'll call it Liquid Tough.


Amber said...

you let me know how that "liquid" tough is working out. If it has strawberry like flavoring I might be in.

Get your swim on, its getting nicer out... hopefully where you live.

Michael said...

Well overall it still looks like you had a good month. The swim is always my struggle - it's the thing I like least so ususally what I do least. Have you ever considered an indoor trainer for your bike? I really like mine and couldn't live without it in Missouri - you don't get to ride outside for months.

Jennifer said...

You had a great month! So we expect you to really blow it out of the (cold) water this next one! I had an easier time with soy. Whey is harder on my guts, so to speak.

Caratunk Girl said...

Great hat. You look as excited as my dog does when I dress him. I can't believe you have a tri coming up!! That is awesome. I like your plan moving forward. I have been having GI issues too on every run. SUCKS. Not sure what I have done differently, but I am going to really look at my diet.

Unknown said...

Good volume! We got a few of the rain weekends too in Feb and it made me take the rides indoors. SUCKED.

Is Hawaii still a go?

I don't take much whey protein anymore but when I did it seemed to keep me very regular. In fact, the day before long runs or races I just would not take any because of this reason.

That being said, the benefits of the protein were amazing, leaned me up, lost weight, acted as a meal replacement. At this point I am trying to keep my weight stable and have cut out supplementing protein.

adena said...

Nice look!!

Why did you add in the PP? Can you swap out to real food? I have heard that prolonged use of the same type of PP can cause issues.

Chris K said...

Liquid Tough is a great name.

Taking one day off is important. Gottsta.

I can't imagine where you will swim in La Quinta. Not a pool?

KovasP said...

Not K-Venom? Disappointing. Hard to believe your race season is starting. Vaseline your face for the swim, thouhg it may then get baked in the sun. Choices.

Shawn said...

Good luck this weekend...can you fit earmuffs in your wetsuit?

Christi said...

I use brown rice protein because of my stomach issues. The only thing is that it tastes like crap by itself. That is why I usually use protein in shakes with fruit and my glutamine.

Good luck this weekend!

Big Clyde said...

Liquid Tough. Sounds cool. I hope it is better for you. Impressive miles in Feb. I bet you'll do well this weekend.

Anonymous said...

that's awesome volume! You're going to rock Honu.

RE: recovery drink, I use a handheld immersion blender (super easy and minimal cleanup!) to mix up my protein with frozen fruit and some soy milk... it's awesome. Maybe that would help the taste? I should try some glutamine, I've heard it's pretty essential.

Lucas R. Tucker said...

More swimming never hurts...I believe you told me that last October.

Petraruns said...

Why did you start taking the protein? Just out of interest - I was wondering about doing the same... But running with a toilet roll is maybe not so great. Marathons give me enough GI issues without that.

TRI714 said...

I like that your right on top of figuring out what is best for your body. I use the whey post workouts and as a meal replacement 3-6 times a week mixed with a banana and a little peanut butter.
I also blend up some soy, but only if im drinking it before a run or ride. And it can be no closer to a session than 45 minutes. If i have gone beyond that mark I have to choose something else. Dude your volume is solid as heck concidering the month we just had.

Caroline said...

loosing weight and GI issues..I got that also, it sucks, I lost about 72 lbs and my stomach does not like ANY changes either, and on race days it is allergic to speed. I cannot race without getting dry heaves or worst. For me more protein = more problems. Liquid tough...hope that works for you! Rest days are a must. at least one.

J. L. said...

A tri already? Holy Crap, enjoy the outdoors. Hardest part of a cold swim is getting that face wet for the first time, get it over with fast, and then it's fine. Enjoy the numbness of the swim. I like the name Liquid Tough. Good luck with the GI issues.

Jason said...

The numbers still look solid considering all the rain you had.

Go get Liquid Tough patented and trademarked and everything else before you post a recipe to this super human recovery drink.

Emz said...

The clover on me hat?
the buckles on me boots?
why im a leprechaun…shoe maker by trade…and speakin of shoes… yours could use a shinin… but first, tell me where my gold is or ill bite your ear off…and I'll make a boot out of it.

Jill said...

L-Glutaimne is a staple in my world when my mileage gets WAY up there in marathon training, I bet you will notice a big difference once you've been on it for a week or so.

I was at the pool the other day and the heater was broke and I can attest that 59 degree water is painful...can I borrow your wetsuit to swim laps next time? :)

Unknown said...

I think it's important to listen to your body. If you are tired, it's telling you something. And yes, a rest day will help a ton! :) Good luck getting the belly figured out!

Good luck this weekend! I'm so jealous of people who can race outside this time of year! Heck, I just want to run and ride and I can't do that yet...

Glenn Jones said...

Whey protein huh? You don't happen to be lactose intolerant? Lactose intolerance often presents are we age.


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