What exactly is this that I am holding up in this photo then?
I’ll tell you. It is a ketone urine test. It will help me indicate if there are ketones in my urine and to what level. This in turn will tell me if I am burning fat for my energy or carbs. The more purple it gets after being dunked in my urine, the more ketones are present. It gives a good guide for me.
That probably requires me to step back a bit and explain. At Christmas and New Year, I was a very naughty boy. I ate a lot of carbs (yellow food was everywhere and I was weak), sugary things and drank plenty of strong Belgian beer! Oh gosh! I had not done so for a very long time prior to then. It resulted in me burning carbs for energy again. (If you want to read more about the eating regime I adhere to usually, you can read this post that I wrote when I started it back in September 2014)
In order to get back to being fully fat adapted, I had to do two main things that people tend to do when they want to get fat adapted;
1. Refrain from eating so many carbs – in particular removing sugar and wheat from my diet again (I generally respond very healthily and well to this by itself anyway).
2. Run a bit slower than usual so my body starts to burn fat for fuel instead of glycogen. Once the glycogen stores are depleted, the body starts to do this more anyway, but it is a lot more comfortable to do it on purpose – you’ve seen guys at a marathon who hit the wall and are gurning and writhing in pain, haven’t you? That’s not how I plan on doing things.
So last week’s schedule was as follows:
Monday: 6mile recovery in the morning, 4 mile recovery run in the evening.
Tuesday: 12 miles
Wednesday: 14 miles
Thursday: 6 mile recovery
Friday: 12 miles
Saturday: 6 mile recovery
Sunday: 17 miles.
A total of 77 miles.
I am having to practice running on tired legs in preparation for my ultra marathons this Summer, but am looking forward to some speed work in coming weeks for my Spring marathon exploits. Additionally, all the medium to long runs are being run with negative splits and with challenge/effort being placed at the end of the run. I have got Strava and Garmin syncing again now after some problems, so all my runs are back on Strava to be seen now.
After a fairly mild Winter here on the coast, the last couple of weeks have turned cold. Royally cold. This has definitely added some challenge and as well as having base layer, thick mid layer and running jacket fully donned, I have been making sure my psychological strategies are getting fully employed. Here is a list of what I have been using so far in recent weeks:
This is not just for after running, but as preparation for it too. I use it in a similar way to using heated seats in the car. Good to get warmed up and comforted using the mind when it is icy cold outside.
The winds have been pretty crazy here on the sea front, so working with them psychologically and not letting them batter me into submission is important.
With my legs feeling pretty tired after the Christmas break and then the full schedule beginning in earnest, no matter how much dynamic stretching I do or how much rolling out I do with my snazzy new foam roller, or however good my diet is and my sleep patterns are, my ageing legs can still feel a tad jaded and sore, so giving them a psychological lift has been vital.
All in all I’m feeling great at the moment. The coming weeks I start to hit the 80-85 mile a week mark with the schedule and I’m welcoming the challenge at the moment.
In coming weeks, there’ll be plenty of new psychological methodologies to share too, be back soon.