May 28, 2009

Sleeping and Eating

Two things in life that used to be my favorites - sleeping and eating - have now been reduced purely to training necessities.

Let's start with sleep, something that's been elusive since starting my new job and kicking the training into high gear. I've learned to adapt to 5-6 hours sleep per night, which has turned out to be a not so great thing. Every couple weeks I reach a point of exhaustion that is almost unbearable and I end up crashing and needing days of extra sleep to catch up. That's clearly not a good thing.

And then there's eating. I love food. I love restaurants. I love trying new things. One would think that training for an Ironman would mean you can eat whatever you want, that you'd be a calorie-burning machine. That is not the case for me.

Partially driven by the after effects of my gluttonous weekend in DC and partially driven by the realization that it's crunch time in my training, I decided it's time to get a grip on these two key elements of my Ironman preparation. I started by temporarily going back to logging everything I eat and drink to identify patterns and figure out what works best. I'm also increasing my calories at breakfast and lunch to minimize dinner since I eat so late at night anyway. I'm back on the no refined carbs wagon and toning down the alcohol consumption (tragic!). I'll save it for special occasions. After three days of paying close attention, I already have more energy and feel better overall. I had a slip with some Tim Tams yesterday but hey, I'm human.

Sleep is a bigger challenge. I have been logging 7 hours a night for the past few days, but slipped back to 6 hours last night. Tonight I'll aim for 8. I'm a night person so going to bed at 11 just isn't how I'm wired. I'm going to have to force this one because I know how critical it is to my training.

Speaking of training, I've had a good week so far. I did an interval session on the bike Tuesday, swam yesterday and did speed work today. I skipped strength training as usual and moved my optional swim to Saturday. I figured it would be a nice post-half marathon activity. I'm running the Brooklyn Half Marathon that day and hoping to feel good enough to shoot for a PR. But I'll wait and see what my legs tell me on race day before making that decision.

Biking (Tuesday)
Distance - 22.05 miles
Time - 1:30:00

Swimming (Wednesday)
Distance - 1,500 yards
Time - 27:45

Running (Today)
Distance - 5.4 miles
Time - 50:00


  1. I think most people are shocked when they start IM training and whatever fat they have doesn't drop right off. My wife the dietician tells me that it's mostly because your metabolism slows in response to the consistently high level of exercise (pure survival stuff). I'm sure everything will re-adjust after you return to a more reasonable (read: non-IM) level of training.

    Oh, and congrats on making the podium! I did the same in a race in Chicago a couple years back and was thrilled - it just never happens in a big town. You rock!

  2. Nice work lately. Hope you are doing well.



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