Friday, December 21, 2012

Storming, Forming, and Norming...Training and Nutrition

For the past two and a half years, I have been going through some major changes.  It began in August, 2010 with the loss of my grandfather followed by close workmates (folks I worked with for over 10 years) being laid off.  The following year meant changes in the way the company I worked for operated as well as me being laid off.  I did get a job relatively quickly; however, with it being a poor fit, I found myself out of work for a month until I found my current position.  

Even once the job situation was settled, I still had to learn a new industry, new policy and procedures, and unlearn my old job.  You see, I had been very good at what I did in the industry that I was in.  It allowed me to be both a financial consultant as well as a business consultant.  I was very good at developing meaningful financial and business metrics as well as creating incentive programs to support organizational change.

Family outing - Nov. 2012
The new change meant a lot of stress, challenges to overcome, and re-engineering who I was.  Through this process, though, old habits crept back in.  While I continued to run, the focus has been more on other parts of my life instead of health. 

It goes back to the idea storming, forming, and norming.  Basically, life is like an ant hill.  Things are going to happen, either minor or major that will cause us to react as if our ant hill has been knocked down. This is storming. We then find ourselves scurrying around like little ants to rebuild what was lost.  As time goes by, with an occasional setback, the ant hill, or our lives, begins to take form into its new configuration.  We may not like this new configuration in the beginning because it requires us to adapt, but once the ant hill is complete, we begin the norming phase.  Things seem to click, and more balance is achieved. Everyone goes through this process. 


So looking at 2013,  now that we have officially reached the forming phase.  So my wife and I are making our race schedule for next year.  This will most likely contain at least one marathon, perhaps a 50k, and several half-marathon and 10K’s thrown in.  What this means to me is to create a training and nutrition plan that will help us achieve those goals.

To do this, I went back and compared my nutrition and training back in 2008 to 2010 to where we are now.  Being the analytical person that I am, I tend to over-analyze everything.  So during that time, I tracked everything I ate and my activities on  It is probably the best website out there for tracking with a lot of free tools for analysis. The surprising thing is that, while my training has fallen off, my calories are about the same as then, and about 300 calories lower than when I was training for a marathon.

What worked for me then was that having the right macro-nutrient level ratio helped keep me lean. For me, that is 45.4% carbs, 24.1% fat, and 30.5% protein.  This is where everyone is different, and to be perfectly frank, was more serendipitous for me than anything else.  Why this ratio worked though, is it helped keep the proper amount of carbs in my system while providing the right amount of protein to balance out the workout intensity as well as build lean muscle.  Keeping the right amount of fat helped my metabolism remain balanced as well as prevent sugar binges.  So this meant that I was eating on average 257 grams of carbs, 60 grams of fat, and 173 grams of protein a day. This equates to 2,261 calories. Please keep in mind I am 6’ 1”, and 43 years old.  

The final component was to average about 40 grams of fiber per day in my diet.  This helped keep my blood sugar regulated as well as help with the digestion of the increased amount of protein.

So that is my nutrition regimen.   I won’t go into much of what I ate, since what matters most is that you are eating lean protein (boneless skinless chicken, lean beef and pork, and fish), quality carbs (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), and quality fats (olive and canola oil, avocados, nuts, etc.).  When I am on mark, I am staying away from starches and refined sugar items.  I also try to eat throughout the day, between 5 to 6 times a day, averaging between 150 to 500 calories. 

My exercise schedule focuses on more running than I have been doing.  I do have a perfect cross train schedule from the standpoint that I ride my bicycle to work and back each day.  This equates to 16.2 miles a day, or between 65 to 81 miles a week.  To achieve a base fitness level though, I also need to put in a minimum of 27 miles running.  This means that I run an average of 20 miles at lunch during the week and a minimum of 7 miles on the weekend. In comparison, right now I am averaging 32 miles to 48 miles a week on the bike and about 12 to 20 of miles of running during the week without running on the weekend.


If I can do all of the above, I will bring my net caloric intake to 1300.  Since my BMR (basal metabolism rate) is about 1760, which means my body will be using 460 calories than I am replacing them with. I calculated my BMR  here. This should mean a 1.5 pound decrease in fat, while replacing it with lean body mass. 

First marathon - Long Beach Nov. 2009
So my target goal weight is back to 177.  This is a weight that I feel is at my optimum fitness level.  From a nutrition standpoint, I am staying healthy but not getting hurt because I am too lean.  It also means that I can go back and run a sustained 7 to 8 minute mile at a half marathon distance instead of the 9:30 minute mile I am currently running at.  It also means that my joints won’t be taking the punishment the extra 30 pounds is bringing to bear. Finally, it realigns my body mechanics back to being a more efficient runner than.

So I am definitely still in the forming stage. Nothing is completely normal!! And there will be periods where I fall back into the storming stage.  That said, I am looking forward to being fit and trim again in 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment

submit to reddit