So @Froxacus is one of my new Twitter buddies beginning the daunting task of going from Biggie to Fittie. Bless his heart I think that this whole thing has been a bit overwhelming for him. He’s posted a couple of questions on his blogs: biggietofittie.wordpress.com & froxacus.wordpress.com that I thought I would attempt to answer for him. Y’all pitch in with suggestions and let’s help this new fittie out :)
1. What is a meat-less athlete? Should I be a meat-less athlete?
Being a meat-less athlete is not a decision to make without thought. If you don’t think professional athletes are vegan/meatless…let me introduce you to Brendan Brazier. According to Justin McIntosh: “Not only does Brazier regularly work out 40 hours a week, resulting in two Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon championships, he does so on a mostly raw, vegan diet. Being a meatless athlete took him to a new level of competition. 40% of the average North American’s stress can be directly attributed to his/her diet, eliminating that stress can lead directly to positive athletic accomplishments and general overall well being.” Justin is currently training for his fourth half marathon and implementing Brendan’s 12 week meal plan and tips from his book, Thrive.
Steve (@zepphead), from Canadian Paleo Athlete, is a great resource on Paleo life! He’s a barefoot marathon runner, in training to be an Ironman competitor and one of my biggest encouragements when I first started researching a Paleo lifestyle. His began in March of 2012 and since then he’s lost 25+ lbs. Soo see if it’s a lifestyle you want to adopt :) I’ve lost 20lbs since I started in January 2013.
2. How do I create a fitness plan?
Figure out a goal. Do you want to run a marathon, do a triathlon, become stronger? Then taper your workouts towards your goal. Start small! If you start too hard, too fast you’ll overwhelm yourself, get frustrated, risk injury and you’ll be back to square one.
3. How do I figure out a healthy eating plan?
You’ll need to discover your nutritional needs. I use My Fitness Pal to calculate my intake for the day. For your hydration, take your body weight, divide in half and that number is the flat number of oz you should consume each day to help lose weight. If you work out, you’ll need to consume more.
Next develop a plan for one week. Attempting to make a monthly plan can be overwhelming! So I started week by week and did my meal prep on Sunday afternoons. Meal prep is crucial if you are a busy person :) You’ll find that by having meals prepped ahead of time you aren’t as likely to make poor eating choices.
Finally, track it! This journey is your own. Your mom isn’t going to watch you every second and give you the evil eye when you reach for another piece of cake. By recording what you are fueling your body with you hold yourself accountable. Be accountable with friends! You are 4x more likely to lose weight and keep it off if you have accountability.
4. How do I prep for my first triathlon?
Froxaus has decided he want to do a triathlon next year. He currently has 13 months to train. Which sounds like a lot of time, but there are going to be several things to take into account. Work schedule, school, friends, training and eating clean.
So let’s start from scratch :) First things first. You’re going to need some gear.
- Swim suit & goggles (Swim cap for sure if you have long hair) Gents, I suggest investing in a jammer swimsuit.
- A bicycle that fits you and is in good working order. This can be a road bike, a mountain bike or a hybrid.
- Cycling shorts for training. Cycling shorts, worn sans underwear, make riding more comfortable and help prevent saddle sores.
- A water bottle
- A good pair of running shoes ~ you don’t have to have the latest $200 pair. The key here is fit. You want a shoe that fits well, has a toe box large enough and the arch should be in the right spot. If you find a shoe that fits but inevitably the arch is in the wrong place don’t hesitate to invest in a pair of insoles.
Now we have the gear let’s talk about training….
Your weekday workouts need only be 30 to 45 minutes. On the weekends use your time to build endurance. Your longest workout, a bike ride, only needs to be between one and a half to two hours.
Out of the five weekly workouts, you’ll need to devote 2 to swim time :) My favorite!!! I follow the 12 week swim training plan from Active.com :)
Week 1 – Workouts 1 and 2: This plan assumes you can swim down and back (50 yards or meters) in a standard pool. Although “yards” is used in each description, yards and meters are exchangeable. The first workout is simply swimming 10 x 50 yards, resting about 45 seconds between each 50. You may have to rest an entire minute between each 50 and that is okay. If you do not use a specific warm-up or cool-down, make the first and last couple of 50s very easy.
Week 2 – Workouts 3 and 4: Swim 10 x 50 yards, take 30 to 45 seconds of rest between each 50.
Week 3 – Workout 5 and 6: Swim 10 x 50 yards, take 20 to 30 seconds of rest between each 50.
Week 4 – Workouts 7 and 8: Bump the distance up a bit to 8 x 75 yards, with 30 seconds between each 75 yards.
Week 5 – Workouts 9 and 10: Swim 8 x 75 yards, with 20 seconds between each 75-yard swim.
Week 6 – Workouts 11 and 12: Swim 8 x 75 yards, with 10 seconds between each 75-yard swim.
For Weeks 7 through 12, make the odd-numbered swims Zones 1 to 3 intensity and the even-numbered swims Zone 1 to 2 intensity. For this training block, include warm-up yards before the main set and cool down with at least 100 yards of easy swimming at the end of the workout.
Week 7 – Workouts 13 and 14: Swim 5 x 100 yards, with 20 seconds between each 100-yard swim.
Week 8 – Workouts 15 and 16: Swim 5 x 100 yards, with 10 seconds between each 100.
Week 9 – Workouts 17 and 18: After a few minutes of warm-up in the pool, swim 500 yards nonstop and take note of your time. As you continue your triathlon journey past this first race, your 500 time should improve with training.
There is a great book that I read when I was contemplating doing a triathlon. (It’s on the bucket list and goal list for 2014!) The book, Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals by Steven Jones, M.D., is great if you’re a first timer starting from scratch. The book is easy to relate to and understand. I love that Steven does triathlons for fun and not professionally.
So here’s to Mike :) Let your fitness journey begin and know that you have the entire #fitfam behind you cheering you on!
*Caveat: I am not a professional trainer. Workout at your own level. If any information is wrong, please correct me or make suggestions :) Thanks! *