When a training diary starts to pay dividends

I have kept a training log for around ten years or so now. Mostly just recording swim, bike, run and strength sessions and any data my Garmin would provide from these sessions. I also recorded my weekly body weight. This alone has been useful to go back through and look for reasons why I may have been injured, or why in one race I arrived in better shape than another, and breaking down a training session or a race.

In mid-2016 I started to collect a few more bits of data like oxygen deprivation sessions, mobility sessions, using swim cords, meditation and I also started to collect my body composition information every week.

In 2017, I started to also include any rehab sessions, any body maintenance sessions like using foam rollers, massages and all hours worked.

In 2018 I started to collect sleep data , (time, quality, etc), daily step count, diet quality, stress levels, motivation levels and towards the end of 2018 I started to record when I use compression clothing, when there is a family events and when I take a nap.

In addition to this, in August I started to log all my daily food and drink intake on good and great days but didn’t record any information when my diet wasn’t all that good….. more on this soon.

In June 2018, I started to give each day a ranking, if I am moving closer or further away from my goal. I call this my Target Chart. In August 2018 I started to rank every training session in regards to how valuable that session was.

At the start of this year I have started to record my morning muscle soreness and my daily body weight.
There is a trend here. Over time, I have slowly started to collect more and more data instead of just jumping in hard and fast with the data collecting and falling off shortly thereafter. I developed new habits slowly over time so I can stay consistent over the long term.

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Nutrition Log
As already mentioned I started to track everything that I consumed on good days and great days since August 2018. As of this year I have started to record everything that I ate and drank every day. I use a notepad and I will write the time, the food intake and calories. Nothing flash, just pen and paper.

I know there are many great apps out there that can do this easier but I have found over many times of trialling and failing, that I am more conscious about what actually enters my mouth if I have to write it out instead of hitting a few buttons on my phone.

This nutrition log has proven to be more valuable than I could ever have expected. I really have been creating a blue print on what is working for me and how I can change what isn’t working. More on this in a minute.
Looking at everything:
While I have been collecting all this data over the years, from time to time I look at it and take some small valuable information from parts here and there, that help shape what I will be doing in the months ahead.

Over this past Christmas period, I took everything I had collected and really started to break everything down. I made lots of notes, wrote comments and really delved into everything I had on record. A few things that stood out to me are:

  • My diet quality for a week was significantly higher when I would have oats for breakfast. As one snack I would have some rice crackers and for another snack, a nut bar, and on these weeks when my diet was on point I would also meditate two to three times a week. Any time I only meditated once during that week, my diet quality was not as high.
  • My cycling fitness would show signs of improvements when I would add a strength endurance ride on the Monday after a weekend of a long bike and gym session on the Saturday and a long run on the Sunday. However the improvements were not as obvious if the Monday ride was more of a recovery ride.
  • I need to spend around 2-3 hours a week focusing on recovering my body or the quality of the sessions are not as high. These recovery sessions include mobility sessions, using a massage stick and Venous Drainage.
  • I noticed with my sleep. My training quality, weekly volume and motivation levels were all higher when I would get between 47-49 hours sleep per week and the more sleep I would get during a week (50hrs, 54hrs, etc) the less value the sessions were, the less volume I would do and the less motivated I would become.  This actually took me by surprise.

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Diet Quality in 2019
My race weight has always been around 78kg. I would often just lose a heap of weight over a training block and start walking around with a six pack and say I am race weight ready. At the start of this year I was weighing 81.8kg. Now I am currently weighing 77.1kg and I haven’t got a six pack yet, however I am by far leaner all over, legs, arms, shoulders, etc. I have never experienced being this lean before and I still have some fat left to lose as I still only have a four pack!

Every day this year I have been writing down everything I have consumed. I haven’t had a “cheat day”, however I have had some “cheat meals”, and on each occasion this was when we would go out with friends and family.

I believe the success of this was the result of my focusing on what really worked from the diet log I have been recording since August last year, and I am also focusing heavily on what isn’t working for me since I have started recording everything consumed from this year.

As I mentioned, I have been recording my diet value every day since early 2018. The rankings for this is:
1. Horrible
2. Poor
3. Average
4. Good
5. Great

This year I have 6 great days, 7 good days, 5 average days, 0 poor days and 0 horrible days.

I will do a follow up blog on this in May when I race 70.3 Busso.

Tim Egge

Pumpkin Soup

I mentioned on my daily vlog my wife’s pumpkin soup and how I think it is by far the nicest I have ever had. I said I would share her recipe for the soup on this site.

Renee’s Pumpkin Soup Ingredients 

  • 1 full butter nut pumpkin
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 500ml of chicken stock

 

How to make:

  1. Dice pumpkin and sweet potato
  2. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan, leave the garlic cloves whole.
  3. Cook until pumpkin and sweet potato are quite mushy and there is minimal amount of liquid left in the pot.
  4. Place in blender and blend to a smooth consistency
  5. Enjoy

 

 

 

The Ten-Day Diet Restriction

This is a great diet to lose some extra weight ready for that big race.  Given to me by my mentor Allan Pitman, the bases of this ten day challenge are:
• No Wheat
• No Sugar
• No Dairy

You can have beef/ham, chicken, fish (tin or fresh) and as much vegetables as you like. No need to go hungry. For the people who are active including athletes, include one cup of cooked brown rice.

Burning Energy
This diet is more of a high fat/low carb diet that is similar to the paleo and other high fat diets. While this is a high fat diet, this doesn’t mean fried fat. This is healthy fats found in the allowed foods within this diet.

What to expect
Most people on average will lose between 2kg and 5kg within the ten days. This diet restriction doesn’t need to be a ten day challenge; it can easily become a lifestyle.
You will find that by the end of the challenge, you will have more energy and need less fuel than before.

Tim Egge

Race Weight Diet Log

I’m a big fan of mixed martial arts, I just love watching UFC, Bellator and other promotions. It’s not so much the fighting that I love the most but I’m fascinated with the athletes. What most people think of are just a bunch of rough nuts jumping into an octagon and punching each other are in fact wrong. These are highly skilled and trained athletes who have full control of all aspects of their life and when it comes to weight loss and weight cut they are ninjas.

The way these athletes diet and then cut weight, they have this down to a fine art or to be more correct, it’s a science. I was recently listening to an interview with UFC fighter Kevin Lee.

He described in this interview the way he dieted and the way he cuts weight. He mentioned that he writes down in great detail everything so when it’s time to redo his diet and weight cut in coming fights, he can look back and see what worked and what didn’t.

In the lead up to his past fight against Tony Ferguson, Kevin decided to follow a weight loss program he had done in a past that had gone very smoothly. At one stage during this weight loss he found himself ahead of schedule. Because of this he slackened off slightly and lost momentum. Now comes time when he needs to start cutting the weight and taking all the fluids out of his body and he really struggled.

My point here is when getting down to race weight, it will pay dividends if you logged in great detail everything you consumed as with all your training. Making note what worked and what didn’t. The more details you can log the better it will be in coming races when it’s time to start losing weight again.

History can tell us so much and help shape our future. It’s so easy to forget all the little things so don’t leave it to your head to remember, log everything down and create a blue print for the races to come

If you would like a written diary to log all your meals, below is a form I use.

Written Meal Intake Form: – CLICK HERE

Tim Egge

 

Race Weight Hack

MMA Coach Clayton Hires talked about fighters who need to lose extra weight for an upcoming fight normally have to run in the morning and often again in the late evening before bed on top of their normal training to help lose the weight and it is often these athletes who have to lose a lot of weight as well as cut the water from their body who goes into fights in better conditioning than the athletes who don’t need to lose as much weight and don’t need to be running twice a day.

 

What is my point?

By adding in some extra training that will not impact the rest of your training block, you will simply burn more calories.

 

What about junk miles?

If the training has a purpose, it isn’t junk miles.  Junk miles is simply just doing miles for the sake of doing miles. This isn’t it.  The purpose is simply to help lose extra body fat so these sessions have a purpose.  Going for a 20-30 minute easy run or a ride or going to the gym and using the cardio equipment will help you to burning more calories and get down to race weight faster.

The main factor to look out for is the extra sessions can not negatively impact any other session you have set in your program.  The extra miles are not worth doing if it is going to create any issues no matter how small the issues seem.

 

Is this a optimal way to help get down to race weight? 

No.  This blog is simply offering a hack to consider if you are struggling.

I will post a few more race weight hack blogs in the coming weeks.

Tim Egge