Their is good news and bad news. The bad news is that I had my first setback this week (since starting the Primal Triathlete). The good news is that I am really confident I know the source of this “setback”. Mistakes are part of the learning process and understanding the cause of the mistakes makes us smarter and stronger!
So what happened? Well I ran myself into the ground and became extremely tired and sick, basically I over-trained. Now this is not the first time I have over-trained, but hopefully it is the last (keeping my fingers crossed). I believe that this “bout” of over-training was due to the lack of carbohydrates. Now I know all the naysayers are thinking, “I told you so”! I agree I do need carbohydrates to fuel my training sessions, but where I went wrong was not paying attention to how much I was eating.
The primal diet is basically a “low carb” diet and I have “learned” to eat “primal” without even thinking about it. So I was keeping my carbohydrate consumption low not necessarily by choice but by habit. I believe my carbohydrate consumption was around 200-grams which is definitely not enough for an endurance athlete.
The plan of attack:My plan is to start a weekly food log using fitday (which I will post) and track my carbohydrate intake. I have never really been a fan of food logs in the past because I don’t believe in the calories-in versus calories-out method of weight loss. While I am still not worried about the amount of calories I consume I am very interested in the amount of carbohydrates I eat on daily basis. I am still trying to determine the optimal amount of carbohydrates needed, but for now I will aim for 300 to 400-grams of carbohydrates a day. My carbohydrates will come from beans, potatoes (sweet and white), vegetables, rice (on occasion) and fruit not from grains (pastas and breads) or sugary sports drinks.
Lastly a quick note on setbacks. Setbacks happen not only in training but also in life and it is how you react/recover from setbacks that makes you a stronger person. If you train long enough I guarantee you will have a setback, it could be from injury, illness or some other factor but never use a setback as an excuse to “give-up” on your goals!