I’m a bit over a week into my MAF training and so far, so good. I can’t say I am hating it like I thought. Really, the hardest part was letting go of my current level of speed work, which was pretty darn high. Once I mentally released that, I’ve done ok with going easy all the time. Last weekend even provided some nice, cool mornings where it became much easier to keep my heart rate down; that changed a bit this week though as higher temps and humidity have moved in.
One last piece of my plan with the MAF training involves the way I am eating. I have been a healthy eater for a long time now, but after talking to the Sock Doc about my energy drops in marathoning, we decided I needed to dial in even more. Specifically, I am trying a couple of things with my eating–adding even more good fats to the equation, and trying to avoid snacking.
Coming from a long endurance background, this is definitely a shift for me. When you’re doing triathlons, especially longer ones, it’s pretty easy to get into the snacking habit–you have multiple workouts in a day and feel like you need to fuel for them. I became accustomed to a morning and afternoon snack. Now, none of these were bad things–they often consisted of things like almonds or dates–but each time you snack like that, you don’t allow your body a chance to settle in and access fat. The Sock Doc details all this here if you want more info on this way of thinking.
For me, this has meant a bigger breakfast and a bigger lunch to help get me through the hours between meals. But by adding in more good fats–avocados, nuts, coconut milk for my smoothies–I am a bit more satiated with these meals as well. The toughest time of day for me remains late afternoon, when I do tend to get hungry. I’m just one of those people that gets HANGRY when I’m hungry, so I have been playing with the timing of my lunch to help me last longer as well.
Final piece of the puzzle–I’m continuing with the glycogen depletion approach to my running. Any run, swim, or bike ride that I do early a.m. I am doing on nothing but water. With my heart rate at such a low level, this one is not a challenge at all and it has become second nature to me. So there it all is, the training, the fueling, the whole ball of wax.
This is clearly not the solution for everyone–it wasn’t the solution for me when I was younger. Back then I could carb out the wazoo, snack to my heart’s content, and down sports nutrition during any length of training and still get results. Getting older isn’t always fun, but I’m glad that I have resources to help me get wiser as times change.
Anyone else toying with more good fats in their diets?