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Showing posts from July, 2013

Promoting protein for master's age health

I've been working on my food intake in a methodical fashion over the past several weeks. July has become my one month with enough margin to train hard and focus on a fitness lifestyle. The outcome has been good; I dropped about 10 pounds so far, but most important is that this time around, it's a slower process where I am retaining muscle. Here's a pie chart that indicates a recent daily intake of fats, proteins and carbs:

In July 2012, I brought my weight down to 153, the lightest I had been since high school in the mid 1970's. I thought light would be fast, but in my case, light meant cannibalizing my muscles and growing weak and frail. As we age, we need strong, not frail and that comes through fueling the engine with muscle-promoting goods.

This time around, I'm moving into a new mindset. I am attempting to set long term life goals that will allow me to attain a target weight, where massive exercise chunks won't be necessary every day. My current plan has d…

Roan Moan: There's no need to groan

Yesterday, I had the privilege of completing the Roan Moan, which incorporates an epic  seven mile climb to the top of Roan Mountain. Once the experience was completed, this master competitor can tell you that when it comes to a (wo)man and his/her mountain, this is a must-do in the southeastern cycling community.

The event is promoted by the Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department and all proceeds go towards needed emergency equipment. Both rides, the metric (62 miles) and the 100 mile go out of the fire department yard.

Weather was treacherous. I'm a late adapter and finally purchased a smart phone, which means I can now track storm cells moving into the area. A nasty gray and green blob was moving towards us at the start and only a few miles into the race, we got hammered for about an hour.  Lightning strike count 1, 2, 3, 4 kaboom! Thank you Lord it's four miles out, keep riding. At one point I was making a scary descent, road was wet and greasy through the curves. I had sn…

Gritty bike? A 15-minute solution

I completed the Roan Moan metric century bike ride yesterday (see blog above) and as part of that event, we were hammered with rain, road grime and gravel.

My bike was a squeaking, creaking, piece of carbon and metal at this finish.

Usually, I go for a light wipe down and then some lube, but in this case the bike's moving parts were embedded with fine grit that inhibits shifting and smooth power transfer. I searched the Internet for examples of bike cleaning. In the past, I'd been turned off by the thought of a 3-hour ordeal to do a complete once over.

No more need to worry. Check out this great YouTube video by Clint Gibbs, who demonstrates how to get 'er done in 15 minutes. Thanks Clint!

As age increases, speed decreases

I've been meaning to write about today's topic, but it's rather painful to commit this sordid tale to words.

The years are going by quickly and one unintended outcome is a decrease in prior performance running and on the bicycle. It started last summer and has continued into this season's club cycling sessions. I am quickly the last rider off the pack, in some cases miles off the pace of the other club participants. Call it social identity or my own self-inflicted stereotype of who I am on two wheels, but I find my lack of speed and endurance embarrassing and sometimes shameful.

I'm not alone in this adaptation to B-class effort. Read the following from long-time reader Doug Hildebrandt:

"Fitness is all about commitment and staying in a routine.  If I ever miss a workout day I always feel very guilty and out of shape.  I do take one day a week off to give the old body of 57 years a break, as all the years of running have taken its toll on me.  My times are muc…

Greatest fitness plan of all time

This is a special day for my blogging life. Out of thousands of fitness and exercise plans, I have finally created the one superior program, which stands clearly over the competition in both definition and ROI.
First, humor me while I lay out the credentials that allow me to take ownership of this master plan. For starters, 2013 marks my 30th year in endurance sport. Best I can figure, I have completed a few dozen triathlons, over 75 marathons, probably 80 or more cycling events, and something north of 100 ultramarathon running events.

What a wild ride it has been. I could tell you about hypothermia on my bicycle, something close to heat exhaustion 85 miles into a trail run, or waiting out lightning strikes in a cave atop a mountain. But today's blog isn't about me, or the zany tales I have amassed. Rather, it's about the greatest fitness routine ever created, and better yet, a plan that is designed for the masses.

Here's what the long view has allowed me to understan…

The "skinny fat" Paleo premise

I've been formulating thoughts the past several days, wrapping my brain around health, wellness, fitness, exercise, objectives and outcomes. It's almost too much to explicate over a 10-mile run, but I'll do my best to bring you some fresh observations.

What set me off was the nutrition world's heightened awareness of all things paleo. If you haven't yet jumped on the paleo bandwagon, it's about eating like a cave man, when hunting and foraging was yet king over farming. Bottom line, it's focused on lean meats, vegetables leaning towards the green variety, with minimal fruits, nuts and oils. Grains were thrown under the bus, along with most all dairy derivatives.

What's intriguing to me is the exercise routine that is many times incorporated into the paleo diet lifestyle. It's weight bearing and minimal. Many of the big name paleo proponents advocate only 30 minutes a day, usually a brief cardio warm-up and then variations of body strength resistance…

Cushioned minimalism in Brooks PureCadence 2

DISCLAIMER: I am  Brooks Inspire Daily athlete. I receive Brooks promotional products.

In my ongoing quest to train in all things Brooks, it's time to comment on the PureCadence 2, a key player in the Brooks PureProject line.

Here's the Brooks back story on the PureCadence:

With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB (Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar)help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.

You read it here first...I want to coin a new phrase "cushioned minimalism." I have come partial circle on the minimalist movement and running 50-60 miles in the PureCadence brought me into a new understanding.

I believe that when the minimalist movement launched, many of us threw the baby (cushioning) out with the …

Brooks PureDrift are next best to naked

DISCLAIMER: I am  Brooks Inspire Daily athlete. I receive Brooks promotional products.

It's my opinion a Brooks Running ambassador should be well versed in the entire Brooks product line. I'll always hold personal preference for specific Brooks products, but it's good to attain first-person knowledge  so that I can be authentic when conversing with a wide assortment of runners.

To that end, I went ultra-minimalist and broke out a pair of Brooks PureDrift. This is as light and wispy as I can get, with a shoe that is so light, it's barely notable when running:

Here's the back story from

Experience the next best thing to naked feet with the hyper-light PureDrift. Spread those toes with two split grooves that allow your forefoot to flex through its three functional units. A hardly-there upper has a close fit and provides a little more coverage than a birthday suit. When you really want to feel free as a bird, remove the sockliner for a zero drop …