Sunday 1st November 15
Today feels like an important day. I am starting a Maffetone 2 week test to see how removing refined carbs from my diet affects things. It just seems so obvious but also scary. I am a sugar addict. I think that is probably the right term. It feels like an addiction. To go cold turkey for 2 weeks is daunting and I have butterflies. I did a bit of a shop yesterday and got some salad and veg in. this will be completely different type of eating for me. I need to keep it simple and not over complicate things. I need a few basic recipes. A good salad dressing. Mayonnaise. Salsa Guacamole. Simple curry sauce to keep things interesting but simple. I also need to work out how I am going to fit this sort of thing into my day. It is carrying lunch, snacks etc that is going to be new to me. No milk is a challenge because I love my cup of tea. I started out with a filter coffee with cream this morning. I out in too much cream. Lots to learn.
I weigh 12st 7oz and my waist was 41 inches!! around the naval. Blimey, what a bloater. Bloating is a good description because I experience that along with fatigue, inflammation, my ears feel blocked. I am wheezy and still have an inhaler. I have had one since childhood. I am pretty achy all over.
I ran a barefoot MAF test this morning. I ran for 2 miles to warm up then ran:
- 10mins 14secs
- 10 mins 7 secs
- 10 mins 12 secs
- 9 mins 50 secs
This is on a slightly undulating mile long section of road which passes for flat in this part f the West Pennine Moors. My last mile was quicker because I believe I was gaining experience at running in my target zone of 129-139 bpm.
It feels like a big day because it is all about readiness. I feel ready to take this on.. It feels like a proper challenge. I have a history of heart disease and diabetes in the family and at 46 years of age, I am not going to let that happen to me.
7.30am – Filter coffee with whipped cream
10.30am – 2 egg omelette with air cured ham (0 carbohydrate Ingredients – Pork and Salt), cup of tea with whipped cream
11.00am – Hungry so had handful of grated mature cheese and spoonful of almond nut butter (Funky nut co)
I ate little and often during the rest of the day. I had bacon for lunch. For tea I had a big green salad with brocolli. I overdid the salad dressing (this is all new to me) and a simple chicken curry made from onions, spices and chicken with a dash of whipping cream added Lovely. Saved some for tomorrow.
Late on I had a coffee with whisky but not really me to be honest.
Mon 2nd Nov 15
Up early for a run. I am achy and stiff but then I have just run 34 miles which is a big week for me.
Cup of tea with peppermint teabag added and a dash of whipping cream. Lovely! Better than anything I made yesterday.
Last night I felt weird. Not hungry exactly but like I needed to eat even though I didn’t fancy anything in particular.
A barefoot mile this morning. It is so mild for the time of year. Headtorch in hand. I feel better for the run.
Boiled eggs and bacon for breakfast having made a salad for lunch and packed the left over curry from yesterday.
It feels like the start of something. Organisation is important though. For things to work for me they need to be really simple.
Tuesday 3rd Nov 15
5 barefoot miles with HRM at 139bpm.Took 60 mins exactly with the last mmile in 10mins 30 secs. The food is going well. It is imprtant to keep things simple. I am doing a small shop every 2/3 days and learning as I go. I am enjoying the food. I got a headache last night which I think was sugar withdrawal. Took 2 paracetamol and was OK. Not really very hungry to be honest. I would love a plum or an apple but am not tempted to give in. I feel ready to do this. I have learned how to make a salad dressing and sat with children having dinner with my food. It looked so much better than theirs even though it was meat pie day.
I have a peppermnt tea bag (Just dried leaves) in my tea and have it black and it is really nice. When having whipped cream in coffee I need to do the same because it makes it really bland.
Wed 4th Nov 15
A mile barefoot in the rain and dark and fog. Headtorch in hand. I just don’t fancy running in shoes. Food wide was a good day. I took my salad into the school hall and one of the children asked if it was just leaves. I said yes but not to go and pick any old leaf uup to eat. He then sidled off and asked another member of staff if I had jst been outside and picked them. I quite like the sald thing for lunch. Better then the carb rich diet we usually have for school dinners and I am fine. Not craviing chocolate or pizza although one challenge was all the quiet grazing I used to do all the time. My son asked if I wanted a piece of breaded chicken and I almost took it without thinking. The same for the odd biscuit lying around. To be honest, I am not too tempted by anything at the moment and I have had long periods of no hunger and then some periods where I have found myself a bit hungry. It is weird to deal with that with a piece of cheese but it seems to work.
It has been brought home how unhealthily my children eat and I would like to tackle that but feel like I need to lead the way and be a good example. I am also not trying to vary things too much. I am trying to learn a small core repetoire of foods to become a staple and then I can do the odd fancy thing on top of that as I go. It takes a biy of courage to go home when there is no meat in and think that I will have a cheese salad. I also think that because I am well prepared and have snack things around that I can have, I am not too worried about being hungry later as I know that I can always eat something and that I can have as much as I need.
Salad bags are a good idea for me. I have also found that i like vegetable raw more than cooked. Interesting. I have also got into the habit of splitting my evening meal and saving half for lunch the next day with a large salad.
Thursday 5th Nov 15
Couldn’t resist weighing myself this morning. 4 days in and I weighed 12st 1lb which is a loss of 6 lbs. That seems crazy to me. 1 inch off my waist. Slightly below 40inches.
I ran in Walshes for the first 4 miles of my run this morning and then took my shoes off and ran the last mile barefoot. I went over my 139bpm limit very quickly and ended up quite slow. The whole run was about 65 mins which is 5 mins slower than Tuesday when I ran the whole thing barefoot. That feels like a bit of a worry but I am going to put my faith into the sysytem and get on with it. I am wondering about warming up properly and whether that is linked to my slow times. When I d a MAF test, I have speeding up even though I have ran a 2 mile warmup beforehand.
Friday 6th Nov 15
A barefoot mile this morning and feeling more like myself and full of running. Enjoyed it. Headtorch lighting the way. At the half way point I switched it off and enjoyed being in the dark with hands aloft in victory salute. Just feels appropriate today. Woke up during the night with a headache. This was not unexpected. I suspected that I might when I went to bed, I was well hydrated but know the signs. Not as bad as I thought though.
I have been walking differently over the past few days. I think that I am losing weight but I am also experiencing less pain in my hip. I feel more free. Probably all in my head but it is interesting.
I ended up having a sort of bolognaise/chilli sort of thing last night and finishing it even though I had enough. I am getting better at creating leftovers and probably needed to do that. It goes back to getting an easy base of things that i enjoy eating and then experimenting on top of that.
I enjoy pizza but cant have the bast. I am going to get all the best bits I love. Sauce, cheese, toppings and just have those. It is coming down to the fact that I am eating very well but not anything processed which is great.
Just done squats and hip remarkably free and pain free.
Sat 7th Nov 15
10 miles barefoot in torrential rain this morning. Had my headtorch flashing the entire way so that folk could see my coming. I was on the road, in total darkness at 6am. Keeping below 139bpm was difficult and my overall time was 2hrs 20 mins (14 min miles!!!). This would usually be a comfortable 10 min/mile run. It just shows how poor my aerobic function is and probably how unhealthy I am.
Sun 8th Nov 15
A barefoot mile this morning but one where I learned how to raise myheart rate to 134 slowly (I have modified my MAF bpm as my aerobic function is so shocking). I started off by walking but pretty soon was into a run and I increased it by 10bpm every 2 minutes. I then brought it down again. I will do this in tomorrow’s run and make it part of the run. I may well run for a time and not a distance to keep things easy to understand. It is going back to basics again.
7 days in Maffetone no carb test. Feeling good. 7 lbs lighter and 1.5 inched off waist.
Mon 9th Nov 15
A barefoot mile in the cold. Warmed up to 134bpm and then came back down again. practising the warmup over 15 mins. I will do it for real tomorrow. Only problem is the cold. Need warmed up feet to do it. may need to do it inside in the cold.
Tues 10th Nov 15
Jumped out of my normal pattern this morning and ran time instead of distance. Ran for 60 mins that included a 15 min Maffetone warmup and a 15 min cooldown with 30 mins running in MAF range in the middle. I did an out and back run to keep things simple. The forst half is a net downhill and I ended up about half a mile short at the end.
My 15 min warmup meant gradually moving my heart rate up to 134bpm over that period. I went for 5x3minute blocks. I went
0-3 mins max 95
3-6 mins max 105
6-9 mins max 115
9-12 mins max 125
12-15 mins max 130
I then ran for 15 mins in the 124-134 range and turned round and ran for another 15 mins in that range. Then I began the cooldown which was just the opposite of the warmup. It is a leap of faith as it so slow and involves quite a bit of walking. It helps if I think of it as not running training but heart rate training. I am getting to gain a feel for how to keep my heart rate in a range.
I ran all but the last mile in Walshes and the last mile barefoot. Concerned that I will not be able to do this in the cold unless, I run a middle mile barefoot which is an option but a faff.
Food wise things are going well. Trying new things and enjoying them. I do not want to go back but I am looking forward to an apple or plum at the end of the test.
4.1 miles altogether with a mile barefoot.
Wed 11th Nov 15
A barefoot mile this morning and I took it easy and raised my heart rate gradually. I din’t feel the need to keep it precise but only got to my my MAF range at the half way point for a little while and then brought it back down again. Not all the way but back under 100bpm. It is now dropping gradually over time as I amble around making breakfast etc.
I asked myself why I am doing these mile runs. I want my bare feet to gradually become acclimatised as the weather gets colder. Going out every day seems like a good way of doing this. I also like the routine of going out every morning even if it is only for a mile. It is all part of my overall well-being. If I can do it in a way that has a reduced amount of stress on my body then I am all for that.
Thursday 12th Nov 15
An hour between 6am and 7am this morning. Barefooting and it was cold. i warmed up steadily. I am trying to think that I am not training my legs but my aerobic engine. It doesn’t matter what activity I am doing as long as I work in the zone. I warmed up and took 15 mins to bring my heart rate to 134bpm. This was difficult as my feet where cold because I was going so slow.
I can tell when my heart rate is going to go too high when warming up because my breathing is a symptom. If I have to gasp of breath heavily, it means that heart is not beating fast enough for the oxyge that my muscles need and I back off. If I take it steadily, my heart rate increases gradually and my ability to send oxygen round my body is fine and I don’y need to gasp for air.
I covered 4 barefoot miles intotal which also included a cool down. I might decrease my cool down time and not bring it right down whilst out on the road. Having watched my HRM, it gradually decreases from about 105 gradually over the coming half hour as I am wandering around the house and doing normal morning things like making breakfast and sorting washing etc.
From a dietary point of view, I am on day 12 of the 2 week test and Iast night I was hungry. It was the flip of the day before. I couldn’t seem to satisfy my appetite very much and ate more than usual as I wanted to make sure that I didn’t let the hunger remain for long. I feel a bit slow and lethargic to be honest. Not overly so but I reckon that I am short of carbs at the moment. It will be interesting to see how the MAF test goes on Monday.
Question: I understand how to extrapolate pace schedules for things like a marathon from the 5k paces listed by Dr Maffetone based on my MAF pace but it is hard to pace yourself over an undulating hilly or even mountainous course. IS there a heart rate that I could run at for 10k, half marathon,marathon distance that is related to my MAF test. eg. If my MAF rate is 134bpm should I run a marathon at 164bpm? Can you work things out like that. So…to run a marathon what heart rate zone should I run in?
Friday 13th Nov 13
A barefoot mile this morning on a dry road just before the heavens opened. It is cold and my feet are feeling it. I judged my pace on my breathing and also keeping under a threshold where I burst out into a sweat. I can feel it coming and just back off a little. This means that I gradually raise my heart rate to my MAF range.
The hunger did hit in but then levelled off again. I feel like I am eating too much fat. I have never eaten as much salad or vegetables but am looking forward to an apple here or there rather than cheese or nuts now and again.
I had spinach and ricotta last night ad have been padding out my meaty curries and bolognaise with vegetables which is new to me. It works fine and is very nice. I am learning to prepare real food properly. I watched masterchef the other night and they made an Omelette Arnold Bennet. Smoked haddock omelette covered in a hollandaise sauce and then grilled. Wow – Looked good. Need to learn a few new techniques.
Sat 14th Nov 15
3 hrs round the West Pennines in the rain today. I am replacing distance with time at the moment because I just don’t know how long a certain distance will take and I need to fit runs into my day. I am also heading out and back so that I can time things properly. It is because I am not running about my MAF heart rate of 134bpm.
So…3hrs was my goal. 15 mins getting upto 134bpm gradually. It took about a mile and then I stopped and turned round after 1 hr 25 mins to allow for a slight slowing down in the second half. The last 15 mins was a cool down to lower my heart rate gradually. Exactly 3hrs for 11miles!! This would normally take well under 2 hrs. Even when you look at the miles I did within the MAF range it was 9 miles in 145 mins. 16 minute miles!! I have never been so slow but it just shows what a shocking aerobic base I have. Lots of walking to keep heart rate under 134 bpm. I feel good and my body feels unstressed. It was nice to be out in the countryside for 3 hrs and I tested out my ultra vest and Walsh zero drop fell shoes.
I might be slow because I am on day 14 of a 2 week zero carb Maeffetone test and am very low on carbs. I will be putting some fruit back into my diet tomorrow. This is all a big leap of faith. I am in no rush though. I have a 40 miler in March and my plan is to only run within MAF range throughout winter and see where it takes me. I also plan to build up the time on my feet and add in some fuelling on long runs to see how I react to it.
This 2 week Maffetone food test has been a revelation.. I am finding that I enjoy cooking ad don’t want to open a another jar or packet or ready meal. I want to eat real food and keep my refined carbs in check.
Sunday 15th Nov 15
A barefoot mile this morning and just monitored my breathing to keep heart rate under 134bpm. I had a large breakfast of carrot and coriander soup (curried), eggs, bacon and an apple. This si the first day beyond the 2 week test. I am 11st 11lbs which is a 10lb loss in the 2 weeks with about 22 inches off my waist. I still have a bit of asthma and allergic reaction to things but I feel a whole lot better generally and am not going back.
Adding in an apple and a drop of whole milk in a cup of tea where my carb additions. I am going to be gentle and avoid grains and potato. Having said that, I had half a bottle of real ale. I am a brewer and my palate has changed. It was so sweet.
I enjoyed cooking this afternoon and made broad beans with pancetta to go with roast chicken broccoli and a mixed salad. Really nice. I am determined not to throw any food away and getting good at making do with what is in rather than head for something else.
Planning MAF test in the morning. My last 134bpm was on 11th October and gave me:
Mile 1 – 10mins 48 (uphill)
Mile 2 – 10 mins 47
Mile 3 – 10 mins 45
I will see how I go with proper Maffetone warmup.
Mon 16th Nov 15
MAF test baredfoot this morning and it wasn’t good. Took longer.
MIle 1 – 11mins 58 secs (uphill)
Mile 2 – 12 mins 06 secs (void- thorn if heel and needed to stop)
Mile 3 – 11 mins 06 secs
This after a 15 min Maffetone warmup. Weather cold, windy and wet and it was at 6am on a Monday morning.
I need to look at what is going on here. To slow down so significantly is a bit of a shocker. I might have to pull back my miles and look at my diet and runstreak.
I have spent most of my time in the last 5 weeks at a 139 bpm MAF rate rather than a 134bpm. I will see how it goes working for a couple of weeks below 134bpm.
Tues 17th Nov 15
A barefoot mile this morning and I felt full of the joys of spring on a cold, wintery morning. Almost like I had a wind behind me. I wonder if it is because I am now starting to put a bit of carbohydrate back into my body. I just had a couple of apples yesterday. I have been reading about a few things that have grabbed my interest. Inflammation and the balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3. My hip is till much better. The causes of muscle imbalance. My weak glutes and tight groin and how they are connected. Maybe all the way back to football injury 15 years ago.
Also mouth ph and how that indicates fat or carb burning dominance. Interesting stuff. Also listened to the first Maffetone podcast on his website.
I am also waking very early in the morning. Before 5am at times. I don’t think it is to go to the loo and it isn’t a restless insomnia. I am just ready to get up. I do manage to get off back to sleep but it has happened consistently all the way through the 2 week test and now beyond. I am not feeling over tired in the evening but am ready for sleep at 10pm which is pretty normal for me.
This morning is was up well before 6am, par boiling a ham shank to go in the slow cooker with onion, carrot and celeriac. First time for everything, i guess.
I ahve been speculating about my slow MAF test yesterday. I think that I am jow burning fat but still not efficiently. I had a long way to come from my sugar addicted, messed up system. One explanation may be that I was burning exclusively carbs on my last test even at a slow rate and I had plenty in my system. Now I am burning fat and it is more of a proper baseline. We will see how I go once I get a few more natural carbs in there and a more balanced diet.
Wednesday 18th Nov 15
A barefoot mile and feeling tired. My breathing is shallow and my throat itches and I have a bit of a cough. I have not had a runny nose and so it doesn’t feel like a cold. It feels like the end of one where you end up with a cough but I have not had the first part. I think that it might be related to the carbs I am now introducing back into my diet. the obvious culprit is the few splashes of milk I have had in tea but I think it might be the apples or at least the skin from commercially grown apples. Going to need to try some organic ones to compare.
I ate 2 apples and a plum yesterday and had a few drops of milk in my tea. I had an allergic reaction at about 7.30pm last night. It made me wheezy and the back of my throat itchy and I am still like it now, the morning after. I need some fresh air in my lungs. My son is having the same thing but I am not sure it is related. I am wondering if I am very sensitive after the 2 week test and it is the small amounts of milk that is doing it. I also think I might get it after eating an apple. I sometimes feel it and wonder if it is to do with things that might be on the skin. Interesting experiment.
My diet has changed out of all recognition ans I feel better for it but I no where near there yet. I need to change the percentage of fruit, veg and salad and reduce the meat and cheese and think about oils etc. I want to learn how to make salsa and guacamole and a few interesting salads. the key to success so far has been making it easy and having a few base things. I could do with writing a few base things down so that I don’t have to think to much whilst shopping. The kids are eating more healthily and my hunger is nowhere near what it was.
Feel better for getting out for a MAF mile.
Thursday 26th November 15
My barefoot runstreak has come to an end and it felt very natural. I just decided not to run. My MAF test shows me getting slower and my legs just felt like they needed a rest. I have pulled my miles back and am going to back off for a couple of weeks to see how that goes.
A barefoot mile this morning and it was good to be out after 2 days off.
I went for 3 hrs at the weekend and walked a lot of the way. My aerobic base is very poor and I am going to go back to basics. I have even pulled out my nordic walking poles and I might get out with those and work within my MAF rate for a while.
FRiday 27th Nov 15
4 barefoot miles and a MAF test barefoot at 6am on a cold, dark morning. 12 min miles about.but feels like progress because I was much more able to run in the zone. Just went over 134 a couple of times when lost concentration cresting hills.
15 min warmup
Mile 1 _ 12.01
Mile 2_ 12.01
Mile 3 – 11.55
Feeling more positive. My weight is 11st 9lbs and remaining steady. Losing little bits at a time and trying to space luch out so that it forms snack. lunch and then snack.
Dropping some of my daily runs to rest a little. Feels like the best thing to do. Stressful time at work and that will be the same for a few weeks through christmas.
Monday 30th Nov 15
Ran a MAF 7 miler yesterday on rough trails in horrendous weather. Nearly 2 hours. Slow!
I am coming to the end of November with a lot to think about. I have removed carbs for 2 weeks and am now putting them back in. Apples, pears, plums seem fine. Beer made properly seems to be OK too. Honey seems OK. I then had some homemade pastry and chocolate and sweets and birthday cake. Once I started it was tempting to continue and the morning after, I am sluggish and bloated.
I need to start trying other unrefined carbs. Potatoes and brown rice next I think. I think that my carb balance isn’t right yet.
The best thing to come out of all this is that I have dropped some weight and am enjoying fruit and that I am not hungry all the time. My sugar addiction is being managed and that feels good. I am not sure that I feel much more healthy. Not got it right yet.
I have been ill during this period too as have most of my colleagues. It is strange not running every day. I may go back to that. The overriding feeling at the moment is to est up ad not do too much.