Monday, February 22, 2010
Charlotte. Did That.
I got some awesome comments on my last post. Really it was amazing... The three questions got me a billion awesome book suggestions (I made a master list), a book suggestion and a seminar suggestion for how to use power on the bike, and a dozen incredibly helpful and supportive comments from parents who have dealt with amblyopia (lazy eye) in children and also adults who suffered from amblyopia as kids. One of the suggestions I received was to look into felt patches. I found a great company online (Framehuggers) that make soft patches that go over the glasses. They are more comfortable than the type that stick to your eye. Also, she got a bear that says "Lara's patching pal" on her dress (the bear's dress). Pretty cute, huh? She still doesn't want to wear the patch, but I think we are making progress.
Onto triathlon news!
This weekend I went to Charlotte, N.C. for the Level 1 USAT coaching conference. I don't even know where to start with all I have to say about it, so I'm going to address one lecture per blog post.
I will say I had a GREAT weekend. I met cool people (like Donna), Charlotte had some great restaurants, I ran outside in SHORTS and I got to hang with Andy without the kidlets around. (That was truly awesome). The only bad thing about the weekend was that Andy had to rush out on Sunday morning and catch an early flight back. My mother-in-law, who was taking care of the kids with my father-in-law, was brought by ambulance to the ER late Saturday night. She has pneumonia. She is doing well now--and has a room and seems to be stable. But it's scary and upsetting.
The conference was excellent--with the exception of one presenter. I'm not going to focus on that one presenter, though. He was like a stain in an otherwise perfect slew of presenters and it's not worth spending time on how badly he sucked.
The first presentation was by Bob Seebohar. He is a coach and sports nutritionist. His whole gig is that one needs to train the body to use fat as a fuel source rather than glucose/simple sugars. One does this by training to be metabolically efficient--which one does by limiting carb intake in the diet during the preparatory and base periods, (also to some degree during the build and racing periods) and by limiting the amount of carb intake during exercise as well. You must stay primarily at 65-75% effort (when exercising, of course) most of the time (esp. during the base period) to achieve this adaptation.
I've heard this viewpoint from other coaches. At my RRCA certification training (running) they gave a presentation on why this works, and also I believe that Jesse etc. from QT2 believe that this is a necessary training mechanism for IM, and my blogging, uber ultrarunning superman buddy Lucho also believes this, I think. I bought Seebohar's book, and in my annoying way asked Bob questions until I GOT the concept. I'm still not sure I buy it, however. Nothing is as clean cut as we would like to believe. There is a line--but it is a blurry line-- between when the body begins to utilize fat for a fuel source and when it relies more heavily on glucose.Also, it is never using exclusively one or the other except in the extreme (eg you are sprinting versus walking). This is the same problem I have with the energy system argument. People talk as if you are always using one energy system or another--but don't acknowledge that it is simply not that clear cut--that energy systems overlap, and that they overlap to different degrees in different people. It is not RANDOM how the overlap occurs. My point is only that we never use exclusively one system or the other, unless we are sprinting 100 yards or walking for days on end. I have a problem with standpoints that rely heavily on making things black and white in order for them to be sound.
I also don't quite understand the thinking behind why when one trains to be metabolically efficient in one zone or using one energy system, that a transfer occurs when one begins to incorporate training or racing outside of that zone. The principle of specificity holds that we become most efficient at running 7 minute pace, for example, when we practice at running at seven minute pace--not at eight minute--not at six minute pace. Why then, is one metabolically efficient when training in zone 4 if he has only adapted to being metabolically efficient in zone 2 and 1?
Another problem I have is the idea that athletes that race IM or ultra running by taking in few calories are able to do so b/c they have become more efficient at utilizing fat early in their training. Is it that, or simply that a body races better when it is not burdened with calories it cannot digest when exercising?
Nevertheless, his thinking is something to mull over. It is also something which requires more research on my part. I want to review actual studies that substantiate his claim. I will need to start with his works cited and work from there.
Not fiesty today. My depressive dip has lightened slightly, but I am still heavy in reflective land. No idea why. I need a race or something to zip me right up. :)
Or maybe I just need to allow myself to be a snorefest for a bit.
Maybe I'll dye my hair purple. I bet the kids would love that.