Okay, I’ll be honest I was a 10,000 hours type of person. Someone who believed that the harder you work, the more time you spent, in my case, running the better I can get. I do still believe in putting in some solid miles and volume with strategically planned workouts, however I know I have my limitations … No matter how hard I work I cannot and will not be at the level of Meb.
I started asking myself … what can I do to optimize my performance with the genes I have, with my lifestyle, background and everything else that makes me … um well … ME! Everything I have been doing up to this point has been based on theories and methods … Yes most of you like myself base our training plans on methods … I mean look at how many different training styles there are out there from Hansons (which I am a fan of) to Galloway to Higdon to Daniels, the list goes on and on. For my training, I have found that high volume with some modification of the Hanons’ method is what works for my running needs. Others on the other hand will argue that the amount of miles I log is bad for me … well for them it might be, but the numbers don’t lie in my case … when I see my “training races” in marathons going from 3:30’s to the 3:10’s and crushing my personal best down to 3:04:06 when just 2 years ago I was a 3:32 runner, high volume works for me.
Now let’s look at the last 7 weeks or so, just after the TCS New York City Marathon, where I ran a 3:09:01 (a personal best at the time) … this race was in the middle of my training cycle as I prepared for the California International Marathon. During that time I didn’t just focus on training but I focused on recovery / strength and nutrition. For this blog that is where I am going to focus on … the nutrition aspect of my training …. screw it not training my life … I mean let’s be honest diets don’t last but changes in our lifestyles do!
Over the last couple of months I was introduced to Inside Tracker which I previously mentioned in a blog post regarding my nutritional recommendations and changes I made preparing for CIM. Inside Tracker is a science based program that takes my blood sample results and provides me with recommendations to help me move me from normal ranges in my test to my own optimal points based on their bio-markers.
So here is how it all works …
You get your blood drawn and based on the package you purchase you can have 10, 20 or 30 bio-markers analyzed. I opted to use a recent blood test samples from my doctor to test out the Inside Tracker program which tested about 15 of the bio-markers. After getting my lab results from my doctor, I inputted the numbers onto the program …
I then go into each area which is in the normal zone and look for recommendations and the science behind what each bio-marker means …
I then go into a more in depth look at the nutritional recommendations by making each recommendation based on my current lifestyle. I am a vegetarian and try to go as dairy free as possible. By having these specifics the recommendations are made for me rather than other cookie cutter programs that are out there.
The final part of the recommendations is moving onto the “FOOD BASKET” which provides me some well balanced options of servings to help me achieve my nutritional needs. This section is broken up to Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Proteins. The following screen shot is just the top portion showing me some of the grain servings based on my recommendations.
I can shuffle these recommendations and keep the ones I like most and “Lock” them so they are always there on my list while refreshing other recommendations until I find ones that I like in each category.
So what is the kicker in this whole thing … why am I a big fan of Inside Tracker … Let’s rewind from the day after CIM where I ran a personal best in the marathon which was also a BQ -6 (6 minutes faster than my required Boston Marathon qualifying standard) to Saturday where I ran a personal best in the 5k by 15 seconds … The thing is since the CIM I didn’t spend any time doing 5k specific training because of the fact that I was in recovery mode. Yes I did run every day and logged weekly miles of 35 miles and 47 miles, but the consistent thing during this whole time was my nutrition. I didn’t divert away from these recommendations because the marathon was over, but rather spent more time looking at these bio markers to better my lifestyle.
Now I am not saying that everyone just needs to eat healthy and that is the secret to running a personal best, but I do contribute the weeks of training for the marathon and the nutritional focus that lead to my recent personal best. It does take a combination of hard work and science to maximize our individual performances. This entire program also comes hand in hand in my belief that no good workout will ever out do poor nutrition. Both have to be focused on in order to maximize individual gains.
If you are interested in Inside Tracker take a look at their website. If you are interested in the program send me a note and I can hook you up with something special.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this blog post, all thoughts and reviews are that of my own and not influenced by Inside Tracker or their employees.