5 Steps To Eliminate Carbohydrate Dependency
When training for any endurance race, it is important to understand the relationship between peak performance and long-term health. Speaking to Brad Kearns, Hawaii IRONMAN American record holder for the 18-24 division, here’s 5 steps on how to train right for any endurance race. Leverage on the keto diet to become a fat-burning machine, and break away from your high-carbohydrate dependency.
Step 1: Be Mindful, Stub That Ego
Are you always running for the sake of merely wanting to win? Are you someone who is overly competitive and wants instant results? Are you constantly pushing yourself for short periods of time in hopes of beating other competitors and speeding up the process of fitness? If you said yes to any of these questions, know that Brad was once like that. Unfortunately, Type A training can lead to injuries such as joint issues and burnout. Brad realised this halfway throughout his professional career.
Source: Running Competitor
Knowing that he was hurting his body more in the pursuit of a podium finish, he took a step back by making a conscious effort to switch to a training regime that was much more sustainable and beneficial towards his overall health. By learning from his failures, and with good coaching under the watchful eye of Mark Sisson, Brad eventually understood that health and fitness needed to complement each other in order for him to see long term results.
Step 2: Stop Training Yourself To The Ground
Source: Triathlon Australia
Think about your 80-year-old self. Is your current training going to give you a better quality of life as you get older, or is it going to result in more visits to the hospital? Usually when you’re stuck in a competitive mentality, it’s easy to get caught in the web of pushing yourself to the brink of burnout. In order for you to excel in any endurance sport, you need to build your base.
Stop running for instant results. Instead, for endurance sports such as a marathon or triathlon, make a conscious effort to be in tune with your body.
Source: Rotorua Marathon
Connect with nature – soak in the beautiful sights and enjoy the workout. So if you’re someone who has a marathon to run in 14 weeks, how are you going to allocate your time to listen to your body and enjoy the sport for what it really is? We aren’t machines and it’s a matter of recalibrating your mindset to prepare yourself for an endurance race.
Step 3: Build Your Base – Take A MAF Test
To prepare yourself for any endurance race, it is vital for you to do a maximum aerobic function (MAF) test. This test requires you to run at the maximum aerobic heart rate with the help of the 180 Formula. A one-to-five-mile test, with each one-mile interval recorded will provide good data. The test should be done following a simple 12-15 minute warm up, and it should be performed monthly throughout the year.
Source: HD Wallpapers Rocks
Without objective measurements, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking that all is well when it comes to training. However with the MAF test, you’ll be able to know if you’re heading in the wrong direction, either from too much anaerobic exercise or too little aerobic exercise or any imbalance resulting in an adverse effect on your aerobic system. The test also objectively informs you of an obstacle long before you feel bad or get injured. Your training will progress much more smoothly – and quickly – when this test is done regularly. If there’s still a regression, there’s a high chance that you might still be overexerting yourself during runs, or you might still be eating poorly, which bring us to the next point – diet.
Step 4: Get On That Keto Diet
Diet plays a huge role in endurance training so in order for you to excel in it, it is advisable to steer clear of carbohydrates. Carbs that aren’t used up often gets stored into fat. When it comes to endurance training, fat oxidation is necessary in order for us to improve our stamina. Avoid grains at all cost, and even high nutrient carbs such as sweet potatoes and of course don’t consume sweet beverages.
A high carb diet often results in you feeling completely exhausted after training and you’ll be craving for sugar, so if you are able to stick to less than 50 grams of carbs a day, you’ll be able to achieve an altered metabolic state that’s efficient in burning fat. You will also find yourself able to skip meals without craving for sugar.
While this diet might seem highly restrictive, the peripheral benefits are super. A keto diet improves oxygen circulation to the brain. You’ll notice that you’ll recover better after training as this diet helps to protect muscle tissue. Try going on a six-week keto diet period, and you’ll see that the body fat will go away quickly because you’re burning a lot of it. Ultimately, this diet is perfect for resetting your metabolism rate but if you are showing signs of metabolic damage, you should get a second opinion or avoid this diet.
Step 5: Learn From Your Mistakes, Listen To Your Heart
When Brad was a professional athlete, he focused a lot on pushing himself to the limits. In the end, his peak performance came at a significant cost to his health. At 30, he noticed that he felt extremely exhausted. Ever since then, Brad has been on a quest to marry health and fitness. He recalibrated his goals to include wellness and longevity. He also broadened his base fitness, worked on eating a healthier diet and soon after, he started developing higher testosterone levels. He could do sprints and high jumps with ease. He also started listening to his heart and he no longer pushed himself to the brink of exhaustion.
Chronic cardio training according to Brad is an epidemic among many athletes and it’s often due to the chronic nature of over exercising. For instance, if you go cycling for 3 hours every day, pushing yourself each time, you might be creating small scarring on the delicate ventricles of your heart. This could result in you compromising on the electrical signals for your blood to be able to pump blood effectively, causing a highly detrimental result. AFib or atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. So how can you avoid this? It’s simple. Listen to your heart.
If this feels overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. Join me on my 90 Day Transformation, a 3 month program designed to reboot your your metabolism and build the strength and conditioning needed for ultimate performance.
Like Mark Allen, smart triathletes have realized that without proper nutrition and a strength & conditioning program you will never realize your full potential.