May 12, 2010
Introduction: In this podcast episode: marathon training tips, power to weight ratios and body fat for triathletes, craving carbs, not sweating during workouts, and is exercise without eating in the morning a bad thing?
Ben: Hello podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and as you may have heard from this week’s mid-week special update, there is actually a new podcast that is kind of short. But it’s good, I promise. If you didn’t get a chance to go check out the Get Fit Guy, my new podcast for shaping up and slimming down over at the Quick and Dirty Tips network, you should definitely check it out. The Quick and Dirty Tips is the network that puts out podcasts like the Grammar Girl, which is really good for those of you who can’t speak or write properly. The Nutrition Diva, who I’ve actually had on the show to talk about childhood obesity. The House Call Doctor who had a lot of little health tips. There are investment tips on there, there are money management tips, there are math tips and now there are fitness tips. So I think you’ll like that podcast. In this podcast, we talk a lot about advanced nutrition techniques. We talk a lot about training for endurance athletes, triathletes and really athletes in a variety of sports. We talk about fat loss on this podcast as well. Now that podcast is geared a little bit more towards general fitness concepts and in early episodes we’ll be covering a lot of the basics. Like the first two episodes were about how to begin a proper weight training protocol and which exercise machines burn the most calories. As that podcast evolves, you’ll find that it covers a really wide variety of fitness tips. We’ve got some great episodes planned, and if any of you are fans of this show, trust me, you’ll be fans of that show. I’ll be putting out a lot of good content that really doesn’t overlap too much with what I’m doing here at Ben Greenfield Fitness. So check out that podcast, go to iTunes. Do a search for Get Fit Guy or go to [email protected] or finally, go to the Shownotes for this podcast. Podcast number 94, and click on that where you can see me in my cool sporty red exercise pants – at least the cartoon version of me, or you can simply click on any of the links that I have for the Shownotes to podcast number 94 and we’re going to move on to this week’s special announcements.
So, that being said, we’re going to move on into this week’s Listener Q and A and then after that I have an interview with Jill Bruyere, a marathon training coach. We’ve got a bunch of marathon training tips coming at you as well as a special announcement about the Marathon Dominator which is being released next week. I’ll tell you all about that during the interview.
So remember, if you have a question just email me [email protected], leave a question by calling toll free to 8772099439 or you can Skype to Pacific Fit. Now for those of you who have tried this week to leave me a voice message or a question to my Skype address, I do know that the voice mail was having some issues this week. Don’t worry, that will be fixed and you should be able to leave your comment or your question just fine by using the free Skype software and Skyping Pacific Fit. Let’s see how many times I can say the word Skype. Skype. Skype.
Okay the first question this week comes from listener Mo. Cool name, Mo.
Mo asks: I have a question regarding eating and bicycling. I’m fairly new to triathlon and would love to do a half Ironman. I’ve done several sprints, two Olympics and several half marathons as well as two marathons. I started this journey five years ago. My concern is this. When I’m in running mode I can keep my weight at 115 pounds, which is a normal weight for me at 5’2. But when I switch to cycling to get into cycling shape, I’m hungry all the time. I immediately start putting on weight. I did a 50 mile ride yesterday and tried some of the things that I heard on your podcast and I stayed away from cookies at the rest stops. I ate a carb and protein mix right after riding. I had a fish dinner today but I cannot stop eating and craving carbs. Help. Should I stick with GU packs and protein bars for nutrition, which would be fewer calories?
Ben answers: Well Mo, the idea behind running and cycling is that when you’re running – and I’ve mentioned this before in a podcast – you actually get a lot of that impact-based rebound recoil off of the surface of which you’re running and while running can break down the body a little bit more than cycling does, because a lot of it is basically transfer of energy from the ground up to you, you actually tend to use a little bit less carbohydrate in the big thigh and quad muscles when you’re running. So what that means is because you’re burning carbohydrates so much more intensively when you’re riding a bike, just based on the contracting of your bike muscles – essentially what happens is you tend to be more carbohydrate depleted after you finish a bike workout. So, one of the things that you can do, one of the strategies that you can use is to cycle your nutrition so that on your harder bicycling days you have a higher net carbohydrate intake and a higher carbohydrate intake in general during your workout. Now, if you’re going at an especially hard rate, at your size you should be able to take in right around 250 calories per hour of carbohydrate on the bicycle. Then you want to make sure to replenish those carbohydrate stores within 20 minutes after you finish riding. Generally, try and get about two calories per pound of your body weight right after you finish. So you weigh 115 pounds, you’d be looking at 230 calories of carbs. About half that of protein, so another 115 calories of protein and then you’d want to eat again a real meal preferably within an hour after that. Now for people who are trying to lose weight, I generally don’t encourage them to eat that real meal an hour after they’ve had the post-workout meal. But for people who are just trying to replenish energy stores and eliminate carbohydrate cravings later on in the day, the best case scenario is to have your post-workout meal within 20 minutes and then eat again within an hour. So, to answer your question about using the gel packs and the protein bars for nutrition, it’s not quite clear to me whether you’re asking me if you should use those during the bike ride or after your workout, but the basic answer is yes in both cases. What you want to do to really control these carbohydrate cravings is really take care of your body from a pre-workout, during a workout and post-workout perspective. The cravings should begin to diminish if you’re doing that. So essentially to put it in simplistic terms, eat more when you’re exercising because right now it would appear that you’re not eating enough and specifically on your cycling days, you’re probably not eating enough carbs. So you could look on a cycling day getting closer to a 65% carbohydrate intake and on a non-cycling day, cutting that closer down to 50% carbohydrate intake. Great question and if you really have trouble with the carb cravings, try chromium, try vanadium, try Thermal Factor. Any of those can help out quite a bit.
Next question is from listener Chuck.
Chuck asks: What is the ideal body fat range for a competitive triathlete and what would be getting too low? What effects on performance would too low of a body fat have and in what ways would I perform better if I were higher?
Ben answers: Well Chuck, there’s not a lot of standardized charts from studies that have been done on professional triathletes. But basically in terms of body fat percentage, what you’re looking at for most triathletes is going to be right around in the range of 4% to 12% for male triathletes and 8%% to 17% for female triathletes. Now contrasted to the average person – the average male, non-triathlete or non-endurance athlete would be at about 8 to 15%; average female would be at about 18 to 26%. So generally you’re looking at male triathletes running about 4 to 6% lower than the general population. Female triathletes running about 10 to 12% lower than the general population. Now, in terms of your necessary body fat for normal hormonal function, most guys need to have at least 3 to 5% fat, most females need to have at least 8 to 12% fat. Now as far as deleterious effects from that fat dropping too low, you’ll generally have fatigue. You’ll have a chronic type of fatigue that makes you feel like you don’t have enough energy throughout the day. Your sex drive will decrease because you’re not producing a lot of those fat based hormones necessary for steroid and hormone formation. You’re not going to have the type of fats that you need circulating to support healthy joints or your joints may start to hurt. And you’ll generally just feel rundown and really tired all the time. I know this from personal experience because I have gotten down to 1.5 body fat percentage before when I was bodybuilding. And I felt horrible and I didn’t like it. My wife of course didn’t like it, and it was just not a good place to be. Not healthy at all. Not good for you. Now I had to do that for aesthetic purposes so I could look good on stage. But especially for endurance athletes who are going to be using a greater amount of fat, period, compared to explosive football players or bodybuilders or people like that – that body fat percentage is way too low and in my opinion, even 3% is pushing it. I generally keep myself at about 6 to 7% body fat for triathlon. And the other thing that you can look at is for swimming and triathlon – a little bit of body fat actually helps you float a bit. Now that being said, something called power to weight ratio is something you should be focusing on a lot more than your body fat. Now what I’m going to do is put a really cool chart in the Shownotes, Chuck, and that chart is going to show you good power to weight ratios for cyclists. No chart exists for power to weight ratios for triathletes, but for cyclists – if you’ve read any of the books by Lance Armstrong, if you’ve talked to some of the Tour de France coaches, the power to weight ratio that’s considered kind of the magic power to weight ratio for cyclists is 7 watts per kilogram of body weight. So to find out your maximum – or not your maximum, but to find out how many kilograms you are at, what you would do is divide your body weight in pounds by 2.2. And then what you would want to find out is your maximum sustainable power, which would be the power that you could ride at for about a 30 minute time trial on your bike, as fast as you can go. What you would do is take the power – and obviously you’re going to have to measure that with a power meter – that you’re able to sustain for 30 minutes, divide that by your weight in kilograms and that will give you your power to weight ratio in watts per kilogram. That would be gold standard. Then you can match yourself up to the chart that I put in the Shownotes which basically shows that for example, an untrained individual riding a bicycle who wants an average power to weight ratio is going to be down somewhere right around 2.34 whereas a really good, world champion type of cyclist is going to be closer to between 6 and 7. Obviously the higher your power, and lower your weight – the higher that ratio is going to go. So, use power to weight ratio if you’re able to. You may have to get a power meter on your bike to do something like that. Otherwise based on body fat percentage, go with the recommendations that I laid out of around 4 to 12% for male triathletes. For female triathletes, around 8 to 17%.
Sean asks: For the last four months I’ve been training to do a solo 450 mile bike ride from Montreal, Canada down to New York. The other day I realized something interesting while riding on a trainer that I had not noticed before, the first hour of three hours I was sweating buckets and drinking a good amount of water. But the last two hours I didn’t sweat. Did I run out of water to sweat or did my body’s temperature adjust and therefore stop sweating as much?
Ben answers: It’s a great question, Sean. Obviously sweat is necessary for evaporative cooling and what happens a lot of times is if you – and you may have noticed this when you’re working out – if you start working out hard, a lot of times you really don’t sweat right away and then as soon as you back off, your body begins to sweat and cool. Now the reason that something like that happens is because when you first start exercising, sometimes your evaporative cooling mechanisms take a little while to get warmed up so to speak. But once you get going you’ll generally keep sweating. Sometimes you’ll notice though, you start working out, you don’t sweat and then as soon as you slow down a little bit after the initial warm up, you start to stretch. Now that’s normal. However what you just laid out is not normal. You typically don’t go for an hour, sweat just fine and then stop sweating for the next two hours. Now, of course the one reason for that might be dehydration. You tell me that you’re drinking good amounts of water and I’m just going to have to believe you but double check and make sure that you’re actually taking in somewhere in the range of 24 to 28 ounces of water per hour. Now, another reason that the body might sweat a little bit less would be if you’re trying to retain proper osmolarity of the amount of sodium and fluids in the body – the amount of electrolytes. Now, if you have a heavy, heavy amount of electrolytes on board, not much water, your body is going to try and retain a little bit of water to try and balance out that ratio. That’s one of the reasons people who have high blood pressure – if they quit eating salt, a lot of times their body retains less water or their blood pressure goes down. Kind of in the same case, if you were to lower electrolyte and salt intake then what would happen is you might find that you actually lose a little bit more water. So I would look at your salt intake and make sure that your salt intake is not excessive. You didn’t mention if you were taking electrolytes or not but make sure you’re not taking too many if you are taking them. There are certain medications that can affect sweating. That’s something that would be really long to get into at this point and I don’t know if you’re on any medications. I’m assuming you would have told me if you were, but be aware that there are several pharmaceutical medications that can affect your sweat rate as can something called anhydrosis, which is essentially an inability to sweat and that can be a life threatening condition. You probably would know if you had that, but if you’re listening to this episode and you are somebody who doesn’t sweat at all during exercise, that’s something that you may want to think about. The last thing that you may want to consider is that there are factors in addition to temperature and body fluid status that can affect sweating and specifically that would be the mechanoreceptors on your muscles. Due to mechanisms that aren’t completely clear, a study has found that when you are passively recovering, such as riding your bike easily as a cool down, the stimulation of the mechanoreceptors on your muscles will actually induce sweating versus if you didn’t move at all during that cool down. And so that’s interesting that simple stimulation of mechanoreceptors on the muscles can also cause sweating regardless of your hydration or temperature status. So ultimately what this comes down to is make sure you’re drinking enough water. Make sure you’re not consuming too much salt and then also eliminate the possibility that medications might be at play here. Or write in another question or let me know if you’re taking medications and we can look into those and see if those are affecting your temperature adjustment.
Bracken asks: I went to a training program three years ago in Orlando. The program is run by Jim Lure who runs a tennis program, etc. Proctor and Gamble, where I used to work used his corporate athlete program very broadly internally starting with the top experts. The nutritionist there, who was really impressive, said that the current literature says that if you don’t put something in your stomach before you exercise in the morning your body will naturally consume/burn muscle as it continues to sustain the biological drive to store fat that happens during a period of fasting. So she said never exercise without eating in the morning, seems to contradict your fasting approach to losing fat. Was she wrong?
Ben answers: Yes, she was wrong. That’s the short answer. Basically when you fast, when you fast overnight essentially all you’re doing is as you sleep you tend to deprive your liver’s glycogen stores which are going to be burned through prior to the muscle glycogen stores. And so when you wake up you’re generally going to have about 1500 to 2000 calories of storage carbohydrate on board that you can burn through. Now if you were to exercise for about an hour and a half to two hours right when you get up and you were to burn through all that storage carbohydrate, then you’re going to get to the point where you’re burning a combination of storage adipose tissue and then also engaging in gluconeogenesis or production of sugars to be used as energy from essentially cannibalization of lean muscle tissue or proteins. So yes, if you were to exercise for an hour and a half or two, that’s when it would tend to be a problem. That’s why whenever I recommend that exercising after an overnight fast, I tell you not to overdo it so you don’t deplete the glycogen stores and move on to that cannibalization status, unless you’re somebody who’s just trying to shed a ton of muscle mass. If you’re a bodybuilder trying to become an endurance athlete, that’s something you may want to think about. It’s actually something that I did to myself where I burned 30 pounds of muscle off my body by exercising starved and cannibalizing my own lean muscle tissue. Sounds fun, huh? Now, the idea as far as the biological genetic drive to store fat – it’s a little bit blown out of proportion. The whole fat storage mode from fasting. Even the whole fat storage mode from not eating between meals, I’ve been looking into the research and really there’s not a huge difference in fat oxidation rates or in weight loss between people who eat three times a day and people who eat six or seven times a day. The reason that you should eat frequently and not go a long period of time between meals is not because something magic happens from a physiological standpoint but just because when you go a long time between meals you tend to eat too much when you finally do get to that next meal. At least most people do. Your hunger tends to be out of control. You eat faster, you become full in a longer period of time. Because you ate so fast. And you generally tend to choose some sweets and some things to really satiate the appetite quickly. So the idea is not that there’s some magic fat storage switch that goes on, but basically psychologically grazing is a very good way to approach your nutrition habits unless you have extremely good self-control when you get put in front of a bunch of food and you’re extremely hungry.
So hopefully that makes sense Bracken, and as far as the question of the week this week that receives a free month of membership to the Body Transformation Club, it’s actually Sean’s question about sweating. So Sean, you have won a free month of membership to my Body Transformation Club where I’m going to send you a postcard each week with a brand new recipe or nutrition tip from me along with access to a secret page where I show you new exercises and give you exercise videos and workouts. Simply send me an email Sean and I will hook you up. So those are all the questions for this week and we’re going to move on to this week’s interview with Jill about marathon training and the Marathon Dominator program that’s coming on May 21st.
Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and today we’re going to be talking about marathons. Marathon season is ramping up and even though there are a lot of really important fall marathons – I know a lot of people are going to be out there running Chicago and San Francisco and Philadelphia and some of you are maybe even running New York. There are also a lot of marathons going on just this summer. And I know that you guys have asked me to put together a marathon training program. Now, I have a little confession to make. I’m big time into exercise physiology, studied tons of sports nutrition. I’ve run a lot of marathons myself. However, they were mostly during Ironman triathlons. I’ve only run a couple of marathons outside of the Ironman. And so, what I decided was rather than pretending that I’m the ultimate expert on running marathons and the logistics of running marathons, what I’ve done is actually teamed up with a marathon coach named Jill Bruyere. And Jill has run Maui, she’s run DC, she’s run Seattle, she’s run Boston, she’s run New York. So she’s done some pretty serious marathons and she also has a lot of degrees in exercise physiology. She’s certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. She’s a health and fitness specialist. She has a master’s degree in sports leadership. She knows a lot about marathon. So I figured what could be better than to bring some of my knowledge to the table for you guys in terms of nutrition and physiology, and pair up with Jill to give you some tips on marathon training and – some of you are going to be excited to hear about this – essentially create the Marathon Dominator version of the Triathlon Dominator. That lets you run a marathon with pretty much no guesswork in terms of telling you exactly what you need to do for your training, for your nutrition, for your injury prevention on race week and on race day. And Jill has helped me out with that. How are you doing, Jill?
Jill Bruyere: Hi, I’m doing great, thanks.
Ben: Awesome. So Jill, as a marathoner, I know that you basically have certain elements that you think are important in a marathon training program. You even have what you call 10 laws of marathon training. Can you tell me a little bit about more about marathon training? Your philosophy behind it so people can kind of know the direction that you’re coming from?
Jill Bruyere: Right. Well, the biggest thing is just making your training smart. I know that just sounds easy to say, and a lot of people don’t know exactly what does that mean to train smart, and first of all that is to have a plan. Because too often, you don’t have a plan and you just go out and run based on how you feel and most times, people who are marathoners and runners – usually everyday they feel good to go out and just run and run and run. And when I talk about smart training, it’s about having an actual plan. 16 weeks is what it takes to build up and have a plan to get there on marathon day and have a successful race. Whether your goal is to just finish the race, qualify in a certain time so you can go run Boston or so that you don’t hit the wall at the 20th mile because that’s what’s talked about come marathon day – am I going to bonk at 20? Well why not prepare yourself so that does not happen? There’s a lot more that goes into it and all that’s in my book, just even going down to the equipment, what is your strength and your core levels and there are ways to incorporate that into your program and not having it take over all your time and days, because let’s be realistic, we’re all real people with very busy lives. But the program is doable and it’s all about quality over the quantity.
Ben: Now, how many weeks do you think is ideal for somebody who’s wanting to get ready for a marathon in terms of training?
Jill Bruyere: 16 weeks.
Ben: Okay, why 16?
Jill Bruyere: 16 because I take that and break it into four week increments and so the first four weeks can be somewhat of either your maintaining or if you’re just brand new to this, your building, your endurance and stamina and then taking the next four weeks and getting into more specific kind of more intense training and adding some challenges to your workout, building some of that strength. And then finally in the last phase is being able to maintain – getting in that longer run and avoiding the burnout before actual race day.
Ben: Gotcha. Well, a little bit later in this conversation, I want to ask you a bit about your 10 laws of marathon training and let people learn a little bit from that. But you have this part of the Marathon Dominator plan that’s called the Break Your PR book, that’s included in that plan. In that Break Your PR book, what I’m curious about is there are some people that maybe haven’t run a marathon before at all. Who don’t even have a PR. Is it necessary for somebody who has never done a marathon before to do more than 16 weeks or to have some type of a base of training before they go into something like the program that you have and Break Your PR.
Jill Bruyere: Quite honestly, no. That’s because the way even the very first week is designed is that your first longest run is eight miles and say that’s on Sunday. You start the program on Monday. Even someone who hasn’t been running, you can get in a couple of good workouts, say, 45 minutes, half an hour and be able as your first long run, be able to do eight miles.
Ben: Gotcha. So if I were going to do this program, I’d want to be able to run close to eight miles. So what I could do if I wanted to was like do a four or eight week build up to be able to run eight miles if I’m a complete couch potato?
Jill Bruyere: Correct. So you’d want to be within two miles of that longest run so six miles you want to at least be able to do before you would start week one. Most times people looking to do a marathon and researching programs – most times I’m running the Chicago marathon in October. As of this week I’ve got 22 weeks. So, it’s good that I can cut down from week 16 and say okay I’ve got the next six weeks to get back up if I need to or maintain where I’m at. Because at the same time I also don’t want to start training this week and them I’m going to get into burn out and have too many weeks of training.
Ben: Right. So it sounds to me like anybody who can do a 10k would be capable of doing this program. But I have a question for you and I know we’re going to get your 10 laws of marathon training here in a little bit, but my question is what if somebody is a complete couch potato and they’ve never run before? Do you believe in using a run/walk protocol? Some type of cross training? What exactly is the best approach for somebody who just wants to get started and maybe even running a mile is intimidating? What’s the best way to kind of gradually build up to that 8 mile distance that would be necessary to launch into a 16 week marathon program?
Jill Bruyere: Right, for a beginner and someone getting ready to just launch in – it’s exactly just going out and give yourself 30 minutes and maybe that means you run for the first 10 steps, 30 seconds, 1 minute and then you have to walk. I basically tell them to listen to their body because a lot of people going from couch potato and think I’ll run around tomorrow and run four miles and just crash their body. So you can give yourself weeks to build up and I know even for some people that you say even in week five or six, and you run one mile at a time and then maybe you walk for a minute, that’s perfectly fine. It’s doing what your body is capable of and listening to your body and everyone’s body is different and it’s just a matter of knowing your own body.
Ben: Now, one of the things – I want to run this by you. As a coach, one of the things I do with my athletes who are like that or clients who are like that is we’ll go out and one week start off with walking three minutes and walking running one minute and we do that three times during the week. And then the next week, it’s walking two minutes and running two minutes. You just go back and forth for a half hour. Then we move on to a 3:1 run to walk ratio and then finally in that fourth week, try and string everything together so you can run 30 minutes without stopping. Would something like that be a good option, do you think?
Jill Bruyere: That’s an excellent option, and it’s amazing because I’ve done that with some of my own clients who are learning to run and just getting back into it. In four weeks – in that fourth week, they’re able to run 30 minutes without stopping. Whereas just not too long ago in week one, they were having to take (inaudible) one minute runs. So it’s an absolute excellent way to start and a great way to start and avoid injury.
Ben: Now in addition to the Break Your PR plan, I know there are some other things that you’re going to include in this program for dominating the program, and one is a video about preventing shin splints. Tell me a little bit about that.
Jill Bruyere: Well, that’s probably the biggest injury among runners. Shin splints. And I know that from my own personal experience and because I trained hundreds and thousands of clients over the past 10 years for running and so there’s just simple three exercises you can do and it’s – in this video you can follow right along, and it honestly takes one minute of your time to do it before and after you run, and it’s just a matter of strengthening your ankles and your lower leg and that alone is going to make a huge difference regardless of the shoes you wear or the training that you’re doing. It’s just really targeting that front shin and your calf muscles so it can sustain those long miles.
Ben: Now as far as like a trick that you could use to get rid of shin splints, I know that you probably reveal some in the video but just for the people listening in, for their listening pleasure, can you tell me one of the top things that you do to eliminate shin splints?
Jill Bruyere: The top thing… one of the best things that you can do is when you buy your shoes to train in a marathon – I have my favorite pair of shoes that I like to run in, and I’ll buy two or three pairs and I’ll have my Monday, Wednesday, Friday shoe. My Tuesday, Thursday shoe and then my shoe that I only wear for my long distance running. So that way that shoe is only being worn once a week. I’m not going all four or five days of running in the same shoe and breaking it down. I can feel a huge difference in my feet and my clients have even said the same thing. It really saves your feet, it keeps your feet fresh and from breaking down too soon. So again, one of the best things you can do is have two or even three pairs of shoe in your program and then just rotate it throughout the week.
Ben: I know that you’re a big believer in a rock solid core for runners. How did you actually incorporate core training into this marathon training program?
Jill Bruyere: I have what I created these power hour workouts that are twice a week and at the end of that workout it’s going into some core work that you’re going to be doing that once again isn’t going to take up a huge amount of your time. All the exercises that you do is against your own body weight. One of the best exercises that I’ll reveal now is the plank exercise and building up the amount of time that you can hold the plank, but that alone, developing your core which – everything happens from your core, your running efficiency and everything. So getting that super strong and stable is going to make a huge difference and again, like I said I’ve incorporated it into your running program so it doesn’t mean you’ve got to be in the gym for this many hours. You’ve got to use this weight. It really is truly so simple the way that I have it built into the program. Simple, easy to follow.
Ben: Now, one of the things that I do as a variation of a plank exercise that I’ve just incorporated into my program is I use a foam roller and for those of you who are listening who are looking into getting into marathoner, if you don’t have a foam roller, pick one up. It’s going to be your very good friend. It’s like your personal massage therapist. And what I do is I actually use the foam roller for an exercise. I get in the plank position and I put the foam roller directly on my shins. The lower part of my shins. And then I roll my entire body forward by thrusting my hips forward and I’m not trying to be crass or anything but it’s basically like you’re having sex in the missionary position. That’s essentially what the movement is like. You thrust your hips forward. You feel your entire core tighten up and then you push your hips back to the starting position and the foam roller rolls underneath you and literally just doing 10 of those gets a super deep burn in all those lower hip flexor muscles that you use for running. Not just for sex in the missionary position, although it would be a good exercise for that as well. But basically by incorporating that as a plank variation I’ve found that just because the front plank position I know is easy for a lot of people who are already into running and into fitness. That’s a good variation on it.
Jill Bruyere: Yeah.
Ben: Now, you’ve got some – like a cheat sheet thrown into this program too. I thought that was pretty cool, but what’s the idea behind the race day cheat sheet?
Jill Bruyere: Well, there’s a whole strategy coming in on race day and I’ve learned this myself but a lot of it is where do you position yourself? Do you – so many people – on marathon day and race day, this is true of any race. Your anxiety is going, your adrenaline is going, you want to get into the front and take off. The thing you have to remember in a marathon is you’ve got 26 miles ahead of you. Don’t always be so eager to get there in the front because everyone is going to take off fast. You’re most likely going to go out at a faster pace, too fast. But that’s not something that you’re going to realize until you get to mile 18 and you crash. And the other thing is where do you place yourself? Thinking about the water stations and the nutrition and how early am I going to get to the race as far as – do you know that you can park there? Do you have to take a train? Giving yourself ample amount of time so that you can take away any last minute hiccups that might happen. Just really, really familiarizing yourself and again just having some strategies for race day that can really make or break you. I put in here some of my own personal experience because my first marathon race, I was just ready to go. Gung ho, in the front. And I take off at 7 minute miles and that was ridiculous because I did hit mile 18 and I was finished. I was done. So I’ve had to really use some strategies myself where I either go more in the middle of the race or in the end to help slow me down and keep me away from the animals in the front.
Ben: Yeah, that was one of the things that I put into my Triathlon Dominator program. It was basically like a 45 minute audio that walked people through race day because there are so many logistical things going on on race day and I kind of like how you’ve got that available in basically like a printable cheat sheet that people can use and take to the marathon and maybe read in the shuttle bus on the way to the marathon start.
Jill Bruyere: Yeah.
Ben: So in terms of your laws for marathoning, your 10 laws for the marathon. Can you share the rationale behind those or even share some of the laws with the listeners?
Jill Bruyere: Right, and that was one I mentioned earlier about the shoes. Number one, the equipment. About being able to rotate the shoes that you have and the thought is you replace your shoes after every 300 to 500 miles. I like to go with the 300 number, because why not sooner than later. So that’s right off the bat one of the laws. And then also maybe four weeks before the actual marathon is to break in if you have new shoes so that… people are just excited about the big race day. Three days beforehand they go buy their new shoes they’re going to wear. Most likely that’s not the brightest idea, and the other really, really great tip that I received many years ago is to buy your shoes in a half size larger because when you run your feet swell. And ever since I made that change I’ve never incurred another black toenail ever. So that is a huge piece of advice. It goes in on one of the laws. Some of the other laws go into the mental aspect and your mind over muscle because so much of it is your body will follow what your mind is thinking to yourself. It really is amazing that even during the race, if you can just continue to flood your mind with these thoughts of I can do this, I’m going to get these 26 miles. So it’s some mental training in there and then also just some tips on the increasing your mileage gradually and of course that is how my program is designed and it’s written in there. But like I said some people go based off of “Okay, I’m feeling really good today. I know my longest run last week was 10 miles, but I’m feeling good now so I’ll go for 15.” Even if you feel like you can do it, it’s just not a smart way to train. So I go into some of that. And then also talking about the law of rest. Because it’s very common that we want to go out and do something every single day. But you just have to remember that so many people think that by not training, how could you possibly be making yourself better, or to perform better? And you actually absorb your – say a speed training workout is actually absorbed during the period of inactivity that follows the workout. You can have that muscle recovery and it initiates the cellular changes that ultimately increases your fitness levels. So going into that. And just talking about having different surfaces that you can run on, varying the terrain whether it be trails or track, softer surfaces. A little bit about being smart about your nutrition and the timing of when you eat before and after you run. Some of the more obvious as far as staying hydrated, shooting for eight hours of sleep a night. Paying attention to some of the warning signs that could be potential injuries. All of that just goes into the laws of marathoning training.
Ben: So, these are all just basic common sense things that I think a lot of people might kind of sort of know about but the trick is to put them all together right?
Jill Bruyere: Right. Exactly.
Ben: Interesting. So you’ve worked those laws into the actual program, into the Break Your PR program?
Jill Bruyere: Yes.
Ben: Okay, cool.
Jill Bruyere: And like I said, between my own personal experiences and my clients’ experiences I’ve been able to see the common things that happen with runners and come up with these laws that I have.
Ben: So, in addition to the laws that you’ve worked into this Break Your PR program, you’ve got the shin splints secret video. You’ve got all these core training exercises and those are in video format?
Jill Bruyere: Yes.
Ben: Cool, then the marathon day cheat sheet. Then also, for those of you listening in, Jill and I have talked a lot lately. We’ve actually just gotten done this week recording two hour long conversations where we went into great detail about a couple of things. The first was Jill interviewed me about getting the inside edge on nutrition. And I talked about a lot of stuff. A lot of research that I’ve been doing that I haven’t really talked too much about before but I decided to kind of reveal for the first time in Jill’s program, in the Marathon Dominator program. And we’re going to include that with the program as well as the tricks to staying fit when you’re injured. We had another hour long conversation about every single little thing that you can do, not only to stay fit when you’re injured but to not get injured. Because that’s huge too. A lot of people get injured and throw in the towel and really, even if you’re injured three weeks out from a marathon – I want to tell you a story actually. I got my butt kicked in a triathlon once and it was in the marathon part and it was in the last 10k where I ended up getting my butt kicked by a guy who hadn’t been running at all. He’d basically been doing a lot of the alternative exercises that we talk about in the audio portion with Jill to get himself to be able to run the marathon. An Ironman triathlon. And I had a decent run in that race. For an Ironman triathlon, it was a decent run. It was about a 3:19 and the guy still just smoked me and he hadn’t been running in like four weeks. And that for me really flipped the switch where I’m like wow, you can actually go out and run a marathon even with barely any running if you’re injured and you got to do some of these things to string yourself through. Now I say that with the caveat that you obviously have to have some base in there either way. But if you get four weeks out and somehow get injured, you can still run that marathon. So, anyways. What Jill and I will do is we’re going to put a link in the Shownotes for this podcast, and even though we’re still putting the finishing touches on the entire plan that includes everything we just talked about, what I’ll do is put up a link where you can put your email address in and I’ll send you an email as soon as it’s ready. It should be the last week of May, and the last week of May, the entire program to completely dominate a marathon with zero guesswork, what Jill and I have come together to produce should be ready by the end of May. So if you go to the Web page and I’ll put the link in the Shownotes or if you’re walking or cycling or maybe you’re even running right now, this one is an easy one to remember. Go to www.marathondominator.com. Go to www.marathondominator.com and that will give you everything you need to stay on the edge and know exactly what’s going on with this program that Jill and I have put together. So, Jill any last tips that you want to give people in terms of preparing for their marathon in the summer or the fall? Any last little snippets of advice?
Jill Bruyere: I think as I mentioned the biggest thing is just having a plan. And really having it written out and something that you can follow and go by day by day. You really need to have a plan to follow.
Ben: Okay. So write it down, have it in front of you and that’s the best way to go whether you’re just going to the gym for one exercise session or whether you’re planning an entire season, the plan’s got to be there. So, awesome. Well thank you for coming on today for this call Jill. Check out www.marathondominator.com. Until next time this is Ben Greenfield and Jill Bruyere signing out.
Jill Bruyere: Thanks Ben.
For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net