dinsdag 16 april 2013

Week 3

I've been on leave this week, which means lots of time to sleep, cook, eat healthy things and go to the gym. As a results, progress was good this week: 83.3kg and pain free after yesterday's 9K run on the treadmill.

zondag 14 april 2013

Making your own energy bars

Making your own energy bars is a good idea, for at least the following 3 reasons: It's cheaper than buying them from the shop, it's a fun and painless cooking experience, and you have a better appreciation for how much sugar and fat is in an energy bar.

The recipe below, which makes about 25 bars, is my hybrid invention with ideas borrowed from a handful of recipes I found online. You can essentially throw in any nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, oats, cereals and muesli you like, in any proportions you think will taste good. The only thing to keep in mind is to make enough "glue" to keep the bars together.

Here's what I glued together:

200g roasted mixed nuts, crushed with blender or knife
100g Special K, crushed
75g raisins, ideally chopped into smaller pieces (whole raisins blow up in the over)
50g sweetened, dried cranberries
100g oats
100g dark chocolate, crushed into small blocks (I crushed pellets into smaller bits)

100g date bar (that's dried dates sold as a square block for cooking purposes)
1 banana (2 would have worked too)
60g (1 heaped table spoon) peanut butter (More works too if you want a stronger peanut butter taste)
120g liquid honey (a bit less possibly if you use more dates, bananas or peanut butter)

After having mixed the glue with the solid ingredients, you can spray an oven dish with some olive oil and spread the energy bar mixture over the dish. It is very important that you push it tightly as if you were making a tar road, otherwise your bars will fall apart.

Lastly, bake the dish for 10 minutes at 160 degrees celsius, and another 10 minutes at 120 degrees. A few minutes after you've taken the dish out, you can cut it into individual bars. I got 27 bars out of my mixture.

dinsdag 9 april 2013

Week 2

This week went fine. No major events. Not much weight lost but no binge eating either. 84.6kg and 3 runs later. Also, I found some renewed energy to make my own energy bars. Recipe will follow.

zondag 7 april 2013

Get lean by running injury-free

Most weight loss programmes include regular cardio training sessions to burn fat. Running is probably to simplest, cheapest and most time-efficient way of cardio training, but too often overly enthusiastic runners - like myself - suffer lower leg or knee injuries within weeks of their running adventure.

Over the past few months I built up from running 30 minutes to running 2 hours, to running not at all, because of medial tibial stress syndrome. The process of getting fit for running again, took me to the physiotherapist, made me buy more "minimalist" running shoes, and had me undergo a 3D gaite and running analysis.

The running analysis suggests that my cadence (160 steps per minute) is too slow and my stride length too long, which results in rear-foot striking, and consequently in overactive tibial muscles on landing and overactive calf muscles on pushing off. Whether or not barefoot running or minimalist shoes help "convert" habitual heel strikers to become mid-foot or fore-foot strikers, is still unclear. Increasing cadence and reduce stride length has been suggested to prevent the most common running injuries, including medial tibial stress syndrome.

To ensure that I run at 175 instead of 160 steps per minute, I downloaded 2 running albums from iTunes, which have exactly 175 beats per minute for all of the tracks. Yesterday I did a first test of this new running style. I ran a very slow 8.6km in 55 minutes. The first 20 minutes were particularly difficult but by the end of the session I felt reasonably comfortable running at the faster-than-normal cadence. And more importantly, my shins and calves stayed pain-free.

woensdag 3 april 2013

Week 1 (of 39)

I've decided to split the coming 9 months up into 3 blocks of 3 months. Block 1 is all about refinding balance. It's about consistently having 8 or more hours of sleep per night, taking the time to pack lunch, to cook and to eat. And about visiting the gym multiple times per week. Block 2 will build further on the good habits redeveloped in block 1, and will focus on nutrition and endurance training. Block 3 will intensify the diet and the training.

Over the past week I didn't loose any weight (I actually gained 0.2kg) but I feel more relaxed, less tired and I've been to the gym trice and ran 8km and 5km.