Since Michelle doesn’t eat chicken, I had today’s pizza all to myself. At first it looked rather bland, so I added some extra bacon and avocado. However, I shouldn’t have judged a book by it’s cover, since it was actually pretty tasty.
Workouts were good – I did almost 3 hours early in the morning and then a short ride outside on the fatbike. One of my key metrics on the bike is “power at low heart rate” i.e. what my power output is at a specific (an low) heart rate; in my case 135 bpm. I tested it on today’s indoor ride, and I was getting around 250 watts @ 135 bpm, which is good. That means I’m not overly fatigued, and is a green flag to train hard if I want to. I also use the same benchmark after a big race, and I only return to normal training once my power:HR returns to what it was before the race.
Two pizzas consumed today – for lunch it was a cuban pizza made in Germany (really?) and for dinner it was an Italian-themed spinach mushroom alfredo pizza (alfredo usually being reserved for pasta dishes).
We had our first snow in a long time, so I also made some “maple syrup snow” which was actually really good. No, that is not a new type of canadian street drug, it’s actually exactly what it sounds like; a cup full of snow, with maple syrup poured over it. This is my new “go to” recovery meal on snow days!
Despite today’s high calorie count, I was still really hungry at the end of the day. Usually that means I’m going to drop some weight, which is about time since I’ve lost nothing since switching to pizza.
Today most of my calories were loaded towards night time. I woke up, ran 10 miles into town (took 2 x Glukos bars), did the masters swim at lunch time (cut short because I was clearly low on calories), and then a 5 mile run in the afternoon.
Finished off the day with an amazing pizza at Proto’s in Gunbarrel.
It seems like each time I switch to a new “bad food group” it takes a few days to get it right. Today, I had most of my calories at lunch time with a pizza that sounded quite healthy but really wasn’t. Many of the very tasty pizzas I’ve had are around 900-1000 calories for the whole thing, and this one was 1600. It was pretty tasty but I’ve definitely had better, so in other words, not really worth the calories. I’m definitely not a fan of the “braided crust” – keep it simple people!
I also have to say, shopping for pizza at the grocery store is much less exciting than shopping for ice cream. Most of the pizzas are pepperoni (of which I’m not a huge fan) and there are a lot of chicken ones too (I don’t mind chicken but it seems weird to have it on a pizza). Anyway, I did buy a chicken and bacon pizza which I’ll try in the coming days. The best pizzas I have had are pretty simple ingredients like ham (or bacon), cheese, mushrooms. And there are some fantastic veggie pizzas I’ve had too, that to me taste a lot better than pepperoni or sausage pizza. Anyway, all that is just personal opinion! The weirdest thing about my previous pizza experience, is that the best pizza I’ve ever had was in Switzerland of all places, not exactly the place that springs to mind as the mecca of pizza.
So for tomorrow, I’m going to hopefully venture out and try some non-grocery-store varieties from our local pizzerias.
Totals for the day: 2787 calories (313g carbs, 98g fat, 141g protein)
Some people ask me if I add calories back in if I do workouts. The answer is no if I only do something under an hour. Like today I only did 60 min easy on the bike, then I don’t add them back (maybe like 25%). But on a big workout day with something like a 3 hour bike ride, I’ll add some of them back in. So for a regular person doing less than an hour of exercise per day, I would not add any calories back. Instead I would just set a simple calorie goal and stick with it. As many calories as you can while still losing weight. For athletes, you need to have trust in how your workout calories are measured, since much of that can be quite inaccurate. So there is some trial and error getting that right. I would start off maybe adding back only 60% of workout calories, with the priority on making sure you fuel your workouts well. Doing under-fueled workouts is ok on occasion, but doing it regularly is going to downgrade the quality of your workouts and impact your training goals. That’s why I like to periodize my diet to meet the needs of my current training phase, but that is a whole other post in itself, that I will do later on, probably once this project is over.
Sorry, no video today – I just had too much going on (including taking a kid to urgent care) and ran out of time to do anything. If you need something to watch, check out this good talent.
It’s pizza time! Day 1 of pizza in the race weight project. Ice cream was fun, but it feels really good to be eating savory food again!
It was a public holiday today so I got a decent 3 hour bike ride in. I did a “marginally successful” FTP test and actually got blown off the road by the strong gusts of wind! It was also an opportunity to test out my experimental “1X chainring” – this is the use of a single chainring up front, instead of two. It’s pretty common in the mountain bike world, and the benefits are a) simplicity b) potentially more aerodynamic because there is no front derailleur sticking out into the wind. I’m running a 56 tooth chainring which is larger than standard (a normal large chainring is 53 teeth), but that enables me to still pedal on fast sections of road where others might spin out.
I ended the day with some time at the park with the kids, followed by a heat prep session at the gym (you can read more about my heat prep protocol here). I’ve been experimenting with extending the duration of my sauna sessions (which I don’t recommend unless you are very sure that you’re in good health; be sure you are aware of sauna safety before you go and sit in a sauna for a long time!). My usual protocol is to start heat prep about 3 weeks before a race, building up to 30 mins per session. But right now I’m experimenting with doing it more regularly throughout the year, and slowly building up more and more tolerance for the heat.
When I got home, I wasn’t even hungry but made a small pizza for Michelle and I to share, and another one for the kids to share. However, Michelle didn’t like the pizza and neither did the kids, so I ended up eating both of them. That means I started the pizza phase with a big bang of 3 pizzas in one day!
Daily totals: 4248 calories (598g carbs, 128g fat, 154g protein)
Taking my calorie expenditure into account, that’s a slight calorie surplus, which is a good idea every now and then just to make sure you’re not running at a continual deficit for extended periods of time.
Finally, I’m not usually a fan of cover versions, but check out this young lady Jasmine Thompson – amazing!
The scales dipped below 76kg, meaning it’s the final day of ice cream. I could have done another few days, but I’m looking forward to something savory for a change, and pizza fits the bill!
The day was an even spread of ice cream, with affogato for breakfast, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s “Coconuts for Caramel” for lunch, and a pint (almost) of Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone for dinner. Even though I’ve had it before, I think the Haagen Dazs is one of the best caramel ice creams I’ve had. The Ben & Jerry’s is also great, especially if you like coconut (which I do).
Also huge congrats to all of the Ultraman Florida finishers. I had 2 athletes competing (Amy Craft and Tom Waniewski)… they both put in a huge amount of work and it paid off! They both achieved their goals, through hard work, perseverance, and never giving up.
Today was my highest calorie intake since starting the project, but I also did a 3 hour ride comprised of 4 x 30 minute tempo intervals at Ironman effort (235w, 243w, 247w and 238w) with 5-10 mins easy riding after each one. Before the ride I had almost a pint of Ben and Jerry’s “The Tonight Dough” plus some coffee, as well as 100g of oatmeal to help fuel the ride. The oatmeal is about 350 calories, so I still got more than 90% of my daily calories just from ice cream. The ride was fueled by 4 x Starbucks ready-to-drink Frappuccinos.
Weight has stabilized in the 76-77kg range so I’m in for at least another day of ice cream (which is good news since there are still a few I’d like to try).
This may sound like an odd thing to say when dieting, but the weight is just coming off too quickly!!!
I’m meant to be eating ice cream between the weights of 77kg and 76kg, but by day 3 of ice cream I was tottering on the verge of dropping below 76kg.
My guess is that the burger diet was pretty heavy in sodium, which caused some water retention, now being obliterated by all the sodium-free ice cream. I can tell you it feels pretty strange to be losing weight while eating nothing but ice cream.
However, I’ve bought all this ice cream, so I need to hang in there for at least another day or so and keep the weight above 76kg. Psychologically, this has never happened to me on a diet before. I suppose that is one of the side effects of this project; you don’t want to lose weight too fast, otherwise you don’t get to try all those new ice creams you bought. And on the other hand, if your weight loss stalls, you could get sick of eating a certain food, so you become highly motivated to lose the weight and move on to the next food. I never thought about that when I started this, but it creates a completely new dimension to dieting efforts.
Daily totals were high today, but I did a hard run, plus I wanted to get in some extra calories just to stabilize the weight loss a bit.
3658 calories (445g carbs, 125g fat, 162g protein)
Today went pretty well. Workouts wise I did an hour easy bike ride in the morning and then a 5 mile run at lunch. The run was kind of average – my intention was to do something like 8 x 1 mile around 6:45/mile, but I just wasn’t feeling it so I cut it down to 5 miles, with only 2 miles at the 6:45 pace. I just didn’t feel well fueled enough, which is pretty common if you’re at a daily calorie deficit. However, it wasn’t too bad considering my diet the past 3 days has been 100% ice cream. Ideally, what I would do is eat something like oatmeal, or scrambled eggs on a few slices of toast about 2 hours before a run like that.
Food wise, it was a very good day. I made a South African drink called a Dom Pedro for dinner, with a great new ice cream from safeway for dessert. It’s the safeway branded “salted caramel pretzel” ice cream. I really enjoyed it! For my post-dessert meal I had 2 servings of Ben and Jerry’s salted caramel core. It wasn’t bad but the safeway one is a lot better.
I learned my lesson from day 1, and left most of the calories for the end of the day. It was a great day to ride outside so I took advantage of the weather with an extended commute (powered by a Good Times spoonbender, which was ok, but not as good as many of the packaged ice creams).
The best ice cream of the day was the Kroger Private Selection Denali Extreme Moose Tracker, which is a good chocolate ice cream with solid chunks of fudge and chocolate. Pretty good, even though chocolate ice cream wouldn’t be my first choice.