Day #49: Speed-Fasting

slow down sign

What do ‘speed’ and ‘fast’ have in common? Everything, by conventional wisdom. But today, I want to delve into the ways to get faster by taking a fast from speed. For the purposes of this post, let’s call it “Speed-fasting.”

I was listening to TrailRunnerNation’s podcast with Sunny Blende and Tim Flemming about Metabolic Efficiency Training – in layman’s terms, this is the science of finding that sweet spot (called ‘the crossover point’) where your body most efficiently burns fats. The target heart rate for this optimal metabolism is quite a bit slower than most of us imagine would be the best zone for much of our distance running and endurance exercising. In fact, you will no doubt be surprised when you find that by literally jogging – there, I said it again:) – you can more effectively burn that annoying fat than by any effort to pain your body into submission. Ironically, the “No pain, no gain” mantra is being disproved repeatedly these days. Now, I am more into the “No pain, no shame” mentality. For the injuries, bonks and false sense of fitness which has characterized some aspects of my career are now being replaced by a smarter and more effective regimen which keeps me healthy, keeps my ego in check — and burns fat faster. It keeps me from being ‘shamed’ on race day:)

So, why don’t you give the TrailRunnerNation podcast a listen and consider the smart move to slow down now – so that you won’t have to later.

But there’s more… in the conversation with Tim Flemming and Sunny Blende, you will glean fresh insights on diet. All of that carbo-loading we are doing and the emphasis on healthy breads, etc., is checked by new dietary moves. For example, consider Sunny’s experience. She emphasized 70% diet and 30% target heart rate training (aka slowing down). In 8 weeks – by adhering strictly to training in her target zone and watching the diet, Sunny’s crossover point went from 134 to 148bpm, her body fat decreased from 17% to 14%, she lost 4 pounds of body fat and added 2 pounds of muscle weight. The changes she made in her diet were simply to emphasize proteins and vegetables and to limit carbohydrates in roughly a 25% protein, 25% carbs and 50% vegetables mix. From a simplistic standpoint, the focus is on backing off on the constant carb intake and boosting the vegetables. Sunny remarked that you need to be sure to not scrimp too much on the overall caloric intake. For more information on Sunny’s diet, listen the the podcast and go to Bob Seebohar’s site and his book Metabolic Efficiency Training: Teaching the Body to Burn More Fat.

Looks like the “Slow Down Now” mantra has some credible backing from multiple sources.

All the best in your training — and please do remember to check with your physician before making big changes to your diet and exercise.

~Coach Reed

image credit: wikipedia