Monday, August 24, 2009

Paleo Man Rides Again

I'm back on the Paleo Diet. My eating has really fallen off the rails the past few months. It hasn't been helped by all the late work hours, but more than anything, I simply need to get off all the sugar and complex carbohydrates. I'm back up around the 190 pound mark, which is pretty tough to take, especially every morning as I try to squeeze into my pants.

For those not aware, a few years ago I started eating like Paleo Man. At the time I weighed about 195. I had recently had my ass handed to me on the Boulevard Road Race portion of the San Diego Omnium and knew a couple of things:

1. I couldn't expect to climb hills, even as a cat 5 if I was going to weigh in at 195.
2. There was lots of good buzz around the performance benefits of Joe Friel's Paleo Diet for Athletes book. I figured it was at least worth a shot.

After 3 months or so of eating like Paleo Man I was down to around 170 and was riding much stronger than ever. Getting your body running off the sort of food it was designed/evolved (which ever one works best for you) to run on can make a huge difference in your overall performance, particularly when working at an aerobic heart rate. For anyone considering trying this diet out, I strongly advise that you are not going to perform well for the first week or two as your body adjusts.

I kinda fell of the Paleo bandwagon about halfway through the 2007 racing season, when I allowed myself to get way over-trained. The sort of sugar urges I had at the time were insatiable and I saw the Paleo Diet fall by the way side. That was my first full year of racing and training. I didn't have a good handle on what sort of training load my body could take, or have any good sense for reading when I was becoming over-trained; so rather than going into the over-training valley only to the point I could recover from, I fell all the way to the bottom of the canyon and crashed in a fiery wreck. Now that I know myself a lot better, I'm not expecting to fall into the same whole again.

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