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Welcome to episode 16 of Holistic Performance Nutrition (HPN) featuring Tawnee Gibson, MS, CSCS, CISSN, and Julie McCloskey, a certified holistic nutrition coach who you can find over at wildandwell.fit.
On this episode:
Hey Tawnee! I’ve loved the podcast for many many years. I’m a long distance triathlete and dabble in the marathon. I recently changed coaches and I am embracing the MAF method for the first time. I have been listening about it for years but I’m finally a student of the philosophy! I think its amazing and I’m already seeing alot of progress. My question is related to diet while using MAF. I have always had more of a high intensity approach and I’m feeling I need to revamp the area of nutrition as well. Can you give me an idea of the best balance of macros to maintain my weight and fuel my workouts.
More details: I’m 36 year old female. 135lbs and 5’7. I have been following a Mediterranean style diet for many years. Fairly low carb because I’m really drawn to veggies over starches. I ran into some hypoglycemia issues about a year ago so I have added more low glycemic carbs. I am feeling better and my blood sugars are more stable. But I do feel like I’m massively under fueling for workouts and training. I have alot of problems with the last half of the ironman/70.3 run. Although I have never had any gastric issues races, I just never can race to my potential. My new coach decided to build my aerobic system with a MAF style approach and I’m curious on how to eat with this new concept. I was doing a low volume high intensity approach for many years. I’m a very busy person, work full time as a dental assistant, own a beef cattle farm, and love, love long distance triathlons. I am currently eating 1800-2000 calories a day. 40% carb, 30% fat, 30% protein. I tried closer to 2300 calories with a 50/20/30 but I was so full all the time it was hard to train! I am currently in a base phase of training, race July 12. 15-18 hours training in all MAF Heart rate, except for my couple tests I do every 3 weeks.
Hey guys love the show, long time listener, your podcast is #1 with me! Here’s my question and sorry for the length, hope you can reply. Thanks so much. As a 67 ½ year old triathlete I’ve come to accept a decline in my race and training performance over the years but can’t help but be frustrated by 2 nagging issues in my attempt to remain fit and injury free. These issues are run performance and body weight and I’m losing my battle to control both. Some quick background, as I said I’ll be 68 in 2020 and am a short but muscular male, 5’ 4” tall and weighing about 145 in season and 150 or more in the outseason. I came to triathlon and road running late in life, starting at the age of 59. Since then I’m a 2 time Ironman finisher @ Lake Placid in 2012 and Maryland 2014; 14 time finisher in Half-Ironman, Rev3, Challenge Family and HITS 70.3’s; 2 marathons, 9 half marathons, and a whole bunch of shorter triathlon and running races like Oly Tri’s, 5K’s, 10K’s etc. over the last 10 years. I’m generally a mid to back of the packer with my best performance at IM Maryland when I was 62 finishing in 13:14 and 10th in my age group. Never a fast runner, my best 5K was around 24 minutes and best half marathon around 2 hours flat. I’m fine with my times overall but am always looking to improve and feel that it’s my running that has had the biggest dropoff and needs the most help. To that end I’ve been increasing my running mileage since the start of 2020 from 10 miles per week to 15 and this week hopefully 20. I feel my sweet spot for remaining injury free is under 40 miles a week and I hope to reach that by March.
My issue is that my running pace never improves and all my slow, easy training runs feel hard. Even when I include threshold runs and sprint intervals and strength work I NEVER get faster. I would be happy with even some of my easy 5 miles runs to feel easy but they don’t and I have to stop and walk consistently throughout the runs. I attribute a lot of that to some injuries that have slowed me down over the years but I mostly blame my crazy inability to lose weight. I can’t help but be envious of my training buddies in my age range who are running easy at an 8:30 pace while I struggle at 11:00 minute miles! The one common feature they all have is they are long and lean. While I’ll never be long, I figure I can try being lean and for my height it’s not the 150 lbs I carry now but more like 130 – 135. And my waist size is alarmingly big for a guy my size; over the last 10 years it went from 30-31 inches to now 35-36 inches!! WTF!
Always a healthy eater (no junk food, none), I’ve tried a new approach of the last 6 weeks to get lean and closer to my ideal body weight of 135 or less to see if that would help my running and overall fitness. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for 5 days each week along with LCHF. I track my calorie intake daily and it’s rarely over 1800 calories a day. A typical day for me would be one hour workout like a Zwift bike ride or spin class, or a 3-5 mile run, strength training, swimming and even some golf walking the course. Meals are limited to 2, the first around noon or 1:00 pm usually 2 eggs, 2-3 slices of bacon, half an avocado with coffee with half and half. A snack would be a cup of cottage cheese or some slices of cheddar cheese and a piece of fruit and maybe a few (3-4) whole grain pretzels. Dinner is a protein like beef, chicken pork or fish with a salad and a side vegetable. Usually I’ll have a glass of wine or an ipa to wash it all down although lately I’ve given up both and drink green tea. On the weekends I don’t fast but my food intake doesn’t increase significantly and I’m rarely over 2500 calories. I started all of this December 9th and now as I write this it’s January 13. In all that time I’ve gone from 151 lbs to 149. Even allowing for the holidays and the occasional cheats on the weekend this is nuts. I mean if this were even a simple low calorie weight watchers diet I’d expect to lose more than this lousy 2 lbs? What’s going on? Is it slow metabolism, hormones, thyroid? Should I see an endocrinologist or a nutritionist or what? Any thoughts would be really appreciated. Help please!
Waist to height ratio:
Additional resources mentioned in this episode: