6:45 AM: Get Some Early Exercise
“Studies show that most people who wear pedometers clock up more steps before lunch compared to after lunch,” says accredited dietitian Kate Di Prima. “Morning exercise raises your heart rate and metabolism early to give you physical energy for hours, so from that perspective it also helps burn more calories throughout the day.” Depending on where you live, there are also generally lower pollution levels in the morning.
7:30 AM: Have Breakfast
“Eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism — especially since we don’t eat for around ten hours overnight,” says Di Prima. “Eggs are a high-satiety food and good to begin the day with.”
Keep your carbohydrate intake light at breakfast if you’re trying to lose weight; think one slice of wholegrain toast instead of two, and include beans or spinach rather than the empty calories of white bread, jam and butter.
“Aim to get 25 percent of your total day’s calories at breakfast, with five other small meals throughout the day. Think breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper — and two dainty snacks — like a princess!”
Plus: 10 Energizing Breakfast Ideas
9:00 AM: Skip the Morning Latte
Forgo the large, full-fat latte in favor of a small, skim latte, or better still, try tea. “This will save a lot of calories,” says naturopath Kevin Griffiths. “It will also help keep sugar cravings in check, and blood sugar levels on an even keel.”
11:00 AM: Ditch the Juice
Have an apple instead. “A glass of apple juice has the calories of almost three apples,” says Di Prima. Studies also show that regular fruit juice intake may increase diabetes risk by 50% due to massive sugar hits. “Also, the fiber — which is what helps you fill up faster — is left out of the juice. By making this one swap you’ll save calories every day.”
PLUS: 25 Diet Busting Foods You Should Never Eat
1:00 PM: Love Your Lunch
“Don’t eat at your desk. Get outside, go for a walk and be conscious when you do eat of what’s going into your mouth,” says Di Prima. “If you want to cut carbs, have a stir-fry with extra sprouts and vegies, but ask for fewer noodles. Eat fish with salad instead of fries, and if you must have bread, ditch the top of the sandwich and have it open.”
3:00 PM: Avoid the Afternoon Sugar Slump
If you don’t want to look like the Michelin Man, drink water and avoid soft drinks. A Harvard study of 6000 people found that drinking just one soft drink a day (diet or standard) increased the risk of obesity by 31%. And now there’s more evidence that diet drinks are as bad as normal ones; one university study found that rats fed artificially sweetened drinks for ten days gained more weight than those fed sugar-sweetened drinks. Researchers theorize that when you eat artificial sweeteners, your body prepares for a large intake of calories. When these fail to materialize, your body demands food by making you feel hungry. Di Prima agrees. “Soft drinks are liquid candy. Aim to make water the main drink that passes your lips, outside of a daily coffee and a glass or two of skim or low-fat milk. And aim for a maximum three or four glasses of wine or beer per week. “Beat sugar and salt slumps by having solid food snacks at your desk, such as low-fat yogurt or fresh fruit.”
PLUS: 13 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump
4:00 PM: Breathe Easier
Although morning exercise suits many people, for athletes looking for that extra endurance — or for those who are asthmatic or easily exhausted — working out between 4pm and 5pm may be best. One study of 4800 people by the American College of Chest Physicians found that lung function peaks (at about 20% higher) during this period, with midday exercise returning the lowest lung function.
“The main thing is to exercise at a time that’s best for you,” says Rob Daly, an exercise physiologist from the University of Melbourne. “For people with depression, sunlight on the eyeballs in the morning is good. For others, afternoon works better. The main thing is to do it — not just think about it.”
7:00 PM: Enjoy a Drink
There have been countless studies trumpeting the health benefits of moderate daily alcohol intake (emphasis on “moderate”), with wines — especially the newer organic breeds – linked to reductions in arterial and cardiovascular diseases. So go ahead, we’re not saints or robots.
But try to aim for low-alcohol (and therefore low-calorie) varieties, and don’t be fooled by the latest low-carb beers; it’s the calories that count, and there’s actually little difference in calories content between standard beer and the low-carb varieties.
PLUS: Ending the Debate: The Best Place to Store Condiments
8:30 PM: Stop Eating
“Unless you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, it’s better not to eat two to three hours before bed,” says Di Prima. “If you are tempted, give your body an ‘automatic’ brain signal that eating is over for the night. This might include washing the dishes, putting away all the leftovers and flossing and cleaning your teeth thoroughly. If you’ve done this, you’re less likely to be tempted to put anything but herbal tea past your lips late at night.”
By Jane Washington from HealthSmart
I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.”
The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet the steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going.
- Graeme Fife
When you get down——— You Believe!
When you are taking on water trying to conquer the swim ——-You Believe!
When you are trying to make that first milestone jogging and your lungs are about to explode —— You Believe!
When your legs are burning and you just don’t want to pedal your bike any more —- You Believe!
When you don’t want to get out of bed on a cold rain drenched morning —- You Believe!
When you feel like you are making no progress —- You Believe!
Bottom line —- You Believe!” - Michael Pate
Triathlon Coach explains Zone 1 and Zone 2 training and the benefits of each training zone
by Mike Ricci, USAT Elite Coach
Heart rate training can be confusing due to the many different types of terminology used and the many opinions on how we determine what our threshold zone is. Additionally, there are many different charts that give us a variety of ranges which adds to the confusion. This is an example of information overload, and to a beginner triathlete, this can seem incredibly confusing. My goal for this article is that you have a good understanding on how and why to test for heart rate zones, which training zones you should spend the most time in, and to make this a simple process.
All of the BT training plans were created with these heart rate zones in mind.
We’ll start with the definition of Training Zones:
- A definition of Zone 1 is that it’s a super easy effort, probably a 4/10 on the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) - see chart at end. It’s so easy that you should feel ‘guilty’ when you are done. You don’t think you went hard enough; it didn’t feel like a workout; you don’t think there was any benefit because it felt too easy, etc. If you have these types of thoughts after a Zone 1 workout, then congratulations, you are doing it right!
I call this the “Guilty Zone.”
- A definition of Zone 2 is a bit more complicated, as it should feel pretty easy, at least in the beginning. But you should feel as though you have to work if you’ve been doing this several hours. You may even see cardiac drift towards the end of this workout. How easy is easy for Zone 2? I would recommend somewhere around 5-6/10 on the RPE scale. You should be able to hold a conversation for the duration of this workout, and I mean being able to talk in full sentences, not 1 or 2 word gasps.
This is what I call the “Conversation Zone.”
- Zone 3 gets a little gray, and literally it is a ‘gray zone’. You typically aren’t going easy enough to get the benefits of a nice easy effort and you aren’t going hard enough to get the benefits of a ‘Race Pace’ type workout. This is an effort of about 7/10 on the RPE scale, and you can talk in one to two word answers.
I actually call this zone the NBZ - “No Benefit Zone.”
- Zone 4 is your “Race Pace” zone - this is where you have burning legs and lungs and you can’t keep the effort up for much more than an hour. And yes, you have to be pretty fit to keep this effort up for an hour, but by definition, your threshold is an effort you can manage for one hour. You know when you are in Zone 4 as your breathing is labored, your arms and legs get very heavy and all you want to do is stop. This effort is 8-9+ on the RPE scale.
- Zone 5 and up are for shorter efforts and these are usually 9+ to 10 type of efforts on the RPE scale. These efforts may last from a few seconds to maybe five or six minutes. This zone is beneficial if you are doing a lot of racing that has hard but very short efforts, such as bike racing or racing short events on the track in running.
Since this article is geared toward endurance athletes and our races our typically one hour or more, let’s understand how our training should be set up. Consider that a 400m race around the track that takes world class runners about 40 seconds to complete is around 86% aerobic. Now, if you are running a 5k, how much of that race do you think is aerobic? The answer is probably somewhere around 97-99%. For the average athlete the percentage of zone training for each zone should be roughly:
- 80-85% Zone 1 and Zone 2
- 10-15% Zone 4
- 2-5% of Zone 5
(For those of us you are training for half ironman distances and above there should be a percentage of Zone 3 training as well, but still that percentage may only 15-20% a week.)
The importance of Zone 1 and Zone 2 Training
Zone 1 and 2 training is important because the benefits of these workouts. You build endurance, durability and strength. In addition, these easy training sessions help build capillary pathways that transport oxygen to your muscles and carry waste (lactate) away from your muscles. The more capillary pathways that you can build, the more efficient you will be. Efficiency is equal to free speed.
If at first you can’t keep your HR under Zone 2, then you need to slow down. If that means you run for 3 minutes and walk for 2 minutes to keep your HR down then by all means do it. For a fit athlete getting back into training, I recommend not training with the heart rate monitor for 2 weeks and then put it on once you have a sense of fitness coming back. You may find that training in Zone 2 and under is a step back, but you will see the progress over time and will be thankful you were patient enough to try this.
Adaptation for everyone will be different. Some people will see changes right away, and for others it may take months. Just this year I had an athlete drop about 40 seconds a mile on his long runs after 2 months of Zone 2 training, and he’s been racing and training for over 20 years! So, at any level improvement is possible, but you need to have faith in the philosophy and above all else, be patient.
Determining your zones
Determining training zones is a simple process and I’ve written quite a bit on this before. If you are an experienced athlete you can use this method: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=633
For those of you who are new to training you might want to try this article: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1243
In conclusion, it’s my hope you’ll follow the methods here in your training and see what great improvements training in Zone 1 and 2 will bring you.
RPE ScaleRPE Zone HR ZoneDescription0 Z1Complete Rest1 Z1Very easy; light walking2 Z1Very easy; light walking3 Z1Very easy; walking4 Z1Still easy, maybe starting to sweat5 Z2Starting to work just a little and you can feel your HR rise6 Z2 UpperWorking but sustainable, able to talk in full sentences7 Z3Strong effort; breathing labored, but can still maintain pace for some minutes without slowing.8 Z4Olympic Distance Race Pace for MOP to FOP9 Z510k effort – very hard10 Z5+Z5+ = 5k effort and Z5++ = cannot hold effort for more than a minute or two. (almost maximal effort)
Mike Ricci is a Level III USA Triathlon Certified Coach and has been coaching endurance athletes since 1989. Mike founded D3 in 2000, and has slowly added top-notch, USAT certified coaches each year to handle the demand for high quality triathlon coaching. In the past five years, D3 Coaches have coached hundreds of athletes to their first triathlon and hundreds more to become Ironman Finishers. In 2009, D3 was awarded the job of writing the training programs for the USA World Championship Teams for the seventh consecutive year. Mike also coaches the University of CO Triathlon Team, the 2010 and 2011 National Collegiate Champions.