Climbing Pyramids

Today was a pyramid day, and not just in swimming. I swam 3,000 meters this morning and did three 500 meter pyramids after my 1,000 meter warm up. Between the first two pyramids I pulled for 200 meters to recover and warmed down with a 100 meter pull. A 500 meter pyramid is building up: 25, 50, 75, 100 and down 100, 75, 50, 25 all done on time segments based on 2:20 per 100. I paced myself well and completed all within the time allotment for send off. I felt great, both emotionally and physically. One thing I started doing this week is eating a little more pre workout. I usually have a small container of 0% fat Greek yogurt before I leave for the pool. This week I also added a banana. Nutrition is something I follow very closely. A useful tool I use is my fitness pal. I always hope to learn something new every day and I learned a lot today.

I attended a presentation today by a sports nutritionist about Foods That Energize Your Body. A little information on me – I am thin with a BMI ( body mass index) of 20.5 and I track my calorie burn and intake to maintain my weight. As a triathlete I have to make sure I eat enough to not lose any more weight. Yes, I know how rare it is and I am fortunate, but it can be a problem too. One thing I enjoy on big workout days is a bowl of ice cream. After a 50 mile cycle or longer you may see me at McDonalds ordering a double cheese burger with fries. Me? The health nut? Hey, I figure I need the calories to keep my weight up. Well, I learned a lot to change my mind today. One lesson – added sugar causes swelling, the last thing an athlete needs. Second – happy meals are not so happy. The Davies Happy Meal Project took a look at a burger and fries over a year, yes the same one decomposing over time. It didn’t change much… Also, within an hour of eating a fast food burger the arteries in our body can have impaired function. So, I guess all calories are not created equal, huh?

That leads to another pyramid – the food pyramid. I have done both the 60% carbs, 25% protein, and 15% fat as well as the Zone 40/30/30. Personally I like 40/30/30 better. A trainer phrased it well – we burn what we eat – fat and carbs. As active as I am, I was gaining a little when I ate 60/25/15. And I eat good carbs with high fiber. It all depends on the body and the person. But we do have to pay attention to our nutrition – choosing the pyramid that works best. I didn’t think climbing was part of a triathlete’s training, but climbing pyramids is important. Both in the pool and on the plate.

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