Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update from Jenny

For this update on my training and preparations over the last two weeks there is both good news and bad news-

Good news- I had a couple of great sessions in the gym and a couple of lengthy bike rides around central park and prospect park. I can't keep up with the regular crowd zipping around in their multicolored sponsored gear representing italian dishwashing liquid and the like, but I am giving it a damn fine shot and riding hard and long enough to get a good workout!
Bad news- I was short of the quota of sessions I was aiming for. Amanda and other friends were also busy so I wasn't able arrange as many play dates as I hoped.
Good news- I put in an application on a new apartment. It happens to be on the 5th floor which means plenty of stairs everyday so fingers crossed I get accepted! Moving in should also be a good workout.
Bad news- next week looks like another busy one and with only two months left I really need to be picking up my game somewhat if I am going to maximize my enjoyment on Rainier.
Good news- there is a gym down the street from work. While I am generally allergic to public gyms, I think it may provide the structure and ease of access for exercise that I need given my generally hectic schedule. Added to that several people from work are members so I will have company, and there is a great introductory offer online at the moment.
And more good news, I have just discovered an outdoors hiking group with an upcoming open day so perhaps this is the opportunity to get out of the concrete jungle for a spell.
Until the next installment when hopefully it will be all good news.....


Monday, March 9, 2009

1. I’m committed to a climb that is six months from now. I’m beginning to train for this climb and I want to know what to eat. What foods, if any, should I start
cutting out of my daily diet and what foods can I eat that will help?

Mountain climbing is a serious undertaking. It requires you to be in peak physical condition on summit day. Six months beforehand is not too soon to get started! Well-prepared climbers share a strong nutritional foundation. The foods they eat supply enough nutrients and calories to meet their every-day nutritional needs and fuel daily workouts. In other words,successful climbers eat in a way that sets them for what is really needed--and that’s Vitamin T, as in Training.
Opt for a carbohydrate-rich diet built on nutritional powerhouses like whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat bread) and beans/lentils (chili, lentil soup, bean burritos) and low-fat milk and yogurt. Add quality protein like lean red meat, poultry (skip the skin), eggs and plenty of omega-3 rich fish (at least two servings a week). Load up on powerful antioxidants, which naturally promote good health and boost your immune system, by eating two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables daily. Avoid or limit foods such as alcohol,soda, fatty meats and super-sized desserts that squeeze out the healthier foods your body needs to tolerate strenuous workouts, bolster your immune system and build lean muscle mass.
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. Plan ahead and be prepared. Choose to eat breakfast, make time for lunch and sit down for dinner—every day. Schedule a regular weekly trip to the grocery store and always keep healthful snacks on hand at your desk, in your gym bag and when you travel. The bottom line: when it comes to daily food choices, the greatest benefits come from eating in a way that leaves you physically ready and mentally
prepared to train.

2. I need to lose some weight before my climb. What is the best way to do this
and still have enough energy to train?

Don’t count calories, make your calories count. Active people often struggle to lose weight because they skip meals or diet during the day, only to backload the calories in at night. Concentrate on timing when you eat your meals and snacks with when you exercise. Plan to exercise one to three hours following a meal so you’re brain and muscles are properly fueled. Missed or sub-par workouts due to being too tired, rundown or unmotivated from poor eating habits won’t help you get or stay fit.
Following exercise, you’ll still want to speed your recovery by taking advantage of the “carbohydrate window.” Don’t rely on sports foods, like sports drinks and bars. Save those for when you really need them—during prolonged and intense exercise bouts. Instead, eat a healthy snack. Aim for real foods from two foods groups –like peanut butter on an apple or lowfat yogurt and whole grain cereal. Better still, sit down to your next planned meal.Remember, fitness leads to leanness. Losing weight does not automatically lead to improved fitness. To reach the leanest weight that’s healthy for your body, eat balanced meals and snacks and focus on training consistently. The following tips can help active people trim calories and keep training:
1. Limit or eliminate “liquid calories:” alcohol, soda, vitamin waters, flavored coffee drinks, energy drinks/shakes and super-sized fruit juices and smoothies.
2. Be smart with sports foods (energy bars, gels, Bloks and drinks): If you’re not training at a moderate intensity for at least 60 to 90 continuous minutes, you don’t need to supplement with sports foods before or during exercise. If you’re not working out that day, you don’t need them at all.
3. Cut the fat, not the fun: It’s tempting to try to avoid all sweets and other high-fat treats when weight loss is the goal. Get too hungry or feel deprived, however, and it doesn’t work. For the long haul, build in modest servings of your favorite “fun foods” at least three times a week. Enjoy at the end of a meal, not on an empty stomach.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Update from RMI Client Jenny

* Note Jenny will be climbing Mt Rainier with RMI on May 27-May 31, she will be blogging once in awhile to update us on her progress*

Well, it’s been two weeks since my ‘call to self’ to begin a motivated training regime for the climb in May. For all the enthusiasm, it’s been, sorry to say, a bit of a slow start as it is has been hard to find the time for exercise. Ok, I can blame my 10-12 hour a day job, the fact that I am also in the middle of apt hunting for a new place to live as I near the end of my lease, desperately trying to maintain a social life and just general shear exhaustion from all of the above. Or, I can accept that they are all excuses to some degree. Real barriers, but still excuses.

So what did I manage to get done? I am stretching and doing core strength exercises everday- not a full 30 minutes as planned but still something everyday. I did manage one good session with my wonderful friend Amanda (who is in training for a half marathon) at the gym in her apartment building, and a whole lotta walking, what with looking at new places to live and the 1 hour round trip to work everyday. I seem to be looking at apts on upper floors in walk ups so indirectly have been getting a bit of a work out on stairs. Did I not mention previously that it works best if it is integrated into my daily activities? I also did some extra mental preparation and watched the Everest Imax film on Netflix and was blown away by the shear beauty of being on the mountain so I am still pretty excited about it all. Finally, for the first time ever, I have started taking note of how much fat and sugar is in my food and trying to limit this and eat as much fresh fruit and veg as someone who is lazy about eating can handle for the meantime. Small steps but all in the right direction I say!

My next tasks- Due to a cold snap and snowstorm this week, there wasn’t any outdoor running or cycling. Hopefully that is the last I see this winter of the ice, snow and consequential road salt which tends to wreak havoc on my bike, and so can begin to play outdoors again. However, over the next two week my core focus is going to be to incrementally squeeze in more work out sessions with Amanda who had about the same amount of success with her preparation. Hopefully we can motivate each other to up the ante and FIND the time we need each week to achieve the ultimate goals we have set!