So I was reading a bit today on what elite Kenyan athletes eat in the prime of their seasons. And wouldn't you know it, with the rare exception that they consume meat (only 4 times a week) they are pretty much vegans! (gasp!). In looking at their diet which powers their running - oftentimes they do two-a-days with the AM run being 9 miles, of which 3 miles happen at a 4 minute pace - we find that due to their poverty, they leave out many western foods that are prominent on our grocery shelves. What am I talking about?
Granola, Cereal, Candy, Soda, Chips, White Rice, all fast food, coffee (caffeine for that matter). They take ZERO supplements. Nothing, zip, nada. Somehow, they have it in their right minds that if they eat the RIGHT types of food, they'll be supplied with all their nutrients without taking a pill. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm....sounds like a raw vegan!
And so, their diet follows the diet most widely prescribed by doctors for endurance athletes. Roughly 86% of calories come from carbs with the remainder from fats and protein. They don't eat out (no restaurants in the Sahara that I know of) and always cook their food. No electrolyte drinks, no gels, no gu's....just natural power. What a novel idea. A stimulant-drug-caffeine-free athlete. No way. Honestly, if we took away their meat source (chicken or beef) I'm sure they wouldn't complain. It's been known for a while how hard meat is to digest and was the main reason I became a vegan - for athletic performance. The diet also uses whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, ugali (corn meal) and tons of fruit (my favorite).
And while Kenyan runners are not raw vegans, I think it's safe to say we share some common principles: fruits and veggies are where it's at. No doubt homie...fruits and shoots...get em in you however you can. Meat = Slows you Down. It's simple. It's been known for DECADES! Okay, I'm ranting now...onto my hellacious Kenyan-inspired workout.
1 mile warm up at nice 6:18 pace. Then comes insanity. In preparation for Kauai, today's workout was 3 x 2 mile negative split intervals at average grade of 3.4% (recall, Kauai is only 2%). Paces were the following:
Interval 1 - 5:56 (hard as hell at that grade)
Interval 2 - 6:34
Interval 3 - 6:27
Oh, and let's not forget the AM bike ride that included a gnarly 19% climb.
Favorite part of the ride: Seeing people walk up the hill and then see me bike it and gape in awe.
Soon, interval 2 will look interval 1 and then we'll run 4 intervals next week. Come hell or high water, I will own those damn hills of Kauai.
Diet was all over the place. I've been going ape shit on cooked carbs and this is something I should stop soon. Here we go:
Pre-bike - Ultima electrolyte blend
Post-bike - Ultima electrolyte blend
Breakfast - Green smoothie with cacao granola
Lunch - Fruit smoothie with Vega Bar thown in (chocolate flavor raw bar)
Dinner - Green smoothie with granola and 2 oatcakes. Again, need to stop this.
Snacks - water, brown rice ball and 1st Endurance energy drink blend during intense run. This brand is growing on me but most of their stuff is made with caffeinie, whey protein and all that other garbage.
Tomorrow is a hill day in the AM on the bike followed by more biking in the PM with Sarah. And can you guess Saturday? 75 mile ride with Halekoa Drive thrown in (nastiness) and then a half-marathon that mimics Kauai. Holy shit...I can't wait to start my Saturday off right.
Until tomorrow peeps...
Currently playing on iTunes: Ice Cube - It was a good day