Base Training - "The Long Miles"

Base Training - "The Long Miles"

Posted by Sarah Perkins on Oct 02, 2014 in #Ambassador Blogs.

Hi all,

A lot has happened since my last post, I had my follow up DXA scan a couple of weeks ago (5 weeks between each scan) to see if I’ve progressed. Here are some very interesting results for you;

I have gone from 28% body fat down to 22%, I lost 5kgs of fat and gained 3kgs of muscle, 2.4kgs of that muscle gain is on my trunk! Bizarre, yet very encouraging results! So; how am I doing it? What do I eat? What training am I doing? Let’s break it down…

I train 3 times a day, most days. Each session is upwards of an hour. I row in the morning, usually 80% Heart Rate training, I run for an hour before lunch, my heart rate is usually low enough to be in a recovery phase (T1), and in the afternoon I either have a gym session, an hour on the erg (rowing machine) or a high intensity row. Every 3rd day I do a 2hr hill run in the place of my usual hour. The weekends are much the same, Saturday morning is a hard row, run for an hour before lunch and Sunday is reserved for just the 2 hr run.

Do I have ‘rest days’?

Not exactly…I believe in periods of time to ‘recover’. I use an afternoon and then following morning to recover, and quite often a low intensity run or swim can aid in recovery. I believe very strongly in quality and quantity of sleep, often your body just needs to sleep until it wakes naturally. I listen to my body and monitor my heart rate closely; if I wake up exhausted then I will take the morning off if the session is not essential. I find a deep tissue massage is also exceptional for recovery, just a shame they are excruciatingly painful!

Why do I do so much cross training, running in particular if my chosen sport is rowing?

Ah, so here we come to the question I’m often asked…why do I run so much? Why not just row more? What running does for me is build a good aerobic base and helps immensely in my weight control or as I like to see it, improve my power to weight ratio in the boat. Weight is an important factor to consider in rowing, excess fat/muscle that is not contributing to your boat speed is just slowing you down. Running works for me, it helps me get the lean body I need to be light in the boat.

What diet am I on? What am I currently eating, how much etc?

I do see a dietician, who helps give me another perspective, as diets and eating have been an issue for me in the past. Currently, a normal day starts off with a coffee and two goji/nut/date balls before training. Breakfast is a bowl of porridge with 10 almonds, and a grated apple cooked through + a glass of orange juice that I blend two oranges for. Morning snack is a single serve of Chia Pudding + 1 banana. Lunch can vary a bit, but usually it’s a non- starchy steamed veggie ensemble (leak, mushroom, capsicum etc) with cashews + 1 baked potato + an orange. I usually have coffee and several more date balls ball before the 3rd training session. A smoothie with Bulk Nutrients HWPI usually follows my 3rd session.

Dinner doesn’t vary much other than the sorts of veggies. I steam a load of starchy veggies (often cauliflower, pumpkin, kumara, parsnip, carrot etc) and greens with a potato. I cook several eggs and mix them through, sometime fish or chicken instead…it’s a huge dinner!

Dessert is fresh dates and apple with nut butter! I love fresh dates…I like this diet or way of eating, because I’m having all the food I crave…there really isn’t much restriction at all.

Also, during the day and during training I drink copious amounts of water (2.5L-3L per day), and often Recuper8…as summer approaches dehydration is something to carefully avoid.

This system I have going…is it working in terms of my goals for rowing?

Yes, I believe I’m on track, though it is early days. I have been back training properly from Glandular Fever for the better part of 6 weeks now. I had my first state time trial last weekend and was ranked in the top 3% of all crews attending, a very satisfying result considering 2 months ago I didn’t believe I would be fit to compete. The next time trial is in a month, and by then I aim to have my body fat % down to 17-18% with a weight of around 65kgs.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Perkins

Favourite food this week: Fuji Apples

Bulk Nutrients Product I recommend and use: Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolate (HWPI)          

Favourite training song this week: Halo – Starset

Session to try this week: Hour run just before lunch, heart rate should be between 100 and 130bpm.

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