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Partial Book Review

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Six weeks ago I blogged that I was reading this book and it might change my life:

Well, two days later I fell, got a concussion, and my identity as an athlete was shaken, my perspective changed, and my athletic goals suspended. Since then I finished my half marathon training plan as best I could without my running group and having missed 2.5 runs. Changed my training to allow for running daylight hours only. Then I completed a half marathon -- not fast, but completed and completed happy.

Now back to the book. First, I have decided it isn't really aimed at me. It is written for endurance athletes. During my half marathon training, I probably only qualify every other week for a couple months, as my training plan only has long runs every other week. Even then since my long runs are all run-walk-run probably only the run part qualifies as intense enough. And even then I am a half-fast 65 year old runner; overall, I'm not a fast runner. So I think I must read this book understanding that I am not the primary target for this program.

That said, the author has convinced me that I could run faster if I either: 1) lost weight or 2) lowered my body fat percentage. His formula said my best running weight would be 122 at this body fat percentage. I think he's probably right. I ran my best 5K when I was 8 pounds less than I am now. I haven't decided if it is worth it. I can maintain around 132 pounds with not a whole lot of struggle, but when I tried to maintain at 126 it was a struggle. Every day.

I enjoyed reading a lot about elite athletes and what they eat. But seriously, not really relevant to me.

I did go out today and buy fresh beets at the produce stand. Fitzgerald lists "beets" as the number one food on his list of staple foods. I have not been eating beets regularly, but that would be no problem. On the other hand, he is promoting whole milk as less processed than skim milk. Hmmm. He says he hasn't drunk milk since he was a kid and he doesn't expect us to. Well, I lost weight on Weight Watchers. I drink 3 glasses of milk a day (or yogurt or cheese servings). If I changed to whole milk, that would be 210 more calories a day. NO. I'm not sure about the saturated fat. May not be as bad for us as originally thought, but my cholesterol is now normal. Not sure I want to mess with that either. Perhaps for the endurance athletes this books is really meant for those calories would be fine. And, incidentally, in one of his recipes he chooses skim milk as an ingredient.

Now I must confess, I read the beginning of the book fully and then kept turning ahead trying to figure out where it was going. It kept saying it would explain. I got frustrated. So I kind of ended up skimming some of it. It might be worth it to read the whole book. Perhaps I should read the whole book before I review it!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    given that there are many successful vegan athletes, i'm surprised that milk should be considered a necessity for performance at all! and your cardiologist certainly would not be recommending full fat either, not for you or anyone for that matter, so it sounds like there is a lot of grain of salt adding for this book.

    we need to really evaluate these books with what works for us individually, and it sounds like this is not really aimed at us 60-somethings. there has to be a better way!
    1743 days ago
    I look forward to your review Marsha
    1743 days ago
    Another good example of what works for one person, is not for another. I'll be interested to hear what you have to say when you've read it all....I'm guessing your opinion won't have changed much....
    1743 days ago
    I decided I wanted to run faster a couple years ago so I got a great book on the subject and followed the training plan. During my first race that year, I tore my medial meniscus, and couldn't run at all for 9 months (6 months denial, 3 months recovery). Shame, because I was halfway to my goal. But in the end I want to keep running, which happily I'm able to do again. So I guess I'll be happy with my slow pace, much as I would love to run like the wind. It is fun to read those books but yeah...that's where it ends for me! Thanks for the review ...always interested to get another perspective! And again, so glad your HM went well!


    1744 days ago
    Love that "skimming the book"/ "skim milk" association -- sounds to me as if there was quite a bit of "fat" in the book that wasn't sensible: in general, or for your situation more specifically. You know what you're doing -- and if maintaining at 126 is a struggle every day, how can that be a good thing (let alone 122). Beck's so helpful on that distinction between lowest achievable/lowest sustainable weight.
    1744 days ago
    Yeah, these things seem to tug in all directions, don't they? Funny thing, this year I started out with the Mental Toughness training, compliant with "my" plan, which was essentially binge avoidance. Heavy training triggered days of overeating when I kept dropping too low on the scale. I had a panic eating period or two while trying to figure it all out.

    Most of these books aimed at serious endurance athletes need to have special sections for 1. Women and 2. Seniors... our needs are different. With our tiny little frames (event though you're 2 inches taller than I am)... our base metabolisms may not be able to support the volumes of the higher fat dairy. So, yes, I'll stick with the lower fat versions for me...

    Still, always interesting to read how things look from another perspective. Thanks for sharing what you gleaned from your reading!

    1744 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    Unless you want to be an extreme athlete and run competitively constantly I don't believe most of what is in this book would be relevant to you - what you are doing is working - as our cardiac doc says - If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!!!
    1744 days ago
    1744 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I think this was a VERY good review of the book. I can't run anyway (knees) but I sure do LOVE reading about all you runners! And it's not JUST running...there's a WHOLE lot of other things involved...the specific training things. I think you are ALL great!

    And I am even still learning from you about getting to the weight that you can maintain vs just a number that you "like"

    You are a true inspiration! emoticon
    1744 days ago
    One thought.....I have never known a runner who doesn't/hasn't had one injury or another. with that said, I believe it's so important as we age to be extra careful. Not that we shouldn't push ourselves but sometimes we need to really weigh the pros and cons.
    you will do the right thing.
    1744 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I think that you must do what you have to do to live life. I think some people that run(endurance athletes) maybe become a little to fanatical about it and for those of us that do it because we enjoy it, this could take all the joy out of running if our only focus is to run faster and living 10 lbs lower than you already are could be really tough and then you have to really ask whether it is worth it and is that really that important to you. I just want to run a few races and have fun, I am in it for the challenge to myself and I think you are already absolutely awesome so I would opt to continue to run for the fun of it if I were you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book.
    1744 days ago
    Research is a funny thing. First eggs are good for you, then you need to limit them or eat an egg substitute, now they are okay again. Dairy has gone the same route. I read an article the other day that said that adults should limit dairy and consume it sparingly. The only thing I can conclude is that we have to use moderation in all things. You kind of have to use good common sense and pick what works for you. You have become very good at doing that too! :)
    1744 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Look forward to your review!
    1744 days ago
    I hate the full fat vs non/ low fat dairy dilemma. I can see both sides of the coin, but it just makes my head hurt sometimes. I've tried the low/ non fat way and the full fat way and like you I found it just easier to balance the calories sticking to the low/non route. Decisions!
    1744 days ago
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