Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running on Matcha!

As you might have seen on my Facebook page or Instagram, I have a great news! I officially have a partner to help me with my hydration, antioxidants and zen healthy being: Matcha Tea! I am beyond excited step by step getting surrounded by people who trust in my hard work and dedication and want to help be on my way towards better running and faster marathon times. Along the way I hope to inspire people around me and also anybody I don't know yet, but who want to make their lives little healthier, cleaner, happier :)

I will definitely write more about Matcha Tea as my Matcha journey continues, so far I have been loving it all the summer using it as a base for my low calorie isotonic drink: matcha tea + lemon + salt (for electrolytes). Simple as that and it has been working pretty amazing for both running and golfing :)

Anyway, just the 10 basics about Match according to their website:
  1. Matcha is 100 % green tea that is ground in very fine powder. There is no fermentation involved during the production process, no coloring, no additives or conservatives.
  2. Matcha is full of unique and powerful antioxidants known as catechins. Up to 60 % of the catechins come in the form of catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) with huge cancer fighting capabilities.
  3. One portion of Matcha tea has same nutritional values as 10 cups of regular green tea. When drinking the "regular" tea not all the health related benefits of the tea plant can be fully used. 
  4. Two portions of Matcha tea each day will provide you with all the necessary antioxidants for your body. (check out the nutritional values - in Czech only)
  5. Matcha helps to calm you mind, increases concentration and memory and boosts your mood thanks to the content of the L-Theanine aminoacid. The Buddhist monks have been drinking Matcha for hundreds of years as a helpful tool for meditation. The combination of L-Theanine and theofyline can create the state of calm yet alert mind that lasts for several hours.
  6. Matcha is ideal for people suffering with diabetes as it stops glucose creation in your blood stream. The catechins that are part of Matcha can actually block the enzymes that tranform all the complex nutrients into glucose.
  7. Matcha helps burning your food as much as 4 times faster than usual. According to the study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regular Matcha consumption can increase the calorie burning process known as thermogenesis from regular 8 - 10 % up to 35 - 43 %. According to the Muscle & Fitness magazine Matcha helps to burn body fat and it is recommended to consume Matcha during physical activity.
  8. Because the leaves of tea plants dedicated for Matcha are grown in shade, they are way greener than usual as they contain higher doses of chlorophyll than "regular" green tea. 
  9. Matcha helps to regulate your blood sugar and cholesterol. Matcha does not contain any sugar, only fiber.
  10. Matcha has strong detoxifying effect due to the high chlorophyll concentration. The chlorophyll helps to eliminate heavy metals and other chemicals from your body.
A bonus: I stumbled upon this Matcha recipe book at the matchasource website :)

Thursday, September 05, 2013

WRP 2013 : PR That Didn't Happen - Time To Face The Truth

Well, well, well, I have been busting my butt off, the workouts went great, I was ready for another PR at this year's We Run Prague Nike 10 km race. It seems it simply isn't happening for me at this race... Don't take me mistaken, I am excited to be among top 20 women, I am even very happy with how I managed the race. The only non-happy part of myself is the time. It's like a big slap in my face :( The good thing though is that I know exactly why I have been slapped! It's time to face the truth!

As you can see, I gave it pretty much everything: :D
photo by Zdenek Krchák,

I have been slacking with my nutrition or precisely with the amounts... And I thought I was gonna get away with it. Oh darling, not in endurance sports where every pound you are carrying around in excess matters. Especially, if it is a pound of fat and not lean muscle. Exactly 4-6 pounds :( Bummer. How did I do in the race? 43:38 being 18 seconds slower than my PR from July 29, given this course is like 10 times more runner unfriendly (cobble stones, turns, uneven surfaces), it's not a bad result. I was simply striving for more. I feel I have executed Saturday's race way better, it was my mental game this time, I didn't let the fatigue to fill my brain with quitting thoughts. I almost didn't check my Garmin, which is HUGE for me!!! Only at the beginning, to keep my heart rate in check for the first 2 km. By the time I got to my backpack to get my phone and call The Coach after finishing, I knew what was the difference between now and July - approx 2-3 kilos (4-6 pounds) of body weight. 

What happened? I guess I was too strict after returning to Boston trying to slim down, then my body was deprived and I wasn't even OK, I was stuffing my face - not with bad stuff in general, but with too much of it. As they say - it is not any certain kind of food that makes you fat, the overeating and consuming too much makes you fat! It is only way more difficult to overeat on veggies and lean protein than on more nutrition dense foods like cheese, bacon, cream, nuts, dark chocolate... Not bad foods per se, but way more calories in smaller amounts.

My marathon training is a process. It is a beautiful way where I am loving every step I take, I am dreading some steps in the immediate moment (like end of 15th hill interval...), but in general I simply love every single step. The whole process makes me know myself better and I believe that I am becoming a better person through it. Unfortunately, I need to learn some things "the hard way". Like in last years's Amsterdam marathon when my ribs were blocked because of stress and I couldn't properly breathe for the second half of the race. I rearranged my schedule, found ways to get some stress out of "managing" all the workouts (the treadmill helps a lot especially in winter when it's dark in the mornings and evenings ...). 

Now I need to manage another part of my life. Operation racing weight has just begun! More precisely, it began on Sunday. No more stuffing my face with crazy amounts, I need to be ready, restrict my calories REASONABLY, increase some easy mileage, add some weight / strength training to build lean muscle. I love this: fail to prepare = prepare to fail. So Sunday was lot of meal prepping for the week, especially the veggies and snacks, boxes, packs etc. It's Thursday evening and yay, it seems to be working so far.

Operation racing weight ... I know I will probably not reach my ideal racing weight for the Berlin marathon on September 29. It is simply too soon, I basically have only until mid September to do this, because after that no additional stress for the body is needed, no food / caloric deprivation. Even though I will definitely stay as reasonable as possible. We will see where will this wake up call take me :)

I want to be honest with myself and with all of you, so the starting point of operation #racingweight was Sunday September 1 at 59.4 kg (131.0 lb). We will see where can I gat and what will it change ... 

As a part of the process, I got Matt Fitzgerald's book The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition and he actually says that many runners take it as an excuse for eating amounts of food, unhealthy choices etc. and there are quite few who actually gain weight while training for marathon or half marathon because they are more hungry and "feel" that they can eat more with the high mileage. I am not saying this to excuse myself, I would just love to know your opinion and personal experience.

Are you struggling with getting to the "racing" weight or your optimal weight???

Any tips, suggestions, recommendations???

All of this operation racing weight does not mean that I stopped eating delicious food. I am just way more conscious about the composition, ingredients, nutrient and caloric density and also quantities of the food. The beef cheek stew was simply delicious :) And it's lean meat and tons of veggies basically :)