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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017

Intensity or LSD?

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at 8:39 AM

Last week I wrote about some differences in today's recommended diets. Many experts recommend higher amounts of lean proteins and lots of veggies and fruits. A little fat is OK, as are whole grains (in moderation). But white, starchy carbohydrates like white rice, pasta and potatoes are a big no except on special occasions.

I noted the above was different than a decade ago when carbs were not deemed such a bad thing. Then, the emphasis was much more geared toward low-fat and fat-free products. Not fun.

I've also noticed some differences in how we're "supposed" to approach exercise these days. As a wannabee runner, I find these shifts fascinating.

Right, wrong or indifferent, intensity is the name of the game now. A decade ago, I had trainers encourage me to shoot for at least a couple days of LSD (long, slow distance) runs combined with other forms of aerobic exercise and weight resistance training for a good balance. In terms of the aerobic exercise, we were told to shoot for our target fat burning zone. In other words, push yourself, but not so hard that you'd be out of your fat-burning zone. You should be able to sustain yourself, with a little discomfort, for a good 45 minutes during your workout sessions, about 5 days a week.

I was talking to a nutrition and exercise specialist a couple weeks ago and was proud to tell her I'd reached a point where I could jog a couple miles again, or do a nice LSD combined with jogging and walking intervals.

I was surprised when she asked me to tweak my routine a bit. She told me to focus less on the time and more on the intensity. Run faster, she said, even if that means you're only on the treadmill for 25 minutes. That, combined with resistance training will bring on the results.

I nodded my head at her advice, but the look on my face must have shown I wasn't fully convinced. How could 25 minutes out of my fat burning zone be better than 45 minutes at a more comfortable pace?

"Have you ever seen a fat sprinter?" she asked.

I couldn't argue with that, and so I'm giving the modern approach a try.

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Sounds like the fashion industry. Change for change sake. Sooner or later white potatoes will come back into favor and sweet potatoes will be out. :-)

There is a fitness guy in Nashville that believes in "burst training". http://burstfit.com/?utm_source=DrAxe.co...

I don't think I have seen any sprinter or long-distance runner that is fat so fast or slow, it still seems to come off.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 11:03 AM

I've heard it's really all about interval training! I've been doing Kelli Martin's bootcamp at the rec center. We focus on different elements on different days. On Mondays we do aerobic sets and interval training. On Thursdays, we do weights and circuit training. Out of everything I've ever done, this has improved my running and swimming times the most!

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 12:27 PM

Yep, interval training is a very important component of your fitness regimen. While longer session of steady state work has its place, higher intensity work demands greater activation of a different energy system - the anaerobic system. Also different muscle fibers - fast twitch fibers- are involved with the more explosive initial movement of sprinting and with the much faster pace.

To further use the example of a sprinter, a sprinter works EXTREMELY hard for brief spurts of ANAEROBIC activity, then has a rest or a recovery period, then sprints again.

For those that love distance cardio, it's ridiculous to suggest that their longer runs be replaced by these shorter ones ALL the time. There is still benefit to longer duration, steady state cardio, most obviously, the psychological benefit of doing what you love. There is therapy in that longer run/walk/swim/bike ride.

BTW, thanks Cheryl. :)

-- Posted by malamutemom on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 8:06 AM

May seems strange to some, but I would like being able to run again. Don't get me wrong, I am not an invalid but between age, stiff, hurting joints, and the inactivity that comes from those things, I can not run across the street, even if I had to.

Keep up the exercise folks. It is a real challenge to try to rev it up later.

I had to come back and mention to Sadie that her last two blog posts titles have always made me do a double take of sorts. Effective headlines!

I may be watching too many cop shows (I am) but when you write "white stuff" my mind asks me "How does intensity and LSD (the drug) tie together so I click on the post. (I'm thing back to the 70's I guess)

I would anyway Sadie, since I strongly believe in supporting each others blog but earlier you chose to entitle your post "The dark side of white stuff". Click!

Do you have a class on headline writing Sadie? I've GOT to attend.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 8:15 AM

Thanks for the comments!

Steve, I'm glad you like my headlines. No one but you would probably click if my headline said "Nutritionist says run fast!" LOL. You bring up a good point though -- the TG should host a little class on headline writing. That would be fun.

Cheryl, I was wondering if you could let me know when Kelli teaches her classes?

I agree with Kelli that it is ridiculous to give up long runs for short runs all the time. My philosophy is it's all about variety -- short, intense workouts a couple days a week, a couple long walks or jogs (and by long, at this point) I'm talking about 45 minutes to an hour), and some weight resistance when possible.

I did some intervals a couple mornings ago on the treadmill where I'd walk on an incline for 5 minutes, then do a set of lunges and biceps (using free weights), another five minutes on the treadmill, etc. It felt really good.

Thanks, and Kelli let me know when your classes are!

-- Posted by sfowler on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 9:49 AM


Kelli's classes are on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:40 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. On Saturdays at 9 a.m.

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 10:43 AM

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Sadie Fowler is lifestyles editor for the Times-Gazette.
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