Intermittent fasting, vitamin D, training by feel

As many of you surely know, I’m not a fan of diet fads.

Do you know what I am a fan of? Vitamin D (when you don’t get enough sun, as we in Wisconsin tend to fall short on in the winter) and training by feel.

Intermittent fasting

Let me be clear up front for those of you who don’t know me well: I’m not a fan of diets. Short of working on removing junk food and drink from your daily consumption, I strongly believe most diets, especially restrictive ones, do more harm than good. Anything that removes or minimizes a major food or group especially is not good.

So I was a little skeptical when I first hear of the idea of intermittent fasting. Then I looked into it some and gave some thought. I started considering whether it may not be all bad. After all, it’s not restricting what you eat. Just the times that you can eat it. One thing I really like about this concept is that, for most people at least, it will minimize the amount you can mindlessly eat by cutting out the post-dinner sitting in front of the TV while munching on junk food.

Now, I see Alex Hutchinson has some similar thoughts. In fact, it appears there even are some health benefits to intermittent fasting.

It’s important to note that, as runners, we may need to adjust things a bit if we want to follow an intermittent fasting regimen. Be willing to eat before your runs. Be willing to go longer with your eating windows, shortening the fasting windows. But it appears there may be reasons, even for runners, to consider this diet.

Vitamin D and your bones

I’m a fan of vitamin D. It’s one of two supplements other than a general one a day that I take. The other is for a specific deficiency I have dealt with for years. In a way, so is D. Living in Wisconsin, I don’t get much sun in the winter. Between not being outside as much as in the summer, some of that outside time being in the dark, and covering up to stay warm, most of us will run a deficiency in the winter.

Vitamin D does a lot of good things for you. Mainly giving you stronger bones and a stronger immune system.

However, how do supplements perform? We know from research on other supplements that they don’t always perform well. It appears this may be the case for vitamin D when it comes to strengthening your bones.

I still wouldn’t rule out supplementing vitamin D. There is still evidence that it is good for boosting your immune system. However, if you’re taking vitamin D supplements to strengthen your bones, there’s reason to be skeptical.

Training by feel

Besides my antipathy toward restrictive diets, people who know me well also know of my preference to train by feel. In fact, people I coach know this is a skill I try to encourage them to develop from day one. It just works.

Don’t believe me? Maybe you’ll believe this.

Again, training by feel just works. Your rating of perceived exertion is extremely accurate in measuring how hard you’re actually working. Key in on this and you will be doing as well at tracking your training efforts as if you rely on various technologies.

I still think there are benefits to those technologies, mostly in making sure you’re being honest with yourself and calling you out when you’re not, but if you are being honest with yourself your body will tell you all you need to know.

2 Replies to “Intermittent fasting, vitamin D, training by feel”

    1. Sarah, as I mentioned in the post I’m very skeptical of diets. However, intermittent fasting has me paying attention. I do like that it’s only restrictive in when you eat, not in what you eat. With a few adjustments to account for a runner’s lifestyle, it is interesting. In fact, I’ve been thinking about this a bit and I probably inadvertently do a modified version of this. I tend to not eat for 12-14 hours between dinner and breakfast, depending on the day.

      It’s hard to eat too many calories in a day without feeling bloated when you only are eating in an 8-12 hour window.

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