Gluten Free Athletes

I was very interested to read that the top Tennis Player Novak Djokovic has a gluten-free diet – and credits it with making significant improvements to his performance. Given that gluten intolerance can manifest as aches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, it makes a lot of sense for athletes in particular to avoid gluten. Especially as it is not possible to have a gluten deficiency – why wouldn’t you cut it out of your diet?

It turns out several of the Olympians from the London 2012 Olympics did so on a Gluten-Free diet. Initially I assumed this was due to a Coeliac diagnosis, but it appears to be becoming common knowledge that ditching the gluten can improve performance and stamina. I wonder if at the 2016 Rio Olympics we’ll see even more Athletes going Gluten free – and perhaps taking it one step further and adopting a Paleo Diet?

US Swimmer Dana Vollmer went gluten (and egg) free due to an intolerance, but apparently found it made a significant difference to her performance. She went on to win Gold (twice!) at the Olympics – I wonder how much of her win can be attributed to her diet?

Pole Vaulter Jenn Suhr went gluten-free just last year after being diagnosed with Celiac disease – and also won a gold medal…

Canadian Swimmer Nare Brannen went gluten-free on the advice of his coach last year – and has had minimal injuries, he believes, as a result.

If you’re an athlete, amateur or otherwise, I’d be very interested to hear what differences you noticed going gluten-free. Do you think there’s going to be a big increase in gluten-free (or better still Paleo) athletes by the time of the 2016 Rio Olympics? I’d love to hear your comments, below!

The 1st Australian Paleo Weekend!

Note: This is an old post – the next weekend has not yet been finalised, but please sign up to my newsletter if you are interested in the next event!

I’m very excited to announce the first Paleo Weekend in the Southern Hemisphere will be held on 12th & 13th May, 2012 on the beautiful Cockatoo Island, in Sydney Harbour.

Whether you’ve been living a Paleo lifestyle for a while, have been interested but are yet to dip your toes in – or are looking for a way to finally improve your health and fitness – this is the weekend for you!

I’ve got together some of the leading experts from this side of the World (including Jamie ScottDr Anastasia BoulaisJulianne Taylor and Dr Ron Ehrlich), to talk about all aspects of health, nutrition & fitness and to demonstrate and teach techniques to participants.  The Paleo Weekend will be held on 12th & 13th of May 2012, on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour – an absolutely fantastic venue!  The weekend will be fully catered with an amazing Paleo menu.  There is also the exclusive option for a limited number of attendees to sleep on the island overnight, in pre-erected luxury tents (it doesn’t get much more Primal than that!).

Attendees will: –

·         Learn about Paleo nutrition and health
·         Have the opportunity to quiz the experts,
·         Learn through a demonstration session how to cook quick and healthy Paleo meals,
·         Learn how to get on the fast track to peak sporting performance, by opening the door to their mind
·         Learn barefoot running techniques
·         Enjoy an early morning yoga session on the harbour shore to kick start the day
·         Enjoy a social Paleo feast on the Saturday night with like-minded new friends
·         Have the unique opportunity to sleep on the island
·         Enjoy fantastic Paleo meals prepared for them
·         Enjoy a life changing Paleo Weekend in a unique venue like no other!

 

Sessions Include: –

Cookery Demonstration; learn how to cook quick and easy Paleo meals at home

Barefoot running technique

Early morning Yoga overlooking the harbour

Fitness techniques – learn how to improve your technique and fitness – details to be announced

Paleo Nutrition lectures – on a variety of topics to be announced soon

Paleo Health lectures – on a variety of topics to be announced soon

Learn how to achieve improved health results & how to get on the fast track to peak sporting performance, by opening the door to your mind

Ticket prices are currently on sale at an early bird discounted rate until 31st March.  

Numbers are strictly limited due to the island licensing – so book yours today to avoid missing out!

Read more about the Paleo Weekend

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this exciting event!

How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia

How to Get Cheap Vibrams

As I explained in my previous post, I love running barefoot, in VFFs.

My Vibrams – I’ve got a pair of pink Treksports and black Classics. So far.

When I was in America for PrimalCon & the AHS this year, I was so shocked to see how cheap Vibrams were, compared to here in Australia.  I bought two pairs, the Treksport in pink from a big outdoors store in Texas and a pair of Classics in black from another store in San Francisco.  Each pair worked out at well under $100 AUD, including taxes.  Not only were they cheaper, but the stores stocked so many different models, colours and sizes.  I should have bought more.  It takes going overseas to realise how expensive things are in this part of the world.

The bigger sports shops in Sydney seem to carry just a few models, and you can forget about getting them in exciting colours.  The bigger Rebel Performance stores sell a small selection, for upwards of $169.99 AUD, which is a lot of extra money to pay, especially for a small selection.

Vibrams can be expensive in Australia

I bought my first pair of Vibrams on Ebay last year.  I carefully researched the model and tried an equivalent pair on in the city, to make sure I ordered exactly the right size.  I still paid about $100, so not that much of a bargain.  They arrived and I was instantly disappointed with Vibrams in general.  The toes were all the same length – meaning only my big toe would fit properly.  The top of my other toes didn’t even reach the bottom of toe section!  I initially assumed this was just how they made them, perhaps I had freaky toes, as they weren’t all the same length?  On close inspection it became apparent that the box and literature in the box was quite odd too.  It was upside down and back to front.  I think I probably spent my hard earned cash on a pair of fake Vibrams.  So my word of warning is be really careful where you buy them from.  If you buy them online, be sure they are genuine!

Luckily I wasn’t put off and after meeting so many VFF owners at PrimalCon I soon realised how they were supposed to fit and behave.  I bought my next two pairs earlier this year.  The difference is incredible!  They are an amazing fit.  Wearing them feels as close to barefoot as I’m realistically likely to get in the city centre.

Prices generally do seem to be coming down in Australia.  I found a sale today at the Adventure Mega Store in Sydney CBD selling VFF’s starting at $99, which seems to be a great deal (but I’d love to find a better price in this country).  They had by far the largest range I’ve seen in Sydney.  I also saw an indoor yoga style for the first time (with 40% discount) which looked perfect for dancing, though I’d need to see how they would compare to my existing dance footwear.  I don’t have the “Sprint” model, and think this might be a good choice for my next pair, I’m very tempted.

I found a good sale on Vibrams in Sydney today…

If your toes do happen to all be exactly the same length, I could do you a great deal on a second hand pair of VFF’s.  Unworn…

Have you found any good deals on Vibrams in Australia and New Zealand?  Have you found a great stockist with lots of choice?  Have you managed to get any “real” ones shipped here at a good price?  I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia

NLP paleo boy running marathon primal diet

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s NLPaleo Boy…

Author:  Kevin Bees (whole 30 sceptic-turned convert)

OK, a Marathon run (42.2km / 26.1m) is not very ‘Paleo’.  But, let’s play for a while to find out how ‘Paleo’ eating could impact a distance runner and ask the question:

What would happen if you mixed the Paleo diet, 28 degree heat, with a Whole 30 sceptic-turned-convert into the Sydney Marathon?

I did just that… and the results are in, and have been counted and verified… and you want to hear this, especially if you are non-Paleo runner (or any non-Paleo athlete for that matter).

NLP paleo boy running marathon primal diet

Pre-run preparation:

  • Training– my training was actually not exemplary.
    • Between 21 May and 14 August I did not run.
    • Between 14 August and the 18 September Marathon, I squeezed in six runs only.
    • In this time, and before I started the Paleo diet, I had to drop out of a training run at 22km due to lack of energy.
    • Two weeks later and fuelled by the Whole 30 Paleo diet (and some simple and powerful NLP techniques), I accidentally ran a whole marathon when aiming at 30km.  (I don’t run with a watch or Satellite Navigation, and I have never made that mistake before – since my reducing energy would prompt me to stop… which in this instance it didn’t!) 
  • Fuel – Whole 30 Paleo for the four weeks prior to the Marathon.  Therefore pre-race pasta feast – gone.  This was substituted for the much tastier and enjoyable Chicken, Sweet potato and pumpkin… which I incidentally had for breakfast too the next day.  (My only Paleo cheat in this process is GU gels whilst running).

The BIG day:

Arriving at the race with a face full of banana, I meet my Non-Paleo running partner.

I thought it would be a good idea to join this running partner since she is younger, fitter and well trained. Her personal best is 3H 44Min and mine is 3H 47Min – so, hopefully some inspiration to knock a few minutes off of my best time.  (Plus she has a very nice bottom, so it would be a pleasure to run a few steps off of her pace!)

The Start

Bang… the gun goes and we push across the start line to the tune EVERYDAY I’M SHUFFLING (and my slightly amended lyrics):

Paleo-Grok is in the house tonight,

Everybody just run a good-time

So fit you gonna keep your mind

Everybody just run a good time.

And we’re off.  For the first 10km we settle into a comfortable pace.  Only, I am noticing that I am going a little faster than my pace setting friend… and she is getting to check out my butt instead.  Lucky girl.

At this point, I have no idea if I am faster or slower than hoped (still no watch), but I just keep running at the pace that feels comfortable.  Only another 2km and I fully settle into my faster stride and my friend and I run our own races.

It wasn’t until the finish line at 42km that I actually realised what had happened.  I thought my friend was having an off day and going slower than we expected, but in actual fact, I was faster than I could have even dreamed.

I smashed my personal best by 13 minutes.

In the heat.

With very poor training.

That’s 13 minutes off of my personal best.

‘Chuffed’ doesn’t quite cover it – especially when I understand the story of the post run statistics:

  1. Energy consistency
    1. My 1st, 2nd & 3rd 10km were all 50 minutes (give or take a few seconds).  Over this distance you would expect a degradation of performance… impressive since I had no pacemaker… just my own feeling of energy.
    2. My 4th set of 10km was also very close to the 50 minute mark and probably would have been equally consistent except for the two convenience stops.

 

  1. Comparative performance improvement

My rank Vs other runners in the race at each set of 10km went:

  1. 1,027
  2. 596
  3. 383
  4. 369

And the last 2.2km – arguably the hardest:

  1. 57

Put another way – in the hardest 2.2km, I was in the top 1.5% of all marathoners.

Do you think I might have got higher if I didn’t stop and pose for these too??

The Paleo diet delivered me consistent energy to make this achievement a reality and left me with enough juice in the tank to finish very strong.

FINSHING STRONG

Watch my finish video here, I’m the fast one!

The best part about this is that I know there is more to come.

30 days of Paleo, poor training, and I smash a personal best.

What if I combine this new fuel source with a training program that is greater than six runs!?

With a Paleo diet, you too can see, hear and feel your goals coming to you faster too, can you not?

Give it a go… NLPaleo Boy say so!

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running

The Problem With Shoes

I used to wear heels every day, and bigger heels at weekends.  When I wasn’t in heels I’d be wearing my supportive, shock absorbing, high-tech trainers.  After a lot of running I ended up with shin splints, apparently cause by incorrect over pronation.  My physio had some impressive equipment & software which took measurements of my running and feet, to create a pair of orthotics to put in my shoes.  These forced my feet into the correct pronation.

Since I’ve been leading a Primal lifestyle, I became very interested in barefoot running.

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running

 

At PrimalCon earlier this year I was fortunate enough to have a lesson with Barefoot Ted, which was an amazing experience.  I’d never given much thought to running style before, so it was very eye opening.  When you try to heel strike with barefeet it is not easy to do – yet when you wear trainers with lots of cushioning, it’s easy – and lots of runners do heel strike.  Running in shoes constricts the natural movement that your feet would otherwise take.  Our ancestors had to hunt for their food and walk and run considerably more than then average office worker today.  So it makes no sense that we now need to wear expensive high-tech shoes, in order to be able to run safely.

I now wear very soft soled ballet style shoes every day, and of course vibrams as often as I can the rest of the time.  Since doing this I’ve noticed that my footprint has changed – indicating that I have managed to improve my pronation.  I’ve had no leg or feet related injuries – despite now walking (with the occasional sprint) my daily 5km commute to and from work.

Vibrams are  great practical way to go barefoot around the city.  Tomorrow I’ll share my tips about buying a reasonably priced pair in Australia.