Sunday, February 28, 2010

A good week (50 miles) and more on fasting

This was a good week of running: (Mon. 8 miles, Tues. 5 miles inc. 6 X 800m between 2:51 and 2:55 at indoor track -felt great, Wed. 8 miles, Thurs. 8 miles. Fri 0 miles, Sat. 8 miles, Sun 13 miles-longest run this year). Total for the week = 50 miles.

I am continuing to play around with intermittent fasting. I won't call it a diet as it is more like an eating plan. I have completed 2 daily fasts a week for about 5 weeks now. I find it an easy way to cut down on calories, control eating, lose some weight, and feel good. I have found a few ways that people do intermittent fasting. There is not a lot to read or study if you want to try it, but here are some resources if you are worried that it may not be healthy.

The Fast-5 diet is a form of intermittent fasting with a daily short fasting period (19 hours, including sleeping) followed by an unrestricted eating window of 5 hours. You can download the book for free here. On this plan the book advocates doing this diet daily.

Eat, Stop, Eat is another plan where you fast for about 24 hours twice a week usually dinner to dinner. This is closest to what I do. I find it easier to not eat before dinner time, than to cut down food like on a diet. The hunger goes away quickly and you feel real good when on the fast. It does not interrupt my running at all. I have run many times while on the fast stage and notice no difference.

Nolan Shaheed is a world class 50 year old runner. I wrote about him here. He only eats dinner every day. One month a year he doesn't run and eats only one meal every other day. It seems to work for him as he has been doing it for years. Nolan Shaheed is even more well known as a world class jazz musician despite holding masters running records.

Emmanual Jal is a guy with a very compelling story. Born in Sudan. He became a lost boy and then a child soldier. He escaped through a desperate journey filled with starvation and death. Then he was rescued by aid worker Emma McCune. When she died in a car accident, be was sent to school in Kenya and eventually became a singer. His songs have achieved notice throughout the world. His story is told in the best-selling book War Child: A Child Soldier's Story. There is also a wonderful movie, also called War Child,  about Emmanual Jal. You can also download his new single free on his website here. I earlier wrote about Emmanuel Jal here. I mention him again because he too is on a fasting program. In order to help raise money for Gua Africa to build a school named Emma Academy in Sudan. Today, Emmanuel Jal is on day 457 of a fast where he only eats one meal a day. He plans to continue this fast until he raises all the money for Emma Academy. He has about $30,000 to go. You can donate here. I am a teacher and am amazed and saddened to learn that only 2% of all children in Southern Sudan complete elementary school. I think that Emmanuel Jal has the most important motivation for fasting. Here is the Gua Africa appeal for help for building Emma Academy featuring Emmanuel Jal's song "We Fall".

Here is Emmanuel Jal singing "Emma" live Nelson Mandela's 80th birthday celebration.


$1.79 said...

Great post Jim. Congrats on getting up to 50 miles in a week. I was wondering if in a future post you might comment a bit more on how IF has or hasn't impacted your training. Most of us are too afraid to engage in paleo, IF, primal, etc because of the effect it might have on training. It seems like you have broken through that wall and probably learned a great deal along the way.

Jim Hansen said...

Hey $1.79,
I am still new to the Intermittant Fasting. So far, I like it. It is easy and doable. I will see what happens as I continue training. I hope to match it more with paleo style healthier eating as soon as it is easier to obtain the good summer fruits and berries.