Thursday, October 30, 2008

Food Matters

Food Matters is a new film that seems interesting, but I haven't seen it yet.

And here's director James Colquhoun on 9AM.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The collapse of money

birthday monies
Originally uploaded by joecooke

I came across an interesting article today called 'Money and the crisis of civilization' by Charles Eisenstein.

What it says in a nutshell is that the collapse of money is coming soon, but that's not as bad as you may think, so stop resisting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

44 down, 8 to go

This didn't seem like a very sunny day, but it was going to be my ultramarathon day of the week nevertheless.

Altogether, I ran 44.0K in 5:55.

44 down, 8 to go!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Complementary gazpacho

Originally uploaded by silangel

I chose the ingredients for this gazpacho based on the concept of complementary colors (red/green) and effects (hot/cold).

So I threw in my blender a couple things from each of the four categories.

Red/hot: red chili, red onion.

Red/cool: watermelon, tomatoes.

Green/hot: lime juice, parsley (these are not that hot, but they make a great combination with the other stuff).

Green/cool: cucumber, a handful of green leafy vegs.

Serve with sea salt flakes and extra virgin olive oil.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Optimal BMI for health and endurance sports performance?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is weight (kg) divided by height (cm) squared. There is a BMI calculator available. 

Normal BMI value range is 18.5-25.

Interestingly, many successful endurance athletes seem to have their BMI around 21:
  • Haile Gebrselassie (the current marathon world record holder): 21.1
  • Scott Jurek (world's no.1 vegan ultrarunner): 21.2
  • Chrissie Wellington (Ironman Hawaii winner 2007 & 2008): 20.8
  • Craig Alexander (Ironman Hawaii winner 2008): 21.0
My BMI has been about 21 for years, but due to recent foot injuries and bad performances I've decided to take it lower. My current value is 19.8, which is extremely low for me. I certainly feel lighter and faster, but how low dare I go without risking something?

Paula Radcliffe (the women's marathon world record holder) has an extremely low BMI: 17.7. And if you remember Seb Coe (who used to be world's best middle distance runner), he had an amazingly low value of 17.0! 

On the other hand, many ultrarunners with a relatively high BMI seem to be performing pretty well. Dean Karnazes has a BMI of 23.7, and David Goggins (who used to be a powerlifter) 24.5! 

Also many cyclists and swimmers are in the same category. For example, Lance Armstrong's BMI is probably around 23.6.

So who knows what is optimal for both health and endurance sports performance. I plan to get to around 19 for a while and see how it goes.      

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Human 2.0: The Long Run

Here's an inspirational video showing David Goggins win McNaughton Park 150-mile race.

Human 2.0? Hmm... let's just say he is definitely an animal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The world's first bionic burger

This is a year old video that has been amazingly popular on YouTube. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pollan's food agenda

Michael Pollan's food agenda was recently published in NYT. It says we need to put the food system 'back on sunlight'.

The obvious question how to achieve this individually right now is conveniently answered in his latest book, In Defense of Food:
  • Eat food.
  • Not too much.
  • Mostly plants.
From whom does real, well-grown and unprocessed food need defending? According to Pollan, from the industry and science. Both stand to gain much from widespread confusion about what to eat. 

Fortunately, we can easily relearn which foods are healthy for us and the environment. We can get back on a 'diet of sunshine' and stop wasting fossil fuel.

Monday, October 20, 2008

43 down, 9 to go

Fine fall weather today.

It's time for my 43rd self-supported weekly ultramarathon.

I ran 43.5K in 5 hours 27 minutes.

43 down, only 9 to go.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beet it

beet it
Originally uploaded by Darwin Bell

Beet is in(expensive). Beet is healthy. But ashtonishingly, I haven't ever eaten a raw one. That's going to change today, I decided. But how exactly?

Wake up, little smoothie: a beet, a carrot, a cucumber, an orange, a little piece of ginger, a cup of sprouted quinoa, a couple of handfuls of green leafy vegs, some cold water and salt flakes. My Dualit blender did the job quick and easy.

Hmm, not too sweet, but 'bitter is better' as the saying goes. This stuff sure gives tons of immediate raw energy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

42 down, 10 to go

It was time for my weekly self-supported ultramarathon training run.

I totalled 43.4K in 5 hours 18 minutes.

40 down, 10 to go!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crowie conquers Kona

Craig Alexander (35) won the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 2008 in 8 hours 17 minutes.

He showed everyone how to do it right: first swim 3.8K and bike 180K moderately hard, but not too hard, and take in all the nutrition you can. Then run a 2:45 marathon. It's as simple as that.   

Here's a pre-race interview, showing how relaxed Alexander the Great was.

By the way, Crowie is sponsored by Newton running shoes. I haven't seen the shoes available anywhere yet, but this video seems interesting. 

Also The Competitors Radio Show featured Alexander just before the race in their podcast.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Queen of Kona

Chrissie Wellington
Originally uploaded by Mariano Kamp

This is an awesome action shot of Chrissie Wellington winning the Ironman Frankfurt 2008 in July.

Queen of Kona will return to defend her Ironman Hawaii World Championship title on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

River crossing in Icelandic ultramarathon

In the video below you can see Iceland's Daniel Gudmundsson crossing the final ice-cold river in the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon 2008 in great style. Daniel eventually won this tough 55K (34-mile) race in under five hours.

215 out of 236 participants were able to finish.

The race was on July 12th, but I was reminded of it now, as Icelandic Prime Minister warns the nation of bankruptcy.

Like Geir Haarde told the press conference in Reykjavik, the entire world is experiencing a major economic crisis. Haarde said "With that optimism which characterises the Icelandic people, we will emerge from these difficulties and make a new and energetic comeback". 

What wasn't mentioned, is that perhaps not all nations will be able to cross this river as calmly and confidently as Daniel Gudmundsson did.

Monday, October 6, 2008

41 down, 11 to go

This was my 41st self-supported ultramarathon training run in 2008.

Total distance was 44.3K. Total time was 5 hours and 13 minutes.
41 down, 11 to go!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pick your cotton carefully

Please pick your cotton carefully.

After seeing this film by EJF about the dark side of "white gold", I've looked for organic cotton.

I've also avoided events which distribute "dirty" cotton shirts to participants.   

By the way, NewScientist published an informative blog posting about the true price of cotton recently.

Also, Sustainable Cotton Project seems interesting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein is scary as hell, but undeniably brilliantly researched and written. It tells the sad story of how the rise of disaster capitalism has kept on erasing and remaking our world. 

This book (which is also available as an audio version) is not about endurance training, it's about our first important priority: surviving democracy in these shocking times.