Seems like a sentimental opportunity to post again. It’s been awhile… In a way today marks a year since my previous life ended and three years since the course of how I ate changed what I do with my life. Literally to the day.
Lots of people ask how did you get into this? And why I opened The Field Wholefoods. The simple answer is Ironman Triathlon and food. Ironman opened my thinking up, but the way I eat is why The Field Wholefoods was created.
Even as a kid I always wanted to do an Ironman, it never seemed daunting or unachievable. It was just a matter of when. So after active years at school and post schooling years of being a couch sportsperson and working in the advertising industry for 15 years, I took the first steps to doing it. Half marathon, full marathon, local triathlons, Ironman 70.3 and then Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run). For me the goal was simple, do an Ironman in under 10 hours. That is what I thought was at the very edge of what I could mentally and physically do.
Food was fuel in the early days and it was a pretty standard Australian diet. But after doing a handful of Ironmans, a bunch of research (reading and talking to people) I thought I’d change the way I ate in order to reduce the amount of inflammation from food consumption.
Changing the way, I ate to a primarily plant based diet for a 3-4 month test period, netted a significant half marathon PB at The McLaren Vale Half Marathon. On legs that had ridden 160kms the day before. Plus, I recovered so quickly that I was ready to train the very next day. Something that would not have previously been possible. The improvement, the way I felt, the recovery between sessions was all down to the way I ate. A mate who had adopted a similar diet, had qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Qualification is really tough with only 2,000 spots offered every year. But Kona is something other people did, I really just wanted to go under 10 hours. That was the ultimate for me and any solid Ironman would be pretty happy with that sort of time.
The accumulation of the consistent training, learned training and racing experiences, and becoming ‘bloody hard’ meant that I achieved the goal of going sub 10, but the improvement was so significant that I ended up qualifying for Kona.
The truth is, I was following the same training program, the only thing that changed was my diet.
I’m not a dietitian. I don’t count calories. I don’t quantify the breakdown of carbs to protein to fat. I just eat real food every day. It works for me. And every day I learn a little more. I add different foods to the repertoire as I go. And I want my kids to not know any differently.
Today marks a year since I hung up the Ironman kit after the 2015 Ironman World Championship. There are lots of things that I miss, but The Field gives me a good reason to get up and see all of you.