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Problem during Interval Training - Suspected issues with Primal Nutrition?

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  • Problem during Interval Training - Suspected issues with Primal Nutrition?

    G'day all

    I consider myself quite an active and fit individual. To give you some background, I am in the military and am very active. Before discovering the Primal Blueprint / Paleo I was obsessed with 'Chronic Cardio' (running 3.6 - 5km per day worth of interval training) with added daily Gym sessions on top.

    I recently conducted a very physically taxing course, learning how to instruct physical training for the Army, after which I took a three week holiday (doing no cardio with three times a week strength training).

    Now, my problem. I have recently returned to work and conducted one of my Tabata interval training sessions this morning with a friend (using a treadmill, going flat out for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest, repeat 8 times for 4 minutes of work total). This used to be an enjoyable, do-able work out. However, this morning I had to stop on the third interval as my legs tightened up and would not 'work'. After a quick stretch I jumped back on and was able to complete another 4 before my legs literally stopped working. This was very annoying as, since I consider myself fairly fit, I should be able to complete this session (as I have done multiple times in the past).

    My legs have felt stiff (like they need a stretch) during my three week break, however being the silly person that I am I never stretched them. I also think I may not have enough Glycogen in my muscles for this kind of workout, given my transition to a Paleo diet (I have been strict Paleo for nearly 4 weeks - I am doing the 30 day challenge).

    My strength training remains unaffected. Can anyone offer some help or insight?

    Below are two examples of my average daily nutrition. The first is the lower end of Carbohydrate intake and the second is the upper-end, with the majority of days falling in between.

    Please help, I am fairly concerned. Even jogging up the stairs to my room made my muscles tighten up and feel bad...

    Last edited by Tracer; 09-19-2011, 02:09 PM.
    "Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

  • #2
    Drink water and change your socks. Take some Motrin.

    I'm kidding about everything but the first part, actually. Paleo tends to lead to lower hydration for a lot of people, and I'm sure you know of the importance of that.

    20 seconds on, 10 resting sounds like a killer workout. I don't know how you can consider that "enjoyable, do-able", as sprints like that (going "flat out", as you say) should start causing massive fatigue after only a couple, especially with only 10 seconds rest. I would enjoy a workout like that, but only after I was done, and only if it wasn't on a treadmill. I can't go all out on a treadmill for some reason. It screws up my pace and my form.

    Walk. Seriously. It'll get blood flowing and keep you limber without affecting your muscular strength or endurance negatively. I had an Army CSM who was also a doctor (not making this up) who said that the best thing soldiers should be doing for fitness but aren't is walking and/or rucking. It improves bloodflow, stimulates weightloss (aerobic exercise, instead of anaerobic), and improves joint strength and flexibility.

    Two things that may be hard here is the concept of over-training, as the military doesn't seem to understand it (more is always better, right?), and the fact that you may require a slightly higher carb intake than most people. Don't change anything yet, though, because...

    Finally, it can take a few weeks to a month or more for your body to transition over to the primal/paleo lifestyle. This might just be a symptom of the transition, and will likely go away shortly. If you are 6-8 weeks in and still getting that, then look seriously at changing something. Until then, explain that you are trying out a new way of eating and you aren't sure how your body likes it just yet. If they sent you to the PT trainer course then they obviously trust that you kinda know what's going on, and should allow you some slack for a couple of weeks.

    Also, what course is that? Is it an Army course? I'm just curious, because I might be interested in getting my unit to send me.


    • #3
      Hey thanks for the response jfreaksho

      I have kinda come to the conclusion that I may just be disappointing in the 'loss' of fitness. However, given the three week rest period it probably should be of no concern that jumping straight back into anaerobic exercise would not result in a noticeable performance loss. I will continue training and not modify my diet (except maybe bump up the Calories in through more fats and protein) and see how I perform in a week or so, after I have 'gotten back into it' - so to speak. Until then I will lower the intensity until I am back at my per-rest / per-course performance. However, given that it has nearly been 6 weeks of 'roughly Primal' (nearly 4 weeks of strict Paleo) I should be close to being over the transition period - I guess I will just have to monitor it closely.

      The course itself is the 'Combat Fitness Leader' Course.

      If anyone else has any comments or help that would be greatly appreciated (even similar experiences?)
      "Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."