Friday, October 6, 2017

Blood Really Don't Lie

In my happy place, Kona!
I started working with Inside Tracker in 2015 (2nd year I got on the podium at Ironman World Championships) and have been testing with them ever since.  My initial reason to test was that in 2013, I had an AWFUL race at IMTX and could not figure out what happened.  Turned out, I had low iron, which is so common for women who run...did you know running physically breaks the iron in your body and that is how we lose some?, obviously I am not a Dr. and I am a big advocate of asking for help where I am not the expert.  And since I always want to get THE most out of myself, I turned to InsideTracker for help.  This year, they came on board as a team sponsor to Coeur. The results have been eye opening for some of our gals (gals- I don't find this term at ALL offensive...if you want to insert women, go for it), and we wanted to share it here.  I'm going to highlight my results as well as that of two of our other Kona qualifiers, Noga Ruttenberg and Leyla Porteous.

Hailey's Top Take Aways:

It was great to be able to track my iron progress as that was the one area I was honed in on since I had had an issue in the past.  i was able to see at what level I needed to supplement and even talk with the scientists at IT on when was OK to step my supplementation down a bit.  

I also always thought that I was a huge proponent of recovery, but my creatine kinase levels were high.  This is an indicator that we are training hard and it can lead to muscle breakdown.  So we want to train hard but recover so we can actually adapt to the hard training.  I have always focused on nailing a high amount of protein (75-100g) per day for my weight.  I was able to confirm with IT that on those tough days, I need to get to 100 for SURE to help my CK levels go down and my body really adapt and absorb that training.

There are many other markers to pay attention two, but these were my two AHA! moments with IT and I am so thankful for their help!

Leyla's Story:

The biggest thing that I got out of the testing is taking out the guess work on supplements, and really seeing how the training impacts on stress levels and then being able to actually take measures to manage this  - again without guessing.
Leyla Kicking Ass!

From the first test I picked up quite a few things that I have made permanent changes to in my diet which are:
* adding in a daily Omega 3&6 supplement and also having more fish and good fats in my diet
* no alcohol (eek - I know right)
* adding in a Vitamin B12 supplement  - really noticed my energy levels better due to this
* Adding Vitamin B
* Adding in Iron supplementation (but cycling that)

Leyla, can you cook for me?!
On another note the test helped identify that I have developed and now showing the symptoms of hereditary high HDL cholesterol which my own body creates (not dietary or due to weight and lifestyle etc) this is something I am doing a bit more homework on on how to manage as I don't want to be on cholesterol medications. I also picked up a bit of a hormonal issue that was affecting my ability to utilize testosterone for recovery - and again this one is a work in progress but second test showed improvements (thinking the addition of the healthy fats has helped this).

Noga's Story:

Noga at 70.3 Worlds
I began my testing with Inside Tracker in March of this year. I was very excited to see what would come back. Some of the results were as expected but I was amazed at some of the areas which showed I needed work:

For years, doctors have told me my B12, Calcium and Vitamin D levels were low and my cholesterol needed work. Inside Tracker confirmed those findings. What was surprising, however, was how low I was in testosterone, how inflated my marker was for inflammation throughout the body and how low my cortisol levels were. Knowing that improving these things would help improve my performance was motivating, but knowing my “internal age”, as suggested by Inside Tracker, was the kick I needed to heed my doctor’s and Inside Tracker’s advice. In March, my inner age was about 7 years younger than my chronological age. Shy of telling me that I actually looked like I was in my 30s, this was the best news! Additionally, InsideTracker gives an internal age rage within which you can fall (from the worst possible scenario to the optimal scenario). They gave me an optimal scenario that puts my inner age in the late 20s. Of course I was going to strive to achieve that.

Mmmmm, breakfast!
Despite having heard doctors tell me many times I should take a daily multivitamin as well as calcium plus vitamin D supplements, I finally began taking them when I thought they would improve my Inside Tracker results. I listened to the advice of Inside Tracker to get more sleep and rest (which would improve my cortisol levels) and I added, soy beans, chia and granola to my diet to help reduce inflammation. It seemed to have worked because my July test results revealed my inner age to be 32.7, an 11.4 year difference from my chronological age! Being the old lady in my age group (F40-44) at races doesn’t help my confidence, but having the knowledge that my internal body functions as well as a 32-year- old certainly helps me believe I can push harder and that I can compete with these crazy fast, young 40-year- olds. In fact, I
used that knowledge at the 70.3 World Championships to help me PR in the run portion of the
race. I couldn’t believe I could actually PR anything at 44. I ended up in 9th place and, while I had hoped for better, I couldn’t resist the urge to check the ages of all the finishers around me. I was the oldest finisher in the top 10 of my age-group (by at least a couple of years) and I do feel like I owe Inside Tracker for arming me with the knowledge that my age will not hold me back (to the extent I sometimes let it).

Be sure to track us in Kona and come say hi at the Coeur booth!!