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I interview retired Danish triathlete Torbjørn Sindballe for episode 14. Sindballe retired in 2009, but his accomplishments include a third place finish at Ironman Hawaii in 2007, a brief hold on the Ironman Hawaii bike course record (4:21 in 2005), and two ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship titles.
In 2008 Sindballe had a subpar result at Ironman Hawaii, suffering on the run and finishing 59th with digestive problems that were likely related to his periodized eating in the week leading up to the race when he followed 5 days of high fat eating with 2 days or carb loading. This is the same protocol he successfully used in 2007 where he finished third in Hawaii despite the fact that his run training was limited due to an injury.
Sindballe experimented with the Paleo diet, high fat eating, and zero calorie training in an attempt to increase his fat burning ability, which is a valuable ability for long distance racing. He was able to burn fat at a high rate (over 1 gram per minute at Ironman pace) and he currently recommends carefully planned zero calorie training to achieve this.
He explains his protocol during the interview. It’s most beneficial for long distance athletes, and nutrition must be carefully planned around zero calorie workouts. Zero calorie workouts are not done every day, and they are done at lower intensity.
He recommends zero calories for most lower intensity workouts of less than 1.5 to 2 hours, and occasional longer zero calorie workouts. It’s not a protocol that should be undertaken haphazardly because there is a risk of subsequent poor recovery and performance.
Sindballe was a large athlete, weighing in for Ironman Hawaii at 177 pounds/80kgs and standing 6'3"/1.90 meters. He consumed 350 calories per hour on the bike but he says if he had to do it again he would shoot for 250 calories per hour. He talks about this at the end of the interview. This is less than what others might recommend for an Ironman, especially for an athlete of his size.
While at Interbike in Las Vegas I interviewed Eric Greig, a co-founder of TourdeGiro.com. The site is designed to work with a CompuTrainer and allow for online racing and group rides. You can create your own course and use one of their courses. A free trial is available.
Torbjørn’sInside Triathlon article about his dietary experiments with Paleo, high fat, and zero calorie training.
Paleo Diet explained by Dr. Loren Cordain - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52A3ayfxfTs