As A Matter Of Fat: A Metabolic Reset

Inside Coached, we host challenges for our athletes. As A Matter of Fat, or AAMOF for short, is our nutritional challenge. 

Based on Phil Maffetone’s two-week carbohydrate intolerance test, AAMOF is a metabolic reset. The idea is that you significantly reduce the carbohydrates in your diet and as a result change the way your body partitions fuel – increasing your body’s ability to burn fat.

Because blood glucose is reduced along with insulin, your hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin also become more sensitive. Craving for sweet food reduces, energy levels become more constant and most participants will improve their body composition.

What’s Involved

AAMOF has three parts.

Week 1: Pre-Test Taper, Planning And Measurements

During the first week, participants set themselves up for success and establish their baselines. They rid their home of all NO foods – the foods they can’t eat during the challenge – and stock their pantry and Fridge with YES foods – the foods they can eat. 

We also recommend that they gradually start to lower their intake of carbohydrates as the week passes. This makes the transition to the carbohydrate intolerance test – which starts in week two – significantly more comfortable. 

Lastly, they take their measurements and complete a survey to take note of any pre-test symptoms.

Week 2 and 3: Carbohydrate Intolerance Test

The middle part of the challenge, in weeks two and three, are the heart of the challenge because it’s when the carbohydrate intolerance test happens. Throughout these weeks, participants follow a strict protocol where carbs are significantly reduced to around 50g a day. 

Measurements and surveys are completed at the completion of the carbohydrate intolerance test.

Week 4: Post-Test Taper Out And Measurements

Week four is the final week of the challenge. This week, our athletes begin to add back approved carbohydrates to their diet and monitor how they feel. 

Finally, measurements and surveys are completed at the completion of the AAMOF challenge.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.


Athletes are supported during AAMOF and help to keep each other motivated and on track. They share meal pics and their experiences in the Telegram group we set up for each challenge. The coaches and Karelle, our team nutritionist also oversee the chat and host a weekly Zoom call for participants. 

The Results

Our latest challenge ended earlier this month, so I thought I would share the results. 


As you can see, over half of the participants have done this challenge before, but we had close to 40% of participants doing the challenge for the first time.


Not surprisingly, the participants who were doing it for the first or second time had the hardest time with the challenge as you can see with many people rating it a seven and nine on a difficulty out of 10 scale.


All participants saw some form of improvement in the various symptoms we tracked.


This is the weight loss reported across the 4-week challenge. For some it was a little and for others, quite significant.


Most people saw a 1 – 2 cm reduction in waist circumference with a few participants losing 4cm+ off their waste. 

Overall, not bad results considering that the majority of participants have done the challenge before and are already quite conscious in how they choose to eat and exercise.


As A Matter Of Fat is included with your online coaching membership. If you’re not Coached, you can still participate for $50. Register your interest below and we’ll contact you when registration for our next challenge opens.

Running Triathlon

What To Do When Weather Interferes With Your Training

It’s been raining a lot here in Singapore lately. And while rain isn’t too much of an issue, the lightning that often accompanies it is.

Just this morning, I had to cancel a 1:1 coaching session because the lightning made it too dangerous to swim.

This got me thinking about how weather impacts training. 

Most endurance athletes are type A. They want to train, and they get incredibly annoyed when something gets in the way of that plan. I’ve had several emails from frustrated athlete’s asking if they should make up a session or what else they can do when it rains.

First off. It can rain on race too, so if you avoid training in the rain because you don’t want to get wet and uncomfortable, or you don’t want to dry your shoes or clean your bike afterwards, you’re just soft.

If you never become familiar and comfortable in that environment, you will never be prepared for when you have to race in those conditions. That’s a problem.

If the rain is torrential or there’s lightning, and your safety is at risk, you will need to adjust your plans.

You can’t control the weather, so there is little point worrying about it. As an athlete, you must always focus on the things within your control. 

Ideally, that means changing your approach and still doing some form of training. Consistency is the ultimate performance enhancer, so even if you can’t do exactly what you want, doing something is almost always better than nothing. 

In that regard, let’s look at what you can do in the event of poor weather.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.


Head to an indoor pool instead if you can’t get in the open water or the outdoor pool because of poor weather. If that’s not possible, stretchcordz is a simple and effective way for getting a sport-specific workout done in the comfort of your home. 

You can view a range of stretchcordz videos and other swim training alternatives in a previous post I wrote for everyone during the Covid-19 quarantine.


The obvious choice is to ride indoors on your trainer or head to the gym for a spin class. Indoor cycling has several advantages over outdoor training, so you’ll get a great workout and keep your consistency.

If you don’t have a trainer, do some strength exercises that target cycling-specific muscle groups.

Some examples include …


If you have access to a treadmill, use that. You can do almost any session you had planned on a treadmill, and that will be your best option. If you don’t have one at home or can’t access a gym, you have a couple of other good options.

  1. Skipping. Break out a skipping rope and run on the spot.
  2. Strength training. Do some running-specific strength training to work on your core and the muscles you utilise when running.

Some examples include …

While you can’t control the weather, you can plan in advance and have backup strategies in place for each session. 

These plans will help to limit the immediate stress when foul weather sets in. You’ll simply shift from plan A to plan B. No problem.

If you’re a single sport athlete, training in the morning is an excellent example of a strategy you can employ to increase your chances of getting your training in. 

If you wake up in the morning and you can’t train due to poor weather, you still have another opportunity at lunchtime or after work to get the session done. Remember, consistency is essential.

In the worst-case scenario where training is not possible, don’t beat yourself up. Take the day off and know that the additional rest will benefit you in the long run.

Running Triathlon

Training Frequency: How Often Should You Train?

Eliud Kipchoge trains a lot. So does Jan Frodeno and Flora Duffy. I know Zane and Jake Robertson do, and I’m sure that Gwen Jorgensen does too.

I certainly did during my pro days.

Training frequency – how often you train – is an essential component in high-performance endurance training, and that’s why the vast majority of elite endurance athletes train so much.

Essentially, the more you practice, the better you get. Most things are like that.

Obviously, there are some caveats to that statement, but for the most part, it holds true.

How Often Should You Train?

If performance is your primary objective, I believe you should train as much as you can recover from, without getting sick, injured or losing motivation.

That’s a broad statement, but it’s a pretty simple guideline that works for most. 

As much as you can recover from will vary between athletes based on your commitments outside of sport, athletic background, current fitness level, and various other factors.

Sickness, illness or a lack of motivation to train are all signs that you may have bitten off more than you can chew. When you find that happening, you may need to reassess and lower your training load.  

When considering how often you train, here are several things you should consider …

1. Commitments Outside Of Training

Your schedule should be your first consideration when deciding on your training frequency. What commitments outside of training do you have to take into account and balance with training.

Professional athletes may be able to train 30-hours per week because that’s their sole focus. Even if amateurs had the physical ability to train that much, it’s probably not feasible to balance that level of training with a full-time job, family and a social life. 

Recovery would be compromised, and so would performance. You need to experiment to find the optimal load for your circumstances. 

2. Your Goals

Your goals determine the structure of your training plan and, therefore, your overall training load. 

Goals can vary widely from staying healthy to losing weight or becoming the fastest athlete possible. Ambitious goals like becoming the fastest athlete you’re capable of will ultimately require more training than exercising for health. 

As mentioned earlier, there’s a reason the best athletes in the world train so much. It’s necessary for milking the best performance out of yourself.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.

3. History Of Injury

If you are coming back from an injury or are injury-prone, you may not be able to tolerate a high frequency of training. 

You might be better focusing on the quality of each of your sessions and working on your technical skill and muscle imbalances so that you can reduce your chances of getting injured in the future. 

As your progress and injuries become less of an issue, you can increase how often you train to reflect the improvements you have made.

4. Recovery

Performance lies in the balance of stress (training) and rest. Train more than you can recover from, and you’ll find performance hindered. You could also suffer from injury, illness or see your motivation slide out from under you. None of that is ideal because consistency is the ultimate performance enhancer.

Typically, young athletes will recover faster than us over 40’s, so age also plays a role here.

Monitoring your resting heart rate (RHR) or heart rate variability (HRV) daily can help you assess your recovery from training and racing. When you see an elevated resting HR or suppressed HRV, that’s feedback you are under stress and may need to ease off to recover adequately.

We’re all individuals with different genetic make-ups, circumstances and goals. 

If you can structure your training in a way that allows you to train as much as you can recover from, without getting sick, injured or losing motivation, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to train consistently and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Good luck!

If you need any help structuring your training, please consider getting Coached. We’d love to work with you.

Running Triathlon

How To Increase Your Running Stride Length

There are only two ways to run faster in its most simplistic form – increase your stride rate or length.

In other words, you need to turn your legs around more quickly or run with a longer stride.

Stride rate, usually referred to as cadence, is relatively easy to train, and you should put conscious effort into finding and running at an optimal cadence for you. What’s optimal will vary between runners, but in my experience, most fast runners – whether professional or amateur – run with a cadence of between 165 and 185 steps per minute (spm).

If your cadence is much below 165 spm, then I strongly encourage you to do some focused work to bring this up. If it is much above 185 spm, it might be worth assessing your flexibility and developing your stride length.

Stride length, on the other hand, is not something I think you should consciously think about when you run. It’s a byproduct of your training and will naturally increase over time if you train well and train consistently.

Many runners who consciously think about the length of their stride often find themselves in an overstriding pattern which is tiring and will likely lead to injury.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.

What You Can Do To Improve Your Running Stride Length

At Coached, we use structured training and various drills and other techniques to help our athletes improve their cadence and stride length. When we boil it down, we’re essentially trying to address these four things when it comes to improving your stride length.

1. Strength

If you want to have a naturally long stride length, you need to put a lot of power through the ground and transfer that energy directly into forward movement. A lot of runners generate power only to lose it out the side as their hips drop. 

Train to increase your overall muscular strength and power to weight ratio. Pay particular attention to developing strength through your core so that you can transfer power.

Gradually increase your running mileage, run over hills, and do specific strength training to increase your stride length over time.

2. Aerobic Condition

Your heart and lungs have to match the power that your muscles produce. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sustain the workload. This means that you must first develop a robust aerobic engine by doing a lot of low-intensity running to increase your aerobic function. Then, by introducing some harder running to increase your aerobic power.

3. Flexibility 

Your level of flexibility plays a role in how much you can increase your stride length. Being incredibly tight, especially in your hip flexors and hamstrings, will compromise your stride length, so you need to work to find an optimal level of flexibility that allows for a good range of motion while retaining muscle responsiveness.

Consider doing a dynamic warm-up before starting your run and include leg swings. Post-run, use a massage gun or a foam roller to do some myofascial release and work to increase your overall flexibility and range of motion.

4. Running Form

Finally, your overall running form impacts the length of your stride. Don’t go making any drastic biomechanical changes to your technique which can lead to injury. Instead, use running drills and conscious effort to improve your body position and running form over time gradually.

Train properly, and you’ll naturally begin to see an increase in stride length. If cadence remains constant and the length of your stride increases – you’re faster. BOOM!


Quotable Quotes

Whenever I hear a quote, I like to write it down. 

Below you’ll find a few quotes I have logged over the years spoken by various people, followed by my thoughts on what they mean for athletes.

"Never mistake activity for achievement."

If you research new training protocols, that’s activity. Going for a swim, bike, or run is an achievement. 

If you search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s activity. If you actually eat a healthy meal, that’s an achievement.

If you download a meditation app and create an account, that’s activity. If you sit and follow a guided meditation, that’s an achievement.

Activity will never produce a final result. Achievement will.

"You need to do what you need to do, regardless of whether you feel like it or not."

Feelings don’t dictate outcomes. Some days it’s cold and wet, and you don’t want to train. Sometimes you’d rather sleep in. If performance is your goal and you want to become a better athlete, you need to do the work, regardless of whether you feel like it or not.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.

"Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace."

Many aspects of racing are out of our control, so there is no point wasting energy on them. You may have to race in horrendous weather, a competitor could cut you off,  or you could cramp or have a problem with your equipment. 

Worrying about what might happen in tomorrow’s race takes away today’s peace.

What kind of athlete are you? Do you race from the front or sit and kick? Know your strengths, develop them, then use them to your advantage to beat your competitors.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

As athletes, we’re all blessed with unique talents. For some, it’s a naturally efficient technique. For others, it’s a strong structure that is resistant to injury or the ability to tolerate a high training load. For others, it’s a high pain threshold, a strong competitive drive or the ability to set a plan and follow through.

Whatever the gift, you’re lucky to have the ability to compete and must always give your best. Otherwise, you’re doing yourself a disservice and sacrificing your gift.