The pole vaulting diaries – A 49 year old’s exercise experiences

Performance up, weight down

How I changed my diet and exercise regime

After my last competition in Auckland in April at the World Masters Games, I spoke to an outstanding American vaulter in his late fifties, Wendell Beck. We discussed injury avoidance, always a pet topic, and also how to generally perform best.  He looked me up and down and said the number one thing was to lose weight.  Ouch.  I was 90kg, thinking I was doing not too badly. I’m now 82kg and running is completely different.  Imagine wearing an 8kg weighted vest and then taking it off.  The impact on your joints, tendons and general system is immense if you are even 8kg over what you might be; I can feel it – or the lack of it – bigtime. It’s a joy to run now and much, much easier. So how? The ELEM system.  Eat less, exercise more. Eating less being the most important by far.  In more detail, hardly any carbs in the evening, certainly no pasta, rice, bread or potato, even at lunch; but enough carbs in the morning (porridge oats) to smash it during the day with high energy levels.  No processed foods.  And just eating less. I’m no expert here, but that’s my experience over the last few months and it feels sustainable; plus of course there are no big secrets to this, just ELEM, with an anti-carbohydrate twist. David Gordon