Time out (in Sorrento)

View from ravello.
I have just had a lovely week away with the family. As well as fun and sightseeing, there was some time for reading and reflection and a little bit of running. It was hilly in sorrento, I only managed to run half way up these stairs!image
After last weeks post I got to thinking more about the energy needed to run, and the balance with weight. I re read Matt fitzgerald’s book and he does say that you can’t improve performance whilst cutting calories. Over the last year I have been trying to eat 200 calories per day less than I use, using ‘my fitness pal’ and ‘map my run’ to keep track. At the times where I have managed this, I have lost weight but it has coincided with not running.
So do I want to be a better runner or to lose weight ? Well, I want both. I can see now that I’m not going to get both at the same time. I do feel slightly deflated though when I see people doing ‘couch to 5k’ doing their first 5k faster than I do now after 2 years. Some of them have the benefit of youth some are carrying less weight. Matt Fitzgerald suggests that by eating well and training, you will have the energy to do the speed work and run the hills so that you build up muscle so that you can work harder. If you cut calories you lose muscle mass and you can’t do the workouts to the maximum benefit.
I realise that I’m not the first person to face this dilemma, people who have achieved much more than me on the running front have had the same issue. Julia Buckley (see below) says that she gained weight despite ultra running.
image I found  this after reading Becca’s blog ‘from snickers to marathon’

Having seen my holiday pics I could definitely do to lose some weight off my midriff! So I’m going to take 12 weeks to do this programme. I’ll still be running, probably as much as I do now, if not more. The programme includes weight training, ‘fat burning sessions’ which are high intensity interval sessions, and in addition to these sessions you are supposed to do a second session of 30 minutes aerobic/ gentle cardiovascular each day, so I will still be able to run a couple of miles per day.
There are no dietary restrictions. Advice is to eat lots of vegetables and protein and to avoid refined sugar and alcohol. So I’m going to stop calorie counting for 12 weeks. I plan to measure progress with my Parkrun times, body fat percentage and a tape measure!

I’m prepared now with my dumbbells, journal with my plan written in for the next 4weeks and an interval timer app on my phone. I have even prepped my son, we have done a trial run of burpees, planks  and step ups together. He loves to compete and thinks its fun so I’m hoping that we can do this together, it will be good for him too! 


About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in change, fitness, fun, habits, half marathon, healthy diet, high protein, holidays, interval training, low fat, map my run, middle aged women, muscle building, My fitness pal, novice, Nutrition, parkrun, running, sightseing, stretching, time management, weight loss, work life balence, working mum and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Time out (in Sorrento)

  1. bitzy-ku says:

    Best of luck, a change can be as good as a rest 🙂 keep me posted x

  2. mawil1 says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll see how it goes!

  3. Ed Mahoney says:

    Some people believe calories are calories – regardless of food type. This is least true for anyone training like you are. It’s difficult enough to put yourself into a negative calorie scenario, but you absolutely need to focus on smart nutritional sources to recover from your runs. Proteins. Electrolytes and vitamins. Water. I’m not familiar with the books you’ve posted but find some good ones on sports nutrition. Or seek out a doctor or nutritionist. Good luck in your marathon.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks , Ed. I feel like I’m a long way from a marathon! But 12 weeks of trying to build up some muscle strength and concentrating on a steady running habit can’t do any harm! I will look out for a good nutrition book. Thanks Julie

  4. oscardiamond says:

    Your plan sounds good. I think your emphasis should be on good nutrition and running and exercise rather than speed and counting calories.

  5. Mimi Loves to Run says:

    I have decided I want to be a better runner verses losing weight. Although being ten pounds slimmer would help me run faster. I know with true running over periods of months and years ( 13 years ago) eventually you do get leaner. So for now I have upped my carb intake before longer runs and eat tons of protein to keep my muscles strong.
    Will check out this book! Looks great. And loved the post. M

    • mawil1 says:

      Great to know I’m not alone! It’s a bit of a leap of faith for me, to eat better to run better to lose weight. I have realised this week that sometimes the under eating isn’t intentional, on a busy day I have breakfast then it can be full on with no time to eat for 10 hours! And yes then I find I am too tired to do anything. So lesson learned. I need to pack some healthy snacks that need no preparation that I can eat at the desk or car or during a meeting. When I was calorie counting I used to think that those days were great!

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