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!
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.
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!