The harsh reality of winter training.

It isn’t officially winter yet, but the weather is already Dickensian in its cold, austere grey misery. Today it was windy (22mph) and I can vouch for every cliche’d adjective that is normally applied, roaring, moaning, whistling, howling: I heard it all, at a volume that made it difficult to hear any cars on the road. It was raining too. I still did my 6.5 miles, knowing that this is how it’s going to be for the next couple of months.

Fortunately my training plan is pretty steady over the next couple of months, averaging 20 miles per week, so I’m not going to have to do anything worse than I’ve done already. Quite frankly, if I managed today’s run, in that weather and on that hill (about 450ft) I think I’m going to be able to keep chipping away at this through the winter building my base and fitness ready for the higher mileage in the spring and then the marathon in May.

Im pleased with my ‘no added sugar’ regime too. Despite regular running through the summer I was steadily gaining weight. (? Muscle gain I thought) Now whether by coincidence or by the simple expedient of no sugar in my coffee, no sugary sweets or biscuits, I find I have lost a few pounds.

The flat bit is where I was in the USA and didn’t weigh myself.  I think the main effect of no refined sugar is a stabilisation in my appetite, I’m not hungry all the time. I do get ‘runger’ but then I eat something ‘proper’ and I’m ok. If I really want something sweet I have a ‘naked ‘ bar. They are made from pulverised dates, nuts and fruit so contain unrefined sugars and fats, so yes they are sweet but probably don’t give you that insulin surge.

I think that dropping a few pounds helps with the running too.

Wishing you all happy running out there!


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 fitness, habits, healthy diet, hills, Inspiration, low intensity, marathon, middle aged women, Motivation, My fitness pal, Nominees, novice, Nutrition, positive mental attitude, running, slow run, training plan, weight loss, work life balence. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The harsh reality of winter training.

  1. Nice job on your nearly 4-pound loss! It’s hard to lose weight when you have so many miles that you have to run as you have to fuel those runs too! You might have hit on something with this NAS! Well done! (great job on getting your runs done too, ;D)

    • mawil1 says:

      Getting the fuel in has never been a problem for me!! Even 20 miles per week is only 2000 calories, so that’s 4 slices of cake – easily done in 7 days! Putting my Cake fetish to one side, it’s only an extra 300 cals per day, so if I eat normally I’m in balance / slight gain. Cutting out the sugar was presumably enough to tip me into slight negative, and I’m not missing any nutrients like vitamins or healthy fats or protein. I wonder how many calories are in 8 teaspoons of sugar?!

  2. bitzy-ku says:

    Well done, weight loss can be a pain in the winter months, I’m looking to try and drop some weight, feel like I have a sluggish winter coat gathering boooo, have you found it hard to cut out the sugar? I try not to have it but clearly I’m not getting it quite right X great determination in the grey weather days, kudos to you xx

    • mawil1 says:

      It happened by accident really. First I was on holiday so my normal routine of a cup of coffee with sugar every 90 minutes was broken! When I got home I switched coffee for tea ( which I prefer without sugar) and now I’m happy to drink a coffee, or a latte if I wish, with no sugar. I decided to cut out other refined sugars so that mainly cakes, biscuits and sweets. We try to avoid ready meals and takeaways anyway, but I’m not too Puritan about that. I’ve had the odd bit of chocolate too. We eat a lot more cheese ( proper European cheeses – full of mould and chalk and no sugar!) as a snack – not known for being low calorie but it deals with the munchies very well! In the end I think it’s the combination of the small reduction in calories and keeping going with the running, little and often! I suspect that I used to eat more cake and chocolate than I realised!!

  3. shazruns says:

    Well done for getting out there in that Weather it was foul. I too am eating ‘healthy’ by walking away from cake/biscuits working here too and I feel better for it, let’s hope we can both keep it up over christmas!

    • mawil1 says:

      Ah christmas😱 Think that I might try to limit myself to 2weeks of celebration. 2 whole weeks because you have to be realistic! And stop at the end. Have you got a strategy?

  4. I don’t run, I’ve never run really. Even for a bus. I am of the type that thinks there will always be another two coming soon.However I have taken up swimming, I was forced to go swimming every week for 7 years at school 3 times a week, as this had their own pool and it put me off until recently. Now here’s a thing where you can help being a doc and a runner. On my last trip to the pool I got quite bad cramp in my leg and had to abandon the swim. The pool was warm and I thought I’d warmed up by walking to the pool. Any help would be appreciated, to save me the embarrassment of having my leg massaged by a kind lady in the deep end , again.

  5. I don’t envy you running in those wintry conditions, but such good training, we never know what conditions will be like on race day so you’ll be prepared. The whole sugar thing is so interesting. We’ve been eating lollies courtesy of the lolly bar at my daughter’s wedding – ooh my goodness, up set stomach and always hungry. Usually my appetite is not really even there but over the last few days I’ve been constantly starving.

  6. oscardiamond says:

    Keep the vigilance going regarding sugar, cake and biscuits. Runners in particular have an obsession with cake (we certainly do at Cambridge parkrun).We obviously feel it’s a legitimate reward for labour expended. Best way forward is to consistently cut out the snacking and indulge yourself occasionally.

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