Tag Archive for double run

On my weight – goal setting and getting back on track

I haven’t talked about my weight on the blog in a while – mostly because I have been sitting kind of steady with my weight and there really hasn’t been anything to report one way or the other…but I want to get my weight coming down again for some upcoming races and posting about it here on the site seems to keep me honest and a bit more focused.  So grab a drink this is going to be a long post.

Some history – back in November and again in January I hit 215 pounds.  This point marks 42 pounds down from my official starting weight of 257 in September 2012.  My weight seems to keep fluctuating back up to around the 220-222 mark which is still pretty good but I want to get lower.  My running is still going well but I just can’t seem to get the weight to come down.  Most of the reason of this is diet frankly – I am pretty sure my consumed calories are now balanced out with my running calories and downward progress has stalled.  Throw in a fair bit of snacking and convenience food to go along with the cabin fever I have going on right now (this winter needs to end!!) and I can tell it is time to make some changes.

I want to get my weight moving again and would ideally like to hit 207 by the time I hit my birthday in mid-April – basically in around 4.5 weeks from the time of writing this.  This would mean being down 50 pounds from my start point – a significant number and an important milestone mentally.  Thirteen pounds in 4.5 weeks?  It is possible (have done it before) but it is going to take focus and some significant effort.

I have a fairly large bone and muscular structure and I think given that an ideal body weight for me will be around the 197 point (without losing too much muscle mass)…although 200 might be more realistic which should still have me in the 12-15% body fat range.  The lowest I can remember being after high school (many many moons ago) is 204 back in the summer of 2001 but I went heavily into weights at that point and put on additional muscle.  I was 215 when I ran my first half marathon in the summer of 2002 (still my PR at 1:45:11 although I got within 63 seconds of that back in October).  Now when I hit 215 in November and January I did not have the muscle that I did in 2002 at the same weight.  So I have definitely lost muscle mass and that needs to be taken into account when I try to figure out what my weight should be.

What does all that mean?  Not sure actually but what I think it is telling me is that I will right now set my goal weight to be 200 pounds and I will want to be there prior to the Manitoba Marathon on Father’s Day in June.  At that point I will re-evaluate again and figure out my body fat percentage to see what I need to do.

How do I get there?  There are few things I must do and a few things I am going to experiment with to see if they help or hinder.

What are the must dos?

  1. Really focus on my diet and cut down on the snacking.  To do this I have to make sure I get back to my high protein breakfasts – I used to make sure I had over 50 grams of protein with breakfast (protein shake, 2 hard-boiled eggs and some nuts usually) but I got kind of sick of the protein shakes I was using and slowly drifted away from this.  I think that is making me hungrier during the day and my work lunches aren’t lasting and then I end up snacking when I get home before supper is ready.  Not a good cycle, so I have found another protein shake that I like and will be trying that (and switching up the eggs as I am kind of tired of hard-boiled as well).  This starts tomorrow morning.
  2. Increase intensity of my running and keep pushing the long distance runs.  Have started doing this already with the new treadmill but I will continue the trend and I should very soon be able to get in some outdoor runs (which will help break the cabin fever).
  3. Reduce or eliminate Coke.  This is a tough one for me as this is my caffeine fix too.  I have tried to go cold turkey before and end up with wicked headaches so I will start by keeping a close watch on what I drink, do some portion control and slowly reduce my intake.
  4. Get more sleep!  This one has been tough this week as well after the time change but it is vital – not only is getting enough sleep important but if I stay up late I tend to hit snooze too often in the morning before work. I then run out of time to make my high protein breakfast and that blows my diet for the rest of the day as well.  And then I also need more Coke for caffeine.  The dietary issues compound if I don’t get enough sleep.
  5. Blog about my weight.  This is to keep myself honest and provides a layer of oversight if things go off the rails!

And some things I am going to experiment with:

  1. Spirulina algae – I have seen a lot of info about EnergyBits and I have been impressed…but they come at a premium and that makes it hard for me to justify as an experiment. Being from Canada and our dollar taking a nose dive the cost is more exaggerated for me as well putting it outside what I can justify until I am sure spirulina works for me.  So I am going to try out a brand of spirulina that I was able to get in caplet form here in Winnipeg that at least on paper looks like it is equivalent for a price I felt comfortable paying as an experiment.  If I find it helps me both in the snack control and endurance running then I will be taking the plunge on EnergyBits.
  2. Morning runs – double run days – doing a short run every weekday morning besides the nightly scheduled training runs.  I tried this back in the fall and I saw some significant improvements in my running but I was sooooo tired since I couldn’t get my sleep cycle sorted with getting up earlier.  If I can get that managed then this will be a great way for me to increase my daily mileage and get my metabolism rocking first thing in the morning.  Can’t do this one yet though – have to wait for the ice to be off my running trails!  Hopefully I can get rolling on this in early April.
  3. Having protein shakes at work during the day as a meal supplement.  I’m not going to go the route of using a protein shake as a meal replacement but I think if I can have a protein shake after lunch it should help keep me from wanting to snack through the afternoon. And hopefully will help reduce my urge to drink Coke.  Going to start this tomorrow as well.

So those are my thoughts at least.  Hopefully they have an impact and I am able to get my weight moving in the right direction.  I will continue to evaluate to see where I stand and see if I am hitting my goals and make adjustments.  I have obviously found a good spot for maintaining and now it is going to take some work to bust through this plateau!

Thanks for reading!

double run days – not for me apparently…at least not right now

Below is something I wrote on Wednesday morning after I had done my morning run as I was trying to assess if I should keep up with the double runs days I had been doing for just over a week (on weekdays).  I woke up with a headache that day and had a very slow 2.09 mile run that morning and I was trying to figure out if I was burning out or actually sick (our daughter had a fever a couple nights previous)…

Pretty damned tired today – woke up with a headache and almost got sick on the run this morning – not pleasant.  Also ended up being my slowest morning run yet.  At this point I might have to call it on the morning runs.  I have to decide though if I am burning out or if I am just fighting something off – my daughter had a fever a couple nights ago so there could be something going around.

I also found I wasn’t pushing as hard last night on the treadmill – I am worried about burn out – if I can’t run hard on the short run days to get my speed up then the PR shot is in jeopardy. 

Additionally with being extra tired I am craving carbs and caffeine and I am drinking too much Coke – damned near 2 liters last night.  I need to get a handle on that as well if I want my weight moving in the right direction.

If I am getting overtired, I am risking a greater chance of getting sick or of injuring myself – either of which would be very bad right now.  There would be impacts to the PR attempt on the half and then also to my Goofy Challenge training.

I don’t want to think this beat me but if I am risking my PR attempt then this just isn’t working for me at this point.  I had hoped to do this week and next week and decide from there if I do one more week leading into the half marathon on October 19th.  I am thinking though that doing this much longer is a bad idea.  So I will look at how things go tonight on the medium / pace run and if it doesn’t feel decent or if I feel too tired then I will call the morning runs right there.  If it goes ok then I will do Thursday’s and Friday’s morning runs and then drop them from there. 

I have 18 miles scheduled for Sunday as I start putting in longer distance miles for the Goofy Challenge in January and I want to make sure I pull that one off.

So I am thinking that the current plan will be do finish off the week including the morning runs, do 4.5 on Saturday and 18 on Sunday and then fall back next week into just the regular scheduled runs.  This should allow me to still training hard but recover more and get some additional rest that I am needing.

I think it was an interesting experiment and I can see the benefits of doing double run days but I just can’t seem to adapt fast enough to the change in schedule right now without risking my next half marathon.  I might revisit it for a few weeks after the half is done while I back off some of the speed work for a while to add extra long distance miles – but I would then most likely drop them again as I started pushing more speed work again in probably November (or possibly not if I manage to adapt that time).

As you can see I was feeling pretty burnt out and that was before the headache got worse that night and even after a couple extra strength tylenol I still ended up having to call off the medium treadmill run that night – my first missed training run in a month.  I ended up going to bed a couple hours early and still felt exhausted the next morning.  At that point I said I was done with the morning runs for now – missing pacing runs and not pushing hard enough on speed days was not what I wanted out of the double runs.

I put in some extra miles on the Thursday run to make up for the lost pacing run on Wednesday which felt pretty good and then did no running at all on Friday.  I was still pretty tired when I got up for my run this morning and started a bit later than I hoped as I lay in bed a little while longer but on the run itself I felt fine – just needed to get to bed earlier than I did last night!

So what did I learn?  Basically that my body could take the extra training – my legs, etc feel fine even with the reduced recovery time but for it to work for me mentally I would need a lot more sleep and I would need to change my diet a bit to accommodate the extra miles.  I had hoped that doing the extra miles would help to train the body to recover faster but also to help reduce my weight quicker – in the end I realized double run days are probably not a good tool for that – as I was getting overtired and under-fuelled I was consuming too many carbs (and especially coke with the sugar and caffeine) to function – you have to be more disciplined with your diet than I was to make that work properly I think.

After the WFPS Half marathon is done I will revisit again but I suspect it might be something I look at closer after the Goofy Challenge is done in January instead when I am not training for anything specific beside to get better overall.

#trainingrun – 4.5 miles outside in 41:05 – bloody cold north wind – I am not ready for it to be fall yet…

My training schedule had me at 4.5 miles (one lap of my neighbourhood) this morning but I thought about doing 2 laps instead this morning to get some extra miles in to make up for a missed training run on Wednesday night.  In the end though, I kept things as planned.  I made that decision for 3 reasons:

  1. the massive headache I had all day on Wednesday that caused me to miss my first scheduled training run in a month may have been due to over-training with the double run days I was doing and I didn’t want a repeat of that.
  2. I have 18 miles scheduled for tomorrow which is my first run longer that half marathon distance since I did the Manitoba Marathon back in June, and I don’t want to mess that run up – I am still pushing hard to train for the WFPS Half marathon on October 19th but the long run tomorrow is technically the start of long run training for the Goofy Challenge in January and I want to start training on a positive note.
  3. It was frickin’ cold!  I dressed ok for the temperature but didn’t account for a strong north wind cutting through what I was wearing.  A good chunk of the run is sheltered from the wind and I was ok there but the start and end of the lap are quite exposed.  This was a problem at the start as I wasn’t warmed up yet and the wind was cutting right through me – chilly!  Tomorrow is supposed to be a touch colder but I will take the lesson today handed me and use it on the run tomorrow and make sure that I also have layered properly to take care of both the wind and the cold…

Overall run today was not bad – started slower than I would have liked but that was most likely due to pushing against the cold wind for a while – once I got the wind at my back or was in shelter things improved and time was not too bad in the end.  4.5 miles in 41:05.

Weight was 217.5 when I woke up and 216 after the run.  Looks like things may have finally settled down after that week where my weight jumped a few pounds and hopefully I can keep things under control for the next 2 weeks going into the October 19th half marathon so that I can use a few pound loss to help push for a new PR at the half distance that day.

#trainingrun – 7.55 miles in 1 hour at 1% incline – strong run

220 when I woke up and 218 after the run tonight.

Didn’t run last night – I had a massive headache most of the day yesterday and had to blow off the run last night.  I did get in the morning run yesterday of 2.09 miles in 19:50 – headache made that a slow run too though.

I’m not sure if the headache was a reaction to over training or if I was fighting something off (our daughter had a fever a couple days ago) but either way I think I need to back off on the double run days at this point.  I can see negative impacts to the speed training from the double runs and that is definitely not the intent of the extra runs.

So for the next few weeks I am going to drop the double runs and re-evaluate after the WFPS half marathon is done.  I think they were helping the endurance but I was just getting too tired and that was making it too hard to push hard on the evening runs – it might be that I just need to give it more time to get my body used to it but with the next race in just over 2 weeks I don’t think I have that time right now.

Run tonight was pretty solid – the rest yesterday probably helped – I also started slower than I wanted for a pace for 3 miles and then pumped up the speed from there – it felt good and I think I did more miles with less walking (none actually) than I would have if I had started out faster.  Good training for the next race – definitely need more practice at starting slower so I can finish stronger.

#trainingrun – double run day – 4.02 miles in 30 minutes at 1% incline in the evening and 2.09 miles in 19:28 outside in the morning

220.5 – 220 after 2.09 in 19:28 222 after 4.02 in 30 min at 1% and 0.16 miles in 2.5 minutes at 10%

Weird ass weight jump today – I think I can attribute it to the string cheese I have been taking to work as part of my lunch as a quick way to add some extra protein to the diet – it is about the only thing out of the ordinary in the diet today and yesterday besides a few slices of pizza and I have had the pizza several times before without the same impact – I will rule the pizza out for now.  So I will drop the string cheese out for the next couple days and see if things settled out or not.

Morning run was relatively slow but mentally I certainly wasn’t into it so that will have been part of that.  No aches or pains though – just extremely difficult to drag my ass out of bed this morning.  Mental not physical reasons for the slow run this morning.  But I did it and got the miles in.

Run tonight was 4.02 miles in 30 minutes at 1% incline – I did a significant part of the run at 8 mph with some one minute stretches at 7 mph, some one and two minute stretches at 9 mph and a total of 2 minutes of walking.  Also did a 0.16 mile warm up in 2.5 minutes at a 10% incline.  Run was pretty decent – was able to push relatively hard – maybe not as hard as I would like but didn’t feel like crashing out or dropping to a slower pace.  So not too bad…if only I can kick this weight thing.