Eating right?

4 messages
19/02/2012 at 13:38
Hi All

I'm looking for some advice if possible. I have been running for around 4 years now and my annual pattern usually consists of starting around April - May and running up to 4 times per week until November when I stop for the winter.

As you'll guess my weight will go up during the winter months and I find in the Spring I struggle to do 1.5 mile without a break and feel as though I'm starting from scratch.

This year I have continued throughout the winter and even though its biting cold I am getting out 3 - 4 times per week.

My issue is (and the reason for this post) is that due to an injury which forced me to stop for a period over the summer I have found it harder than usual to lose weight.

My weight is around 20st and I'm 6ft 5in tall. I am very broad shouldered and although my weight is high I have a 38inch waist and don't look excessively over weight. I do however wish to shift some of my excess and would love to get around the 17st - 17.5 st mark.

To help with my training I am consciously keeping check on my Calorie intake which is usually around the 2500 - 2700 per day (which for my weight should in itself mean weight loss). My actual loss has been very slow however and I'm concerned that I may not be eating the right food types (Bread etc). My alcohol intake has also been reduced with me only having a few beers 1 night per week.

Can anyone offer any advice how I could accelerate my weight loss and in turn improve my running performance?

19/02/2012 at 15:48

As far as weight loss is concerned there really are no 'right' and 'wrong' foods. Ultimately weight loss will come from an energy deficit. How are you measuring your calorie intake? 

If you are satisfied that you've got your diet under control (in terms of energy intake rather than the nitty gritty of actual foodstuffs) then the other thing to look at is activity.

What sort of mileage are you doing? A lot of people over-estimate the energy expended through running, so it may be that you're not actually expending as many calories as you think you are. Also, with regular training the body becomes more efficient at using energy, so there can be a plateau in weight-loss.

Are you doing any other sort of exercise? What are your runs like? Steady state, interval, tempo, etc.? Mixing things up a bit can kick start weight loss as you make new demands of your body. Include different types of running sessions, or some other sort of exercise - swimming, climbing, cycling, water polo - anything that gets you active

The first thing I advise my patients regarding weight loss is to keep a food diary, or even better - a food and activity diary. Be completely honest and put as much detail in as you can - it's nigh on impossible to keep track of what you're doing otherwise, and to objectively assess things based on memory. Seeing them written down it's much easier to spot opportunities for improvement

Weight-loss in itself can improve running performance (by virtue of being lighter!), but you also need to look at how you're training and what your nutrition is like.

19/02/2012 at 17:48

+1 for everything that Bookie said.

Talking from experience - having a food/activity diary really brought home to me some of my weaknesses. I had to go to a dietician for food allergy tests and they wanted a full spectrum of analysis as to what I was eating/drinking/doing and when. My biggest weakness is snacking in the afternoon - i'm a sucker for carrot sticks and a banana! I didnt realise how much I snacked until I saw it on paper and once I had changed my eating habits (5 small meals against 3 big ones) it made all of the difference to me.

Good luck with your challenge

20/02/2012 at 17:42
Thanks both,

I am keeping tabs on things. I really just wanted to make sure I wasn't making a rookie mistake in eating within my calorie 'allowance' but with foods that may inadvertently cause me to slow down my weight loss or even increase weight.

I have also adopted a new program of 2 x HIIT sessions, 2 x distance and 2 x strength sessions per week with one rest day.

Hopefully I'll see the results I'm hoping for in the coming weeks/months.

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