Running is often praised as such a simple sport, all you need is a pair of shoes and you’re off, anywhere, anytime.
Even if you aren’t a gear nerd or active wear aficionado, there is more to consider when taking up running than just the running part.
For years, I focused on just the running slice of the pizza, the art and science of putting one foot in front of the other. I subscribed to the theory that to get good at running that’s what you needed to do, run.
I dabbled in “weights” but would get so sore that I thought it would negatively effect my running gains so I would half arse it and lift weights I now know were so light that they weren’t doing much at all.
I ignored people who talked about various forms of body work, cross training or strength training and then my hip cracked, in two places (see various online whines about being injured).
As part of my rehab I went back into the gym but that didn’t last. As soon as the green light was given to start running again, my gym membership was effectively cancelled (although like all good gym membership holders I made sure I continued to pay and not go for a few months before I actually cancelled it).
After a few heart stopping Dexa scans, some genetic testing and diet experimentation, I knew I had to head back into the gym. Since I have “got serious” about running, I’ve gained 3-4kg most of which was pure fat (not exaggerating Dexa scans don’t lie!)
But it wasn’t as simple for me as rejoining my local. I knew I needed help and I wanted a strength coach or personal trainer who could help me with my specific needs. But I was scared and nervous. I’d never had a personal trainer or done group classes at the gym or anything like that. I was just to intimidated or embarrassed I guess.
I didn’t want just another trainer who was going to tell me that I couldn’t run as often as I do or do any cardio or be plant based.
I know it sounds crazy but I approached three different trainers who all told me I could need to quit running if I wanted to change my body composition and that I need to increase my protein intake to insane levels.
It didn’t seem to matter how much I told them I didn’t want to be a figure athlete, it just didn’t sink in. I want to loose fat and gain muscle and strength, but I want to continue running. I want to loose fat and gain muscle for my health as well as my vanity.
Then I found Megan, a PT who also runs.
I was sceptical, but willing to give it a try. I’d never done anything like this before and it scared the crap out of me, but I had to try.
For the past 4 months, in addition to my regular 45-55km per week running, I’ve added a personal training session once a week and a 30min HIIT cycle class. I also try to do a mini weight session, 20-30 minutes before cycle class most weeks.
It only took a few weeks for me to notice the difference, especially in my waist and my arms.
The weird machine at the shopping centre showed a massive difference.
But that isn’t a scientific measurement.
What is though is a 1kg drop in body fat on a DEXA scan including a 20% drop in that nasty between your organs visceral fat. You can’t tell from the picture though.
Another legit measurement is a 7 min half marathon PB! Yep I smashed my 1:52 from Gold Coast with a 1:49 at Run Melbourne.
I’m stoked that I’m starting to see some changes. Can’t wait to see what I can achieve when I actually pay attention to what I put in my mouth. I’ve booked in an appointment with a dietitian and can’t wait to see how she can help further improve my times, strength and body composition.
Turns out the internet is an amazing thing and I’m sure I could just DIY but I need the external commitment.
Telling “the internet” I’m going to do something hasn’t worked, mostly because the internet doesn’t care, the internet isn’t a real person. Maybe one day it will be and people will read my blogs and posts but right now it’s really just me talking to me and I’m no different to everyone else. I can keep a promise to someone else but I suck at keeping promises to myself. I get distracted by other things I think are more important at the time.
So I’m having a go at another 16 weeks, 4 months of focusing on dropping another kg of that horrid fat between my organs and around my arse!
This is not remotely extreme and completely achievable. People on those body building programs and strict 12 week challenges loose like 5kg of fat in that time.
So the next Dexa is the 29th of November! Let’s do this!