Opening Weigh In

Well, that wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought…

I weighed in this morning for the first time since the wedding and I was 15st 4lbs. So a “holiday gain” of 12lbs. OK, that’s still a lot, but I had feared i’d come back over 16st, so that’s a real bonus.

Contextualising that for me, is that I am currently around the weight I was for the Paris Marathon last year. Not too shabby!

Now, doing what I do best (Putting together whizzy spreadsheets to make things easier for me to track)

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I can see that in order to reach my target, I need to lose 2lbs per week every week, and need to have a 3lb week too. Its ambitious but acheiveable.

No doubt I’ll lose a lot quickly and then plateau, but I am motivated to succeed and have set myself some interim goals to get some “quick wins” and stay on track.

Time to finally “finish” this weight loss thing!

 

Time for a new plan!

So now I’m a married man, it appears I’ve already let myself go. I have a noticable weight gain since our amazing 3 week honeymoon, and I’m keen to shift it fast. That, and a renewed motivation to get training for the Great Birmingham Run means I need a new plan.

As mentioned in my last post, my ultimate goal is to reach 13st3lbs by the age of 33, which I turn on Nov 10th. I’m not convinced this is feasible yet, as I haven’t had the opportunity to weight myself post-honeymoon as I’ve not been home. But that will be my starting point. I at least want to finally break the 8 stone barrier… 13st 13lbs also has a nice ring to it and be an adequate secondary goal.

I’ve always found running faster and losing weight to be complimentary to each other, goal wise. The lighter you are the less energy you need to run, so can use the energy to go faster. Also, when you are training carrying extra weight it also provides an extra training stimulus… think about running whilst wearing pack with an arbitrary 10lbs, that has to help when its gone right?

To acheive the weight loss along with the running I need to control my calories, and I’m going back to using MyFitnessPal. My username on there is mattywarr if you want to follow me. I’ve always had the best results when I make myself FULLY accountable for whats going in my body.

As part of this, I am also considering my nutrition – specifically post run. Last year I experimented a bit with recovery shakes, and they seemed to do me some good. So after every session (Excluding recovery jogs) I’ll be having a recovery drink of some sort to help build muscle and recover those muscles faster.

And then of course there is my training plan. I’ve learned a lot over the last year and have designed my own training regime for this campaign. I only hope it works! Some of the lessons I’ve picked up and applied for this cycle are:

  • There are my usual prerequisites, like no back to back hard days, no increase in mileage over 10% per week.
  • More recovery runs. P&D taught me that easy mileage should be very easy an I’ll be following the same principles.
  • Rotating my quality sessions. Back when I was following the Bupa Intermediate plan it rotated Tempo work, Intervals and Hill Repeats. I’ve rotated tempo and hill repeats, as i want to do my regular interval session with the running group to build back up my core speed.
  • Strides. I found these to be fantastic for my running form and speed, so am going to use them in this plan too.
  • Race pace in my long runs. This was another key component from P&D, and I’ve adopted a similar approach for this plan, running the last x miles at race pace to get my body used to it, hopefully without burning it out!

August is all about building mileage back up and getting my body used to running at a decent pace again. Shorter tempo runs and running at the slower end of my pace zones. I am going to run the Yeovilton 5k early in the month as a way of gauging my current fitness levels. From this, I may end up further adjusting my pace zones for the remainder of the programme as to avoid injury. I know I’m not in good condition right now and would be silly to overdo it.

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In September I’ll run the Yeovilton 5k and use it as a progress measure. My pace zones will be adjusted and as I will be up to where I want to be volume-wise, I am going to increase the intensity, peaking at the end of the month with a 14 miler with 6 at Half-Marathon pace. I have highlight the Bath Two Tunnels 10k as another race to test my fitness, but may opt for another long run yet or switch to a different race. Maybe even do a hard parkrun the week after instead.

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And in October its just tapering. I’ll run my hardest tempo run before drioopping the volume off and recovering a bit for the race.

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I’ll update on a weekly basis as to how my sessions went. As for the race itself, I am running it as part of a team at work. Though running as a team, I still want to finish first in that team! Bragging rights in the office would be quite nice…

Watch this space, and thanks for reading!

 

Where’ve I been?

Its been a while since my last post. A lot has happened since Hope 24, and there is a reason why I am back posting…

Hope 24 left me pretty damaged. I was mentally and physically exhausted afterwards, and looking back on things I can see this may have been a root cause of some of the things that happened in the following weeks.

The week following Hope, I entered the Royal Berkshire 10k in Reading/Green Park at the very last minute as Jodie and her sister were doing it. A nicely sized event, a flat course and good support. I came close to my PB which I was pretty pleased with. I felt in good shape. I was heading to Iceland again for work and of course was planning on taking my trainers so felt like things were going pretty well.

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Whilst in Iceland I managed a couple of runs in earnest. Just easy paced ones on Monday and Tuesday. I was primarily running to burn calories, as when I’m away with work I find it very difficult to make healthy choices and end up drinking beer on nights I normally wouldn’t. Plus, I was going on my Stag Do on the Friday and would miss a couple of runs due to that.

Unfortunately, disaster struck. On Wednesday I came down with a stinker of a cold, and by Wednesday afternoon it was full blown man-flu. I was shivering, weak and sweating. It was a horrible experience, and i was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy my Stag! “With a very sore throat and massive cough I was able to soldier on through the training course I was on, and flew back very late on Thursday, only getting about 4 hours sleep before the Stag (Which almost certainly didn’t help). Waking up still feeling ill. I manned up and got on with it.

After leaving the casino on the Friday at 4.30am (Saturday), unsurprisingly I was a little unwell for my Stag parkrun at Southampton.

Believe it or not, this was BEFORE the run.
Believe it or not, this was BEFORE the run.

There were very good, made a little announcement about it being my stag etc and a couple of us ran. I felt awful but couldn’t work out if it was illness or hangover. Needless to say, I still looked rough, maybe even rougher, after the run!

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This was followed up with a game of Dodgeball, after which I decided enough was enough and went to the doctors in case I had contracted something that needed antibiotic treatment. It turned out it did not, but I did have some form of nasty virus.

It took nearly 3 weeks before I felt something close to human again, but whenever I tried running it just resulted in failure. I was heavily fatigued whenever I went out and my mojo was completely non existent.

It was made worse by a flareup of Plantar Fasciitis.

Given I was getting married in a week or so, desperate to lose a final bit of weight before the big day, this resulted in impatience, I kept running and kept making things worse. Looking back I can see what a massive mistake that was. I should have just stopped, but in my head I argued that I’d have 2 weeks rest on honeymoon.

Keeping running, like the fool that I am, also meant I was lucky enough to run a parkrun on the morning of my wedding! Martin came all the way from yeovil for the run, which I was really grateful for, and Steve was coming to the wedding. But it was a good social run, and strangely one of my more comfortable ones if I compare it with the previous weeks!

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Then this happened… Best day of my life without question, but this is about my running and fitness so will skate over the details! Needless to say it was an amazing day and everyone had fun.

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And we went on honeymoon for 3 weeks. 2 weeks in Orlando and a week cruising the Caribbean. it was bliss. We even managed to get in our first foreign parkrun at Clermont Waterfront, just 10 miles from our holiday villa! It was a lovely event though referred to everything as a “race”. Fantastic volunteers and friendly faces as ever.

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I even managed to run every day on the Cruise, once on the outdoor running track (Which was mind blowingly hot and humid) and then the remainder on the treadmill.

It was on the cruise that I seemed to find my running mojo. I enjoyed the treadmill runs and found myself itching to get to a “proper” run outside back home. The Plantar Fasciitis seemed to have eased and all the fatigue I was experiencing before the wedding seemed to be gone too. I was able to actually put in a 6 mile run and even a tempo run! Much better than before.

On the treadmill I was able to reflect on what had gone wrong. Clearly, Hope 24 had left me a broken man. I think by not giving myself enough recovery time before racing a 10k left my body pretty vulnerable, and the virus caught me at the right time. My immune system took a battering and it just took a long time to get over it.

During my reflection I also wanted to work out how I could get back into things and progress from where I was before. I still have long term objectives I want to achieve, and have come back with some holiday weight to lose.

I found my most effective results for both training motivation and weight loss has always been through writing my blog. it keeps me honest with myself.

Friday will be the first weigh in, and operation “13st3lbs by 33” kicks in. It’s my 33rd birthday on the 10th November and my weight loss goal is to reach that level by then. All the 3s made it an appealing number!

Running wise, my primary goal is the Great Birmingham Run in October. My currently ambitious goal is to break 90 minutes, but how realistic that is I don;t know. Until I get into the bulk of the training I’m not really sure what condition I’m in.

I’m working on my training plan and will post it later once finalized, and I’ll be back on MyFitnessPal this week too to keep me accountable there too.

My mojo is back. It’s time to shift those pounds and smash those PBs!