It is three weeks into the New Year. How has it been for you? I have been working feverishly to lose some weight and get back into race shape in preparation for my first half marathon of 2016, the Davis Stampede.
I was at my ideal race weight of 168 lbs. in March of 2015, but over time I gained about 27 lbs and I never really understood the true impact that it had on my running until I started to lose the weight. In my months leading up to my first marathon in December, I was having Achilles tendonitis issues, cramping in my calves and in the front of my lower legs (a few inches below the knees). This would happen several times a week and it made training for my marathon unbearable at times. Since I started to lose the weight, I have seen some changes.
I have not had any leg cramping, there has been no Achilles tendonitis, and my legs have felt great since January 1st. That was the day I started the Paleo Diet and cut out my diet soda. There have been two days of having pizza and a diet soda (one was my son’s birthday party), but other than that I have been fairly strict with my diet. I PR’d my 10k distance and my overall pace is about 30-45 seconds faster than a month ago. To date, I have lost 12.8 pounds and feel great.
The Paleo Diet that is great for runners because you still get all of your carbs. They just come from fruits and vegetables instead of grains and processed foods. I do have to admit that some of my longer runs tend to push my limits of how much fuel my muscles have stored up, but not too bad for not having any of my normal pre-workout foods. The cleaner food are processed by my body more easily, which has aided in my weight loss.
I have noticed that not only do I have more energy, but during my runs, I am faster and can sustain that faster pace longer than before. I know that most of that is due to the weight loss, but I have been doing my normal training plan (Hal Higdon Advanced Half Marathon Plan), some strength training, and stretching each day. The strength training has been huge in tightening my core, which helps me to keep my form while running. The stretching allows for me to recover better and remain injury free.
I am hoping to be down to my race weight by my half marathon, which is one month from today. I don’t know if that is possible, but I will continue on my path and keep pushing hard. I am only getting stronger and I am totally amazed at how fast the weight can come off if I just stick with my diet and exercise plan. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I will get back to you. I hope you are having a great 2016 so far.