A blog of sorts - your help is required !

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum having signed up for two main reasons; to log/track my marathon training progress and to seek as much advice as possible from more experienced runners.

The event I'm preparing for is the Great Stirling Run 28/04/19, 25 weeks away.

Although no stranger to jogging 3-5 miles distance at a pace of around 10 min per mile, my lifestyle has gradually worsened over the years to the point where now I weigh around 18st 5lbs at 6 ft 2, so BMI is 33 (Heaviest was 19st 3lbs about 6 months ago although have managed to lose a bit throughout this summer with some gentle dieting and jogging).
My weight loss has plateaud recently, mainly because I continue to guzzle alcohol most nights and remain a very inconsistent dieter.
In the weeks I can put things together, such as good eating and a few jogs, I lose 2-4 lbs, only for a poor week to follow and so on and so forth.

So the point of signing up to the marathon is to give me something to focus on every day, and committing to something as extreme as a marathon might just be the way to do that.

I want to....

1. Get my race day weight to 14 stone (healthy), so a weight loss of approx. 60 lbs in 25 weeks, or 2.4lbs per week to be precise
2. Run the marathon sub 4hr, so 9.15 min/mil, although venturing into the unknown, this might seem arbitrary
3. Progressively work on reducing my alcohol intake, the antagonist in my story!
4. Stabilise my diet (I've already worked out my BMR, weekly calorie deficit budgets etc)
5 Shake of a calf strain that I picked up last week on my last jog!!
6. Share my progress with you all via this thread


If you stumble across this thread, I'd love to hear any comments or advice you can offer me. I'm think skinned so don't hold back on criticism!


I'll try and post when I've got something interesting to say but from a selfish perspective, I want to use the thread to keep myself honest and accountable along the way.

-----


I've given some thought to my preparation and outline is below



Weeks 1-5 ; Adjustment - Get the basics right, stick to meal plan, reduce alcohol intake significantly, gentle re-introduction to jogging once over calf strain, get to 5 miles at 10 min/mil by end of period

Weeks 6-10 ; Momentum - Negotiate Xmas/New Year by adhering to new lifestyle. Focus on introducing longer easy runs on a Saturday and progress to 8 miles by the end of this period although with no real pressure on pace at this stage

Weeks 11-25 ; Training - Follow a typical sub 4 hr marathon training programme.


Finally, I'd love hear from others who are planning to run this event !
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • got any friends/training buddies to help you along in real life? having a pal to help/train with you/keep you honest can be very powerful 
  • That would have been ideal but unfortunately no. I scrambled the West Highland Way in 2015 over 3 days, averaging 30+ miles a day and this was with a friend. We did weekend long runs together which was a massive help. Solo effort this time I'm afraid.
  • My number one suggestion is get alcohol intake under control.  Without that everything else will be twice as hard, you'll sleep less,eat more crap to soak up the booze and you'll have less energy.
  • Write a plan and put it on the wall. Then stick to it....  don’t stop doing anything yet, just cut back a bit. If you stop drinking you won’t live longer, but it will feel like it!  Good luck and well done for having a target to aim for..
  • With the alcohol maybe start by only drinking every second day and try and get to not drinking midweek. Beginning of 2017 I realized I was drinking more and more everyday so I cut out midweek drinking. It is hard at first but you know you can drink at the weekend so it cant be as hard as stopping all together or doing dry January/ October. 

    I don't want to sound negative but 4 hours may be a push. 4 hours can be a struggle for some experienced runners let alone someone who is new to running and obese with 6 months to train. Rather just focus on training without injuring yourself and finishing comfortably.

    Also maybe look if there is a running club in your area and Parkrun on a Saturday is a good place to find like minded people. 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Hi, just a very quick one about the alcohol intake.

    I have come to believe that moderating alcohol intake is very difficult.  For example, I have done many "Dry Januarys" or similar, and then 1st Feb I have been out and "had a few drinks" as a reward, and then my drinking just goes back to normal.  A problem, in my view, of the "Dry challenges" is that they make the booze the focus.

    If you want to think about quitting entirely, which I know may seem like a massive step, there are some great books out there.  Catherine Gray's "Absolute Joy of being Sober" is a great read, as is Annie Grace's "This Naked Mind".  Also, I personally got a lot from Allen Carr's (not the comedian!) "Easy Way To Control Alcohol" - it really did change my mindset around booze.  There is also a very good Facebook group called "Club Soda" where people, in the main, have come to the conclusion that moderation doesn't work for them and are at various stages on their journey of becoming alcohol free.

    A great/funny quote from Allen Carr's book is where people say:
    "'Frankly, I can take it or leave it. Sometimes I go a whole month without a drink'.
    Ironically, such statements are intended to prove that the person is in control; in reality, they prove the opposite. Why would anyone need to make such a statement in the first place?

    Imagine if I said to you:
    'Frankly, I can take them or leave them. Sometimes I go a month without carrots'.

    Would you think 'Lucky Chap! If only I could do that?'  Or would you think: 'What a weird thing to say, Allen obviously has a bit of a hang-up about carrots'?"

    I am a person who my friends would say "likes a drink", but I've managed to be alcohol free for the whole of this year (309 days and counting).  The first month or two were a challenge, but after that it became easier and now, honestly, I don't miss it at all.  I've been on holidays, on a stag do, to weddings, birthdays etc etc.  The social pressure to drink is massive, but once I got over that it was (more than) half the battle.

    From my running point of view, I feel it has helped me.  This year, I've had PBs at 5K and Marathon, and I just generally feel fresher in the morning, and not dehydrated, which definitely helps the running.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hello and welcome! 

    Giving up/moderating the alcohol is a good start point. Running 18/19 miles is bad enough without a hangover. Also sleep is so much better without alcohol.

    I rarely drink (I used to) and as I go to more and more events people become more used to me not drinking. Also they have a willing driver which means most people just thank me! 

    My BMI used to be 29.9, so I can totally understand where you are coming from. My aim was to lose half a pound a week, more was a bonus. It meant consistent work but with not too much to do each week. 

    Keep going, being fit and healthy is the best thing you can do for you. 
  • > @Mr Worry said:
    > My number one suggestion is get alcohol intake under control.  Without that everything else will be twice as hard, you'll sleep less,eat more crap to soak up the booze and you'll have less energy.

    Agree, this is going to be crucial. My aim this week is have four alcohol free days, which is a rare thing for me of late. Having had no alcohol yesterday, it's amazing how more relaxed and rested I feel, despite a broken sleep.

    Thanks for your comment Mr Worry
  • > @bigballer69 said:
    > With the alcohol maybe start by only drinking every second day and try and get to not drinking midweek. Beginning of 2017 I realized I was drinking more and more everyday so I cut out midweek drinking. It is hard at first but you know you can drink at the weekend so it cant be as hard as stopping all together or doing dry January/ October. 
    >
    > I don't want to sound negative but 4 hours may be a push. 4 hours can be a struggle for some experienced runners let alone someone who is new to running and obese with 6 months to train. Rather just focus on training without injuring yourself and finishing comfortably.
    >
    > Also maybe look if there is a running club in your area and Parkrun on a Saturday is a good place to find like minded people. 

    Hi BigBaller and thanks for your advice.

    Regarding the alcohol, I'm with you in terms of cutting back for now. I want to adjust my lifestyle gradually over the next five weeks so that when my running work really kicks in, it doesn't feel like I'm pushing more than one elephant.

    Regarding the 4 hours? Yip.... I think you may be right. My best run throughout the summer months was 5 miles at 9:51 pace but this was after 4-5 weeks of building up from 3 miles and gently accelerating the pace from 11 mins down. I guess I'm trying to estimate what being 60 lbs lighter + all that mileage in the legs would actually do to my pace? As I said in my intro post, the 4 hr thing is more an arbitrary line as I'm venturing into the unknown. BUT.... I totally get the comment around finishing injury free, and if I accomplish all my other goals whilst completing the marathon in 4hrs 59 mins I'll be delighted
  • > @Big_G said:
    > Hi, just a very quick one about the alcohol intake.
    >
    > I have come to believe that moderating alcohol intake is very difficult.  For example, I have done many "Dry Januarys" or similar, and then 1st Feb I have been out and "had a few drinks" as a reward, and then my drinking just goes back to normal.  A problem, in my view, of the "Dry challenges" is that they make the booze the focus.
    >
    > If you want to think about quitting entirely, which I know may seem like a massive step, there are some great books out there.  Catherine Gray's "Absolute Joy of being Sober" is a great read, as is Annie Grace's "This Naked Mind".  Also, I personally got a lot from Allen Carr's (not the comedian!) "Easy Way To Control Alcohol" - it really did change my mindset around booze.  There is also a very good Facebook group called "Club Soda" where people, in the main, have come to the conclusion that moderation doesn't work for them and are at various stages on their journey of becoming alcohol free.
    >
    > A great/funny quote from Allen Carr's book is where people say:"'Frankly, I can take it or leave it. Sometimes I go a whole month without a drink'.
    >
    > Ironically, such statements are intended to prove that the person is in control; in reality, they prove the opposite. Why would anyone need to make such a statement in the first place?
    >
    > Imagine if I said to you:
    >
    > 'Frankly, I can take them or leave them. Sometimes I go a month without carrots'.
    >
    >
    > Would you think 'Lucky Chap! If only I could do that?'  Or would you think: 'What a weird thing to say, Allen obviously has a bit of a hang-up about carrots'?"
    >
    >
    > I am a person who my friends would say "likes a drink", but I've managed to be alcohol free for the whole of this year (309 days and counting).  The first month or two were a challenge, but after that it became easier and now, honestly, I don't miss it at all.  I've been on holidays, on a stag do, to weddings, birthdays etc etc.  The social pressure to drink is massive, but once I got over that it was (more than) half the battle.
    >
    > From my running point of view, I feel it has helped me.  This year, I've had PBs at 5K and Marathon, and I just generally feel fresher in the morning, and not dehydrated, which definitely helps the running.



    Hi Big G

    Thanks for taking the time to provide me with a thoughtful analysis of the psychology of this particular subject. I particularly like the 'carrots' reference...very powerful!

    I used to be a moderate drinker but a fondness for red wine and single malt led to a 4 or 5 night a week habit, and enough calories to nullify my efforts that I made with running. I guess I don't know if moderation will work for me until I try it.

    Gradually working my intake back to sub 20 units per week over the next 5 weeks is my first goal, and maintaining that over the xmas period. I get your point about fads and hang ups, and wouldn't profess to know any better. I guess I'm just going to have to see what everything feels like at the end of the 5 weeks and re-assess from there.
    Huge congratulations for managing to stay alcohol free for this year so far. What that your intention at the start of the year? If so, hats off to you ! And for the PB's too.
  • > @TT said:
    > Hello and welcome! 
    >
    > Giving up/moderating the alcohol is a good start point. Running 18/19 miles is bad enough without a hangover. Also sleep is so much better without alcohol.
    >
    > I rarely drink (I used to) and as I go to more and more events people become more used to me not drinking. Also they have a willing driver which means most people just thank me! 
    >
    > My BMI used to be 29.9, so I can totally understand where you are coming from. My aim was to lose half a pound a week, more was a bonus. It meant consistent work but with not too much to do each week. 
    >
    > Keep going, being fit and healthy is the best thing you can do for you. 

    Hi TT

    Thanks for this.

    It's the return of good sleep I'm looking most forward too! I can't remember the last time I slept 8-9 hours without interruption.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    GPH, in my case, at the start of this year it originally started as another Dry January-challenge.  But deep down I just knew something wasn't right; I never had a "rock bottom" moment in that I got out of bed each day, did normal things, had friends, got stuff done, paid my bills and had a pretty normal/functioning life really.  But yet, at the same time, I was very much aware that alcohol was a pretty big part of my life as in all my social stuff was based on alcohol, on holidays I looked for bars thinking I was being cultural in some way, all my mates were boozers, I missed the odd training run due to a hangover, and I think in some ways I was using it to self-medicate (this was a big one, and at the time I didn't really realise that).  But, deep down, I just felt that alcohol was taking more than it was giving and I guess I had some proof of this as my moderation attempts in the past had basically failed.  By that I mean that I'd moderate for a few weeks but without even making a conscious decision the intake would creep back up again.  So over the course of January this year, I read a lot of material and decided I needed to do something big and so decided to go a whole year.  Now, I can't see me going back to how I was as alcohol just doesn't add anything to my life.  I can't believe I'm saying that - this time last year, I'd never have said that - but it's the truth.

    Best of luck with your endeavours.
  • Update#1

    Morning all!

    So I'm halfway through my first week and I'm relatively happy. First and foremost, the strain in my lower left calf/Achilles area is still there, although if feels much better than this time last week. There is still a twinge when I lift off the left foot (and no wonder when it's propelling my weight) but this is only really noticeable when I test it out on the stairs. I'm walking unhindered which is positive. Therefore I plan to continue to rest it throughout the rest of this week and have pencilled in a jog/walk on Monday morning down the canal towpath.
    It's frustrating that the calf issue surfaced when it did but like I said before, these first few weeks were more about focussing on making gradual adjustments to my lifestyle than jumping head first into serious running.

    As for the lifestyle, my plan this week was to squeeze out four alcohol free days and stick to establishing a decent calorie deficit each day. My BMR is 2,400 so I'm aiming at 1,500 daily intake with a diet principally consisting of chicken, eggs, tuna, salmon, fruit, plenty of vegetables and wholegrains.

    This week, my breakfasts have been either fresh fruit or scrambled eggs and salmon, a lunch of either tuna on a wholegrain wrap with salad or eggs and salmon, and for dinner I've stir fried a chicken breast with some wholegrain rice and vegetables (and some hot sauce!!!). I'm taking care to ensure I'm eating an egg meal only once a day, and although I'm a big chap, I'm not too keen on eating tuna every day given the high mercury content, so I'm being careful with that.

    I'm also drinking a pint of 'morning flush', that is water mixed with a little apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon and lime juice, and washing down milk thistle supplements. I'm not entirely convinced about the efficacy of apple cider vinegar and milk thistle when it comes to digestive health, but in the absence of any negatives why not? If anything, getting into the habit of drinking a pint of water every morning can't be a bad thing. Normality for me is 2-3 cups of strong black coffee.

    My weigh in this morning was 18 st 2 lb - so that's a loss of 3 lbs so far this week. Now I'm not reading too much into that. There is no way I've burned through 10,000 calories below BMR so that eight isn't all fat. I put this reading down to hydration shifts, not carrying as much 'in the basement', and that initial boost I always get when starting a new regime. I would happily settle for a 3lb loss over the course of this week, so If I step on the scales next Monday and am still 18 st 2 (and about to embark on an even stricter week) I'll take that Jimmy!

    I now enter the 'tricky' part of the week in terms of alcohol. I'm pleased to have strung together three alcohol free days Mon-Wed as it has been months, literally months since I managed that. I now have three consecutive social occasions from this evening through to Saturday. I could easily rack up 70 units across those three days and be neither here nor there. So, although my plan this week was to achieve four alcohol free days, and I'll do that by staying sober on Sunday, I wont be satisfied with that alone. I'm therefore going to try and experiment with my drinking pace over these next three days and be very disciplined with my measures. I'm sticking to spirits and diet pepsi for this experiment.

    Next week, my plan is to squeeze 5 days alcohol free, and I think this will be much easier if I go into that week with momentum.





    The diet aspect is pretty much nailed. I actually love eating healthily. My obesity is down to alcohol and making bad food choices when under the influence; curries, pizzas, crisps, sweets.... the obligatory fry up the morning after.... In many ways I'm not entirely sure how I'm not bigger than I am.

    The marathon is just over 24 weeks away and I've spent time these last few days doing some research. I've studied the marathon course (I know Stirling very well) and I'm relieved to note that it is relatively flat, exclusively on roads/paths that I know well. When I last 'ran' a distance of this type, it was on the West Highland way, 36 miles from Milngavie to Inversnaid, severe undulations, thousands of feet of ascent/descent, and a real mix of terrain. That wasn't all running of course; there was climbing, scrambling, walking.... but I managed this at the weight I presently am, with not near enough training on the lead up. When I look back at that I realise how stupid I was. The next day, with muscles bathed in lactic acid and literally no sleep owing to the pain I was in, I limped to Bridge of Orchy at 60 miles on a 15 min/mil pace and had to abandon the effort on the second evening owing to the agonising pain in my left foot (and the subsequent swelling that popped three toe nails out their beds). I'm therefore determined to do this right, to lose the weight and build the running up gradually so that I give myself every chance of completing the event comfortably.


    I hope you are all well, particularly those who are in training for an upcoming event. I would love to hear how you are all getting on!

    I'll post again next Monday with fingers crossed that I'll have passed that calf test!
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Hi GPH1984, good going so far! I'll read your blog with interest.

    Building up gradually (as well as cutting down drinking gradually, etc.) definitely sounds like the best way to go. Once you've built up your base fitness, and get closer to the date of your marathon, you might consider finding an official plan to follow - I say this as someone currently training for a marathon (just over 3 weeks away now) who has found the structure of a plan to be really useful/motivating and consequently has not missed or cut down on a key run so far. Somehow when not following a plan and devising my own training schedule (as I've done for my previous two marathons), it was easier to make excuses to myself and scrimp on training at times. Of course everyone's different, and I've been lucky not to have injuries or illness getting in the way (so far, touch wood!), but this has definitely been my experience.

    Good luck for the upcoming few days and hope your calf holds out for your run/walk on Monday!


  • > @Gipfel said:
    > Hi GPH1984, good going so far! I'll read your blog with interest.
    >
    > Building up gradually (as well as cutting down drinking gradually, etc.) definitely sounds like the best way to go. Once you've built up your base fitness, and get closer to the date of your marathon, you might consider finding an official plan to follow - I say this as someone currently training for a marathon (just over 3 weeks away now) who has found the structure of a plan to be really useful/motivating and consequently has not missed or cut down on a key run so far. Somehow when not following a plan and devising my own training schedule (as I've done for my previous two marathons), it was easier to make excuses to myself and scrimp on training at times. Of course everyone's different, and I've been lucky not to have injuries or illness getting in the way (so far, touch wood!), but this has definitely been my experience.
    >
    > Good luck for the upcoming few days and hope your calf holds out for your run/walk on Monday!

    Good morning Gipfel and thank you kindly for your comments. It's reassuring that you agree with my approach here, so thanks for that. I definitely intend to follow an official plan from 16 weeks out. I hope that in the weeks preceding this that I shift a good bit of weight and have built up my running to 3/4 times a week and am running 6-8 miles comfortably.

    As for the calf, well I decided to 'trot' across the ASDA car park this morning on my way in for some groceries and although there is still a definite twinge there, it's nothing like it was last week and i'm definitely noticing daily improvements, so fingers crossed for Monday.

    I really hope your marathon goes well in a few weeks time. Please let me know how you get on!
  • Hi GPH, you obviously have the determination and commitment to run a marathon. If weight loss is one of your key goals, then my 2p worth would be to record it every fay and graph it somewhere. If you're feeling flush, Garmin scales will do this automatically and produce this graph in your Garmin Connect app. But simple scales and a spreadsheet would also work. This will give you the satisfaction of seeing that what you're doing is working and worth it. I tend to have a post-Xmas diet to get down to racing weight for spring marathons - your vice is alcohol, mine is a sweet tooth.

    Good to hear that the calf is getting better. You're doing all the right things, just keep at it, it does get easier!

  • Update#2

    Good morning all, hope everyone is well? A bright and breezy morning where I am but definitely an autumnal chill!

    So, from above you'll see that I intended to go for my first post calf issue run yesterday. Something about the way the muscle felt on Sunday made me postpone this effort until this morning. The pain had gone but a faint twinge/tightness, albeit painless, still seemed to linger on the longer and steeper walking strides.

    After dropping my daughter off at school I drove a couple of miles to a local loch that boasts a 1.25 mile loop circuit around the water circumference; smooth tarmac and relatively flat. I had toyed with the idea of running on grass to eliminate some of the impact but I wasn't entirely sure if that would cause issues with losing the benefit of Mr Newton's 3rd law given that the softer, spongier surface would surely absorb that force and therefore my muscle would need to generate more? Anyroads, on the drive there I settled for the former.

    Now I must say that drive wasn't pleasant. All I could think about was the muscle breaking down, and the consequences of a false start in training that I can barely afford given all the work I have to do. I was genuinely nervous as I pulled into the parking space, fixed my phone sleeve and engaged my running app.

    My plan was to do two laps, so a total of 2.5 miles, with a mixture of gentle jogging and walking and stretching. The first half a mile or so was fine; no pain or issue with calf, an gentle trot with a focus on lifting from the knee whilst keeping low impact and short steps. Then about a mile in, I could feel the tightness come back, nothing too bad but it was definitely there. I stopped, stretched again, walked for a minute then eased into a jog but it was evident that the issue wasn't going to go away. I decided to stop there and then, after one lap as opposed to two. There was just enough unease for me to decide on this course of action.

    Disappointed, although at the same time a touch relieved that I didn't press on (like I did two weeks ago) and cause an injury, I set off on the short drive home.

    In the interim hour between that and writing this, the calf feels ok, no pain, just that subtle twinge/tightness. There is definitely something there so I'm convinced this isn't a mental issue, but being unaccustomed to this type of injury (I've self diagnosed this as a grade 1 calf strain/tear) I've no idea if what I'm feeling now is the legacy of the original damage/scar tissue that is causing some muscular inelasticity, or perhaps the muscle hasn't completely healed yet. What I do know is that I've run hundreds of times, from 3 miles to 6/7+ at a weight heavier than I am now. My calf muscles are strong and well defined; they're used to propelling my weight. I guess all I can do is rest it up for today and see what tomorrow brings? If it feels fine I might go out on the same circuit again, even just to walk the loop first time round and attempt to jog/walk the next.

    So, a tad frustrated as I sit here with my coffee, but I'm glad I stopped when I did and haven't aggravated anything.

    Hope everyone is ok and look forward to adding my next update at the weekend.
  • Hi GPH - you may already have done this, but have you seen a physio? You mention above that you've self diagnosed a grade 1 tear, which is obviously at the lower end of the tear range, and you've rested it for a couple of weeks. That should hopefully have resolved the issue and what you're feeling now is just that legacy you mention, that tightness that comes with easing a muscle in that's still in a bit of a recovery mode.

    A trip to a physio may provide you with the confirmation that it isn't anything serious. They may work on the scar tissue and provide some relief in that respect. At best they will confirm that it was a grade 1 and give you the confidence to go out and start your training again.

    At worst it may be slightly more serious, but at least you'll know what you're dealing with.

    Additionally are you warming up before you start your jogging. Avoid stretching cold muscles and do some dynamic warm-ups. This may help. Stretching should come after the run.
  • Hello there Guarddog! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    In answer to your question I didn't seek the advice of a physiotherapist. It's the same with my general health in that I rarely visit the GP for anything unless it's becoming a real concern. My thought process with the calf was to rest it until it felt pain-free then slowly work it back into action. My run this morning (more detail on this in my next update) was a bit more encouraging.

    If I break down again or don't see progress, I'll definitely visit a professional.

    I stretch after a couple of minutes jogging, very lightly as I appreciate the muscle is only just beginning to warm up, then I stretch at the end of my run.

    It's funny, back in primary school my P.E. teacher would also have us stretch 'cold' for 5 mins before we engaged in physical activity. I didn't know any better then I suppose.

    Thanks for your comments!
  • It's amazing what P.E. teachers had us do back 'in the day'. When I think how we used to do things cold, like sprinting, jumping or throwing it is surprising that there weren't more muscle strains. Perhaps, as we were younger, we didn't need to do that. Or, as in my case, there was no muscle to strain.

    Glad yesterday's run was encouraging and fingers crossed you're over the strain.
  • Update #3

    'Early Frustration'

    Total runs so far = 3
    Weight Loss = 18/5-->17/13 = 6 lbs
    BMI - 32 (from 33)


    My 2.4m jog/walk last Thursday (post above) was indeed a bit more encouraging, as when the calf twinge on after a mile or so, I managed it through the remainder. It didn't ease if but it didn't get worse.

    There was no legacy on Friday or Saturday, so I had planned on a similar effort on Sunday. However the calf was noticeably stiff on Sunday and again through to Monday. It only felt looser yesterday so I waited patiently for my run today.

    On a small three mile loop I know well, I ran the first mile continuously, a slow and tentative jog with a first mile time of 10:57. I stopped for some stretching at that point but had already felt the twinge. Miles 2 & 3 were stop start and nearer the 14 min/mil interval pace. By the end of the run, although the calf felt angrier than it had after the 2.4 mil last Thursday, I did note that there was no real deterioration throughout the second half of the run.

    I'm not sure what to make of it all, but I will not push beyond this type of run until there is significant progress. The calf generally feels good in the everyday so I think I'll need to manage these shorter runs over the next few weeks and rehabilitate the calf gently.

    I'm happy with the early progress on easing into a healthier lifestyle. It's nice to see a '17' on the scale instead of an '18', and is much better than the '19' of the dark days of May!

    Diet is still consisting of leaner meats, fish, eggs, good amount of veg, particularly greens. I'm loving the tuna/cheese salads and chicken stir fry's, experimenting with new veg and spice combinations.

    These are nice signs of progress and it's a must that I shift the weight progressively, but do confess to feeling some early frustration at the slow start to the running. I'll listen carefully to the calf over the next day or two, assess and plan my next steps carefully.

    Hope everyone is well!
  • GPH - stick with it, it takes time and it sounds like you're doing well.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Just stumbled across this thread...

    I'll reiterate a couple of points:
    Alcohol - In my younger days, every day was a pub day which descended into an over reliance on gin. That said I rarely, if ever, drank at home which I think is a very slippery slope. I guess that makes me a 'social' drinker. 
    These days I tend to 'self regulate' - I can't do 10 pints any more and still get up and work/run/function normally. Not saying 'yes' to an extra pint when you've barely blown the froth of the last isn't that big a step. 
    A lot of that is age though, most of us grow up eventually. I'll agree that those 'dry' months are insanity. Now it's not unusual for me to go weeks without a drop, but then I'll have weeks when I'm out 3 times. 

    Target - 4 hours will be pushing it. I've coached reasonable athletes (1:45-1:50 half types) and some of those have had to work hard to sneak under 4 hours, don't underestimate the challenge.
    My suggestion would be to treat this as a big learning curve: get your diet under control, your training regular and consistent, build up mileage slowly, introduce some speedwork and add a session of core/stability work. 
    You will learn what works and what doesn't, what you need to improve on , and get to respect the distance. 
    It does sound though that you are approaching this all in the right way. A word of caution: don't become too analytical over the weekly weigh in, as you will get a week that will disappoint - instead look at the overall trend. Also if you can afford it, it may be worth a monthly / six weekly sports massage, just to iron out the knots. A good physio will get to know your body and areas where you are prone to tightness (and how to stretch them out).

    I'll wish you the best of luck, you have certainly started off well enough.

  • Make the increase in load your main principle. Even if you are not worried about muscle pain, excessive fatigue and injuries, this is not a reason to increase the load by leaps and bounds. Safe increment step - 10% per week.
    If you feel an unusual (excessive) accumulation of fatigue, poor sleep, increased thirst, slow recovery between workouts or other common negative symptoms - feel free to make yourself a fasting week or even two. Reduce your weekly mileage by 25-40% and remove all intense workouts. This will not be a loss of training time, but will help you prepare and recover better in the future.
    Before you increase the amount of running create a base in the form of 3-4 weeks of strength training. Moreover, it is necessary that the nature of strength training bears not a general, but a runner-specific character: a large proportion of static and static-dynamic exercises, as well as running uphill, along sand or other difficult conditions. If you practice without a coach, do not take the time to research the Internet for this type of training runner.
    Do not neglect the slow run (on the heart rate in the range from 120 to 150), it creates the so-called aerobic basis, makes it possible to fully develop the heart muscle and the capillaries of the skeletal muscles. No wonder they say that 2/3 training marathon runners are preparation for basic training.
    When you get comfortable with workouts of more than 1.5 hours, work out the power along the distance. This will reduce the likelihood of unexpected surprises during the marathon. Food includes both the use of gels (or bars) and water.
    Try several models of sneakers to identify the most comfortable. They should be right for you, and not reflect the choice of editor of a running magazine review of running shoes. When you stop your choice, do not cover them strongly, leave them “alive” until the main start.
    During the entire period of preparation, do not forget about special running exercises and strength training. This will not only allow you to reduce injuries, but also provide an opportunity to find reserves when it is most in demand and you can discover in yourself how to run correctly.
    If you have a cold, do not be heroic and miss a few days. It is unacceptable to exercise with a high fever or other malaise. Remember that health is paramount. In addition, even a 5-10 day pass for several months will not greatly disturb your preparation. But training in a diseased state can do this easily.
    The most important workouts of the marathon runner were and remain long runs for 2 hours or more. It is on them that you train the body's ability to utilize fats as a source of energy for muscle work. In addition, psychologically you are preparing for a long monotonous work.
    In the last 2 weeks before the main start, reduce the load to 50% of your normal and allow the body to gain freshness. You will not be able to radically improve your fitness. But the desire to do more and faster in recent days can easily ruin your chances for a successful performance. During this period, it is also important to sleep enough and not to be overloaded at work. Remember that your body must "ring" before going to the starting line.
    What I do personally. I also advise every week to describe in a blog for example how you are very cool. You can even use the site for this if there is no time. Good luck in the race
  • Hi GPH1984. Your story is very similar to mine. I am 15.5 stone 5Ft 10 and i have signed up for the Dublin Marathon in October 19. I have done a few half marathons but that was close to 5 years ago now so i am basically starting from scratch.

    I have downloaded the coach to 10K app and i am currently on week 2 and progressing well, actually really enjoying it. It might be useful to you to follow something like this as it is supposed to reduce injury and build you up slowly.

    My plan is to enter a 10K in march, 1/2 marathon in June then be ready for Dublin in October.

    I find dropping weight very hard, particularly at this time of year. I am going to focus more on the running and getting the milage up. Hopefully the weight will look after itself if i am someway sensible as to what i am eating.

    Best of luck and I will be reading your blog with interest.

    Derek




  • 20 weeks to go!
    Weight - 17 stone 8lbs (11 lbs lost), BMI 31.6
    Monday - RestTuesday - 2 mile run (10:17 av min/mil)Wednesday - RestThursday - 20 mins treadmill (light)Friday - RestSaturday - Enforced rest (Storm Deirdrie)Sunday - 3 mile easy run (11:18 av min/mil, slowed by slush/ice)
    Hello everyone and thanks to those who have kindly left some really useful tipe and comments since my last update.
    After a hectic couple of weeks starting a new job and travelling back and forth between home and Manchester, unsociable travelling hours and various hotels, this week was a bit more settled and it needed to be. The marathon is 19 weeks today, and so this week was week one of my 20 week training plan. As you can see, it was a light week, with some weather disruption yesterday. I was planning on doing 3 miles yesterday and a couple of easy miles today but I'll settle for 3 workouts and some momentum coming into week two. I'm travelling again on Tuesday/Wednesday so my aim this week is to rest Monday, 3 miles on treadmill on Tuesday (hotel gym), rest Wednesday, 3 miles on Thursday, rest Friday, 4 miles Saturday (long run) and a couple of easy miles on the Sunday.
    The weight loss is coming along nicely considering the time of the year. Moderation is beginning to creep in slowly both with the alcohol and the eating. My diet has generally improved and given my lack of running up until this week, the calorie deficit has been the main driver behind the 11 lbs lost. I'm hoping that at the weekly mileage increases I can start burning my way through the rest of the 'obese' BMI range and move into 'overweight' by mid January.
    Dustin - thanks for your comments. Yes, sub 4 hr is pipe dream stuff just now. If someone offered me a healthy training block, an enjoyable marathon experience and a sub 5 hour time just now, i'd probably take it. Something still gnaws away at me irrationally, that I should be at least aiming to maintain a 6mph pace. I guess I'll find out over the next few weeks and months where I'll be comfortable.
    Timothy - I'm dreading the inevitable cold! I'm normally quite resilient with a cold and tend to get on with things, but my worry is, given I've no margin for error timewise, that I wind up having to write off a week because if illness. Fingers crossed!
    Derek - a kindred spirit! Why don't you set up your own thread on here to keep us up to date, or hi-jack this one for a similar purpose? I'm sure we can help each other and it might be interesting for other readers to see how we are both getting on in the same place?
    Have a great week everyone and I look forward to updating you all on my progress next week.
    ONE DOWN, NINETEEN TO GO.....
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭
    GPH - That's really good steady progress and that's what will achieve your goals.   Sounds like you're enjoying the journey too.
  • 23082308 ✭✭✭

    If you lose weight mainly through extreme exercise, without adjusting your eating habits sufficiently (or even feeling you need to), you will regain the weight quite quickly once you slacken off the exercise.


    This is particularly the case if you've been extremely overweight for some years. When the body runs out of fat cells to store fat in, it makes more fat cells. Those fat cells don't go when you lose weight, they merely reduce in size. They're still sitting there, waiting to lap up any passing material to restock themselves.


    By all means aim to lose the weight the way you are going about it, it's a good thing to be doing. But you also need to formulate, at this stage, a strategy for how you plan to keep it off once you've lost it. The danger is, in five months time you will see the project to lose the weight as finished ("job done!"), you will then relax whatever discipline you had over restricting your eating, you will also relax the running (because it was for a specific event) and the pounds will pile back on. Initially you may be complacent about that, so the process will continue: you will go back to "calories in exceeding calories out". By Christmas 2019 you will be back to the weight you started at, wondering How did that happen?


    Have a think now (not in 5 months' time) about what you plan to do once you've lost the weight, in order to keep it off rather than regain. Unless you plan for that, it will happen.



  • Hello all, hope everyone had a great Xmas and is looking forward to the new year.

    A brief update here. I’ve been concentrating on 4 mile runs the last week - running slowly, smoothly and continuously every 2-3 days. My times have improved from 10:57 min-mil to 10:32.

    Saturday Jan 5th will be my long run of 5 miles.

    Before that, I plan to run on two consecutive days for the first time tomorrow (4 Miles) and New Years Day (3 Miles ‘fast’), have a break on the 2nd then go for a another 4 Miles on Thursday - take Friday off to rest for the 5 miler on Saturday then a gentle 3 Miles on Sunday to conclude week 4.

    I have enjoyed my Xmas this past week and have overindulged on food and drink and so my weight has remained the same since last update. Today was back to 1500 calories and back to the diet that has worked so well so far.

    The legs feel good today - no legacy or tiredness after yesterday’s 4 Miles so I’m definitely thinking that stepping up to 4-5 runs a week is manageable.

    Hope everyone is ok and look forward to updating you all on how the 5 miler goes next weekend !
  • Hi

    I have signed up to the couch to 5k using the app. Today was run 3 and it was awful, laces kept coming undone, headphones kept falling out, calves were screaming! I have 0 experience of running and no fitness level. Today has really put me off but I must stick to it. Can anyone give advice on how to keep myself motivated?

    Thanks in advance
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.