Marginal gains



  • Since turning 40 I have decided I need a kick up the arse about doing more about fitness. So I am going to try recording it on here for accountability. My big problem is being skinny fat. Running alone hasn't fixed that. I think I need a different approach. But first I need to lose more weight. I also have a few small injuries I need to work through.

    Body status :
    Height :178cm
    Weight :82.3 Kg
    BodyFat :23.2%

    Problem areas
    Visceral Fat is too high.
    Right knee is recovering from a knee cap dislocation
    Right shoulder and arm needs to be balanced with left. Currently a lot weaker due to erbs palsy. Becoming more noticeable as I age.

    Goals:
    Weight: 74.5 Kg
    BodyFat: ~18%

    Current Exercise:
    Vets Rugby training or game 1 x a week
    Running 7k, 6K + interval work, Long run on the weekend between 12 to 15km
    Walk minimum of 10000 Steps per day.

    Plan:
    Running
    So the first part of the plan is to try and free up a bit more time. To do this I am going to quit the running club at the end of the season, and train by myself. It has been fun in the group. But the interval work has actually caused me a few injuries and I can maximise time better if I run after work and early in the mornings.
    Running plan is to increase the weekly distance to 2 short runs and 2 long runs. Doing one long run after work and one early on Sunday morning. I want to get my average weekly distance back to around 50km.

    Eating
    For eating, I am going at 1500 Calories per day eating low to no carb and intermittent fasting 16:8. With nothing but water after 8pm. Should drop at least .5Kg per week like this.

    Strength
    In the summer I will join the local gym. I want to make a plan to work on fixing my arm imbalance. As well as building up core strength.

    Mental
    Try and get as much done as I can in what I call dead time. So that I can spend the same amount of time messing around with the kids and wife as I do now. Spending time with them is just good for my general well being.

    Exercise Goals
    Running
    Its time to accept the days of setting PBs are probably behind me. I need to find enjoyment in other aspects of my running now. So I am planning on picking 5 events of differing distance to run. With the aim of finishing them and enjoying them. Thinking 2 Trail Races, 2 half Marathons, and something longer.

    Gym
    For the gym the plan is to add strength and balance. I don't need a beach body.

    Stretch Goal
    My stretch goal is to try and find a swimming coach that can work around the limited range of movement in my arm. So that I can build some swimming endurance. I own a pool and it sucks that I can barely swim freestyle.

    I will update this thread with my progress and any changes to my plan. I have already started with the eating. The next step is to see out the running club season, and pick my events for the next 12 months.



  • @mooshld said in Marginal gains:

    Mental
    Try and get as much done as I can in what I call dead time. So that I can spend the same amount of time messing around with the kids and wife as I do now. Spending time with them is just good for my general well being.

    Absolutely. Good mental health days = good run.

    Although sometimes a downright shitty day at work can be undone by a fast run.



  • I think the "skinny fat" issue is easily addressed by the lack of resistance work in the current regime.

    Quite a few of the blokes I meet for beers at the moment are runners who do little to no resistance work and it does show in the bodies that are not chubby but definitely a bit soft. Don't get me wrong, they're extremely fit in terms of running massive distances but they wouldn't be the first blokes you'd call when a heavy fridge needs moving.

    Take this is a grain of salt from someone who hates long distance running ( but will still bust out a hill walk and sprint at least a couple of days a week ) resistance work is a massive part of the all round package.



  • @MN5 said in Marginal gains:

    I think the "skinny fat" issue is easily addressed by the lack of resistance work in the current regime.

    Quite a few of the blokes I meet for beers at the moment are runners who do little to no resistance work and it does show in the bodies that are not chubby but definitely a bit soft. Don't get me wrong, they're extremely fit in terms of running massive distances but they wouldn't be the first blokes you'd call when a heavy fridge needs moving.

    Take this is a grain of salt from someone who hates long distance running ( but will still bust out a hill walk and sprint at least a couple of days a week ) resistance work is a massive part of the all round package.

    I'm definitely in that camp. A decent amount of road work not enough weights. The holy trinity for keeping reasonably trim is diet first and foremost, cardio and weights in reasonably equal measure. I'm still working on that....



  • @canefan said in Marginal gains:

    @MN5 said in Marginal gains:

    I think the "skinny fat" issue is easily addressed by the lack of resistance work in the current regime.

    Quite a few of the blokes I meet for beers at the moment are runners who do little to no resistance work and it does show in the bodies that are not chubby but definitely a bit soft. Don't get me wrong, they're extremely fit in terms of running massive distances but they wouldn't be the first blokes you'd call when a heavy fridge needs moving.

    Take this is a grain of salt from someone who hates long distance running ( but will still bust out a hill walk and sprint at least a couple of days a week ) resistance work is a massive part of the all round package.

    I'm definitely in that camp. A decent amount of road work not enough weights. The holy trinity for keeping reasonably trim is diet first and foremost, cardio and weights in reasonably equal measure. I'm still working on that....

    I'm in the "love weights, hate cardio, cope with ok diet" camp.....



  • Fixed 🙂

    "love weights, hate cardio and dieting"

    But in saying that I'm working hard on portion control first and foremost.

    Depending on what sort of resistance training floats your boat you don't need a gym membership imo. Lots of stuff you can do with bands and a small selection of Kettlebells or dumbbells. But you can certainly up the ante by going to a gym - especially if you want to have a lot of options for specific areas.

    I'd strongly suggest getting a programme from a decent PT - even if you are an ex-gym junkie it's a really good way to focus your effort and know that if you do the mahi you'll get the outcome/s you are after.



  • @Paekakboyz portion control = my kryptonite



  • @canefan especially when you face up to what an actual serving is meant to look like.



  • According to Lydiard, Murray Halberg couldn’t even lift a 20 pound weight above his head.

    If you want to be good at running, go running. If you want to be strong then lift weights. Burn enough calories doing either and you won’t get fat.

    Doing weights (squats, Olympic lifts etc at the Franks gym) totally ruined my running form and speed and resulted in 4 years of back/hamstring and calf issues. In my experience weights are counter productive to long distance running.

    Now I run and swim most days to stay in shape and stay completely clear of any weight training.



  • @Paekakboyz said in Marginal gains:

    @canefan especially when you face up to what an actual serving is meant to look like.

    The main looks like my entree. I don't like feeling perpetually hungry....



  • @SammyC I think light weights can definitely help remove a bit of unwanted fat that running can't do. Having said that my GP says it's predominantly diet



  • @SammyC to be fair Olympic lifting and the like is super demanding on your body. Not surprised it caused a few issues. Especially if you were a fair amount of that sort of training plus a lot of running at the same time.

    imo it's similar to rugby/other sports where your main focus in-season is maintaining condition, you've done the hard strength and cardio work earlier. Trying to do all of that at the same time is a recipe for injury and burnout.

    Balance is key, as is having a plan about your priorities.

    One good thing (weight aside) from weights is a higher mass of muscle does help burn energy. You'll need to eat to maintain, but it can help shed weight faster if you go into a deficit diet.


  • Banned

    @MN5 said in Marginal gains:

    I think the "skinny fat" issue is easily addressed by the lack of resistance work in the current regime.

    Quite a few of the blokes I meet for beers at the moment are runners who do little to no resistance work and it does show in the bodies that are not chubby but definitely a bit soft. Don't get me wrong, they're extremely fit in terms of running massive distances but they wouldn't be the first blokes you'd call when a heavy fridge needs moving.

    Take this is a grain of salt from someone who hates long distance running ( but will still bust out a hill walk and sprint at least a couple of days a week ) resistance work is a massive part of the all round package.

    I think a mixture is the best. Plenty of jacked guys who lift mega tin with guts, while there are super fit cardio freaks with no upper body or definition. A mate of mine runs every day and when he jumped in my pool the other day he had a bit of a dad bod. But then again it shouldn't just be about aesthetics, it should be about mental health and well being. Do what makes you happy and keeps you healthy. For me at the moment swimming ticks all those boxes because you get both cardio and resistance training without the heavy impact.



  • @SammyC said in Marginal gains:

    According to Lydiard, Murray Halberg couldn’t even lift a 20 pound weight above his head.

    If you want to be good at running, go running. If you want to be strong then lift weights. Burn enough calories doing either and you won’t get fat.

    Doing weights (squats, Olympic lifts etc at the Franks gym) totally ruined my running form and speed and resulted in 4 years of back/hamstring and calf issues. In my experience weights are counter productive to long distance running.

    Now I run and swim most days to stay in shape and stay completely clear of any weight training.

    Ah, I knew there was a reason I hadn't been on a run in about 6 years.



  • A lot of good advice in here!

    Firstly yes getting a PT to tailor me something will be key. If anyone can recommend someone online that would be great.The plan is to do a few bits at home to get ready and get the gym membership in the summer once I have finished with the running club. Time is in short supply at the moment. So I need to free that up first.

    The idea of doing it at home is great in theory but I live in an apartment so space is an issue.

    I am not looking for the gym work to improve my running. Its more to get a bit of balance. Try and get the body fat % down, by replacing fat with muscle, and try and get my bad arm back up to where it should be. I am not looking to flex by the pool or start throwing around atlas stones. My goals are more long term health related.

    @SammyC Any suggestions on where to start looking for swimming help? In the past I have had chats with instructors but they were not keen to try and adapt to my range of movement. To be clear its not that bad. But brushing the ear with the shoulder is not possible.

    Anyway up at 6am today for 8km in 39:58. Normally do this run after dropping the littlest at creche. But had to go before today, due to some scheduling issues.

    Will post weigh ins on Mondays but am using my normal technique of weighing every day and calculating a rolling average.

    I have found an interesting race 28km through the Pyrenees with 1100m of ascent. The distance is fine the climbing scares me as there are no hills to train on round where I live. Maybe I just need to sack up?



  • Running Club last night

    30 minute warm up 6kms

    Fartlek 1 - 2 - 6 - 4 - 2 - 1 with half the time of the work interval for rest. So 16 minutes of work with 7:30 of rest. Managed a shade under 6km

    Legs feeling it today knee really tight so lots of stretching tonight, before rugby with the old boys tomorrow. Just a training no match this week.



  • @mooshld said in Marginal gains:

    Running Club last night

    30 minute warm up 6kms

    Fartlek 1 - 2 - 6 - 4 - 2 - 1 with half the time of the work interval for rest. So 16 minutes of work with 7:30 of rest. Managed a shade under 6km

    What speeds were you running at and then resting at? I.e, were you balls out so shattered at the end, and then literally standing around? Or more fast run, slow run?

    I quite like the look of this one. Although maybe not so much after a 6km "warm up" 🙂



  • @MajorRage

    So we do a fartlek at close to balls out 100% but of course it's what you can maintain for that time amount. So the 1 minutes you are obviously faster then the 6 minute.

    At the moment for me that is somewhere in the 4 minute per km pace, Its frustrating as I would have been high 3's but I am still coming back from injury.

    Then the rest period is still running but recovery running so for me its between 5 and 6 minute km pace. Then once its all done we jog back to our cars. So another couple of km to cool down.

    At the end of the fartlek session I was shattered we had about a minute to catch our breath before we jogged back.



  • @mooshld said in Marginal gains:

    @MajorRage

    So we do a fartlek at close to balls out 100% but of course it's what you can maintain for that time amount. So the 1 minutes you are obviously faster then the 6 minute.

    At the moment for me that is somewhere in the 4 minute per km pace, Its frustrating as I would have been high 3's but I am still coming back from injury.

    Then the rest period is still running but recovery running so for me its between 5 and 6 minute km pace. Then once its all done we jog back to our cars. So another couple of km to cool down.

    At the end of the fartlek session I was shattered we had about a minute to catch our breath before we jogged back.

    Thanks ... going to give this a go for my next 30 mins. Maybe tonight, but we've just had a bonza announcement so that may end up at the pub.

    I suspect for the 1 mins I'll be able to get close to 4 mins pace, perhaps a bit slower. Definitely will be aiming sub 5 for the 6 mins. Recover periods likely to be closer to 6-6:30 likely made up of gentle jog and little bit of walking.



  • Rugby on Saturday was a good 90 minute contact session.

    Running club on Sunday 30 minutes warmup then 10 X 30s intervals 2 reps. Followed by jog back to carpark.


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