Recently on Run The Edge, they asked their followers “what was the best thing you’ve done to improve your running?”. Many answered with “getting fit for the right shoes”, “developing a good nutrition plan”, “sleeping 8 hours each night”, “taking rest days”, etc. My answer? I gained weight. Healthy weight. Through weight training and eating more protein and more intentional calories. Sounds counter-intuitive. As runners, we’ve been trained to think “lighter = faster”. In my case, I just didn’t have enough juice to GET faster without running myself down or injuring myself. I was healthy and eating a healthy amount of food. By no means was I starving myself. After I took the “underwater fat test” back in January, the results showed me where I needed to be as far as nutrition goes (consumption of carbs, protein, calories, etc.). Granted, I’ve only gained 3 pounds since January (although 3 lbs on my small frame does make a difference, especially with my clothes!). But because of the muscle mass, I feel so much better and stronger (literally and figuratively) during my runs and workouts and I feel like I have extra energy for that extra push to do MORE.
Not gonna lie…I still cringe every time I step on the scale and I see the numbers are higher than MY ideal weight. But I keep remembering that it’s only helping me. That’s where my BodyMedia arm band is playing a HUGE role in my understanding of my calorie expenditure. I’ve been wearing it for 1 1/2 weeks and after the first week I noticed a big theme: I was burning WAY more calories than I thought I was. Since I’m smaller than the average woman, I’ve always been told I burn considerably less calories. Because of that, I know I don’t have the luxury of eating as much food daily as everyone else. But, I didn’t realize how much my workouts really ramp up my calorie burn. Of course, I KNEW they did, but I didn’t realize just how much more wiggle room I had in my diet. So, I’m on a mission to eat a little bit more each day. One extra piece of fruit here, a spoonful of peanut butter there…and it’s amazing how much better I feel mentally too. I’m eating to FUEL my body…and it will do the rest to carry me through my workouts and my almighty runs.
Now, the next thing I need to work on (according to my BodyMedia) is to get more sleep…right. Maybe if my BodyMedia could give me an extra hour or two in my day that would have a greater chance of happening. HA!
Sunday was the official kick-off of marathon training with an 8-miler. The weekly runs/cross-training is pretty relaxed. I need this. Instead of obsessing over mileage, my training plan focuses on time. 30-45 minutes of XT or 45-60 minutes of running. I can run as fast or as slow as I want, depending on what my body is telling me that day. Finally, a relaxed training plan! 🙂