Thursday, 18 March 2010

Weight and Slipping Household Standards

I've got two things to rattle on about today. One I hate to mention because its such an old chestnut, but its weight. I've noticed a long time since that although there are thinner girls who are slower than me at club, all the faster girls are thinner than me. Its undeniable; leanness makes going faster easier. Often when running on a slight downward slope and suddenly 7 min/miles are easy I wonder if this is how it would be if I was lighter. Yet I've adjusted what I eat really as much as I'm willing to - we are SUPER healthy to the extent that the workers in Scotmid make comments about it and it is embarrassing.

I'm not willing to starve myself and don't think its a good idea anyway but always in the back of my mind I guess there's some hope that I'll find something that will unlock the key to me losing a few more pounds without eating toilet roll or making myself vomit. Thus, when I found myself in Waterstones looking at the books in the sports section I found myself drawn towards "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald. A whole book about weight loss. How is it possible to read that? I'm doing quite well, I'm forcing myself and I'm on page 98. The wisdom I have to share for today is that he reckons that your body naturally adjusts to the demands you put on it - over and above the straightforward arithmetic of how many calories you burn - so for runners he thinks you should keep up your training volume as much as possible without getting ill or injured but backing off in intensity at times in order to recover. By doing this he says your body just does what's most economical and cuts down on the amount of fat you carry so you can run as efficiently as possible. Well who knows. It was enough to tip the balance and get me to go out for the last 8 miles I needed to get my 50 miles in for the week with enough time left over to rest up for Alloa. And mighty tired I was too as I was at club last night and nearly done meself in. (It was a good session though. There is a sudden rise in the numbers of female runners who are about my standard, which is a new experience for me. I am used to running in no man's (woman's) land.

There is much more to the Matt Fitzgerald book than this. It is well written, readable, doesn't come across as faddy and sounds like he knows what he's talking about. His slant is that you need to focus on your weight and your body composition - get a handle on what your ideal racing weight and body composition should be and then work towards it. Maybe I'm liking it because by his method of reckoning I need to lose 5lbs (of fat!) rather than the 20lbs suggested in other books. (Bob Glover). Although I may have done my sums wrong. It cheered me up so much and made it suddenly seem possible that I'm best believing it.

The 2nd thing I would like to write about today is a cautionary tale about how your house might end up if it contains two runners. I think the photo above speaks for itself. Peter will be annoyed at me for putting this up for public viewing but I'm more of the "accept who you are and be honest about it" bent. In a year's time, will we have a new tap? Or will we have adjusted to them grippy things. Maybe we should just put an "H" on them and be done.

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