Running on empty

My Massive Learning Curve About Endurance Sports And Eating

Alcohol Versus Weight 

It’s been two months since I reached my year of sobriety. The challenge of giving up alcohol has past me by. See I knew from start that I could never go back to alcohol, so I’d filed that early on and got on with life. Alcohol wasn’t just turning me into someone dependent on the substance. It was also giving me weight issue’s see if your putting over 3000 kcal of alcohol into your body every night. Going to gym once or twice a week if you can be bothered your never going to lose weight. Plus if and when you do go to the gym, you lift a few weights and not do any cardio it won’t shift. As a good friend of mine once explained. ” you have to burn 2500 kcal of what you drunk last night, before you even start burning the real fat.”  We all know how hard it is to eat and lose weight. See I was drinking lots and when I did eat it would mostly be fatty, quick takeaway food.

My plan therfore when I quit drinking was to dress this, with the help of the bodycoach. I started cooking healthy food following a plan and slowly started to see my weight going down. I mean it was slowly too, many emails to admin asking why I wasn’t seeing changes that the plan said I’d see. This frustrated me so much that when I learnt about macro tracking I followed this approach. Trying all the different approaches to drop the beer belly. I yo-yo’d between low calorie months, high calorie months, cutting out carbs. Anything that I saw online to help.

New Year New Challenge

My challenge since Christmas 2016 has been to see how far I can push my body. Since Christmas day I’d started running again, with my aim this year to run Leeds half marathon. So I applied for many running races including the half marathon. I completed three 10km races and the half marathon all in first half of 2017. All this whilst on all my many different food plans or should I say diets. I was still losing weight and was starting to get a physique I liked but still I had that buddah belly as I call it. The scales were saying I was losing weight but I could’nt see it. 

After my decision to join the triathlon club I made it my mission to get leaner. I invested in a book by ‘Matt Fitzgerald’ called “The Racing Weight” to read whilst on holiday. I did this and read it from cover to cover, its all about how an endurance athletes fuel their bodies. Explaining that carbs are needed for fuel and are not the enemy. All my meal plans lately have been focused around no carbs to try lean up.  So on returning home I made a plan to start caring up right using the principles of the book. All this was working well for me.

Running On Empty

So as my training with triathlon club was getting more intense, I was hitting more sessions. Be it from swimming training, runs, or long bike rides I was loving it. Still though I was fighting with this image of what I should look like in my head. I wasn’t getting anywhere near it. In fact it was frustrating me even more, so I decided to increase the training. I entered a cycle race with club to push myself, added in some longer runs on a Saturday before I picked up my daughter. I was loving how much I could push myself. Then I decided to lower the carbs get quicker results right ??.

One Saturday morning I rose early after Friday night swim and weights. Headed out for a long run. I’d done 10 miles previous week so decided to go further. 11.5 miles to be exact all on an empty stomach I felt great after, thought I could do another half marathon this year at this rate. Sunday I woke and bang it hit me, I had no energy could’nt get off the sofa all day. I’m writing this 11 days on from that run, I’ve not done an ounce of training in the days. I really don’t think I’ll attempt anything till following week now, It’s made me feel so hollow and down. So I posted on the triathlon club Facebook group for advice, the overwhelming response was over training and the fasted run. 

What’s Next Plan Then

Well it sure won’t be a low carb fad diet to lose the belly. Whilst looking on internet for inspiration and to kickstart my food journal I came across something. My new mantra ‘ Athletes eat and train. They don’t diet and exercise. ‘ See although I’m not going to be a world class ironman or breaking records in marathons or 10K races. I still am an athlete and as an athlete I need to fuel myself as that. This means I’m going to have to get the ‘racing weight’ book out again. Read it and make notes. So I’ve bought a note book and plan on making meals that will fuel me. 

It’s going to be hard for me to get my head round the fact that I can eat lots of good food and not get fat. I have to trust in what I read about carbs been fuel and that if I time them right I will burn them and fat. Not burn myself out like I have this past week or two. Plus next year I want to challenge my body further, I like seeing what I can do after years of doing nothing. I really want to compete in more club events and master swimming. I’m not going to do it sat on sofa feeling sorry for myself. It’s time to start eating like an athlete and training like a triathlete.

 New mantra

 ‘athletes eat and train. Not diet and exercise’

So basically don’t do has I have done this past few months and try do endurance sports with minimal or no carbs. Plus if you read this, will you message me and tell me that I won’t get fat by eating carbs. I’m only fuelling my training sessions. As i’m still struggling to get this into my head as I write this. Time to sit down with my new note book tomorrow and plan out some foods and timings. Get myself familiar with the racing weight book and make a plan.

Then get my arse off the sofa and start training and enjoying the buzz I get from my new tribe. After all next year I want to attempt pushing my body to where its never been before. The challenge gives me drive, the drive keeps my focus off the poison. 

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