Sunday, December 14, 2014

A busy week!



This week was mostly a good one, but really busy. I logged my food about 1 out of every 2 days. I had my birthday and did a lot more eating out at restaurants than usual. It was the last week of classes and we had graduation this weekend, plus I had required edits on an accepted conference proposal.  This week, I need to get my grades turned in and work on 2 syllabi.

I squeezed in a Weight Watchers meeting so I could hear about all these "big changes," and... yawn. Not that big. I do like the emphasis on the Power Foods and the new realistic tone, but most of the changes seem to be a change of style and emphasis rather than a big change of program. The biggest change is that you can pay extra for one-on-one virtual coaching.  If I'm paying for coaching, it's going to be triathlon coaching.

I was supposed to train 7 hours and 30 minutes this week but only got in 5 hours and 40 minutes. "Only" seems like a weird word in that sentence, but I have a big race to train for.  I have next week's training plotted out and I think I'll actually get more than the 7 hours and 30 minutes planned, because I'll add in some strength work.

I read the first chapter of Racing Weight in a spare moment and found it a bit of a revelation. The author, Matt Fitzgerald, describes just how much impact excess weight has on racing performance:
Excess body fat is the enemy of performance in every endurance sport. For example, a runner weighing 160 pounds has to muster about 6.5 percent more energy to run the same pace as a runner weighing 150 pounds. 
He goes on to describe running on a treadmill that simulates a lighter body. He felt much fitter at 90 percent of his body weight and found it made him feel fitter and made running feel "like normal running, only so much better."

If a relatively thin and fit athlete like him feels that, I can't imagine what would happen if I could suddenly be at my Weight Watchers goal weight, which is about 85% of my current weight.  I found the idea motivating.  But then I tried his racing weight estimator, which suggests that at 44, I should weigh what I did when I was in my peak condition in college, and yet have an even lower body-fat percentage. So we will just pretend that didn't happen.

I feel light and graceful and powerful in the water, and even on my bike, I feel like I can really crank the pedals.  As a runner, I feel like a lumbering, sweaty mess, almost as if some kind of aquatic animal was forced up on land. Oddly, I still enjoy running if I can ignore that feeling.  But what if I could feel light and graceful and powerful when I ran?  I'm not sure it's possible, but it sounds worth making an effort for.




2 comments:

  1. Oh Jen you cracked me up with this: "As a runner, I feel like a lumbering, sweaty mess, almost as if some kind of aquatic animal was forced up on land." Relate to that feeling only too well. This book sounds very interesting.

    I really like the look of this training peaks software you're using. Julia's just started using it for her coaching clients and looks a gazillion times better than sending Excel files back and forth, hehe!

    Good luck with the busy week ahead!

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  2. Thanks for commenting. TrainingPeaks is great, and for me it was definitely worth the upgrade to be able to plan out my workouts and put them on my calendar. I'm visual so I like seeing everything plotted out.

    The book is good but a little discouraging. The "heavy" weights he talks about for male athletes are lower than mine right now. But the formula in the book suggests setting a goal for a small improvement at first, which seems realistic.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07