Friday, September 30, 2011

Regrouping Part 4

The Goals and the Plan

Writing out my goals - that is the hard part. Once I write them down and put them out there, there is a certain commitment and pressure to follow through.  And some of these goals are ones I've written down time and time again, but failed miserably.  How do I make this time different? I dunno.  But I guess I'll just keep on trying.

I have a number of things I want to accomplish this fall/winter.  Running, Biking, and Swimming are only a part of the plan. I also want to focus on core strength in the off season and regain control of my diet.

The "Sports" This Winter

Running - 10 km race on October  and full marathon in the spring

* Two 30-45 minute runs during the week, and one long run on the weekend.
* Short runs on Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday
* Zone 2 runs only until December/January
* IF I am feeling good and there is no inkling of injury, start to throw in some hills and/or tempo runs once in awhile.
* stretch/ice/tape/shin sleeves - whatever it takes to stay loose

Biking - Crosstrain only throughout the winter

* One or two 30-90 minute sessions on the trainer per week
* Zone 2 HR only

Swimming - Maintain swim fitness

* Undecided - possibly swim this winter, if I can arrange some one on one sessions with a coach
* After January, swim 2-3 times per week
* Upper body strength - swim specific muscle groups

Core Strength

The off season is the time to work on core and overall strength.  It's so hard to fit that in during the regular season - now is the time to give it my full attention, and hopefully develop some habits and routines that can carry me through the next race season.

My plan is to do core and strength training, in addition to yoga on most of my non-running days - three days a week minimum.

The 'D' Word

In addition, as always, I need to look at my diet once again.  I tried something different this year. I tried to just eat smart and not count calories, splurging once in awhile, enjoy life, but try to be mindful.  It doesn't work for me. As of June 1st, I was up 3 lbs, by the end of the summer, I was up 6 lbs, end of September, 7 lbs.  If I don't count calories, I gain about 1 lb a month.  That sucks. My clothes feel tight and I it is affecting my fitness. If you're fit and you don't believe me, try tying a weight belt of 7 lbs around your waist before you head out for your next run.

Throughout the summer, instead of counting calories, I played around with a lot of different 'diets' (for lack of a better word).  My standard favourite is the Mediterranean Diet that allows lean meat and dairy, healthy fats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lots of fruits and vegetables.  This summer, I played around with a vegetarian and vegan diet and have subsequently found it easy to make vegetarian choices much more often.

Four Hour Body

I tried the Four Hour Body diet for about ten days at the end of August - which allows primarily meat, beans, and vegetables - no white carbs, sugar, dairy, or fruit.  I lost weight quite quickly but it seemed to be mostly water weight as I was eating much less carbs. As soon as I ate carbs again, the weight came back in 2-3 days. The breakfasts were the worst - meat and vegetables just aren't a nice breakfast.  I can only eat so many eggs - and I missed fruit and yogurt/cottage cheese terribly.  I also happen think whole grains are good for you.

So - I think I will go back to my Mediterranean diet with a greater focus on alternate protein choices and very little white carbs. I will also begin counting calories again as it seems that's the only way I can lose weight.  Hello Sparkpeople....

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