Lockdown for me really started on Thursday the 13th of March when I started working from home… the tail end of that week, and into the next week, I don’t know about you, but I found myself going to the fridge a lot and eating a lot.
By the last week in March I decided I had better put a can on it … and thought what better time to get a bit of focus to see what I could really achieve (and stop me eating like a whale / horse too). 😂
In the last couple of years my weight has steadily been going up and up…and I’ve felt ok about it… up to 10 stone at the start of the year… but I felt I was carrying it well – whatever the f… that means (?!).
Anyway, I thought, what better time, when I’d be stuck at home most of the time, to be more conscious of what I was eating, track my calories, aim for a deficit and not eat everything in sight? As well as keep motivated and train the way I want to – mixing running solo, with strength training in the gym.
I started off with a 28 day drop plan… where I tracked lots, most of it daily, to keep a track to see if it was all going in the right direction:
– calorie intake (my fitness pal – 1400 – 2000 a day, depending on how active I’d been), calorie burn (BMR – about 1560-1600, and active calories from my Garmin). – then I’d get the deficit for the day and the week
– sleep hours
– weight in lbs, body fat %, lean mass % (and lbs)
– waist and hip measurements weekly
I was also keeping an eye on when my cycle was, and flexing my training around it, a little bit easier the week before day 1, and on day 1, then getting back into it at the start of the cycle. Then being aware of it in the 30 day cycle and how I was feeling (lethargic or motivated etc).
I was aiming for at least 3 runs a week, including an effort session (hill or sprints) and a long run, along with 1 or 2 easy runs.
The main changes I’ve done with running is in running solo most of the time, and including one effort session a week – hills or intervals. The type I usually shy away from in favour of social runs. And it seems to be working on my fitness.
Then 2-3 strength sessions. Mostly I got them done, but in the 10 weeks since I started, I took my foot off the gas a bit in early May, but just didn’t eat as much to be balanced and still get a calorie deficit.
All of a sudden weight loss seemed to come a little easier, and the graph is going in the right direction. Perhaps it is coming easier because I didn’t have the commute and work was slightly changed – leading to more sleep and with lockdown, there was a little more time to myself / for training.
I had good results, so I thought I’d keep it all going through lockdown. Now here are the monthly results:
30 March – 140.5lbs / 17.4% body fat / 79% lean mass
24.4lbs body fat / 111.1lbs lean mass
Waist: 75cm / Hips: 100cm
30 April – 134.8lbs / 15.1% body fat / 81.3% lean mass
20.4lbs body fat / 109.6lbs lean mass
Waist: 72cm / Hips: 100cm
30 May – 133lbs / 13.7% body fat / 82.6% lean mass
18.2lbs body fat / 109.9lbs lean mass
Waist: 72cm / Hips: 97cm
And this week, I’ve ended up at:
All in all, in about 10 weeks –
That’s a loss of 8-9lbs – including about 5lbs of body fat, and 2-3lbs lean mass.
My body fat % is down 3%, and my lean mass % is up 3%.
My waist is down 4cm and my hips are down 3cm.
In kilos I’m down about 3.5kg, down to 60kg for the first time in about 2-3 years.
I’m very pleased with my effort and the outcome, and I’m keeping it going, see where I end up. The weight loss has slowed a bit, so I’m maybe getting to where my body thinks I should be. I’m eating what I want, but in the right portion sizes, ie not eating two of everything or being greedy.
The way I see it, as a runner, the lighter I am, the easier it will be to run and run faster, and I know there will be a point when I get to a weight that my body is just right at.
The strength training will hopefully enable me to keep or build some lean mass which will help with running too. My BMI is now smack bang in the middle of ‘healthy’ so it’s probably about right where it is.
Running has been going well, and my VO2 max estimate has gone up and up… from 50 at the start, to 54. I’m managing to fit more running in, and the solo running and interval / hills are clearly having a good impact. It’s going up up up and my garmin has told me a few times that I’m ‘productive’ or ‘peaking’ in my fitness. 🙂
My sleep was higher than it usually is, at an average of 8:32 in the first 4 weeks, then 8:56 in the second 4 weeks, but my average steps remained about the same, at about 10,600 steps a day.
I had enough rest days, 6 in the first 4 weeks in April, and seemed to need more (x10) in the second 4 weeks in May. I ran and walked similar mileage in each block – about 95-97 miles running and 39 mile walking each 4 weeks, but did more strength sessions in the first 4 weeks (x10), compared to x4 in the second 4 weeks.
I feel like I’m back on track this week, a good start to the week training wise and I have a good weekly schedule that seems to fit in well with my work and life:
Mon, Wed, Fri – Spin, Strength & a 5k walk or run (sometimes only 2 a week)
Tue, Thu, Sat or Sun – 3 runs, including an effort, a long and an easy
I take rest days when I need it to, like Friday this week. I just walked for 20 minutes, and had the rest day I feel I needed. I try to include a walk on these days, or sometimes I do absolutely nothing and try to make sure I don’t eat like I would on a very active day.
I’ve been walking a lot more in lockdown, taking advantage of the ‘one exercise time a day’ but also just getting out and about in the nice weather and getting a break. It’s a good way to get calorie burn up without breaking into a sweat or working too hard. 35-40 miles a month on avg. it’s a good way to wake up and feel good.
As for calories, I’m using my Garmin Connect app to track them – it has a simple function in it – where you put your weight in and it gives you what you’ve burned at rest – it started around 1,600 calories and as my weight has decreased, it’s now at around 1,560 per day.
My active calories have ranged from about 50 on a total rest day… to about 1,100 on a long run day, where I’ve walked too. A strength day gets me around 500 active calories, and run days usually get me even more than that.
The app adds your resting and active calories together, then I track my intake and aim to get as high a deficit as I can… usually around the 400-500 mark on average per day on a good week. A few days I was over it, but that was generally when I didn’t exercise and ate as much as I normally would.
It feels like I understand my intake and calorie burn better, and I’m not mindless eating, just because I did a run and think I earned it.
My main aim with eating is to eat protein with every meal, and get about 30% protein, and of course not to go overboard and eat too much. It feels easier at home to stick to the plan and eat good food, regularly.
I hope lockdown is treating you ok. If it’s not, why not focus on some things you can start doing, and some things you want to stop doing? See what a bit of focus can do for you?
(Some ideas: Read more, listen to music or podcasts more, eat better, relax more, walk more, sleep more, phone people more, follow a training plan, drink more water, track things… etc)