10K Chris

Beacon Medical Practice running teamFollowing on the heels of my determined decision to become fit, slim and healthy a couple of years ago, I’ve been running pretty regularly. Since then, I’ve clocked up roughly 700km of sweaty boring hours, and have even begun to find it less boring, if no less sweaty.

Last year I completed my first Triathlon, and yesterday I managed my first proper 10K road race, running with some of my colleagues from The Beacon Medical Practice. I thought I would share a little about it below…

Location

City Of Lincoln 10K Route MapMy friendly local medical practice, as part of encouraging holistic healthy living, offered to book anyone who wanted to run onto the Lincoln 10K. Nine of us ran it, ranging from an ultramarathon runner to first timers, so the pressure was nice and low.

The City of Lincoln 10K is a very flat course, running two squares around the Cathedral quarter slap-bang in the centre of historic Lincoln. Click the route on the right for a nice big version.

Training

I… didn’t do any. I meant to, but this year has been pretty rough so far. I’ve been ill quite a few times, had a scary exam to prepare for, and suffered from a fair bit of stress/tiredness. Looking back over my fitness log, I’ve been managing around 2-4 shortish runs a month since the new year. Probably enough to maintain fitness, but definitely not improve.

I’d hoped to put in some serious practice, but instead, a week before the race I found myself texting my sports performance specialist friend Jon, asking “How do I knock 5minutes off my personal best for 10K in a week”. I settled on the following plan

Monday 10K at race pace
Tuesday 5K at race pace
Wednesday Rest day
Thursday Long walk
Friday 10K at pace
Saturday Rest day

Regarding nutrition, I ignored this in the days leading up to the race, but on the morning of, I had a quorn and halloumi omelette, plenty of protein and fat, with some carbs in the form of a pack of mints.

I had planned to eat a slice of toast with jam as well, but felt a bit full following the omelette, and felt longer acting carbs vs running whilst overfull was a difficult call. Should have got up earlier, and kicked off with some porridge…

Experience

On the starting line, waiting for kick-off...I had a great time. I slotted myself into the sub 45 minute group at the start line, more to avoid the crush of people slowing me down further back.

It was a great race overall, and my first real experience of the need to pace more carefully.

The first kilometre, I got much too excited by the atmosphere, and the people around me to overtake, and pushed a bit too hard. My earphones fed back to me that I’d managed a 4 minute 11 km, so I made a conscious effort to slow down over the next 2km, picking slightly slower people in the field and keeping pace with them.

I settled into a rhythm, and generally just found 3-5km great. However, I hit the halfway mark, and hit a mental wall, struggling to keep my pace, which was apparent by around 7km, where I’d started to drop from 4:30-4:40s to nearly 5min per kilometre.

Talking myself out of the doldrums, I was able to pick up the pace again at 8km, but then hit more of a physical wall – I’d been pushing pretty hard for 35 minutes by now, and there weren’t any reserves left in my legs. Over the final 2k, I didn’t get my usual burst of energy with the end being in sight, and clocked up my slowest times, at 5:08 and 5:16.

It was a great race overall, and my first real experience of the need to pace more carefully. I think that if I hadn’t had a pacing reminder early on, I’d have carried on pushing a bit too hard, and really crashed later on around 6-7k, almost certainly harming my time overall. As it was, I probably ran it a bit too much as a 5K, with a PB for my 5K time too!

I wonder if fitting in some complex carbs in the morning would have sustained me a little better – difficult to say, I suspect it wouldn’t have made much difference either way.

Results

I was aiming for a sub 50 minute time, solely to beat my brother’s time from his 10K last year. On Monday, 6 days before, I ran a practice run in 55 minutes, which was not terribly encouraging.

What did I manage? Not just one, but two personal bests! New PB for 5K at 22 min 44 seconds and for 10k at 46 minutes 46 seconds. I came 717th out of 4,682 (15th centile).

Even more importantly, we bonded as a team, and I got to eat 2.5 pizzas in the 7 hours following the race. All in all, a total win.Having a well deserved pint to celebrate a combined 90 kilometres of running

Six kilos in six weeks: 28 days down

wpid-wp-1447062912089.jpgRead the first post in this series here – Six kilos in six weeks: finishing what I started.
Just a warning, I’m going to be talking about weight loss, dieting and body image. If you struggle with your relationship with food, or have any self image difficulties, you may find it hard to read.

How am I doing?

We just spent a week at Center Parcs. Usually, a trip to CP involves us doing a shopping trip where doughnuts, cookies and chocolate feature pretty heavily. I was a bit concerned about this, but actually, the week proved pretty great.

Getting muddyWe ate tons of cabbage, broccoli and about a pint of coffee every day, but I managed to stay away from the biscuits.

  • I was under my calorie goal on three days this week…
  • …but on my worst day I was over by 775kcal.

Overall, based on a basal metabolic requirement of 2400 kcal per day, I’ve averaged a daily deficit of 865kcal, leaving me just over 6000 kcal down for the week.

Getting sweaty

My exercise has been going brilliantly. Center Parcs helped, with its rather inviting biking trails, and having free time in such a lush setting – you can see my mud splattered face on the right.

  • Week 1: I burnt off 1157 kcal doing exercise
  • Week 2: 945 kcal.
  • Week 3: 2150 kcal.

This week? 2235 kcal burnt off! I’m thoroughly enjoying being more active, feeling much healthier, and have even beaten my 10K time down to 55:20.

WhaLibra chart- 2015-10-26 12-00-00t is my weight?

Time to be frank: I’m a kilo and a half behind my goals at the moment.

My red average line continues to drop steadily, but I’ve left the blue goal line dropping away from me depressingly fast.

I suspect there are two reasons behind the slow loss:

  1. Based on my calorie deficit, I’m not quite hitting the goal of eating 7000 kcal less than I need each week. I’ve average 6,100 over the 4 weeks, which could account for at least half a kilo of weight.
  2. I’ve been doing steadily more strength exercises. Still only body weight work like press ups and sit ups, but my whole body feels firmer, especially my shoulder and arms, so its likely that at least another half kilo is muscle gain.

Macros!

Macros are more about how I feel than the effect they have on my weight.

After planning to look at this every week, today I finally had a look through my macros.

  • Protein aim: 40% – I’ve averaged 19%.
  • Carbs aim: 35% – I’ve averaged 50%.
  • Fat aim: 25% – I’ve averaged 30%.

I could get all excited trying to link high protein weeks with successful weight loss weeks: but ultimately, its impossible to separate this from the maths of calorie deficit. For me, especially whilst I’m not doing any significant weights or strength training, macros are more about how I feel than the effect they have on my weight.

I’m going to adjust my goals to those that more closely match the RDAs, and aim for Protein 25%, Carbs 50% and Fats 25%, and see how I see with that mix. I suspect I’ll struggle to keep protein that high, and may end up swapping out a bit for fats…

Changes, changes, changes.

weightlossweek4

I’m confident that if I carry on pushing, the weight will continue to fall off. Frankly, I trust the science more than I trust my scales. That said, metabolism, fat burning and calorie restriction are not exact sciences, so its worth slightly fiddling to see if there’s an improvement.

  1. Drop back to a 1200 kcal target. I think I can manage this, and I’m intrigued to see if its all I need to hit my targets.
  2. Carry on the exercise. 2000 kcal of exercise is a nice amount for me. Going to carry on the same routine as last week, with 2 circuit training days, 2 running days and 2 cycling days.
  3. Try to hit new macro targets. I’m keen to see if this has an impact on my percieved energy levels, or other pseudo-scientific effects…

Shout out thanks to Jon Smith for keeping me accountable, and texting me daily to tell me to “put down the butter dish and walk away”. Check out his ace 5K running app at RunwithKick.com

Results

These are all updated live from a central database, so feel free to check back daily for updates…