In a funk - need some advice :(

At the risk of a second moany post (sorry!) I need some advice.

I started C25k in August 2013, graduated in November and have been running twice a week since (except for a 3 week hiatus over xmas). I try and edge up my distance on one run (up to 6.5km at present) and run 30mins on the second (with the aim of getting fast enough to do a sub 30min 5k).

I have always said that I didn't start this to lose weight, and I didn't but if anything I feel like I have gained about 5-7lbs and its not muscle, I haven't toned up at all and if anything my clothes feel tighter!

I just got into a real funk yesterday. I can't understand how going from running not at all to running over 10k a week wouldn't even result in marginal weight-loss, or even toning..

I'm 33, 5ft 6 and around 10stone (140lbs). I generally eat well (no crisps, choc, sweets, cakes) although I do like my wine and beer but generally not in excess and only on the weekend.

Just can't really figure out whats going on, and feel a bit cheated that I seem to be getting bigger!

Thanks for letting me rant. :(

On the upside after my last 'bad run' todays was a good 6.5k, a minute faster than the last and a pb on part of the route so there is a silver lining..

11 Replies

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  • I gained weight at first but that was because I was running 60 seconds and then eating when I got home. You have to run for a lot longer than that before you burn any calories! I think to lose weight you have to cut down more and have a healthier lifestyle in general, and run longer distances, for the weight to shift. Also you need to run every other day! You said you run twice a week and then not for 3 weeks over Christmas. If you watch your diet and run every other day, increasing your distance by 3-5 minutes per run- if you can manage that comfortably - then you might start seeing some difference to your weight and shape. Things don't happen overnight, but if you're patient and stick with it then you'll get to where you want to be. Happy running

  • hi RaeyC to start with 140lbs i.e. 10st for someone who is 5'6" in height does not sound to me that you need to loose weight!!! Have you tried any other exercise in conjunction with your running. Some Pilates/Yoga or weight training would certainly help tone your body core area.

    The other thing you could consider doing is mixing up your running, do some hill work and/or interval training. Intervals are great for weight loss as the body responds long after the exercise is finished, so long as you put a lot of effort into it. You don't need anything fancy to get going with intervals other than some streets with lamp posts and alternate your running speed from sprint to recovery jog between the posts. Repeat as many times as you are able, building up from 4 or 5 which if you really do sprint hard is all you will manage to do to start with. If you are a swimmer you can use this technique in the pool too. Its a good work out and takes less time with greater results. You will also find your 5K time will be improved too which is another bonus. Hope this is of some help and good luck. :)

  • I'm no expert - but I can offer you a few of my thoughts for what they're worth. Don't get hung up on weight, though - you're BMI is nearly slap bang in the middle of "healthy" and your cardiovascular system must already be buzzing from the hard work you're putting in! :D

    I've read that exercising first thing in the morning helps to burn fat and increase metabolism more than at any other time of day. I don't know how true this is or what the science is behind it, but you could try early morning runs.

    As you make changes to your exercise/diet regimes, try tracking your weight like this...

    Weight yourself EVERY day, preferably first thing in the morning (after a sneeze and a fart ;)) and put each weight into a spreadsheet. Once you've done this for 5 consecutive days, make another column and next to your day 5 reading, put the "average" of the first 5 days. On day 6, record your weight and calculate the average of days 2-6. On day 7, you want the average of days 3-7. Etc....

    This is called a "5-day moving average", and while it can "lag behind" your actual weight slightly, it smooths out all the natural weight variations due to hydration level, stomach/bowel contents, etc... ie drink a pint of water - you'll gain 1.25 pounds.

    Graph the 5-day moving average - what you want to look at is how you're "generally" doing - losing, gaining, staying the same? It's a really good way to see what effect regime changes are having, without panicking about the relative fluctuations over a few days. You can stick notes in another column (like "unnecessary double portion of haggis, neeps and tatties" ;)).

    Good luck, anyway!

  • lets say you run for 30 minutes, that's approx 500 calories. Now there's 9 calories per gram of fat (lets call it 10 for simplicity) that means for every 30 mins of running you burn of 50 grams of fat (less than 2oz in old money and assuming my maths is right). So exercising alone isn't going to help weight loss. I know there's an argument more muscle = greater weight loss over time etc, but without addressing diet nothing changes.

  • Hi there reyC. I know how it can feel. I am 5'6 too but an awful lot heavier and 14 years older. My target weight is what you weigh now. As it has been said your at a fantastic weight for your height but I know we all have different expectations of ourselves. One thing I find that I have to work on with running is upper body toning. I do some simple weights but am trying to teach myself push-ups. Maybe just doing something along those lines might make you feel better about yourself. We tend to have a sticking point with weight and it is usually where our body feels most comfortable to perform at optimum. You might of reached yours but given time it might start to tip over to losing weight again. Stick with the running try some toning if you still want to try to,lose some weight, the only thing I have had success with was my fitness pal. I use the app but mainly to make sure I eat enough for my running. I have a tendency to under eat and then I just can't lose weight at all. My body goes on strike. Good luck and I really hope you feel better about yourself soon as you have achieved so much over the last year.

  • Thanks for the comments all. I didn't mean to sound as whingey as i think i did. I know my weight is in the right zone, but i guess i have been 'firmer' in the past and when most of the excercise I was doing was getting up for another bottle of wine (that, I was great at!)

    I have just synced Myfitnesspal to Mapmyrun. I will take up yoga again. And stop being a moaning myrtle.

    :)

  • Hi there. I use My Fitness Pal and I track my weight by logging it every morning first thing. It does give a perspective on what is really happening over time. It takes a few weeks to build up a picture but it soon becomes very clear about the ratio of food, drink and exercise to weight. If found I was losing too much because I wasn't replacing the calories when I ran, justing eating my normal amount. If my weight spikes upwards, I just replace pasta and bread with more veg and fruit for a few days which seems to work. I used to track calories in Myfitnesspal, but now just track weight and exercise as after a while it seems to become intuitive so keep going, I am sure you will get there. I also think 3 times a week at least would help. Good luck

  • I reckon running does help in the belly area so I think you'll soon notice a difference there. I'm 56 so toning up is quite hard as everything is going south, but even I've noticed that my stomach looks better.

    I hope you can stick at it, lose some weight and get fit. Happy running

  • I've got down to a healthy BMI but still a lot of wobble at the front. I am a natural apple (not much of a waistline even near the bottom end of healthy BMI) and was surprised recently to see how many centimetres had gone that weren't obvious in the mirror or when I jump up and down (shudder) Might be worth recording what you are eating and, critically, drinking to have a clearer picture of what is going on, and look at adding some more core-focused exercise.

    There is also the possibility that 'summat's up' and doing the above may help you decide whether you need to check this out with a doctor.

  • I'd agree with Oldgirl - Pilates will certainly help to tone your body as, indeed, it did for me. Best wishes.

  • Well, back on myfitnesspal. Beach holiday booked for feb so going to be focussed and 1) run 3 times a week and 2) start back up with the yoga

    Have downloaded 'speed', 'stamina' and 'stepping stones' for som added challenge and variety.

    Thanks again for being a great bunch of people!

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