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Author Topic: Losing weight and training for a spring ultra  (Read 8295 times)
Benn Griffin
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« on: December 30, 2010, 04:37:42 pm »

Hi, all. I have been experiencing some signs of depression, no doubt in conjunction with my stressful job. I think that in the past few months I have run less than I wanted. In looking back at this year, oddly enough the most miles I ran were in June and July when I did not have work at school. I need help.

I am trying to build up for my first ultra - a 12 hour in western NY called "Mind the Ducks" which loops around a .49 mi loop.

However, at the same time I am also trying to lose weight. I have been 220 lbs for most of the fall, whereas I was only 180 at the start of the summer. Emm keeps explaining to me that I have gained a lot of muscle mass in my legs, but my torso I would disagree. I feel F-A-T!!

I need tips please, constructive criticism about how to tone up my torso and lose some weight all while balancing my intense workload.

Should I be doing pushups/situps each day or every other? I used to be better with these but have not been doing them this year.

Do I follow Sasha's buildup to 6 x 6 mi runs a week before I think about long runs?
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Colby
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 05:39:14 am »

Hey Benn,

  I am by no means an expert on running or losing weight (haven't fluctuated in weight more than 10lbs in almost 10 years), but I have noticed that as I consistently stay active I generally feel very good. I am in the Army which might contribute to constantly being active. A lot of what I noticed when I was first married was I started making excuses for not getting up early to run/work out or just finding anything to be an excuse not to try and stay in shape. My wife now has become my biggest motivator. We talked about what my goals as far as fitness and running are concerned and she really motivates me to get out and exercise. I how no idea what your situation is, but making excuses because of marriage, work, and school were my kryptonite. It still occurs, but I have a lot of support. Dieting will obviously help. I have had to just stop buying candy and sweets. If my wife buys them, then ultimately I will eat them, so we just don't buy it and snack on fruits that i love instead. Long slow runs will be good too. Good luck, getting those endorphines going will help with the Winter Blues!
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Benn Griffin
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 05:32:30 pm »

I am going to make an effort to exercise 6 days a week. This means a lot of evening workouts on the bike and treadmill, but I agree that it will help. I too have been cutting out sweets, but I find even with the "good stuff" in the house, I still feel like I HAVE to eat carbs. Carbs are my downfall!

I am registering for my first ultra, a 12 hour. I will see how it goes! I have motivation to train now!
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Bonnie
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 08:31:44 am »

Ben, carbs are my downfall too ... there is an interesting book about the Paleo diet for athletes: http://www.thepaleodiet.com/paleo_books/forathletes.shtml.  My understanding is that as runners we do need some carbs, so they focus on timing of foods to optimize recovery and lower insulin response.  I am not following this diet because I am a vegetarian and not planning on ever eating meat again, however Dean has been on this diet for 6 months and looks great (despite being injured and not running and even being forced off his feet all together for 3 months) - he says he feels good too.  In my opinion, the main considerations are:  1) don't try a diet that is too restrictive all at once -- you set yourself up not to adhere to it and then feel bad -- rather, make small changes that lead to other small changes (eat at specific times, smaller portions, healthy snacks) that you will be likely to stick with forever, 2) not expecting big changes at once, just like with running, think in terms of long term and not short quick fixes, and 3) don't completely give up everything you love eat, just *think* before you eat (ask yourself, "do I really need this right now?" - it helps to read the dietary information -- sometimes just reading it you will realize that the answer to this question is "not really").

Good luck!
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Michelle Lowry
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 08:56:10 pm »

Hi Benn,

I have lost and gained weight quite a bit.  What works for me is counting calories, so that I am accountable and think twice about everything that goes in my mouth.  I use mypyramidtracker.gov for calorie counting.  I like carbs, so I still have them, but I have to moderate since a big plateful of pasta or certain cold cereals are packed with carbs.  I liked grape nut flakes cold cereal, since the calorie content isn't as dense as some others.  It is a "treat" for me.

Your dedication to 6x week exercise will be key too.  You'll get in better shape, and will be able to keep your metabolism up.  And exercise really helps with depression.  When you don't want to do the exercise, is when it will help you the most. 

I wish you the best of luck!
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Paul Petersen
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 08:07:51 am »

the paleo diet is good (or similar diets). Try eliminating wheat and corn starch, and replacing those items with extra vegetables, like steamed broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc. You will be replacing nutrient-lite foods with nutrient dense foods. Fruit and veggies are great source of carbs, and even going to "moderate" carbs, and reducing grain consumption, should result in pretty impressive weight loss.
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Benn Griffin
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 05:54:57 pm »

Thanks for all of the advice, guys and gals.

Now, the next question : once I have my diet in check, how and where can I begin to start to make a 4 month training plan for a 12 hour ultra? It's on a roughly 1/2 mile track. I have mapped out a .33 mile loop around the block here and plan on using that for my long runs. I can find tons of marathon prep guides, but virtually none on the 12 hour ones.
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Jon Allen
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 08:54:23 pm »

Quote
I can find tons of marathon prep guides, but virtually none on the 12 hour ones

That's cause there is no market for ultras- what would the sell, 1000 books total?  You're best bet is to look online.  This website hasn't been updated in years, but has TONS of good advice:
http://www.ultrunr.com/index.html

One section is even titled Track Ultras & 24 Hour Events

Also, I'm curious why you're jumping into a 12 hour ultra rather than working your way up (with at least a 50k first).  Kind of like running a marathon without ever running more than a 10k.
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Benn Griffin
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2011, 07:34:01 am »

Hey Jon - I ended up doing a 6 hour in April where I ran 27 and change miles in blowing wind, snow, and awfulness. Then ran the MTD 12 Hour and had a blast . My wife, youngest brother, and mom all ran it too. I finished running just a bit over 50 miles in 11:44. Next year I'm shooting for 55-60 miles!
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Colby
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 01:23:27 pm »

Benn, just curious how your weight loss and training went for both the 6 and 12 hour races. You seeing results, feeling better, etc.?
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