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  • Richard Cash

175. Heavy Runner, Middle Age and Weight Loss

I've been on this long road for a number of years now as a heavy runner. I always had 'stocky and powerful' genes, which served me well in more explosive sports like rugby, but as someone running endurance challenges it is hard at times. Very hard. Dropping weight is a constant battle. I've cut calories, dropped carbs and sugars, fasted and ran my ass off. For months at a time. All of which results in 'some' weight loss. But it's rarely permanent and all rather undramatic given the sheer numbers of calories I burn up.

It's important as it make running harder and exponentially more painful than people who are much lighter realise. Knees, ankles and tendons take a lot more punishment. The physics of being heavy when you are running is quite scary when you do the maths.

Your impact forces are 4-6x your bodyweight on every step you run. That means being 100kg+ you are putting 500Kg of forces through each step. Compare that to a 70kg runner with 350Kg of force in each step and it soon adds up. Run a 100km ultra and you have (140,000 steps approx) and additional 21 Million!!! extra Kg of impact forces going through your body than the much lighter runner. through the course of the 100km Ultra. Things are naturally going to hurt and injury risks are way higher when you run long when heavy. Sadly, no matter what I do I cannot seem to get weight down much below 95Kg. Cut calories too hard and injury risks go up and I'm under-fueled. Too Low and the weight stays where it is. For the life of me I cannot find the key to unlock it. I have plenty of muscle. More than most. If I lose too much of that then I lose strength, metabolism slows down, and body fat goes up. For anyone else with the same challenge it's pretty depressing. I skip breakfast (maybe I shouldn't), I eat Salad for lunch 6 days per week (600-700 cals). Intermittent fast 5 days per week. I'll have a sensible clean dinner and sometimes a handful of nuts to snack on most evenings then it's 16-18 hours before I eat again. I also have a typical refeed day at the weekend to ensure I don't down-regulate my metabolism over time. I limit sin foods and train my ass off. Yet getting 'lean' constantly eludes me. It's frustrating and can easily get to you. I follow all the rules and little happens the way it's meant to. There really are no set rules as one size does not fit all. Eat less, move more. Still heavy. Eat High protein low carb. Still heavy. HIIT Train. Still heavy. Long aerobic train. Still heavy. But... I've recently been tweaking my eating and looking at natural supplementation to give an assist. I always prefer the 'natural approach'. I've increased water intake to around 3-4 litres per day.

I've increased lean protein intake to 200g per day I've added in Choline supplementation which studies have shown help the fat metabolism. ...And things are moving slowly.

My weight has stayed the last month around 103kg but my body composition appears to be changing. Everything feels 'tighter' in my body (less wobbly LOL). I need to remind myself it's a marathon not a sprint, after all, but I suspect visceral fat needs to drop first. I believe it is now. My stomach is certainly flatter than it was a few weeks ago. It's a slow arduous process for me. There are no shortcuts (I'd have found them if there were). Just consistency, effort and intelligent choices. repeated over a long period of time. There's a lot to unravel and straighten out. It's contradictory, confusing and maddening at times, but what other choice do I have. I either test-adjust-test-adjust until I get the right combination, or I just quit, eat pies and sit on my ass, which is not acceptable.

The next addition is semi fasted training in my evenings. A recent study from Nottingham university noted that fasted (7hrs with no food before training) led to up to 70% more fat being burned in exercise than when training after eating 2-3 hours before. That's going to be shitty. Lunch then nothing until I get home and have trained. But let's see what happens. I put down 500-600 calories in a 45minute training session and would be nice to know that's almost all from bodyfat for fuel. I'm moving into the Build Phase over the next couple of weeks so having a couple of regular higher intensity interval sessions in the week (while semi-fasted) should add to moving the needle on the scale in the right direction. Not looking forward to doing this on an empty stomach though. The odds are stacked against me, for sure. Then again, they usually are and I'm no stranger to it. The reality is the weight didn't go on overnight, so I don't expect it to come off overnight. It comes back to consistency, effort and adjustment. If I can get that right then I can move that needle a little further.

Thanks for reading....

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