Just a bit of light cross training today in the form of cycling to and from work. Whilst this is a ten mile round trip, it is not at the highest level of intensity and so is a decent post-run activity to fit into the cross training mould. I was going to go to the gym and do a session on the elliptical trainer, but I am still having on going issues with my stomach and didn't sleep well last night. Excuses, excuses! But I feel it is justified to take it a bit easier - the intensity of running training is making me move away from the feeling that I should exercise every day. And with the danger of over-training being as prevalent as under-training, this is not a bad thing.
Monday has become a weigh-in day - a one a week time to check weight and see whether it is going up or down. I used to be slightly obsessional about checking my weight, making daily morning notes to chart progress or not. But I have now got in to the more sensible and healthier routine of just doing a weekly check. And the last few weeks have shown real progress. Today I was six kilograms down on five weeks ago, and the weighing scales have been corroborated by looser jeans and trousers and now looking quite so whale like in the mirror.
What is really astonishing is how the weight is coming off. Part of it is down to the intensity of the exercise. Running outside is, for me and, I think, generally, more difficult than treadmill running. There are hills, uneven pavements, wind and pedestrians to contend with. And when you are doing varied training, at higher speeds, then you burn far more calories.
But also the running is having a very positive impact on my diet and nutrition. I have lost all appetite for snacks in-between meals. I have a bit of fruit in the morning, and a yogurt in the afternoon, but haven’t had a bar of chocolate at my desk for a fortnight. And it is not a case of trying to diet, which, for me, invariably fails. The desire, the appetite, the sweet tooth have all diminished.
Secondly, if you know you are going for a run you are loathe to eat the wrong things which will make the run more difficult, compromise your time or affect your performance. So Diet Coke has made way for water (albeit often flavoured with Robinson's Special R cordial) and larger meals have been replaced by more regular but smaller portions.
If I keep this up then I am in spitting distance of getting back to the weight I enjoyed in 2004/05. And that is as much a motivation as anything else.