Thursday, 10 September 2009

Lose weight, run faster

Intermittent fasting and substantially increasing the amount I do physical exercise has kept allowing me to lose weight - I am now down just over 7kg (around 16 pounds) in just over 4 weeks.

And last week at the Wimbledon Common 5k, I managed to get my time down to 29 mins 20 seconds. That is the second fastest time I've ever run it. The only time I beat that was in March 2008 when I ran 29:14. Unfortunately I don't have a record of what I weighed then, but going back over my training log in Garmin Training Center, it seems that I had been running more than usual for back then, including adding in some long slow runs...

As well as losing weight through intermittent fasting, the other thing I've been looking at recently is improving my running technique to run faster.

Unfortunately running technique is a little like losing weight - no one seems to agree on the best approach!

However, I've found in weight loss that many people will argue about the exact details, rather than just getting on with it and cutting calories. Almost every diet which works relies on calorie reduction in one way or another.

And as far as I can see, much is the same for running. Whether you use the Pose method, or Chi running, or something else, most people seem to agree that good running technique has:

  • a fast leg turnover - something in the range of 180 foot strikes per minute

  • feet landing under the hips

  • landing on the midfoot rather than the heel

  • picking the heel up at the end (rather than swinging a straight leg forward

There are plenty of other things I can look at for when I get better/faster, but just focusing on these will be enough for now I think.

The other thing I read was that the way to run faster is to run faster. In other words, practice running faster during your training so that your legs are used to the pace when you want to use it in a race. So that's what I did on Monday night.

Tuesday night was going to be a long slow run, but I think I pushed myself so much on Monday that my legs were absolutely not up to anything more than 5k...

I'll report back next week on how my Saturday 5k race went and whether I've managed to achieve an all-time personal best (rather than just a seasons best)...

I've also put a graph onto my "Losing Weight" page which shows how my weight has come down day by day. It's part motivation for me, but hopefully it's useful to you if you're trying to lose weight so that you can see that intermittent fasting appears to work.

Until next time.