Is it over already? This was a very light running week due to runner’s knee pains and the impending half-marathon on Sunday. I only did 3 HIIT runs (vs. my normal five runs total), with utterly no long run at all. I have been consistently doing daily knee exercises and stretches. The pain has decreased dramatically and on the short (4 mile) runs this week there was no increase in pain intensity. I believe that I have found the underlying cause of my problem which has to do with keeping my hips/rear tucked under, which prevents me from over-pronating later in my runs. I focused carefully on posture and form during my runs this week and could tell immediately in my knee when I lost focus. It is going to take some time before the proper posture becomes automatic.
Nutrition was on target this week. I averaged 2111 calories per day with 38% Protein, 18% Fat and 44% Carbohydrate. Body fat measured 18.6% with my Omron.
Final stats for this 12 week maintenance cycle: I gained 1.4 pounds of scale weight (129.2 pounds this morning). If you trust the Omron, this was almost entirely (1.39 lbs) lean mass! If you prefer the Tanita Scale then this was a combination of adding 3.6 pounds of lean and losing an additional 2.2 pounds of fat (these numbers seem extreme to me). I ran 220 miles over the last 12 weeks. Most of my measurements stayed exactly the same, except for small increases in my bicep (0.3 inch), forearm (0.1 inch), shoulder (0.5 inch) and unfortunately waist and abdomen (0.3 inch each). All in all, this has been a positive experience as it answered the question of whether I could really make this a lifestyle, especially without the external positive reinforcements of the scale going down, inches going down, etc.
Goals for the next 6 weeks
Running: Complete the half-marathon Sunday (without causing more knee damage). Continue to rehab the knee and carefully bring mileage back to about 20 miles per week in anticipation of starting a 16 week marathon training program.
Nutrition: It’s time to lean out a bit more before subjecting my joints to all of the pounding that will be needed for marathon training. I am planning to stick with 40:40:20 ratios as this seems to work for me. Beginning Monday, I am planning to slightly drop calories to 1900 per day average to start. I am not looking forward to this as I have really enjoyed maintenance calories and not being rather hungry all of the time. I am also pondering a food experiment. All things being equal (nutrition ratios & exercise), it seems that when the majority of my protein comes from dairy (non-fat cottage cheese and low carb yogurt mostly) that I tend to gain weight those weeks. So I am planning an experiment to determine whether what foods I am eating is just as important as how much, how often and in what ratios. I have been chatting with Julie about this by email. She has found that for her at least that the food choices matter much more than just creating a calorie deficit.
Training Schedule: Stay on current schedule (3 days of weights; 5 days of running; one day completely off) but modified to allow for two long runs per week (Saturday and Wednesday) in preparation for the marathon training plan. Of course the schedule this week will be off due to the half-marathon on Sunday.