2020 Training Week 6 (15/06/2020 to 21/06/2020)

Activity Details in Google Sheets

Activity Schedule in Google Docs

Week 6

My weekly totals

First, let’s review summary of this week’s training: weekly mileage 50.02 km, weekly steps 104,094 (14871 steps daily average), total weight loss so far 5.2 kg and this week’s weight loss 0.9 kg.

About my weight loss

In regards to my weight loss, 0.9kg for this week is pretty OK and close to my 1 kg weekly weight loss goal. Also my total weight loss this week is at least 5.7 kg, as on Tuesday and Friday this week, my total weight loss was 5.7kg but for some reason immediately after both of those days, I was gaining weight. Those gain weights are mainly due to body water, full stomach or other short term factors so I don’t care about them. I have seen it a lot that my body weight would decrease suddenly. For example this Monday, I suddenly lost 1kg compared to the day before that. 

My weight loss for the first 6 weeks was pretty straightforward, but my last year experience tells me that the second 6 weeks is way more challenging so I am mentally making myself ready for that. As a reminder I have to say that I was looking at the first 6 weeks of my diet as a long term project, so I didn’t push myself that much. Therefore if I start getting not appropriate results in the second 6 weeks, I am ready to push myself a little bit more. In anyways, lets see what will happen in the future.

Summary of this week’s activities

First, let’s review my activities during this week. I had 5 run activities in this week. On Monday (15/06) I had a 10K run with the following averages: (10.00 K, 5:41 min/km, 163 bpm, 15m elevation gain). On Wednesday (17/06) I had a 10K run with the following averages: (10.01 K, 5:21 min/km, 178 bpm, 28m elevation gain). On Thursday (18/06) I had a 10K run with the following averages: (10.00 K, 5:42 min/km, 161 bpm, 20m elevation gain). On Saturday (20/06) I had a 10K run with the following averages: (10.00 K, 5:56 min/km, 148 bpm, 19m elevation gain). On Sunday (21/06) I had a 10K run with the following averages: (10.01 K, 5:54 min/km, 171 bpm, 57m elevation gain).

About my weekly mileage

This week, my weekly mileage was 50.02 km which was the highest weekly mileage in my new set of 2020 trainings. However I switched to the new training plan of two days 10K run and one day rest, but due to getting injured and being tired, I couldn’t complete my desired training plan last week. I have increased my weekly mileage by 47.7%  this week comparing to last week.

That was a safe movement because I stayed on the 30K weekly mileage long enough (five consecutive weeks) and at the same time I kept my total activities (my total weekly steps) constant (always around 100,000 steps). That means my body just changed the way it was burning calories from walking to running. 

VO2Max and comparing activities to see my improvement

My VO2Max this week in my (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) runs were (48, 47, 48, 50, 48) ml/kg/min respectively. In order to see my improvement, I want to compare my activity on 17/06 i.e. (10.01 K, 5:21 min/km, 178 bpm, 28m elevation gain) with my other activity on 05/06 i.e. (10.00 K, 5:33 min/km, 179 bpm, 29m elevation gain).

As we can see, all of the features of those two runs are the same (distance, my effort and terrain) except my pace. I had 00:12 min/km i.e. 3.6% improvement in 12 days which is pretty impressive. Indeed I had reduced my 10K time by 01:52 min in 12 days which is pretty good. I am really happy about it for two reasons, first because I am getting close to 10K sub 50 min. record and second I am doing it while I am still very overweight.

My lactate threshold pace and heart rate

On Wednesday (17/06), my watch updated my lactate threshold pace (5:25 min/km) and my lactate threshold heart rate (175 bpm). Again on Sunday (21.06), it updated my lactate threshold pace (5:31 min/km) and my lactate threshold heart rate (174 bpm). 

About individual runs

After my hard effort Wednesday’s run (ave. heart rate 178 bpm), I still had a relatively fast run on Thursday (ave. pace 5:42 min/km ave heart rate 161 bpm) but after Thursday, I was really tired on both Saturday’s and Sunday’s runs. Fortunately, I did both of them under 60 minutes without too much effort. 

Experiencing “Cardiovascular Drift”

As I explained in my Sunday’s run (21/06) here, on Sunday, I experienced something strange called “Cardiovascular Drift”. That’s what I haven’t experienced it during all of my 4000+ km runs so far and therefore I am a bit concerned about it. I am going to see a physician in this regards and I’ll update this post after that in future. 

Update: I talked to a physician over a virtual care talk the day after. He told me if it happened again contact us but for one time we cannot do anything. I also asked him if I can resume my training after 48 hours of rest and he said yes. Like always talking to doctors is not helpful that much, but I just wanted to do it in order to make sure I am on the safe side. 

2020 Training Week 1 (11/05/2020 to 17/05/2020)

Activity Details in Google Sheets

Activity Schedule in Google Docs

Week 1

My weekly totals

First, let’s review summary of this week’s training: weekly mileage 30.37 km, weekly steps 103223 (14746 steps daily average), total weight loss so far 1.2 kg and this week’s weight loss 1.2 kg.

Summary of this week’s activities

First, let’s review my activities during this week. I had 6 run activities in this week. On Monday (11/05) I had a 5K run with the following averages: (5.32 K, 8:17 min/km, 147 bpm, 83m elevation gain). On Tuesday (12/05) I had a 5K run with the following averages: (5.01 K, 6:24 min/km, 159 bpm, 20m elevation gain). On Wednesday (13/05) I had a 5K run with the following averages: (5.01 K, 6:13 min/km, 165 bpm, 18m elevation gain). On Friday (15/05) I had a 5K run with the following averages: (5.01 K, 6:19 min/km, 154 bpm, 22m elevation gain). On Saturday (16/05) I had a 5K run with the following averages: (5.01 K, 5:44 min/km, 170 bpm, 15m elevation gain). On Sunday (17/05) I had a 5K run with the following averages: (5.01 K , 6:15 min/km, 166 bpm, 17m elevation gain).

About my running and weight loss goals this summer

This summer, I set up a goal of losing 1 kg/week of my body weight through running activities and I made it in the first week. The difference between my losing weight this year and last year is in my exercises i.e. running vs walking. 

2019 weight loss project: weight loss through walking

Last summer, I planned to get back to running but in the first step, I decided to lose weight because I was overweight and I didn’t know if it’s possible to start training while you are overweight. Also based on what I had read before, I thought it’s hard to lose weight through running activities.

I googled “running and lose weight” right now and at least two of the first few articles (this and this) are clearly indicating that running alone is not the best option for losing weight. Also I can remember from 2016 when I was close to my prime, that I took a break during my trainings to lose weight through diet and walking a lot for better performance.

Why walking and not running

About the question of why walking and not running: the short answer for me was when you are running, you would burn calories faster and you would get hungry faster too and it works less effective for losing weight to run compared to walk.

Although my answer was not very scientific, but anyways I had that impression in my mind, that walking works better for losing weight compared to running and therefore I decided to work with “diet and walking” rather than “diet and running”.

Therefore in a very difficult diet (it was my fist diet ever) during 18 weeks, I lost 12.5 kg (27.5 lb). After that difficult first step, my motivation for running decreased a lot. I tried to run a few times but I didn’t see a huge difference in my performance before and after losing weight. I also got busy with my job so I totally forgot about running.

While preparing for run was my main reason for losing weight, I didn’t take care of my weight after I stopped thinking about running and in my mind, I didn’t believe I am going to gain a lot of weight if I stop caring about my weight and my diet. What it happened in practice was totally different.

After I stopped my diet on 09/09/2019 until I again decided to get back to training and diet this week, I gained all what I lost in summer 2019, and even 4.2 kg more. In fact, on 07/05/2019 (beginning of my 2019 diet) I was 83.3 kg and on 10/05/2020 (beginning of my 2020 diet) I was 87.5 kg.

My 2020 goal: running and weight loss

This year, the story is totally different. My absolute first priority is getting back to my physical fitness and I know it takes a long time to gain back the physical fitness I lost during past three years. I still don’t know how much it would work to lose weight with diet and running, but even if it’s not the most effective way for losing weight, I chose this over diet and walking because this time, running is the main factor for me not losing weight.

Getting advice of a qualified exercise professional

Having all of that in my mind, I gave a call to 811 to talk to a qualified exercise professional to advise me about a training plan. I have read a lot of books about different training plans but non of them is applicable for me because I am very slow right now. In terms of numbers, my last four 10K run times were 70, 69, 67, 68 minutes.

After talking to a qualified exercise professional, he told me that I am overthinking about this matter. He said it’s better just to start training and I also have to be careful about not getting injured by overtraining because I have been away from running for a long time. Due to my long distance walks of last year, I knew my body is OK with having 100’000 weekly steps. Therefore I set that as a constraint in my trainings, for beginning no more than 100’000 weekly steps. 

building my training plan with 5K runs

I started my trainings with 5K runs and had it for four consecutive days, in the fifth day I felt that I need one day rest and therefore I built my training plan this way: four day 5K runs one day rest. I would continue with this training plan until I see I need to change it. 

My 2019 Weight Loss Journey, 12.5 Kg in 18 Weeks

Summary of My 2019 Diet in Google Sheets

Weight Loss

On May 7th 2019, I decided to go on a diet mainly because I wanted to start running but I was too overweight for it. In fact right before I start my diet, I had three 10K runs  on April 29 2019 , April 30 2019 and May 7 2019 and my corresponding running time for each of them was 1:10:08 , 1:08:48 and 1:07:05 respectively. The running times were as disappointing as I even didn’t think about starting a 10K training plan. 

In fact the slowest 10K training plan in one of my favorite books “Running: The Complete Guide to Building Your Running Program” By “John Stanton” was 10K 60 minutes training plan and in my case I wasn’t sure if that training plan is applicable to me or not because I was too slow at that time.

Later on, I noticed that the American Olympian “Jeff Galloway” in his book “Galloway’s 5K and 10K Running” has even introduced a 10K 1:19′:00” training plan but anyways I wasn’t interested to start such a slow training plan. As an alternative, I decided to first reduce my weight and then start my running through an appropriate training plan. 

I was 65-67 kg when I was in my running prime in 2016 and on May 7 2019 I was 83.3 kg. Therefore as my diet goal, I decided to drop 16 kg of my weight. I have to mention this was my first ever diet and therefore I had no idea about weight loss and anything related to it. Therefore as my first question, I asked myself how long would it take to achieve my ideal goal, so I started doing the math.

As it is well known like in this article, the average woman needs to eat about 2,000 calories per day and the average man needs to eat about 2,500 calories per day to maintain weight, if you consume anything less than that you would start losing weight.

Now the question is how many calories you need to burn to lose one pound of fat. As you can find in another article of healthline.com available here,  one pound of body fat contains about 3500 calories. 

As we all know, exercise can be a lot helpful in losing weight. As a former runner, I had two favorite options for my exercises: running and walking. I have been reading in several articles in past, that when you are running you shouldn’t expect to lose weight that much. Even now that I googled “running and lose weight”, I found some articles like this , where they explain why running is not the best option for losing weight. 

On the other hand, I can remember when I was training in 2016, I took certain breaks during my training to lose more weight through diet and walking. In general, I had the impression that walking works better for me for losing weight compared to running. Therefore I chose walking for my exercise in my weight loss journey.

The immediate question that appears here is how many calories do you burn in each walk. As it is mentioned in this article and it’s somehow obvious, your weight, pace ,terrain and genetics would impact on your burning calories. I start with pace and terrain.

I decided to have my daily walks starting from home approximately in Yonge and Sheppard in North York Toronto, walking all the way down to south in the Yonge street. I also decided to have my daily walks with an average of at least 2 hours a day. Having that in my mind, I measured a very long 16K walk , in that path at my regular pace (or a little bit faster) with my Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch.

My watch already considered my weight, and the terrain, pace and genetics factors in this walk was approximately the same as my other walks. The duration of this walk was 2:41′:36” and the burned calories calculated by my watch was 626 C. Therefore it was a safe estimate to assume during a 2 hours walk in the same path I would burn as much as 2.0/(2+41/60)*626=465 calories. 

I also decided to be tough on myself and just consume around 1000 calories a day which means starving during my diet time. Now lets calculate how long would it take with that plan to lose 16 Kg of my body weight. My body approximately requires 2500 calories a day for maintaining my weight plus 465 calories for my 2 hours walk which is 2965 calories per day. I was eating approximately 1000 calories a day and therefore burning the rest of 1965 calories in each day.

Since one pound (454 gr) of fat is 3500 calories, in each day I was burning 1965/3500*454gr =254 gr of my body fat and therefore in each week I was burning 7*0.254=1.784~1.8 kg of my body fat. Therefore to be on the safe side, one can estimate my weekly burning body fat by 1.5 Kg. and therefore it would take me 11 weeks to lose 16 Kg of my weight. 

That was my initial calculation for the duration of my diet but in practice, it never came true.  As you can find it in Summary of My 2019 Diet in Google Sheets , in the first 6 weeks of my diet, I was getting the best results and my weight loss rate in that period was equal with almost 1 kg/week . After that because I was so tough on myself during my diet, I couldn’t continue and I decided to have 8 days of rest. 

After that 8 days, I again got good results for the next 3 weeks and I had the same weight loss average of 1 kg/week . That was up to the end of week 11 where I lost 9.6 kg during that time period. From week 12 up to the end of week 15, I got very poor results and I just lost 1.0 kg however I worked very hard. The 18’645 daily average steps during that 4 weeks thoroughly indicates my hard effort during that time period.  

In the next two weeks (weeks 16-17) my average weight loss was again 1 kg/week and in the last week i.e. week 18, I didn’t lose anything at all. At this point I decided to stop my diet. That was a complete summary of my 18 weeks weight loss journey.