Feeling like spring in July

After pulling out of the SDW100 with kidney pain, I set about getting myself back in the groove. My good friend Neil Thubron suggested I do the opposite of what I would normally do, and take three weeks rest from running. This post is really about picking yourself back up after a disappointment – and seeing things turn a corner, based on what’s worked for me.

Regrouping

During those three weeks off, I thought about what I could do to consolidate improvement in my running. I decided to have a real go at one meal a day (OMAD) fasting. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I follow Dr Eric Berg and already apply many of his fasting techniques – but mostly do 18/6 IF four days a week.

So, for the last four weeks I have pretty much stuck to OMAD Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by 18/6 IF Thursday and Friday, and ‘normal’ eating at the weekends. IF techniques have their critics, but I have to say I feel a lot better on the new routine, incorporating OMAD three times a week. I’ve lost a couple of kilos (which seems to have come off my belly), which I’m really happy about.

Back to running

Once I stepped back into regular running, I decided to focus on strength building. I’ve incorporated weighted steps into my weekly routine, as I’m conscious of getting older and needing to ensure I maintain muscle mass as I age. I also wanted to balance the increased fasting with some weight training.

An unexpected benefit of OMAD

I have benign prostate enlargement, and OMAD has surprisingly helped. Over the last couple of weeks, I have stopped getting up in the middle of the night for a pee, and have not suffered those mad moments when your bladder shouts ‘hey! I’m desperate!’, requiring an urgent pitstop. If you have the same condition, it might be worth giving it a go. Speak to your doctor and read up on how to do OMAD well before starting.

So, I’m feeling stronger in myself. The short, weighted runs are building strength and I have got my running mojo back, which feels terrific.

The new drop shoes have made a difference to my running form: shorter steps and a higher cadence. It’s all feeling great.

Heading back to the sine curve

When I first started this blog, I wrote about how life is a set of ups and downs – a sine curve if you plotted it on a graph. I described the highs as ‘summer’ and the lows as ‘winter’. It’s a good way to see how you’re moving through life – and it’s enormous encouragement to know that summer is just the other side of a winter lull.

So, where am I now? Despite DNFing a race that was meant to be a major milestone in my efforts to become ‘Super Fit at 50’, I’m bouncing back and feeling good, having switched up my diet, taken a brief hiatus from running, and invested in a change of shoe.

It might be hot as hell outside right now in July, but I personally feel like spring is in the air!

Where are you on your own sine curve? Is life (and running) coming easy to you, or do you feel, despite the weather, that you’re stuck in a ‘winter’ of your own? Spring is just around the corner. Leave me a comment below and I’ll see if I can help – or drop me a line at andy@lifeisasinecurve.com. I coach endurance running with XNRG – email me to ask a question or book an intro session.

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