One thing is for sure...if you've got a few extra pounds and have a race coming up (even short races), not only will unneeded body fat slow you down, it will make you feel uncomfortable, too. I hardly think anyone needs to be at minimal body fat to run a 5K, but if you're going to put the miles and effort in training, the last thing you deserve is feeling horrible on race day just because the scales never tipped in your favor.
Take your workouts out of the mix for a moment. It is absolutely critical that you address your diet to lose unneeded body fat. Training - whether it's a run or an hour of strength training - will shape your body, and teach you how to turn your legs over and run fast, but it will not lead to massive weight loss. That comes largely from what you do (and don't) put into your mouth.
I could write about this all day long, but here are a couple important rules to live by when training for any length event:
- DO keep a majority of your training runs (or cardio workouts) fast and interval-based
- DO allow your heart rate to come down in between intervals
- DO eat 15 - 25 grams of protein shortly after your intense workouts (not necessarily the easy ones)
- DO have a game plan and don't fly by the seat of your pants. Take the time time work with a fitness professional who specializes in your unique needs.
- DON'T eat energy bars after short workouts lasting less than 90 minutes unless it's close enough to meal time, and that bar will be part of your meal.
- DON'T run or workout "slow and easy" more than once or (maybe) twice a week
- DON'T forget to sleep, and sleep well. The harder your workouts, the more your body needs to recovery. A lot of repair work is done at night.
If you would like to schedule a one-on-one training session (via phone, video chat or if in Chicago, in person), contact me at traci @ tracidmitchell.com. We can address your nutrition and fitness needs, achieving the best goals possible!
Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.