Running Better

As quite often happens, both in life and in running, I have suddenly noticed that things are going well.

It started last week, but it did not feel that good.  My legs were going faster than my lungs could supply oxygen, so I had to keep slowing down.

That is always a good sign.

Yesterday I did a quick 2 mile run in the morning and was 15 seconds faster than ever before.  The best part was that I felt so good running up the hill at the end.

What has caused this?

I feel stronger and my stride is much more positive, hence an increase in speed and the increased demand for oxygen.

More importantly, my recovery time has improved and I do not feel so stiff in the mornings.  That alone is worth the small effort and expense I have had to put in.

The aerobic part will come back as I do more training, it’s the increased strength that I want to talk about now.

I think there are at least two reasons.  I’ll post one now and one later.

Protein is one of them.  If you look about the web for protein requirements you will find a lot of different suggestions.  I settled on about 1.4 grams/kg body weight for normal people, 1.6 if you are doing moderate exercise and 1.8 for intense exercise.  Up to 2.25 grams/kg bodyweight has been suggested (probably in the body building world), but the article I read suggested there was not much evidence of any extra gain over the 1.8 level.

So I weighed a few of my meals and came to the conclusion that I was short of protein.

Whey protein was my solution and I have 25 grams at least on the days I train.

There is a lot more that can be said about this, but that will have to be for another post.

Over the last year I have been slowly increasing the amount of protein I eat in other meals as well and I feel there has been a difference which I have noticed even more so recently with the other change I shall describe in the next post.

The actual results are probably achieved through a combination of these two changes and some other mysterious things I have not yet identified.

So I suggest you try it for yourself.  Because everyone has different eating habits it is important that you measure your own meals.  I just weighed “typical” meals, the sort you eat regularly, and made a guess at the others.

As I eat very few processed and prepared meals, I had to look up typical food values for all of the ingredients, but anything in a tin or packet will have pretty useful information written on it from which you can make an educated guess.

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