Racing weight: the challenge continues…

I developed some pretty good habits during the summer’s Racing Weight challenge, I lost a few pounds, and I ran some pretty awesome PBs. It was originally supposed to be a short lived experiment to see if losing weight could have a positive effect on my running (Be lighter, run faster. Sensible sport science.). I genuinely didn’t think that the effect it would have on my running would be quite so positive though!

Last time I lost weight it was through a rather unhealthy combination of heartbreak, late night partying, smoking, and spin classes with a rather attractive instructor (it helped heal the heartache, ok?) but my racing weight challenge has shown me that I can be lighter and healthy and still eat lots of awesome and delicious food. If anything the experiment gave me an excuse to think about food more than I already do! One of the nutritional therapy students that I worked with, Regina, recently invited me back to the university to be her subject for a new project. She has been asked to advise a person with a busy lifestyle to reach their goals, whatever they may be, and with my new routine juggling two jobs and an approaching cross country season, she thought of me! I’m flattered…

Yes, that is my tummy fat being diligently measured with calipers…

As part of the pre-project check up I had to be weighed again and have my body fat composition measured, this time using calipers to measure my skin folds (yuk!) and double checking the result in the BodPod. I was shocked to discover that I have lost a further 2kg since the summer project ended 4 weeks ago and, even better, my body fat has finally started dropping and is now 27.7%. This is brilliant when you consider have snuck more than a few Double Deckers during those few weeks… This means that I am now at my lightest weight in 4 years, but this time I feel stronger and healthier for it, not hungover and short of breath.

Regular readers will have realised by now that I am very goal-oriented. If I set my sights on a particular challenge then I am able to structure my training (and now my diet too) accordingly. Without a set goal in mind I mostly just structure my training around Hollyoaks and The Big Bang Theory. It’s good to play to your strengths, so here are my new racing weight goals for the remainder of 2012.

Remember, aiming for my racing weight isn’t about trying to be skinny or about dieting. It is about trying to find my ideal weight for racing, a careful balance of optimum weight and strength achieved through good nutrition and focused training.

Hannah’s List Of Personal Goals For What Remains Of 2012

1. Weight
I would like to weigh 70kg, or 11st. I know that to a lot of people reading this might still sound really heavy, but that will be lighter than I have ever been during my 20s! I already feel substantially lighter, I feel bouncier when I’m running and am getting gradually faster. I am also still aiming for that elusive 25% body fat, the upper limit for (wannabe) atheltic-types. However I do not want to feel light and frail, which brings me onto challenge number 2…

2. Strength
I want to be able to do a press up.
Don’t laugh. I know I’m pretty strong, but I have never been able to do a full press up and its something I’m quite embarrassed about. I’ve secretly been working on my shoulders for the last 2 months in the hope of achieving my teenage dream, but I think my pectoral muscles need work too. Not sure how though… But that is challenge 2: a single press up.

3. Speed
I want to equal my 10K PB. My running club, Mornington Chasers, host a series of monthly 10K races over the winter and I will be trying to make a sub-49 minute 10K my average, rather than just a one-off race result. My first attempt will be in November.

There you have it. 3 months left in 2012, and 3 challenges remain. Wish me luck!

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