Running or gains?

Run Less, WOD More: My Attempts at Gains

When I finished the Divas Half Marathon, I had to make a choice: running or gains? Before the Divas Half, I had fallen into a three day a week schedule that included speedwork and a long run. Unfortunately, I was also dropping weight like crazy. I had started a clean eating plan from my coach, and it seemed like the minute I eliminated cheese, tortilla chips, animal fats, and artificial sugar, I lost weight.

This wasn’t great, but Holly and I worked to tweak the plan to stabilize my weight. I started seeing PRs in the gym. I didn’t PR the Divas Half Marathon, but I finished in a respectable time.

In other words, nutrition had changed my performance for the better, even though I was losing weight. After the half marathon, when I talked to Holly about running or gains, I chose gains.

Since the half marathon, I’ve cut back running drastically. I’ll run once or twice a week, and never more than four miles. I don’t do speedwork. Instead, I head to the box every day. I dutifully eat my egg whites, oatmeal, chicken breast, and leafy green veggies. I drink my whey and casein proteins. I’ve been seeing improvements in strength and even gymnastic skills as a result. It’s really true that you can’t out-train a bad diet. If you fuel your body with whole, nourishing foods, you’ll get it to perform better, in and out of the gym. (I’m also less prone to want naps in the afternoon, except on weekends, because weekends and naps are peanut butter and jelly.)¬†One of the things I know I need to do is add in more gentle yoga. My mobility is poor, and it affects my squats.

And finally, I’m seeing gains. My weight is going to a comfortable number, and hopefully, it means I’m building muscle mass. I’ve noticed the faint outline of abs under the loose skin and stretch marks. Just this past weekend, I was informed that I most definitely went too light on the weights in the WOD – something I don’t think I’ve ever been told – and that my jerk one rep max might be very close to my body weight.

For me, that’s enough to keep my running shoes in the closet and lace up my Nanos.

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