Fitness Journey – getting my body back into shape

I am about to start my Fitness Journey once again as I lay the foundations for getting back into shape.  As you may be aware, I’ve previously been focussed on running. Earlier this year I ran the London Marathon, since then my fitness has dropped, a lot.

My Fitness Journey

Over the coming three months my plan is to improve my diet and increase my physical activity.  Simple.  I don’t have a weight goal, I want to feel fitter and look fitter.  I know I am carrying a few pounds more than I was during marathon training, that’s natural.  Since the marathon, I’ve just become a little lazy really.  I took a month off running to recover, my diet deteriorated and I fell “out of shape”.  I’m going to need to make some changes to my daily regime to make this all possible, I plan to hold myself accountable by logging it all in my blog.

The first step

My first action is to cut back on sugar.  I don’t drink a lot of caffeine, so sugar is my pick me up.  I often have a sugary breakfast, I may snack on chocolate and biscuits.  In the evening after dinner, I’ll likely have a sugary treat too.  This all stops, at least in the short term.  I’m going cold turkey too.  As of July 3rd, no more sugary breakfasts, no more sugary snacks and no more late night sweets.  I expect it to be quite tough, so I may allow myself a dessert as a treat if I go out for dinner.  Otherwise, it’s a no.  I’m not going to over analyse the sugar content in food, I know that by doing what I am I will reduce my sugar intake.

Exercise – boosting my fitness

Fitness journey - my home gymTime to get back to the grind.  I started running again last month anyway to try and get back into the swing of it.  On Monday (3rd July) I went for my first run of the new regime, 10 km (6.2 miles) which took 52 minutes 57 seconds.  I’m keen to bring that time down in the next few months, so the bulk of my exercise will be running.  I plan on going twice per week, likely Monday and Friday.

In between the running, I want to bring in some weight training.  I have not been to the gym for a long time, most of my exercise has been road running.  I have a small scale gym setup in my garage, some free weights etc.  This week I built a mini routine to follow, which had me aching a little so it must have done something right.

If things go well, I will build out the variety of equipment to allow me to progress.  I still need to get around to hanging the bag too so that I can beat it up!

Drink more water

One thing that is very clear to me, is that I need to drink more water.  During my training for the marathon, I rapidly increased water consumption, since then I’ve been pretty poor.  I have one of those water bottles that show the measurements, this will be my guide.  2 of them per day would equate to 1.5 litres of water.  The suggestion is that you are meant to drink in the region of 2 litres, so I need to have finished at least 2 of these per day.

I watched a video recently that provided some simple key signs to understand if you are dehydrated.  It also suggested that it is very easy to become dehydrated, without needing to exercise.  One simple test was to pinch the skin on the back of your hand.  If the skin falls back into place right away, you are adequately hydrated.  If it holds for a moment or doesn’t fall back, you could do with some water!  I think the logic here is that your skin should be elastic when hydrated, try it, do you need a drink?

Nutrition

I’m not going to be able to get to where I want to be by simply cutting back on sugar and doing more exercise.  I need to take a closer look at what I am eating and when I am eating it.  On days where I am exercising, I need to eat appropriately to help my body recover.  In doing so I should naturally lose a little weight as I’ll likely be burning more calories that I eat.

Another thing I really need to focus on is the regularity of eating.  Previously I have been quite sporadic and have eaten as an when I felt hungry.  My new plan is to try to get back to eating at the correct times of day – breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Whilst on this school of thought, I need to start reconsidering portion sizes also.  I have often cooked too much and then just piled it on my plate, and eaten it all.  If I can control portion sizes, I should be able to control my weight a little.

I’ll be posting regular updates of my fitness journey, I hope that you can come along for the ride. If you are doing something similar, or interested in doing so – why not get in touch either via the comments below or Twitter and let’s support each other.  My fitness journey will run through until October initially, here’s hope it’s a productive three months.

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