Running In Place Results In Disaster (Heart Rate Too Low)

Day 282

Yesterday, I gained 1.0 kg even though I actually worked out. The problem was the exercise that I did, which was a session of running in place.

Let me just give a quick example of how bad the results were when running in place. On Day 280, I was about 78.0 before the run, finished the run at about 77.7, and finished the day at 76.5. But on Day 281, I was once again 78.0 before the run. But my weight was still 77.8 after the 70-minute “running in place” session, and I finished the day at 77.5. So the difference between an actual running session and running in place was a full kilogram.

Now, I did run in place for 70 minutes. But even if I had finished the full 90 minutes, it would have been a maximum of .3. So that would have been no more than a .1 kg difference. And I actually finished early and ran only 81 minutes on Day 280. So the time difference was only 11 minutes, not 20.

It is beyond obvious that running in place will not work for me. It just doesn’t give me enough of a workout. I said the same about walking, and now running in place can be added to the list of pointless workouts FOR ME. As to what works for you individually, you will have to test it because people are different. Also, I am talking about weight loss or weight maintenance only. Of course, running in place can be good for overall health even if it’s not enough for me personally to lose weight with my typical weight.

Let me compare heart rate now, and this is what really tells the story. My heart rate varies when jogging, but it ends at typically about 130 these days. Even during the winter and with slower runs, I usually see well over 100 when checking at the end of sessions. But when I checked my pulse at the end of the running-in-place session yesterday, it was a paltry 68! That 68 is barely above my typical resting rate of 55 beats per minute.

I also very noticeably had less sweat in my clothing and was not breathing as hard. The problem with running in place is that, if you try to achieve a high speed, it wears out your leg muscles. At least for me, I can’t keep up that kind of crazy pace. It’s basically impossible for me to get up to a 120 heart rate or so when running in place. Maybe I can do that for just a few minutes. But my legs would need to slow down after that (something like 5 minutes at the most).

I don’t know the physical mechanics behind this. I just know that regular jogging allows me to reach and attain a heart rate of 120 or more for a full 90 minutes. And there’s just no way I can do that when running in place. There’s a biomechanical reason for this, but I don’t have the expertise to know exactly what that reason is.

As with all workouts, you should individually perform Pentamize tracking to see what works for you. This time, I ran in place because it was raining too hard. So I decided that I would just make it up the ensuing days. But as a routine, regularly scheduled exercise, running in place is simply not an option for me.

I am treating today as if I took a break even though I actually worked out on Day 281 (the running-in-place session). What this means is that I need to eat less. It’s the only way I can possibly come close to making back some of the 1 kg gained yesterday. I’ll need to try not to pass 79.2 or so at the maximum.

With one meal left, I was still at 78.5 kg. So at that point, I was doing really good. I need to keep both food and drink to a minimum until sleep time. But I do have one more meal and will probably gain about .3 to .4 kg, to get close to 79. As long as I don’t go above that, then I have a pretty good chance of actually cutting the full kilogram that I gained yesterday. Notice that starving is not the approach. I am simply being more careful about how much I eat and trying to stay at or below 79.2 at the maximum. With a start of 77.5, that gives me 1.7 kg that I can gain before bedtime. That is about 3.5 pounds and is obviously not starving.

I went to bed at 78.8, which was actually a little better than yesterday despite the fact that I started at 77.5. Actually, I also woke up a couple of hours earlier. So it’s definitely better than yesterday by approximately .4 kg.

An increase of only 1.3 by bedtime is good stuff and the kind of diet I need. However, I will generally be consuming more than that when working out due to the need for additional energy. Yes, I have tried eating less and NOT working out at the same time. And that did not work for me. I simply cannot avoid gaining weight unless I have a reasonable diet AND exercise. Both components have proven to be necessary for me, although it’s possible that others could maintain or lose weight by only eating less. It just doesn’t work for me.

Look at today’s results. I woke up and was still .5 kg above yesterday’s final weigh-in. So even if I follow a decent diet on a day with no exercise, I routinely end up about .3 kg above at weigh-in time. And it’s even worse than that on days when I overeat or consume too much junk food. It can easily go over 1 kg.

Today, I had an unusually good drop before the run. It was surprising to see that I dropped to 77.5 kg, which is actually the breakeven amount BEFORE exercising. And I ran for about 83 minutes and lost 1.2 kg. This put me at an official weigh-in of 76.3 kg. That is a huge day with a weight loss of 1.2 kg (the same as the during-exercise weight loss because I was exactly at the breakeven mark before running).

It is pretty hard to get a weight loss of 1.2 kg on a single day. I actually made back the full kilogram gained yesterday plus an additional .2 kg. And today, this was achieved despite finishing the session 7 minutes early. I probably would have lost an extra .1 kg if going the full 90 minutes.

How To Select a Target Maintenance Weight

Day 281

I took a step back yesterday, gaining .3 after a great loss of .4 the day before. This was due to a little bit of cheating, which I can’t always avoid. However, the fact that I ended at 76.5 was still pretty good and only about 3 pounds over my target maintenance weight.

Based on experience, it is very hard to get below my target maintenance weight of 75.0. So my target weight is not easy to maintain and not designed to be easy. If I wanted it to be easy, I’d just put it at 78 kg or something like that. I can easily get well below 78.

My main consideration in deciding on a fairly difficult maintenance weight to maintain is that a higher mark might cause me to get too lax on my diet and exercise plan. Imagine this. Let’s assume I set my weight at 78, which is very easy for me to hit. Let’s say I get down to 76.5 kg, which I was at yesterday. With my target weight being 75, I know it’s still time to keep up the plan. There is no room to get lazy. But if it were 78, I could get lazy because I am 1.5 kg under (about 3 pounds). This could cause me to consistently get lazy over and over again or to stop trying as hard as soon as I hit 77.9.

I don’t see any good reason to pick an easy target maintenance weight. The risk of getting lazy is just too high. Conversely, if you set a target weight that you never have any chance of reaching because it is too difficult even when you follow your plan, then you may need to modify it upwards to have a more realistic goal. It is hard for me to hit 75. But if I get on a roll and maintain discipline, I know I can do it because I have hit 75 many times.

Just like anything, you need to find the right balance when setting a target maintenance weight. If it’s too high, you might not exercise or diet hard enough. If it’s too low, you may get frustrated that you are always far above it. This could make it difficult to take needed breaks or less strenuous workout sessions when your body needs it. So modify up or down as necessary to allow yourself to keep a reasonably difficult but not frustratingly difficult fitness level (by fitness, I merely mean a healthy weight for you, not necessarily being thin since that might not be realistic for you).

Today turned into a disaster because of rain. I was about 79.1 kg at the highest, which is a little too high but manageable. For example, look at yesterday. I was up to 79.4 and still was able to end at 76.5. However, that was with a 90-minute run. Today, when it was time to run, it was raining way too hard. So I decided to do some running in place under a roof. I ran in place for 90 minutes and had a near-worthless result. I had weighed myself at 78.0 before that workout and ended at 77.8. That was a paltry loss of only .2 kg during this session. That’s hardly even better than walking.

I went to the bathroom and dropped to 77.7. Then, there were about 3 hours to go before my official weigh-in time. So I was expecting to lose a little bit more, but there was no way I was going to get even remotely close to yesterday’s official weight of 76.5. This is a disaster I will just have to recover from in some way. Maybe I will do an extra 45-minute session tonight and then my regular run tomorrow morning before the official weigh-in. I dropped to 77.5 before the official weigh-in, meaning that I gained 1.0 kg today.

Read the Day 282 blog for more on the relationship among running in place, heart rate, and weight loss during exercise.

Achieving Diet-Exercise Balance

Day 280

Yesterday was solid, with a weight loss of .4 kg. I dropped from 76.6 to 76.2 kg. Today is probably going to be a bit different. While I would not say it was a cheat day, I did eat a little too much.

We did a little grilling and finished up eating at 7 p.m. My weight was something like 79.4 kg at that time. This looks pretty bad. My weight was 77.9 when waking up on Day 279. It would be mighty hard to get down to that from 79.4 by morning. So it looks like a probable weight gain today.

Even though today had a small amount of cheating, I try not to let this get me down. I am not perfect, and the enjoyment of eating with family is not something to completely eliminate from life. I just try to keep it to a minimum, and except for once or twice a month, limit the amount that I eat. That way, even if it’s a little bit of overeating, it’s not a full-on cheat day.

It’s not easy to cheat and maintain or lose weight for me and I premuse a lot of other people. This usually requires me to exercise more than I really want. But there is a fair tradeoff here. If I decide to cheat a little by eating too much, then I need to sacrifice in the exercise department. For me, that usually means going out and doing a 90-minute jog to make up for the cheating as much as possible in one day. Often, one day is not enough. So I may have to do this for 2 or 3 days with a moderate cheating day and sometimes more for a full-on cheat day.

The point to be made is a weight loss/maintenance plan is about balance. If I get out of balance on my diet, then the response to that is to step up my exercise to get the diet-exercise combination back in balance.

If I do manage to eat less than my usual, that’s when I can also exercise less unless I am still recovering from recent cheating. So the balance for weight maintenance can go in 3 basic directions:

1. eat more than the typical amount and exercise more;
2. eat less than the typical amount and exercise less; or
3. eat the typical amount and exercise the typical amount.

Now, these are just the Big Picture balancing acts for weight maintenance. Things are different if you are still losing weight, such as exercising more even on days with the average diet because you have some extra weight to lose. It’s impossible to cover every scenario when it comes to weight loss since there are so many different plans. Weight maintenance is easier to understand because there are just 3 main scenarios (see above).

I woke up and went to the bathroom twice and then weighed in at 78.0 kg. This is a little better than expected. Unlike my recent routine, I had a fairly small breakfast today. So this was expected to raise my weight some before the workout. This will make the situation a little worse, and I will likely gain some weight today. In fact, I was 78.2 after this small meal. It’s not necessarily a fatal blow. It just depends on whether I naturally lose some extra weight to go along with my normal workout. But it’s likely that I will gain some by weigh-in time.

Right before the run, I had dropped to 77.8 kg. At about the same time yesterday, I was 77.5. So while I am at a small disadvantage, this is actually only about .3 above that mark. Thus, I have at least a small chance of breaking even here but will likely have a smallish gain. At any rate, it won’t be too bad.

My run had the same result as yesterday, which was a loss of 1.3 kg. That reduced me to 76.5 kg. Actually, I ran only about 81 minutes because I was dead tired as I arrived back home. But to make up for that, I ran hard and finished at about 152 beats per minute. Although the 76.5 is a gain of .3 kg today, it could have been so much worse. My diet wrecked me, but the decent run results kept the gain to a relatively low amount.

Dropped .4 KG To Take Back Yesterday’s Gain

Day 279

The last two days have been a see-saw affair. I first lost .4 kg and then gained .3 of it back yesterday. At least that’s a small net weight loss over this period. But because I just gained some, I’ll have to do a good workout today. Additionally, I have already set a new short-term goal of hitting 75.9 before cutting my 90-minute workouts to a shorter time (at least for one day and then modify based on Pentamize tracking after that). And since I am going in the opposite direction from that goal, it’s time to keep up the hard work.

Today has not been a perfect day when it comes to diet. But I tried to be more conscious of how much I was eating. It appears to have been well less than yesterday, and my weight was 78.4 at about 9 at night. This is a nice improvement over yesterday, as that is only .2 kg over my weight when I woke up. I could be around 1 kg ahead when getting up in the morning. However, that’s impossible to predict with good accuracy. But I am finished with all food and drink for the night. Thus, the advantage I will have in the morning should be substantial compared to yesterday morning’s 78.2. I even had one breezer earlier, which should generally be frowned upon. But looking at my weight at that time, I knew I could afford it.

The Pentamize system has an entire section on when and how to reward yourself. I followed that advice from my book when drinking that breezer earlier in the evening.

As stated above, it’s never possible to predict these things with solid accuracy. For some reason I don’t understand, I woke up and was still 77.9 kg. That is a disappointment but still a .3 kg improvement over yesterday at the same time. To drop only .5 overnight is very possible and does happen sometimes.

After 3 more hours, I dropped to 77.5 kg. This still put me at a .3 kg advantage over yesterday. These numbers are disappointing. But if I can get better results from the run, all will be good. 1.1 kg or more would be okay. Considering how things have gone lately, though, even that is not guaranteed.

I dropped to 76.2 after the run, which was a decrease of 1.3 kg. That means I lost .4 kg today. That’s a nice recovery of yesterday’s gain of .3 plus an additional .1 kg. The 1.3 drop during the run gives me hope that I can continue losing what is necessary with these jogging sessions.

It’s still puzzling that my during-run weight loss during summer has dropped from about 1.5 to 1.2. Frankly, I just can’t do much more. So the only other option would be to modify my diet. That’s something I could do if necessary. But I prefer the imperfect but effective diet I have now. Nonetheless, I am willing to make adjustments if necessary.

New Short-Term Goal Of 75.9 KG

Day 278

I am coming off of a very good day where I lost .4 kg. That followed a poor day of .3 kg of weight gain.

Both of these days consisted of a 90-minute run. But the big difference was my diet. Quite simply, I ate too much and made poor choices on Day 276, while I watched myself more closely yesterday and reversed that completely plus lost back an additional .1 kg. In other words, I went from 76.4 to 76.7 and then back down to 76.3.

I want to set a very short-term goal today. If I can get back to 75.9 kg, then I will just run one hour the day after that. Even if it does cause me to gain a litte, that is okay with me since it’s a good tradeoff for cutting 30 minutes off of my running session. To achieve this, I would have to lose .4 kg. That is not something that you can plan to achieve in just one day (results are too unpredictable even if you do well on diet and exercise). But I can hopefully reach this within the next 3 days or so.

My weight rose to approximately 79 at the max today, which is similar to yesterday. So I may have a good day here. But it’s not looking like a stellar day yet. I’ll just have to see how much my weight drops overnight. One thing that is certain is that my run in the morning will be 90 minutes again. It was only about 4 days ago that I took a break day. So while my body is a little tired, it’s still up to the task of my normal jogging routine. When my body reaches a certain point, it will be time to cut the duration even if I don’t hit the 75.9 first. Either way, after 277 days being in Pentamize weight maintenance mode (but going back into full mode at times to recover), I am still plugging along in the 76 kg range, which is plenty close enough to my 75 kg target maintenance weight (it was NEVER meant to be exactly that every day).

I had poor results overnight, waking up at 78.2 kg. That figure is disappointing, and I don’t really understand it. However, it was approximately 3 hours before the weigh-in, and my workout is still coming. Nonetheless, 78.2 is something like .7 more than yesterday at about the same time. This is not going to get me anywhere near 75.9 kg. I’ll be doing good to get to 76.7 at this point. Hopefully, I won’t give back the full .4 kg that was lost yesterday.

Before exercising, I dropped to 77.8. My run was pretty dang hard, and I still lost only 1.1 kg. I was a little surprised by that because my heart rate was around 140 at the end of the session. However, this dropped me to 76.7 kg. After hitting the head, my final weigh-in (it was a little earlier than yesterday) was a 76.6, for a daily weight gain of .3 kg. I feel that it would have been only about .1 if I had waited the full time. So I am not so unhappy with this result. It’s just a little annoying that it means yet another 90-minute run tomorrow.