There are several days recently where I mentally really needed a break from exercise. This is also partially a physical thing, as the mental and physical aspects are connected. However, my physical conditioning is good enough to run any time I need to run.
The only real problem I have on the physical side is my left ankle. But that only slows me down. It does not prevent me from working out. Rather, it only affects my speed. For example, I can’t just walk out of my house and start sprinting near my previous max speed. It’s not going to happen because there is too much pain there. But I can jog for up to 90 minutes on a regular basis.
Of course, it is natural to want to take some break days. And that is fine. The problem is that I have hurt myself on the diet side of the equation. In 3 weeks since coming back from vacation, I have had 3 cheat days. This is what is forcing me to keep on running with no break days. The only hope of balancing out these cheat days is to keep on exercising. And one cheat day can require several days of workouts to recover from. In fact, right now, I am still way above the 78.0 mark I was at before the first cheat day, which was about 10 days ago. 3 cheat days can require me to work out every day for even a month to fully recover, depending on the situation (this time varies and can’t really be predicted).
This situation is compounded by the fact that I was already over my maintenance weight because of the vacation. So I am constantly recovering at this point. All of these diet mistakes are making me my own worst enemy in my Pentamize weight-management plan. So what to do?
Well, the first thing I must do is stop the cheat days. There is no amount of exercise that is going to make up for these days if there are too many of them. As it stands now, I have to cut those out and then focus on exercising on a daily basis. And that can be difficult when the mind and body start to wear down with no breaks.
What I decided to do yesterday is something that works very well every time I have tried it in terms of allowing me to continue exercising with no break days. And that is to slow down to the point that I have almost no stress while running. The pace must be enough to get an effective workout. Otherwise, it is too slow. But in terms of jogging for 90 minutes, it can be just a little above a fast walk. This is actually my normal speed, but I sometimes speed up quite a bit for short 10-minute spurts or for the last 15 or 20 minutes. But instead of those faster spurts, I just maintain the same pace all the way. It may be more monotonous. But when your mind and body need a break but can’t afford, just slowing down and keeping that same pace all the way is helpful.
Doing that yesterday, I still ended up losing 1.2 kg during the run. And that helped me lose a little bit of weight on the day.
So even though I am in a long recovery period because of the vacation and 3 cheat days, that doesn’t mean my exercise intensity must be high when I work out. It just means I need to work out at the proper mental and physical pace I can handle on that particular day. A loss of even .9 kg due to slow pace is obviously immensely better than a loss of 0 from having no workout at all. And sometimes, like yesterday, you will get good results, anyway.
There is no perfect mathematical formula to describe the slower pace I am talking about. But I will give you an example by comparing the heart rates on Day 326 and Day 327. On Day 326, I was still in the “run hard at the end” mode. And my heart rate was way up there around 145 to 150. Conversely, I just kept the same slowish pace all the way to the end on Day 327. My pulse showed a heart rate of 116. These numbers differ dramatically from person to person. But you can see the difference. It was approximately 20 percent less for me in this example, comparing a fast finish with a continual slow pace until the very end of the session. Sometimes, it may even be 30 percent less. The lowest I have ever tracked at the end of a 90-minute run is about 100 beats per minute. However, that is starting to push it toward being too low. But again, if that’s all you can do and it still gets some results, then do that pace because it’s better than doing nothing at all.
Today, my weight was similar to yesterday at bedtime. It was around 81.1 to 81.2. And when I woke up, it was better. I was about 79.8, which is the best waking-up weight in a while. Of course, it is not enough to take a break. This would be a bad time to take a break because a start of about 79.8 kg could give me a very big weight loss today. I can’t spoil that opportunity. However, I am going to do a slow pace all the way to the end again and accept whatever results are obtained from it. With a better starting weight, it will still probably end in a good weight loss for today.
Before my run, I had gotten down to about 79.6 kg. This should allow me to lose quite a bit of weight today by the end of the jogging session. As I discussed earlier, I am going to stick to my slow pace all the way through. If I have enough energy, I might speed up just a little in the last few minutes. But the only goal is to take my slowish pace and get through the full 90 minutes.
I had a nice, slow run, perhaps a little faster than yesterday. However, my heart rate was about 120 at the end, suggesting almost the same pace. And I lost 1.2 kg this time, getting down from 79.6 to 78.4 kg. Then, my official weigh-in showed a 78.3, which is a huge weight loss today of .7 kg. This is exactly what I have been waiting for. Now, this feels like a real recovery period.