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.