It’s cutting season! Woooooo!!!!!!!
Over one month of 2016 has come and gone and it’s time to start preparing for the upcoming race season. So, what does a guy gotta do to set himself up for a good season? For starters, while the training load isn’t too high it’s a great opportunity to drop some of those extra pounds that creeped in over the holidays.
But Greg… you already look skinny enough! What’s the deal?!?!?!?
Well, I may look that way, but there’s a little more to it! The focus isn’t so much on losing mass as it is on changing body composition, or in other words, cutting the fat and keeping the muscle. I could bore you with the details (don’t click that link…) but instead I’ll sum it up with a few important points. Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald is a phenomenal source for further information on this topic.
- Impact from running is about 4x that of walking, so 1 pound lost equals 4 pounds less impact when running. For example, if I lose 10 pounds that is 40 pounds less impact on the joints, so if I’m on my feet running for 12 hours that is a cumulative reduction of 130,000 pounds!!!
- For my height and current weight, rule of thumb is that 1 pound lost equates to approximately one minute faster over the marathon distance on a flat course. 10 pounds lost equals 10 minutes faster, which is close to a whole season’s worth of training. This is even more important when you’ve got mountains to run up.
- Lower body fat percentages are correlated with more efficient fat utilization, allowing you to rely on body fat as an energy source more easily while on the run. This means I will feel better while not having to eat as many calories during a race.
So what does all this mean? The goal is to drop 10 pounds in the next 2 months to get back to optimum training weight, or around 173-175 pounds (8-9% body fat). In my experience anything lower and I’m miserable through training. Who knows, maybe this will change, but for now that’s what I’m shooting for. Plus, once I get into my formal training cycle in the coming months, I want to be stuffing my face so I can properly absorb the heavy training load; don’t want to drag this cut out too long!
Sounds super great! Just lose 10 pounds! IT’S THAT EASY!!!
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
I forgot to mention my little buddy that LOVES to show up to the party. Everyone’s got one of these guys and he’s always So. Much. Fun…
Whenever you try to change your personal status quo, whether it be getting stronger, losing weight, starting a new hobby, or simply getting your lazy butt off the couch, he just LOVES to ruin the party. I’ve had enough experience with this little man through my training and dealing with depression to know that this guy is VERY convincing. Sometimes he is out in the open shouting blatantly inappropriate things at you, or he may be hiding in the closet whispering negative thoughts while you sleep. His only goal is to make sure you don’t change. Like a toxic friend who wants to drag you down with them, this little buddy of yours is going to do everything in his power to stop you from achieving your goal.
Fortunately, the more you show him that you don’t put up with his bullshit, the more he’ll back down in the future. He’s got a lot of bark but not much bite. Once you get over the mental mountain he creates for you, it’s clear to see the only thing he’s done is put blinders over your eyes for what you’re actually capable of accomplishing. The mountain that he convinces you is impossible to summit is actually exactly what you need to be climbing to reach your goals and be happy with your life. In essence, this struggle that he is trying so hard to convince you is not worth your time is actually the only thing that is going to create improvement in yourself.
Why do I know this little guy so well? This guy is SO much more sinister during a depressive episode.
Do you know how much effort it’ll be to leave the bed this morning? Staying right here in bed sounds SO appealing! If you get up, you’ll have to decide what clothes to put on… how bout what you are going to eat? There are soooo many options! You sure you’ve got food that’s healthy enough? Wouldn’t want to eat unhealthy! Is that a stomach ache you feel? No? You sure? How about now? Remember that thing you were stressing about yesterday? Ya, I’m gonna keep making you think about it SO HARD. Now I’m gonna keep blabbing on and on and on about nothing at all! So have you thought about what clothes you are going to wear? No? People probably don’t even want to see you today if you can’t even make the simplest of decisions. You know what, let’s just stay in bed today, it’ll be easier and I’ll stop pestering you. Ya, that sounds much nicer 🙂
This little guy loves to bug me during training as well.
You know how busy you were last week AND put in that insane block of training? Let’s take an easy day or seven because there’s no way that was a healthy way to live long-term.
Okay, rest days are over but you didn’t get a good sleep. Let’s just sleep in a bit longer this morning and get an extra hard workout in this evening.
It’s okay, just watch a little more netflix and then start. It’ll feel so much better to sit here for another 30 minutes while you work yourself up to getting off the couch… What? It’s almost bedtime?! Okay, that’s fine. Tomorrow’s workout will be SO F’ING EXTREEEMMMMMEEEE!!!!!
You’ve already worked out for half an hour, any more and you’re going to be so tired! That uncomfortable feeling when you push the pace isn’t good for your health, you should really quit while you’re ahead. Don’t worry if you didn’t push yourself today, you can get a better workout tomorrow! Better yet, just don’t come back tomorrow, imagine how much that rest is going to help you recover!!
I’ve become accustomed to picking my little buddy out of a crowd when he is least noticeable and now it’s very apparent to me when he holds a presence. It’s also very clear to me when I see everyone else’s little buddy influencing their decisions.
Hey bro! You’re SOOO busy tomorrow, there’s NO WAY you can fit in time for that new thing you want to learn.
It would be so nice to get up early for a workout but you just can’t fall asleep at night! Also, netflix is like the only way to fall asleep. TV and computer is a must right before bed!
That very specific thing your friend is doing for consistent motivation definitely won’t work for you, personally. They’re lucky to have stumbled on that thing that works for them. Let’s just hope the same thing happens to us. In the meantime let’s see what’s new on facebook!
Wow that person is super fit! They really grew into that athletic body-type! If only you had genetics like that… Too bad for you! OMGZORZ THIS BURGER IS DELICIOUS!!!!!!! HERE’S SOME COMPLIMENTARY SELF-LOATHING WITH THAT GREASY LITTLE MOUTHGASM YOU’RE STUFFING DOWN YOUR THROAT!!!
Okay, things are getting out of hand…
So what do I plan on doing about my little buddy while I’m on a cut? First thing is laying out a plan that I know I can stick to. As long as I’m accountable and stick to the plan, the little man has no basis for his ‘suggestions’. Also, I’ve done this before so I know I can do it again, he can’t fool me! Results are not immediate and the little guy loves to use this to his advantage. What I do today is going to impact my results 2 to 3 weeks in the future. Knowing this, his comments don’t bother me as much. So what is my plan?
- 500-700 calorie deficit per day (1-1.5 pounds lost per week)
- Track food consumption on myfitnesspal’s calorie counter (this is SUPER useful!)
- Eat as nutritiously as possible
- Soylent. I will be talking about this one soon. It’s gonna be a game changer. Cutting, training, racing, and managing depression. This stuff is good. Stay tuned!
The number one thing I’ve learned is that falling off the wagon isn’t a failure, it’s just a hiccup. You will inevitably have many hiccups along the way to reaching a goal and in the grand scheme of things they aren’t very important as long as you get right back on track. Dwelling on these hiccups is useless, acknowledge them and move on. This makes it imperative to come up with a plan that you are confident is doable and will work.
Trust in the plan, trust in yourself.