Almost three weeks ago now I ran my first half-marathon, the Vitality Run Hackney Half.
Before I started training, I had some pretty lofty visions of what half-marathon training would do to my body. I envisioned myself as a tall(er) warrior princess, with legs like a racehorse and buns of steel.
For seven weeks, I ran 3-4 times a week and did 2 cross-training workouts. I think I may have missed a total of 2 runs while I was training; my cross-training however, definitely took a back seat. I was determined to cross that finish line, so I ran at any chance I got, including run commutes to and from work (which I actually really enjoyed)! Running so much meant that my other workouts were neglected, which I didn’t enjoy. I love lifting weights and using weights in high intensity workouts – a set of 10kg dumbbells and 30 minutes in the gym is one of my favourite ways to sweat. At the beginning of the Spring, I was easily completing dumbbell shoulder presses with 20 kilo weights.
And now…? I’m not so sure.
How my body’s changed: the positives +
– Running long distances consistently definitely gave my legs some power! My legs are leaner, too.
– Training for the half shaved off 2.5 inches from my hips. I wasn’t expecting that at all; now I know that consistent, steady-state cardio sessions three times a week results in this for me!
– My cardiovascular capacity has greatly improved. Aerobic exercises where my heart rate is elevated and my lungs are working overtime (like Insanity) feel slightly easier. I say slightly, because Insanity is still, well, Insanity.
– This isn’t a physical change, but mentally I am stronger. When it comes to completing tough workouts (like Insanity) I am able to power through for longer than before. I realised that when you train for a long-distance running event, you’re really training yourself to stop listening to the quiet and persistent voice in your head that tells you to stop.
– I can now proudly say that I am a half-marathoner. 🙂 🙂 🙂
How my body’s changed: the negatives –
– I have lost a lot of muscle and with it, strength. It’s probably around 11 weeks since I was doing consistent exercise with weights, so there’s no surprise there.
-…my booty has disappeared. Since I’ve lost weight over the years my bum’s gotten smaller, but this is different. I have no back-off and I am really not okay with it. I haven’t joined a gym yet in Melbourne but I hope to get to one this week, and I will be putting together one HELL of a lower body, squat fuelled workout. Squats 247/365 from here on out.
– My favourite part of my body are my arms, and they’ve lost muscle too! Seeing a pattern here?
How my body didn’t change:
– My weight stayed fairly consistent, around the 160lb mark. I didn’t adapt my diet much at all while I was training, either.
So, I’ve got a more powerful, leaner lower body, increased aerobic capacity and am a half-marathoner. On the flip side, I’ve lost muscle & strength and have no booty.
Do the positive’s outweigh the negatives? I’m not sure…I think that depends how long it takes me to get my booty back 😉