Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I got home from work yesterday and all I wanted to do was take a nap. I put the Red Sox game on the TV and read Sunday's newspaper. Then, I cooked dinner. When my wife got back from the gym, we ate dinner. At that point, I went into the bedroom to listen to the Sox game on the radio. I turned out the lights and I was asleep before 7:30. I slept until 6:30 this morning.

I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in a while. I'm still 10 pounds heavier than I was at Western States. I'm training hard and I feel like I'm eating well for 6.5 days each week. Every Saturday night, I'm having a meal where I eat and drink what I want, but otherwise, I feel like my diet has been good. I'm working hard in the gym and on the roads, doing lots of interval work, and not losing any weight.

I know that I can't out-train a bad diet, but I feel like I've been eating pretty well. Apparently, not well enough. In the past, I've found that the following 5factors seem to determine my fat loss or gain, in reducing order of importance:

1) Alcohol intake
2) Food intake - quantity and "quality"
3) Interval work
4) Weight training
5) Volume of training - total mileage

I find that if I drink alcohol on a regular basis, I won't lose weight, no matter how I train. If I'm eating too much food or the "wrong" foods, I won't lose weight. When it comes to training, hard training seems to matter more than long training. In some ways, high volume training seems to make it tougher to lose weight, because I'm starving after very long workouts.

I feel like I've been doing a decent job in all of these categories, but I'm not making any progress against the scale. I'm in good shape, but as always, fatter than I'd like.

Yasso 800s this afternoon - 10 of them. I feel rested and I'm looking forward to the workout. I'm going to run on the roads, but I'm going to do this workout in racing flats.


Jamie said...

Muscle weights more than fat. Think that could be a factor?

Damon said...


I know it's a factor. At my current weight, my pants wouldn't fit if it was fat rather than muscle. It's just that I'd rather be lighter than I am right now. That's all. Tonight's workout made me feel a lot better or perhaps less concerned about the weight.

Speed Racer said...

I was just talking about this with a friend the other day. Why IS it that distance training seems to make you (me) FATTER, while less volume but more speed/strength training seems to get rid of fat in no time. I've read lots of explanations for it, but I don't buy any of them.

Far be it for me to give YOU nutritional advice (you're some kind of nutritionist, aren't you?), but do you eat a lot of processed foods? I don't know how much of an impact it has on the scale, but when I'm eating "clean," I certainly FEEL better in every way.

And anyway, you sound like a girl!!! No, your butt does NOT look big in those running shorts!

Damon said...


I have read a number of explanations for why distance makes us fatter and intervals cause us to lose fat, and I buy most of them. Very long, slow workouts lead to cortisol increases and major hunger, both of which contribute to weight gain.

Interval work allegedly creates the "EPOC" effect - Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption - a bump in your metabolism for up to 36 hours or so after a tough effort. The EPOC effect is allegedly created through interval work or lifting big weights to near failure.

I'm not a nutritionist but I read and study nutrition extensively, trying to find a solution to my "girly" problem of being too fat. There's no doubt that I'd run faster if I was leaner. And, I like to run fast and beat people, so I want to be leaner.

Overall, I eat fairly clean foods and I eat fewer carbs than most endurance athletes. My normal diet is a mix of the Paleo Diet for Athletes and Precision Nutrition. Those programs work well for me, when I follow them properly.

Yesterday after the 24 miler, I was starving all day long and I woke up starving this morning.

Tania said...

I guess I am weird....as usual.
Long slow distance seems to lower my weight and supress my appetite.
I have noticed for me that time of day working out makes a big difference. Morning workouts cause me to eat less late in the day which I think helps also. When i work out after work I tend to eat a larger dinner which, right before bed, is not the best. All that being said I dont have a serious weight "issue" but I am a girl so it is always sort of an issue. :-) So Off I go at 5:30 AM to the gym to run a 6 mile progression run.....I will be asleep until about mile 3....