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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: 48 year old fat guy needs help

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

May 26, 2014 9:06 PM # 
Hi folks!

I want to compete in the nationals which will be very close to my home in Colorado.

I'm 48, about 30lbs overweight. I just finished a Green 6k in 1:54 (mostly walking--navigational skills dead on). I could job 200 meter bits, but got fairly winded quickly, even on the flats.

I need help with constructing a 10-week training program to reduce weight and build cardo endurance so I can do much better at our national event.

If you could help me, or point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

Thx Rob
May 26, 2014 10:47 PM # 

Got me on the road from a 130kg slob to (eventually) a 95kg nutter running marathons. And it's only 9 weeks, so you can even taper like a pro. :)
May 26, 2014 10:58 PM # 
couch to 5k is great, can vouch for it too, my wife used that app last year and loved it
May 26, 2014 11:06 PM # 
And remember that your secret weapon is that a lot of people coming from sea level won't be able to jog more than 200 m up at Round Mountain, either.
May 27, 2014 5:47 AM # 
And if your navigation is good, you can still walk most of it and finish respectably!
May 28, 2014 3:13 PM # 
Perfect, thanks. Downloaded the app and will start today. I suspect a good goal will be eventually be 10k so I can jog a red course.

However, what about the 30lbs of fat? The c25k program doesn't address nutrition.

Any suggestions?
May 28, 2014 5:12 PM # 
If you want to lose weight, the easiest way is too cut out snacks...
Between meals your body metabolises (uses up your food and if that's not enough will use a little fat) so if you snack it never really does this. So cut out snacks and if possible avoid as much sugary things as you can!
Hope that helps...
May 28, 2014 5:34 PM # 
I used "My Fitness Pal" to track calories. It takes a bit of work to set up any recipes you make, but it's pretty quick and easy once you've established regular meals. It's pretty user friendly.

I wouldn't listen to the app's advice RE: calorie intake, as it seems to aim on the low and unrealistic side. There's lots of information on the internet that's much more realistic. The app does make you more conscious of how many calories different foods have.

The main things that helped me out were cutting out all drinks other than water and coffee/tea, smaller portion sizes, cut out snacking or have 60-120 calorie snacks to tie you over. I still eat chocolate and frozen yogurt, but in small portions, as I found cutting it out completely made me just crave it even more! Try using cottage cheese instead of regular cheese for lasagna, etc (high protein, less calories). Don't have anything in the house that's a temptation, like large bags of chips! Once you get a routine established, it becomes very easy to eat healthy, smaller portions as a lifestyle change rather than a "diet". Good luck!
May 28, 2014 7:22 PM # 
I second AliP's recommendations about giving up sodas and using MyFitnessPal.

Very generally (and maybe I'm being Captain Obvious here), a rule of thumb is that you should only shop and eat from the perimeter of the grocery store (where you'll find "real" food like lean meat, fish, fruit, veggies) and avoid all the high-calorie / low-nutrient processed foods in the center of the store (cookies, crackers, chips, sugary cereal, mac-n-cheeze, ice cream, etc.).

For me, MyFitnessPal is too tedious to use on a long-term basis. But, if you use it for a week or two, it'll be VERY eye-opening about how fast your daily calories add up, and how many calories are packed into certain serving sizes.

MyFitnessPal has a web site where you can enter all your meal details by hand, but it's much faster to use the barcode scanner that's built into the smartphone app.

I'm glad you're planning to be at our A-Meet this fall. GOOD LUCK with your goals! :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
May 28, 2014 8:48 PM # 
I need to follow my own advice but just using the food pyramid is all most folks need
May 28, 2014 8:51 PM # 
Also try and find something healthy which you actually really like... for me it's summer fruits like strawberries and yogurt. It means you don't have to be eating boring food all the time so don't get so tempted by sweet things so easily :P Hope it goes well!
May 28, 2014 11:02 PM # 
Also keep in mind that as you get faster, navigation techniques change. What is easy at a walk gets more difficult at faster speeds and requires some practice. Be sure that you continue to include navigational exercises in your training regimen so that you don't lose your speed gains to navigational slowness.
May 29, 2014 12:33 AM # 
True North:
I enjoyed the C25K program..just finishing the 9th week by running the JP Morgan Chase Corporate challenge in Rochester NY tomorrow night. It surprised me that I could always manage whatever increase the app said to do. Now to think about food choices.... good luck!
May 29, 2014 1:25 AM # 
I think the evidence is mounting now that the Food Pyramid is grain industry sponsored nonsense, but the jury isn't quite in. I think bbrooke's "Captain Obvious" suggestions are fantastic.
May 29, 2014 11:29 AM # 
Also sleep well. Tiredness -> sugar-craving.
May 29, 2014 4:17 PM # 
Thanks All for the suggestions.

ndobbs--I complete crave carbs when I'm tired. but also when I'm stressed or worried.

One of my big problems is not taking time to eat well. I tend to be be overly busy and then use that as an excuse to eat fast food. I'm thinking about setting aside Sunday as a plan/cook meal day so I'm not tempted to eat out.

smittyo--any suggestions to work on navigation training as I begin to jog from control to control?

May 29, 2014 5:31 PM # 
Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook is very helpful. She writes a column in ONA magazine.
May 30, 2014 12:50 AM # 
The easiest thing to work on navigation training is just to take a map with you on running workouts. This allows you to practice reading the map while you are moving at a faster speed. When you walk you probably never stop to read the map, you read it while you are moving. The trick is managing to keep that up even as you get faster. The faster you get the more this will also require map simplification and smart use of attackpoints.
Jun 1, 2014 9:21 PM # 
I don't have a training plan for you, but I have something even better. One of my biggest running inspirations is legendary Steve way, former fat-boy and now a really good marathon runner (which is litteraly an understatement).

His web page:

And a great interview on MarathonTalk (starts from 35:00)

He wasn't as good then as he is now (2010), but was still a lot better than most people. But if you can listen to his interview, i can promise you'll be inpsired to become pretty, pretty good. Really hope that helps.

Now I have never been fat like yourself (your words not mine), but I have been out of shape. I was about 30% slower back in 2009 then than today. I found out my improvements were when I started doing intervals and long runs. That was my bread and butter there. In maybe 3-6 months ahead, you might want to think about that.
Jun 5, 2014 5:15 PM # 
I was about 45 when I started my 'diet'. For me, writing everything I ate down, and then looking up the calories worked (lost 30 lbs in 3 months). I also started running regularly. I think the manual process of writing down the calories was the eye-opener. I would only eat 1 piece of bread rather than 4, etc.
I didn't eliminate chocolate or ice cream. Just decreased the amounts...
I also 'count' fruits & veggies as 0 calories. Even though this is not correct, it gets me going in the right direction.

Also, if I eat oatmeal in the morning, it helps a lot. I think that is because of the pre-sized packet. Can put on as many berries as I want. ... Otherwise, I just heap a bowl of cereal.
Jun 5, 2014 8:59 PM # 
I agree with the fruits and veggetables are 0 calories. Reminds me of this interview (where he touches on the subject of oranges and orange juice), which is worth the watch. My favourite health guy interviewed by my favourite political junkie:

If you are serious about weightloss and really want to learn the dysfunction in the health industry, this is an important one.
Jun 14, 2014 3:58 PM # 
Everybody, many thanks for the great words, suggestions an inspiration.

On Thursday I started on week 3 of the C25K program. I was progressing great and had even completed a 6 minutes of non-stop jogging. I adjusted my eating as well, less crap and more fresh veggies and home cooking. I was feeling good.

However, at the beginning of the run I banked right on the trail and without warning my left foot rolled outward and I went down hard. Been there done that in racquetball. Bottom line, acute class II sprain. I got off my ankle and have been icing it on and off for 2 days. Not as bad as I thought but I doubt I'll be running for probably 6 weeks. Arrgh!

Couch to 1k and back to couch ;-)

I still hope to be able to at least walk the national event in August.

in the mean time my son took 2nd at Colorado CSOL event and then turned around and hiked Pike's Peak, elevation 14110. Ah, to be young again.

I'll keep you updated.

Jun 14, 2014 7:57 PM # 
Trails are deceptive (been there/done that on the ankle sprain). Good luck getting back to work after you recover.

Various ankle braces have been discussed here on Attackpoint should you want extra support on an O course.
Jun 19, 2014 8:08 AM # 
if you've got access to a stationary bike (once the initial phase of the sprain has passed), that can do wonders for at least holding your CV fitness at current levels while waiting for the all-clear to run again.
Jun 19, 2014 10:03 PM # 
Get of the couch and onto a bike or Erg or run with ankle brace. No excuses!
I have worn a pair of Jalas Hi Top O shoes the day after rolling an ankle. They do their job.
Jun 19, 2014 10:08 PM # 
Jalas high tops are great....if your foot isn't wide.

My first and only pair gave me plantar fasciitis because they were too narrow. Beware of fit.
Jun 19, 2014 11:01 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Or if you don't have such exotic stuff at your disposal, local sporting goods box will probably have something like an Active Ankle T2, which when I searched here on AP turned out to be more common than I would have guessed (ie lots of people using them regularly.)

I was back in the woods the next week after the worst roll I can remember using that.

Some use or recommend the Push PSB, which falls into the slightly less easy to get category, but may be nicer to use.
Jun 20, 2014 4:44 AM # 
If you can't run with the ankle, there is still walking. The physio usually says to stay on flat and smooth surfaces. Any kind of exercise raises your metabolism, which is what you want. Try to keep the exercise habit you were building - it will make it way easier to get back into the higher intensity stuff like running. Good luck!
Jun 20, 2014 8:05 AM # 
The thing to be wary of with ankles and orienteering is that you will be pain free long before your ankle is full strength again. When you do get back out in the forest, strapping or a brace would be a sensible precaution (active ankles are awesome)
Jun 20, 2014 2:46 PM # 
> (active ankles are awesome)

This is true.
Jun 22, 2014 3:13 AM # 
badbob - I suggest getting some shoes with a low and narrow heel, which I credit with saving me from any seriously rolled ankles in the three years since I switched to them (to say nothing of how much more pleasant sidehills are!). Check into Inov-8 shoes or something other orienteers wear for your off-road running! Keep up the good work!
Jun 24, 2014 6:39 AM # 
Bob - I am a qualified naturopath who is more than happy to give you nutritional advice and help with any weight loss issues. See - Just send me an email.

This discussion thread is closed.