If you have been following my blog or read any of my articles you know that in my research and also in THE RESEARCH, I have found that as I train for these longer distance events and add more and more volume of steady state aerobic training my body changes and not the way I want it to. I don't lose weight and I don't fit in a smaller size in fact my weight and size usually stay about the same, despite a high training volume, but my appearance is different. I lose my abs and don't have the definition I am used to seeing and overall end up feeling a bit "soft" by the time of the event. THE RESEARCH also shows this to be true that using higher intensity, lower volume is the answer for fat loss.
Although I am in great physical shape, and am able to swim a mile, bike 56 miles and run a half marathon all in one 6 hour workout, for all of the training I have been doing my body doesn't look it's best. Again, I am the same weight and size and probably look the same in clothes covered up but won't be caught training in a half top for a few weeks.
I always start training for these long distance events and for some reason think- "This time it will be different, I will really keep lifting heavy and watch what I eat and will be able to keep my abs throughout the whole training and will do a Half Ironman looking like a Figure Competitor." I know many of you have similar thoughts because I get emails all the time- "How can I train for a marathon and lose body fat crossing the finish line looking defined?" I actually did an interview on this very subject a while back- Click here to read. And in that interview I state- "My ultimate goal is to cross the finish line of a triathlon looking like a fitness competitor and be able to maintain it but I don't know if it is possible. I am still working on that one..."
But, once again as my training progressed for this Half Ironman my abs got softer and I could not keep my definition no matter how hard I tried. It is probably a hint that the majority of people who cross the finish line of an endurance event have a softer appearance, even if they are thin they usually don't look defined.
So as for my "Ultimate Goal" I have realized that it just may not be possible especially when training for Half Ironman and Ironman distance. Training for a Half Ironman and training to look like a "Fit Female" are two totally different and opposite goals. To get the look of a Fit Female, as I discuss in my book, you want you have to challenge your body and keep it from adapting with intense exercise, on the other hand to complete an endurance event your goal is for your body to adapt to the workouts so that you can complete the mileage at a steady state but adapting means you burn less and less calories.
The key for me is to periodize my year and my training so that after completing a Half Ironman, which for me was totally worth it to have the satisfaction of completing the event and being a part of contributing to the Challenged Athletes Foundation so my niece can participate in sports and be a part of what they have to offer, I have a 6 week Attack the Fat Phase.
Now it is time to switch gears and bump up my intensity and drop my volume and get the definition I am used to having back and Attack the Fat. The plan is 6 weeks of two metabolic workouts and three strength workouts along with eating healthy, NO steady state cardio. I did this same plan of attack after my last triathlon and within 6 weeks was back to the way I like to look.
This is the exact same plan that is laid out in my book, The Female Body Breakthrough, which has 16 weeks of strength and metabolic workouts. This is also the exact type of plan we recommend for the members of our gym who most of them perform 1-2 strength workouts a week and 1-2 metabolic workouts and their bodies transform to look the way they want in 6-12 weeks.
You can also be on your way to reaching your ultimate goal and the good news is that you do not need to do hours and hours of steady state aerobic training to have the body you want, in fact it could work against you. Give me 2-4 hours a week.
I'll be blogging on my progress every Monday for the next 6 weeks as my body transforms back to the defined, strong Fit Female "look" I prefer. This is the same Fit Female look I discuss in my book. Get my book next week, start following the programs and join me on your own Fit Female Transformation. I'll try to get some pics up for you.