My attempt to keep weight gain at bay while not running

Tori is loving all of her extra walks

Tori is loving all of her extra walks

There are so many things to miss about running when you’re injured and I’d be lying if I said knowing that I’m burning fat and calories while out there isn’t one of them. I have felt good about my body since shedding some unwanted fat via MAF training, so it’s only natural that I don’t want to put it back on while on the DL. I think it’s probably inevitable that a few pounds will sneak on: I’m just not going to put in the hours of other activities that I would running because frankly, I don’t enjoy them nearly as much. And at this point in my life, I’m just not going to spend hours on end doing things I really don’t enjoy.

So–the strategy will look like this:

  • Approaching nutrition with more focus than normal. I’m always careful about what I put into my body–processed foods are not on my menu at any point, but now I need to be more diligent than normal with increased vegetable, fruit, and good fat intake. I’m applying the “six packs are made in the kitchen” philosophy here.
  • Increasing the amount of strength work I do. When I’m running, I am faithful about strength training two times per week. Now I’m upping that to three. I’m also making sure to keep a good amount of variety in those strength workouts.
  • Walking more than normal. I don’t spend much time sitting during the day at all, and I do walk a fair amount, too. But let’s just say Tori is getting in a few more miles than normal right now! Inspired by MizFit, I’m trying to walk more errands than I normally would–I am fortunate to have a grocery store, post office, coffee shop, etc. all about a mile down the road from my house.
  • Crosstraining to the extent that I can. Right now it appears that the bike and swimming are pretty much ok with this injury. Yoga is not. I may have to back off  for a bit after my PRP injection, but I do one or the other, or sometimes both, every day. Again, I’m not going to sit on my bike trainer for two-plus hours or swim 4,000 yards at a time because I just don’t like them enough. But an hour to an hour-and-a-half, or 2,500 yards here or there I can handle.

That’s the plan. PT exercises will of course be in there, as well, once I have my shot and things have settled down. Of course I’d rather run and have the ability to be a bit less focused. But I’ll keep up my cardiovascular fitness and strength this way, and hopefully, stay in my current size jeans as well. Wish me luck!

If you’ve been injured, how have you approached your laid off fitness? Favorite cross training exercises? 

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  1. says

    You’re a much better person than I.
    Last March, I tore a calf muscle. 3 weeks before my A race. You can imagine what that did for my emotional well-being. I coped with brownies. Lots of them. By the time I could run again, I was 10 pounds heavier.
    Keep at it, girl! I wish I would have.
    Jamie @ Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat. recently posted..Pre-Dawn RunningMy Profile

  2. says

    One of my favorite “injured” exercises is swimming. I’m not sure if you swim or have access to a pool but I find that when I swim laps it A. burns a ton of calories and B. I can get into a sort of meditative sate that is sorta-kinda like running. Trust me, it feels more like a punishment at first but it’s the closet thing I can get to the calorie burn and mind-quieting cardio I need. Good luck with your plan. Just the fact that you’re focused on it will help tremendously.
    Here’s to a zippy recovery!!
    Allie recently posted..Dashing Through the Snow!My Profile

  3. says

    Ugh, last year when I couldn’t do anything at all, I was totally going nuts trying to figure out how to avert weight gain. I definitely had to really buckle down on nutrition. Once I finally got cleared to at least start walking, I was out walking as much as I could. The thing I did remind myself of was that once I was able to really start working out again, the weight would come off. And it did. That’s great that you can still cycle and swim at least. Not the same as running, but helps with the sanity 😉
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Fun for Friday – Race Day RunfessionsMy Profile

  4. says

    This sounds like a great plan. Honestly, when I first faced injury earlier this year (stress fracture in my foot-yay), I was too down to do anything beyond what I did in Physical Therapy. I was also taking 2 grad classes so I didn’t have a lot of time to work out as much. And I ate terribly! It’s so important to stay active and to have a POSITIVE spirit because that will help carry you through as you heal! Good luck!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted..Nutrition Counseling: A Lesson on Food Labels and FatsMy Profile

  5. says

    Even though I’m not sidelined from running, I still feel like I need to be extra diligent to keep off the pounds I lost during the peak of marathon training. Without long runs and intense speed workouts, I’m definitely not burning as many calories. And the baked goods keep calling my name! If I could just get over this stupid head cold, I’d hit the pool for some laps…although swimming always makes me super hungry. Sigh. There’s nothing like running to torch the calories! Hang in there, Amanda!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Tis the Season for a Bloggy BreakMy Profile

  6. Terzah says

    I’m glad I’m not alone in just not loving the cross-training that’s necessary when injured. Focusing on diet and strength training….that I can do! My diet needed an overhaul anyway–being injured is a good time to embrace the process.

  7. says

    When I was sidelined with an injury, I walked on the days I would normally be running and kept up with strength/cross training as long as it didn’t aggravate my injury! I actually eat less when I’m not working out regularly, so my weight drops some. Running makes me ravenous!! I would love to be able to do walking errands, but sadly I live out in the country.
    AmyC recently posted..Training Truths: Bonding with my TreamillMy Profile

  8. says

    I’m like you – when I can’t run I am far more diligent about watching what I eat (and drink!). I do like to cross-train most of the time now – I’ve found that between cross-training and serious weight lifting, I do better with my running and have avoided a serious injury for 2014. (a year is a long time for me!!)
    I hope that the shot helps and that the recovery from it isn’t too rough on you!
    Kim recently posted..Balancing out the Extra IndulgencesMy Profile

  9. says

    I have been dealing with IT band issues. Instead of being upset that I couldn’t run, I have been trying different fitness classes including spinning and weight lifting. I know getting stronger will only help my running in the end so it a win-win. Plus, I just needed some time off from running and the weather has been blah. I hope to get back to where I was with running this spring!
    Nikki @ grab your kicks recently posted..#MMMonday: Running Year In ReviewMy Profile

  10. bob says

    When I get injured (because it’s gotta happen some time, right? ha! I had this co-worker say to me “so, WHEN you get injured… I was like “I won’t.”) I won’t do anything. Well, I might spend my extra time on the internet compulsively reading running blogs and leaving too many weird comments. Oh, wait…

  11. says

    my only cross-training (once allowed) was elliptical, bike (not spin) and eventually pool running. I was CRAZY about my food and booze though. Counted calories, no cheating, barely drank and watched my carbs. That was the only way I kept it off (well, was also going through a breakup so that helped). I’ve put some back on and I am working on getting it back off…but not sure I was “healthy” post surgery when I was at my lowest weight. watching food is key, in my opinion.
    elizabeth recently posted..Things I’m Lovin’ Volume IIIMy Profile

  12. says

    I tore a calf muscle over a year ago that took 6 weeks to heal and I was an absolute wreck. I took the same approach you did with nutrition awareness, upping strength training, and cycling on a stationary bike like a mad woman every day trying to keep my cardio up and the weight gain down. I remember one Saturday sitting on that bike for two and a half hours trying to simulate the time I would be out on my feet for a long run. The things we do to “replace” our beloved running…but nothing is ever the same! Wishing you much relief and healing with your injection and time off!
    Kate recently posted..Transitioning to a more minimalist shoeMy Profile

  13. says

    I am going through this right now too! Trying to ride the stationary bike, but goodness it’s so boring. At the same time, its definitely helped to put some muscle mass on which has been tough the past year with all the miles running.

    Good luck! Just remember, it’s not an indefinite issue. You’ll be back up and moving again soon!
    Taylor @ LiftingRevolution recently posted..Diet Update: Am I Still A Vegan? & Our Charleston StaycationMy Profile