We have all been told that — contrary to conventional wisdom — it is really hard to lose weight while training for a marathon. In fact, a lot of people gain weight when they up their training mileage. Personally, after 21 marathon training cycles, I know these struggles all too well. (There may be people out there who start running and watch the pounds melt off; I am not one of them.) But I also think it is pretty unhelpful to say “It can’t be done,” and as I recently learned while completing a cut on the RP diet and simultaneously training for a BQ-pace marathon, it can be done.
Just after Thanksgiving, I started a 12-week cut on the Renaissance Periodization diet. I previously wrote about it here, and some RP “hacks” for vegetarians are here. In this post, I will mainly let my results speak for themselves, but I will also answer a few questions about RP. If you have specific questions, let me know — I am happy to share about my experience!
As I’ve previously written, I am doing a 12-week fat loss “cut” with a program called Renaissance Periodization (AKA RP). In short, my RP coach advises on the macros I should be eating on days that I go for long runs, days I do workouts such as Orangetheory, and days I rest or do easy/moderate runs. The point is to lose fat but keep muscle. The diet has taken some adjusting to, but after nearly 11 weeks on the plan, I’ve figured out some tricks and hacks that I want to share with other RPers, or folks just interested in eating more-RP-like. If you are on a macro-based plan, all of these ideas can be adjusted to fit your macros!
Oh, and as a reminder, I am a vegetarian. So all of these tricks are vegetarian-friendly and some are vegan-friendly! And I will do longer post re-capping my experience with RP and my results (!) once I am finished up my 12 weeks (just before the Phoenix Marathon!!!)
I’ve been super busy over the past few weeks doing meal prep, traveling, working, and training. Here is a little update, including some thoughts on my training and prep going into the Phoenix Marathon (just three more weeks!) and as I wrap up my 12-week cut on the Renaissance Periodization diet. Plus, my pre-race to-do list!
Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina, about 40 minutes from the Charleston Airport, at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Size: About 1000 marathoners, plus about 2800 half marathoners
Time of Year and Weather: Saturday in early December. Race day was sunny, breezy at times, with temperatures in the 40s. Perfect running weather. This course has the potential to get windy, but I lucked out and it wasn’t bothersome.
I believe that “diet” is a bad word. I believe that there’s a lot of evil happening at the hands of the diet industry and their co-conspirators (looking at you, women’s mags). I believe that our society has done a shamefully good job of teaching girls and women that they should always be “trying to lose weight” and should never be happy with their bodies. I believe that men need to speak about women differently. I believe that women need to speak about themselves and each other differently. I believe that girls need to be raised differently — including but not limited to changes to shape of their toys and the appearance of their Disney characters. I hope my kids never go on diets, and I don’t plan to use that word in front of them.
I set this all up to say — I’m going on a diet. A real one. With rules. And Excel charts. It’s not touchy-feely. It’s not “eating by intuition.” It’s actually the opposite of how I’ve been peacefully but unsuccessfully “trying to lose weight” for the past several years. Which is exactly why I chose it.