Help want to start sept 3rd but have questions about cardio

  • Hi, I have read the book and browsed the site and saw so many inspirational stories. I really want to do the body for life challenge. I run at the moment and will be running the London marathon next year. I know that the program says I have to do 3 20 min high intensity session per week but I cannot cut my mileage back that much or I won't be ready for the marathon. Would the program still work if I did two low intensity runs in addition to the 3 20 min sessions. Could someone please give me some advise or help me figure out a way to be able to make it work for me.

    I am really looking forward to starting, my husband is going to do it too, which is great as he isn't doing any exercise at the minute. Thought us training together would keep us both motivated.

  • I may get flamed for my opinion but I'd say no, this is not the program for you.  If you want to be a good distance runner get a program designed for that. The weight training in BFL is a body building routine with isolation exercises that work well for adding muscle and building some strength but it is not designed to promote athletic performance. Not that weight training is bad for distance runners but not this type of program. You can do much better on a different training program.  BFL is not a universal panacea.

  • I would really like to try the program. I have run for 4 years but have never been able to get body that I want and I think this program would help me to achieve it. I have had our 4 th child 6 months ago and have a lot of work to do to get even prepregnancy state and I wasnt happy with the way I looked then. I have looked at a couple of posts regarding cardio and think that I will swop 1 cardio for a long run and see how I go from there. I am also looking forward to following the program with my husband. Have been trying to get him into fitness for years and this program seems to of sparked his interest.

    If we start the program on the 3rd of September I figure we will be done end of Nov so it will give me 5 months to train for the marathon.

  • Some good reasons to do the BFL program then.  Check around the forum here for others that run & do BLF for advice.   I've seen some posts by runnermom etc.  Good luck!

  • An interesting issue, the added cardio is unwanted on BFL because it will eat muscle mass running that much. I have read that you can train for marathons with interval training.  This is from one source and I didn't read more about it as I don't marathon. Maybe you could ask around the marathon community you're with and see if any on them use HIT runs exclusively. If so it won't be hard to work into BFL.

    Also you can use the BFL diet alone and see good results, not omg results but you will lose some pounds of fat especially with marathon cardio added in.

    @diverdog nice to see people thinking about what's best for the individual and not just pushing a cookie cutter model on everything.

  • There are some marathon runners as well as Champions who added extra cardio to weight days. I am doing this myself. I think it's fine to add 1-2 distance run days per week BUT no more than that AND do not extend the B4L Cardio beyond the 20 minutes.

    You could also "adapt" the Challenge and back off the HIIT by one day, and replace the third day with a distance run, unless you are absolutely set on following the program 100%.

    The B4L Cardio will make a difference in your bottom line, BTW. It may not seem like 20 minutes is that much but HIIT uses a different system of active recovery vs steady-state cardio and will make a huge impact on your stamina over long distances. I experienced this myself; after 6 weeks in my first Challenge, I added 1 distance run per week, usually on an upper body day. I was able to go from barely cranking out 3 miles, to easily doing 6 miles, in just a couple weeks (at around a 9:30/10:00 mile pace).

    I hope this helps. Do be mindful that on your distance run days if you add them to up your carb intake a bit, maybe 1 1/2 fist's worth vs just 1 fist. Otherwise you'll be sapping too much energy out of your body. And if you feel tired from the B4L workouts, I'd say take a week off from the distance running or you could derail your progress.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks so much for the advice. I am now on day 9 and feeling great :-). I have added a run to a weight day, added one ten minutes after a HIIT and replaced 1 HIIT with my distance run. It Is ok at the minute so I will see how I go. I have looked at some of the posts about people running and feel I can do it.

    Hope I have some good results like so many people have, there are so many great stories of people's challenges that are so inspiring :-)