Newbie Here and I have some questions for runners

  • Previously a Crossfitter and runner but financially and for time sake I had to make a change. I am getting ready to start the challenge this week and have been reading the book and site. I really am excited. My sister is also starting this with me. My question is about the 20 minutes of aerobic exercise. I signed up for a half in April. Anyone had experience with BFL and training for a race? I am worried that 20 minutes 4 times a week aren't going to be enough. Do I just forgo this April race, run long distance maybe once a week? looking for suggestions from experienced BFL runners. Thanks!
  • Hi there Tiff (hopes thats right),

    Just in case you don't get any other responses on this subject I thought I would tell you what I've seen in the past on the forums about combining running with the program (I personally can't give you my own input)...and then I'll post an article from one of the previous champions "BFLMike - Mike Harris" who used to be the "info guru" on this site, it's not specifically about running as in preparing for an event, but it's about extra cardio per se, how it affects the metabolism and therefore the results of a "transformation" and it's also, all I could find :).. Hope it helps some how - all the best!

    The discussions I have seen and the answers given have basically come down to these...

    What is your main goal for doing this program and what is the main thing you want to have achieved in the 12 weeks?  

    1.   Is it to enter a contest and hope to win? (You need to do it by the book and forget all about running for 12 weeks unless you can incorporate the HIT principles 3 times a week, even the one long distance run will have an impact on the physique makeup.)

    2. If you have been doing crossfit and are a runner, you probably don't have a lot of weight to lose, so is it the physique transformation you are looking for? (If so, same as above, you are wanting to build muscle and cardio is counter productive unless kept as per the plan)

    3. Is simply to support your sister and keep up an exercise program that doesn't cost like Crossfit? Commit to the 12 weeks and mix your programs and let your body be your guide.

    Hope that helps you to decide what is more important for YOU....

    The Cardio Trap!
    by: Michael Harris  9/24/2007

    Men and women definitely work out differently, most likely because of the essential anatomic differences and hormonal differences! For example, most men really lift weights more intensely than most women do. In the area of cardio, women seem to be much more dedicated and also more sold on the idea of doing lots of cardio and doing it daily.

    What seems like a good idea, though, can really become a trap. What happens when you do lots of cardio is you create increasing physical efficiency in the body. When you exercise for a long time at a pulse rate elevated sufficiently to produce a cardio effect, this makes the heart, lungs and vascular system of the body more efficient. So, at rest your heart rate is slower; your respiration rate is slower, and your resting metabolic rate becomes much slower. The combination of all this is that you burn very little fat or calories at rest compared to most others. And, unless you continually raise the work rate at which you do cardio with your more efficient body, the actual amount of calories and fat burned during the workout will drop slightly as well.

    Another thing that lengthy and/or daily cardio does is to discourage your body from gaining muscle and even promote the burning of muscle under some circumstances. So, for a person wishing to produce more body muscle, and to burn fat without burning muscle, lengthy cardio is NOT the way to go.
    High intensity interval training will NOT get you fit in a way that will allow you to run 10 k races or compete in long events such as soccer games or basketball games, but it IS ideal for burning fat and preserving muscle at the same time.

    On the other hand, high intensity interval training done three times a week is ideal, especially if done early in the morning in a fasted stated, having had no food for at least 8 hours. The fasted state encourages the immediate burning of body fat since there is little sugar in the blood or in the muscle and liver stores. It is done intensely enough to create lots of body heat and thereby burn lots of fat, and not muscle. Further, it just doesn’t let you get into that efficiency trap in the same way that the long slower cardio does.

    For creating a lean and sculpted body, there is nothing like HIIT cardio.