Hey! I mean Long Slow Distance exercise! I’m talking about running.
I spent quite a few years running. I did it for most of my late twenties. I loved it, especially trail running. I believed it kept me fit. I ate and drank whatever I wanted and just ran the miles to keep any sign of fat off. Things seemed to be just grand.
As time went on (about 5 years of this), I started to wonder why my back was hurting. Also, I found I had knee pain…every time I would kneel to pick up kid’s toys and especially when I ran.
In about Aug 2000, after I had finished a solo bike trip through Alaska, my back was in terrible shape. I ran when I could, but ended up having back surgery in 2002. I generally held off on the running until about 2 years after the surgery. As my back problems persisted, my frustration led me to learn how to train better.
While in Personal Training school, I got deep into the mainstream thinking on endurance exercise. While my “cardio” time was only about 20 min 4 days a week (of mostly interval type) and my weight lifting was varied, my body weight stayed the same except my body fat percentage was decreasing. I was quite happy with that as it meant lean tissue was replacing fat. I was building muscle and didn’t have any pain.
I thought I’d kick it up a notch and really drop the fat and get back into running. Bodybuilders would do cardio for longer periods and sometimes twice a day to shed the fat. So, I figured I’d start doing long runs (just doing the cardio longer). I had a period of about a month of running 8 miles at a time. I dreamed of running the Western Endurance 100. I kept my diet and weight routine the same.
There was a problem though. Actually, more than one. Luckily my back didn’t bother me as I had that figured out, but my knees started to hurt again. My calcaneal tendon (Achilies heal) started to bother me. And, to top it off, I was losing muscle! I regained 2% of body fat and lost weight! I got fatter! I had to do this measurement quite a few times to make sure it was correct. It was.
I have since dropped the LSD and moved into sprints (barefooted!) and brief but intense strength sessions. I have regained my gains in the body fat department. In short, all of this added up to a conclusion that LSD wasn’t for me.
Now I should state that walking long distances is a different story altogether.