Friday, July 02, 2010


This week the group did their 5 K walk/run. Most of them have already been doing at least 3 miles in their walks or runs so they were used to the distance. The difference for most of them was that this time, the goal was to do it faster than ever before.

In the past, we’ve had several different Biggest Loser groups hit it just right where there was a real 5 K race somewhere nearby. The timing was also good, because the races were near the end of the 12 weeks.

In this case, we had to do our own 5 K, which was our usual 1-mile loop three times. While a couple of the Biggest Losers had actually done a couple 5 K runs, even posting improvements to their times, this course might have been a little tougher, with several hills each mile.

It’s a good thing to do the run for time once in awhile. While it’s good to cover 3 miles on a regular basis, it’s altogether different when you push the speed and try to do it faster. Or do a different, more difficult course.

Most people can walk a 5 K (3.1 miles) in right around an hour. That’s walking at 3.0 miles an hour, which is a pretty comfortable and average pace. A good basic program would be to work up to doing a 5 K three days a week, say on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

If you’re not used to exercise, you might have to start with a mile. At a comfortable pace it will take you about 20 minutes. Of all the different people we’ve seen start at the center or in Biggest Losers, only a very few needed much more time than that.

As soon as possible, the goal is to add time and distance to your program. Work up to 2 miles, or 40 minutes. Then try to do the 2 miles faster. Then one day, just keep walking until you’ve covered 3 miles. Once you’ve done that, you can work on your speed.

What you need to understand is that if you can already do it, your body has no reason to change. Your body quickly adapts to a new workload so the same amount of work becomes easier. That means that you’ll actually start burning fewer calories while doing the same amount of work.

But if you can challenge yourself to go a little further, or a little faster, you can burn more calories in the same amount of time. That means you’ll get better results in your exercise program, especially if weight loss is your goal.

I talked to each of the Biggest Losers who did the 5 K this weekend. Their new goal is to keep working on their 5 K on a regular basis. If they do, not only will their times improve, but they’ll keep burning lots of calories and that will keep them losing weight.

This week’s Biggest Loser is Michelle Clark who lost 1.1% of her body weight and 1.6 lbs. Second place went to Janice Johnson who lost 1.0% and 2.2 lbs. Vanessa Becker placed third by losing about 1.0% and 1.0 lb.

With ten weeks in the books, we’ve got to start thinking about our next Biggest Loser. I’m trying to decide if we should take a break for the summer, or go for Biggest Loser “13.” The dropout rate this last time has been the biggest ever, so you need to tell me.

Do you want another Biggest Loser this summer? I was thinking of doing couples (which could include friends and family members). Perhaps that would give both parties incentive to stick. Or, we could take a break.

Let me know if you’re interested. If I hear from enough of you in the next week or so, we’ll go for it! If not, then we’ll pick it back up in September. Hope to hear from you.

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