Keen Runner Jude Took Up Weight Training – She’s Now 3 Stone Lighter & Running Faster Than Ever!
Judith Ritchie has always been a sporty person, and she gravitating towards running once she had a family. Running was perfect: something she could do anywhere, any time, to keep her fit and healthy.
But after 3 years of training and racing, something changed. Despite her best efforts, Jude just wasn’t improving. In fact, her times were getting slower! After a year of frustrating race finishes, Jude knew something had to change.
But what? After all, she was already running regularly and eating a healthy diet.
“I really loved running, but I was losing my motivation,” explains Jude. “Why wasn’t I getting faster? At 48 years old, maybe it was time to give up. I really didn’t want to do that.”
Jude just couldn’t understand why her running wasn’t improving. She should have been getting race PBs, but instead she was running the same routes several minutes slower.
“My husband had always told me that I should probably do some weight training, but I didn’t listen!” says Jude. “We actually have some weights equipment at home, but I had no idea where to start with it. All I was doing was running four times a week. But it wasn’t making any difference – my weight was going up, and my times were slowing down. I knew I had to ask for help.”
Our Expertise + Your Goals
“I knew Joe was great at transforming people’s bodies,” she says, “but that wasn’t my goal. I knew I was a bit overweight, but also knew that my body weight would sort itself out if I got better at running.
“When I met Joe for that face-to-face consultation, I told him that I simply wanted to be a better runner, and to get past whatever was blocking me. Any physical changes or weight loss would be a bonus.”
Weight Loss Doesn’t Have To Mean “Diet”
Jude suspected that her daily diet was a problem. But – like so many people – she couldn’t see a way of improving it without major restrictive changes. That’s not what we’re about – and we were happy to show her a better way!
“My diet was OK, mostly home-cooked healthy food with very little eating out, but it needed improvement,” she says. “But I was clueless about how to make changes without actually “dieting” – a word that I hate!”
Jude also knew that her husband was right about the weight training, but didn’t know what kind of exercises would help improve her running.
“I could have gone to a running coach, or joined a running club,” explains Jude, “but I wanted more than that. I needed a plan that would improve my strength but not hinder my running – and I had to be able to do it at home.”
No Gym, No Problem
Jude signed up with us for an initial 12-week period and had some exciting goals – one of which was to conquer the monkey bars section at her next Tough Mudder race.
“I’d done several Tough Mudders and never been able to do the monkey bars,” she says. “I couldn’t even do them on my kids’ climbing frame in the garden. I could hang there, but when it came to removing one of my hands… forget it!”
We put together a plan Jude could do at home supported by a few initial trips to the gym with Joe.
It wasn’t long before Jude started seeing some major improvements in her strength and confidence.
“I only had four training sessions with Joe during those 12 weeks, but each time we met up I tried the monkey bars.
I mastered them before the final session! This quick win boosted my confidence. The key was listening to Joe, rather than listening to the negative voice in my head.
I loved the feeling of getting stronger and more athletic.”
A Diet Without Counting Calories
Like so many of our clients, Jude had a negative relationship with the traditional idea of dieting, so we showed her how to lose body fat without counting calories at all.
“Joe introduced me to an amazing way of mastering portion sizes, using my own palm to understand appropriate servings,” she says.
(If you want to know what she means, send me a message and I’ll give you the info!)
Jude’s strength west going up, her clothes were getting looser, and her body was visibly changing as she dropped body fat and adding some muscle.
Jude’s First 12 Weeks
- From 32.3% to 25.2% body fat – 7.1% body fat LOST
- From 189 lbs to 175 lbs – 14 lbs LOST! (Think 14lbs of butter)
Jude was so pleased with the changes to her body, strength, and running performance that she asked us to kick things up a gear for another 12 weeks. At this stage, we introduced her to a way of eating that really stripped body fat away. But it was totally doable with family life – in fact, her husband and kids joined her in the plan.
“It was a very different way of doing things but I really enjoyed it,” she says. “I can still eat all the foods I enjoy.
I don’t see it as a diet at all. It’s back to basics food based on fresh and simple ingredients.
Food tastes nicer this way! I got more creative in my cooking, and found I was wasting much less food, too.
I’m not dieting, just eating healthy food in the right portion sizes. It all fits in fine with family life.
I still eat snacks and have a family home-cooked meal in the evening.”
Just before Christmas, we met up again to assess Jude’s progress.
“I’ve lost a lot of weight, but I don’t look unhealthy.” she says.
“I would hate to look skinny or gaunt. But I look leaner, stronger, and more athletic.”
After another 12-week stint with us, Jude lost even more body fat.
Check This Out:
- Total loss: 35lbs pure body fat!
- Dress size: down from 14/16 to a 10/12
- And measuring at a very athletic 17.5% body fat.
- She even lost 2lbs over Christmas!
And the benefits don’t stop there. Jude says she is sleeping better, feels more flexible, and – at 48 – she’s fitter than she’s ever been.
“Joe’s style of training is a great combination for my running,” she says. “In fact, I ran every day in November which was the peak of my training with Joe.”
But what about her race times? After all, that’s what prompted Jude’s transformation.
2 Minutes Per Mile – Gone
“My 5K race time was 31 minutes,” she says. “It’s now 24:55.”
Yes, that’s more than 5 minutes off a 5K race! Any runners reading this will know how incredible that is – she’s gone from 10-minute miling to 8-minute miling!
“I now average 8-minute miles even when I’m not pushing myself,” says Jude. I did a half marathon just after starting Joe’s recommended way of eating, and I ran a great time. I’ve knocked 10 minutes off my 10-mile race time. And I’ve got a Tough Mudder coming up – I can’t wait to tackle the monkey bars section!”
Tidying up her diet and introducing weight training has had a massive impact on Jude’s running. This is partly because she has less body mass to move around, but it’s also due to improvements in strength, posture, and stability.
“I don’t tire as easily,” she explains. “Building my muscle mass has strengthened my legs so I can power through. And the entire experience of training with Joe has given me such mental strength that I’m a better athlete.”
Want Comments Like These?
As Jude has dropped body fat and shaped up with new muscle tissue, her friends and colleagues have started to notice!
“It’s very motivating when people give spontaneous compliments and ask how I’ve done it!” says Jude.
“People who follow me on Strava have even sent messages asking how I’ve got my run times down so much!
My husband has seen how happy the changes have made me, too.
I’m more confident, more active, and I just feel healthier.
The only downside is that I need to buy new clothes!
“Anyone could do Joe’s style of training and eating,” says Jude. “It’s definitely something I can carry on – this is not a quick-fix diet. It’s been a learning process for me that has given me a new set of habits.”
Runners – are you getting frustrated with your lack of progress?
Want to see how a healthier diet and some strength training could transform how your body looks, feels, and performs?
Get in touch for a chat – just like Jude did.