Running and Coding

I wasn't really sporty before two years, but anyway active. I was also forced to be active with three little kids and a sporty and lovely women. But anyway, a job where I mostly sit in a comfortable chair, even great food and good southern German beers also did its work. When I first met my wife, I had around 80 Kg, what is good for my size of 178cm. But my weight increased up to 105Kg until Christmas 2015. This was way too much I thought. Until then I always tried to reduce it by doing some more cycling, more hiking and some gym, but it didn't really worked out well.

Anyway, there is not a more effective way to loose weight than running. It is btw. tree times more effective than cycling. I tried it a lot in the past, but it pretty much hurts in the lower legs and I stopped it more than once.

Running the agile way

I tried it again in Easter 2016 in a little different way, and it worked. I tried to do it the same way as in a perfect software project:

I did it in an agile way, using pretty small goals to get as much success as possible.

Also I bought me fitness watch to count steps, calories, levels and to measure the hart rate while running, to get some more challenges to do. At the same time I changed food a lot.

It sounds weird and funny, but it worked really well. I lost 20Kg since then!

I think it was important to not set to huge goals. I just wanted to loose 20Kg. I didn't set a time limit, or something like this.

I knew it hurts in the lower legs while running. I started to learn a lot of running and the different stiles of running. I chose the way of easy running which worked pretty well with natural running shoes and barefoot shoes. This also worked well for me.

Finding time to run

Finding time was the hardest thing. In the past I always thought that I'm too busy to run. I discussed it a lot with the family and we figured out the best time to run was during lunch time, because I need to walk the dog anyway and this also was an option to run with the dog. This was also a good thing for our huge dog.

Running at lunch time had another good advantage: I get the brain cleaned a little bit after four to five hours of work. (Yes, I usually start between 7 to 8 in the morning.) Running is great when you are working on software projects with a huge level of complexity. Unfortunately when I'm working in Basel, I cannot go run, because there is now shower available. But I'm still able to run three to four times a week.

Starting to run

The first runs were a real pain. I just chose a small lap of 2,5km, because I needed to learn running as the first step. Also because of the pain in the lower legs, I chose to run shorter tracks up-hill. Why up-hill? Because this is more exhausting than running leveled-up. So I had short up-hill running phases and longer quick walking phases. Just a few runs later the running phases start to be a little bit longer and longer.

This was the first success just a few runs later. That was great. it was even greater when I finished my first kilometer after 1,5 months running every second day. That was amazing.

On every run there was a success and that really pushed me. But I not only succeeded on running, I also started to loose weight, which pushed me even more. So the pain wasn't too hard and I continued running.

Some weeks later I ran the entire lap of 2.5km. I was running the whole lap not really fast but without a walking pause. Some more motivation.

I continued running just this 2.5km for a few more weeks to get some success on personal records on this lap.

Low carb

I mentioned the change with food. I changed to low-carb diet. Which is in general a way to reduce the consumption of sugar. Every kind of sugar, which means bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and corn as well. In the first phase of three months I almost completely stopped eating carbs. After that phase, started to eat a little of them. I also had one cheating-day per week when I was able to eat the normal way.

After 6 Months of eating less carbs and running, I lost around 10Kg, which was amazing and I was absolutely happy with this progress.

Cycling as a compensation

As already mentioned I run every second day. The days between I used my new mountain bike to climb the hills around the city where I live. Actually, it really was a kind of compensation because cycling uses other parts of the legs. (Except when I run up-hill).

Using my smart watch, I was able to measure that running burns three times more calories per hour in average than cycling in the same time. This is a measurement done on my person only and cannot adopt to any other person, but actually it makes sense to me.

Unfortunately cycling during the winter was a different kind of pain. It hurts the face, the feet and the hands. It was too cold. so I stopped it, if the temperature was lower than 5 degrees.

Extending the lap

After a few weeks running the entire 2.5Km, I increased the length to 4.5. This was more exhausting than expected. Two kilometers more needs a completely new kind of training. I needed to enforce myself to not run too fast at the beginning. I needed to start to manage my power. Again I started slowly and used some walking pauses to get the whole lap done. During the next months the walking pauses had decrease more and more until I didn't need a walking pause anymore on this lap.

The first official run

Nine months later I wanted to challenge myself a little bit and attended the first public run. It was a new years eve run. Pretty cold than, but unexpectedly a lot of fun. I was running with my brother which was a good idea. The atmosphere before and during the run was pretty special and I still like it a lot. I got three challenges done during this run. I reached the finish (1) and I wasn't the last one who passed the finish line (2). That was great. I also got a new personal record on the 5km (3).

This was done one year and three months ago. I did exactly the same run again last new years eve and got a new personal record, was faster than my brother and reached the finish. Amazing. More success to push myself.

The first 10km

During the last year I increased the number of kilometers, attended some more public runs. In September 2015 I finished my first public 10km run. Even more success to push me foreword.

I didn't increase the number of kilometer fast. Just one by one kilometer. Trained one to three months on this range and added some more kilometer. Last spring I started to do a longer run during the weekends, just because I had time to do this. On workdays it doesn't make sense to run more than 7 km because this would also increase the time used for the lunch break. I tried to just use one hour for the lunch run, including the shower and changing the cloths.

Got it done

Last November I got it done: I actually did loose 20kg since I started to run. This was really great. It was a great thing to see a weight less than 85kg.


How did running changed my life? it changed it a lot. I cannot really live without running for more than two days. I get really nervous than.

Do I feel better since I started running? Because of the sports I am more tired than before, I have muscle ache, I also had two sport accidents. But I'm pretty much more relaxed I think. Physically the most time it feels bad but in a wired positive way because I feel I've done something.

Also some annoying work was done more easily. I really looking foreword to the next lunch break to run the six or seven kilometer with the dog, or to ride the bike up and down the hills and to get the brain cleaned up.

I'm running on almost every weather except it is too slippery because of ice or snow. Fresh snow is fine, mud is fun, rain I don't feel anymore, sunny is even better and heat is challenging. Only the dog doesn't love warm weather.

Crazy? Yes, but I love it.

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Jürgen Gutsch
Current blog sponsor: YOO AG

Jürgen Gutsch Jürgen Gutsch
.NET junkie, addicted to web and software development, clean coder, MVP for Developer Technologies