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I'm an assistant principal and I find my job to take quite a bit of time. Still I try and keep in mind that I come first before my job. So my training is always the first or last thing during the day. One thing that helped me tremendously is joining a masters swim class. I swim at Phoenix Swim Club three to four times a week. Each class is about 1.5 hours long. The work outs are tough, but it will bring your weight down and make your run and bike easier and faster. I went from 240 in the fall to 220 right now. It happened slowly, but I'm keeping it off and still increasing my distances, so I may leave the Clydesdale category soon. Hope this helps. Note: I wrote you last week about the Brooks Beast running shoe.
I have improved my race time in most of my races but have now reached a plateau due to the inability to lose any more weight. My time improved due to the fact that I run long distance and did longer bike runs. My weekly workout involves an hour of exercise a day 6 days a week. If I do a long run on weekend or a long bike run I might only work out 5 days a week. To help my husband and his recovery from bypass surgery, I've been either passing on my workouts and just walking with him or walking two miles with him and then doing my run or bike ride. I try to rotate my workouts each day swim, bike, run. More often lately, its run, bike, walk. run, bike, swim.
You think 45 minutes is good improvement? I took off 55 minutes on my Marathon time from 98 to 99. That's just plain training. Once your muscles learn to run long distance, they remember and you keep your endurance.
Most people can't believe I do the exercise I do without having knee problems but I attribute my success due to cross training. I really think its the way to go for everyone, but particularly heavy people or people with joint problems.