If you want to make big changes in your life, then a lot of things in your life are going to have to change. The problem is that most people do not like to change things! They want to lose …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to Episode 117 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners. And today, I’m talking about the power of total immersion. So if you want to make big changes in your life, and a lot of things in your life are going to have to change. The problem is that most people do not like to change things.
People want to lose weight, but they don’t want to give up the junk food. People want to get stronger, but they don’t want to lift any of those heavy weights. Most people have big lofty goals but are willing to change only as little as possible. And you know that this doesn’t really work. Right? Right. So today, I’m going to offer up an alternative way of doing things, something called total immersion, I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode, especially if there are big things that you want for yourself.
But first, I wanted to remind you that I’ve got another live workshop coming up. So it’s gonna be Thursday, the 31st of March. And we did this last week, and it was super fun had a ton of people on there and we had a lot of fun. It’s called five simple steps to becoming a leaner, stronger runner. And we’re going to be talking about why willpower doesn’t work when you’re trying to change, you know, eating habits, why fad diets don’t work, why counting calories doesn’t work, why running a million more miles doesn’t work. And I’m gonna talk about what does work.
So this is understanding how habits actually operate, right, and the science of making habit change permanent. We’re going to talk about a personalized approach that supports your weight loss and your running goals, and how to put together a comprehensive plan of action that actually works on the mental, emotional and physical changes that you have to do right it’s not just about what you’re doing. It’s about the mental-emotional pieces, too. And this is the part that a lot of people just miss.
So I’m going to be teaching about all this stuff in this free workshop, you’re going to learn how to become leaner and stronger and transform yourself into the healthiest and most badass version of yourself yet to sign up, go to runningleancoaching.com/workshop and the next one’s coming up on Thursday, March 31, I hope you’ll join us it’s going to be super fun.
And then I wanted to just give you guys a quick update on kind of where I am with my recovery from my rotator cuff surgery and how running is going because I haven’t talked about this too much lately. So I just want to give you a quick update. So I started running again, I don’t know about four or five weeks ago.
And to be honest with you taking three months off of all exercise, I wasn’t able to do a whole lot at all. And taking three months off really kind of got me sort of soft. And I lost some fitness, I really did, I lost some muscle mass, and I lost my endurance for running for sure. So I started running again, you know, four or five weeks ago. And I started out just very slow and started, you know, kind of doing some, you know, slow, easy runs one mile, two miles, three miles, that kind of thing.
And then I started working into some more speed work and some interval training and things like that, just to kind of push myself a little bit harder. Started doing some tempo runs on still low mileage, right. And in the last few weeks, I’ve started kind of increasing my mileage. But I have to tell you, this whole process has been very challenging. And I think what’s going on here is that my body needed to get fat adapted again.
So the fat-adaptation I had for so long, sort of went away to a certain extent, you know, I’m still, you know, sticking to a low carb diet, I’m still, you know, super efficient at burning fat. But as far as fat-adaptation for running, I think that kind of went away because I wasn’t running. So this is a big lesson that I’ve learned here.
And I’m going to talk more about this in a future episode. And kind of some of the things that I’ve learned about this whole process of taking this much time off and how to come back from it. But I think I lost a little bit of that fat adaptation of how to get it back.
So you know, if you’ve gone through the process of becoming fat-adapted, you know, it takes a few weeks and running is hard during that time. And I have to tell you the last few weeks running has been very hard. And I’ve just been like right, stupid, why am I doing this? I don’t ever want to run again, you know, I’m just gonna hang it up.
And then this past weekend, I did a 10 miler, and I have to tell you, I turned a corner, I felt good. And I finished that run feeling like man, I’m just so happy that I stuck with it. I’m so happy that I didn’t hang up my running shoes forever, that it didn’t just give up, that I kept going. And I kept, you know, sticking with the plan of continuing to run even though it was hard, even though it felt terrible. I stuck with it. And the results are starting to pay off.
And then I did a 5 mile run yesterday, which felt great. And my speed is not where I want it to be yet, but I’m going to work on that too. That’s going to come back too, but the endurance is definitely coming back. I’ve kind of gotten through that hump of that fat adaptation period. And I just want to encourage you guys, if you’re out there, and you’re going through this, and running is hard for you right now. Just stick with it. It gets better. It really does.
And like I said, I’ll do another episode soon. And kind of give you guys a little bit more insight as to what my experience has been taking this much time off three months is a lot of time off. You know, it’s a lot of time to take off from really not doing any exercise at all. Other than walking, I was able to walk some when I had my sling on and I could go for a walk. But I couldn’t do a whole lot of anything else.
And that was challenging for me and a lot of ways mentally, emotionally, and physically. And I’ve had to work through some things but I’m turning a corner. I’m feeling good. Plus, you know, the weather’s getting nicer. It’s like we’re starting to like its spring, we’re starting to get some nicer, warmer days out there. And you know, running in the 50s and 60s instead of the teens and 20s is delightful. It’s delightful. I don’t know about you, but I like it to be a little bit warmer out there running. How about you? Where do you like it to be? What’s your favorite temperature for running?
I’ve decided that like 50 degrees is about perfect for running. But I don’t mind even running in the heat when it’s super hot out at 90 degrees. Like I’m cool with that I can deal with that. It’s not bad, right? Am I crazy? This is a little crazy, right?
Okay, so here’s what I want to talk about. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the power of total immersion. And I want to talk a little bit about what most people do when it comes to changing habits. So if you’ve got you know, big goals, let’s say you want to lose 50 pounds or you know, really improve your running qualify for Boston, run your first marathon, whatever it is, we have big lofty goals, right.
But here’s the thing, most people, they’re like toe dippers are just, they want to just dip their toe into the process and the things they need to do for changing a habit. You know, they want to gain, they want to lose the 50 pounds, but they don’t want to do much of anything differently. Right. And this is kind of a problem. Because if you’re not willing to do much, you know, if you’re not willing to alter your behavior substantially, then you’re just going to get very, very little in the way of results from that, you know.
If you’re only willing to give up as, ditch the bare minimum, I’m going to tell you right now, that’s not going to be enough to get you to this big goal, you know, in order to to be the kind of person who finishes a marathon, you know, who trains for and finishes a marathon, you’ve got to change a lot about your life. And it’s an inside job, you got to start from the inside, you know, we’ll talk about that a little bit. But it really requires you to do a lot of things.
Now, nothing has to be big and major, but we got to change a lot of little things. But what most people do, they’re like, oh, I’m just gonna, you know, I want to lose 50 pounds. So I’m just gonna, I’m gonna get this book that talks about, you know, eating right or something. And now, they’ll read a book, and they’ll kind of do some things kind of sorta, and then that’s it. That’s all they’re willing to do.
Or they’ll, you know, listen to a podcast and there’ll be like, oh, yeah, I listened to that one podcast. And so I’m gonna just kind of do what that one person said on that one podcast, and it’s just not enough. You know, they try the fad diet for a minute. This is all very much like dipping your toes in the pool, right? It’s like a very timid approach to this kind of work.
If you want to change your life I’m telling you right now that you have to like be all in you have to do more than the bare minimum. Okay. So some examples that I’ve experienced are people who want to lose a significant amount of weight. But they will just do as little as possible because they want to try to maintain the same lifestyle that they have. They love their junk food. They have an exercise routine that whatever they’re comfortable with. And they just want to keep everything the same, they want to stay comfortable. And you know, you’ve heard me talk about this a million times, right? You’ve got to embrace the discomfort, you’ve got to embrace the suck if you want to make big changes, okay?
So, so maybe this person who is, you know, wants to change, you know, wants to lose 50 pounds, maybe they just commit to running a few extra miles each week, right? It’s you know, it’s a little bit of work, but it’s not much. They don’t, they’re not willing to change their diet at all, they don’t really want to change their lifestyle, they’ll just commit to a few extra miles, right. And that’s not going to get you there.
Big changes require big changes. But here’s the thing, big change doesn’t mean you have to just change one big giant thing. You can accomplish big changes in your life by making a lot of little tiny changes. Let me give you an example of what this looked like for me some years ago.
So a while back, I decided I was going to do an Ironman Triathlon. And if you’re not familiar with the Ironman, it’s a pretty grueling event. It’s a one-day event, I think you have something like 17 hours to complete it. And it’s a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike, followed by a full marathon on the same day, right. And when I did mine, this was back in 2013, in Louisville.
And it was, by the time I started my run, so the time I started my marathon was three o’clock in the afternoon, it was 90 degrees with you know, super humid conditions, and I thought I was gonna die. I literally thought I cannot do this, I think I’m gonna die. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to this date. It’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever done is that Iron Man.
But here’s the thing – because it was such a big thing, it was so hard. It just seemed impossible for me. At the time, I decided that I was going to go all in on myself and I was going to do whatever it took to make this thing happen to cross that finish line feeling good. So I read books, and I listened to podcasts all about triathlon, and Ironman, in particular, you know, watched YouTube videos and documentaries.
The people that I spent my time with were my training partners. Other friends that I trained with who had done Iron Man’s in the past, you know, the people I worked out with, I surrounded myself with like-minded people with positive people with people who had already done what I wanted, so that I could learn as much as possible from them. I practiced with all these different gears you know, different water bottles setups on my bike.
I literally tried like five different bike saddles until I found one that actually worked for me all these different running shoes, do I wear socks? Do I not wear socks? You know, shoes that where I could just slip them on and off, you know where I didn’t have to tie them because that takes time in transition time. I practice with a bunch of different triathlon suits, you know, that I could wear while swimming, biking, and running. So I didn’t have to change I could just wear kind of the same clothes the whole time.
I studied the course you know I actually took several trips down to Louisville, and Louisville is about 100 miles away from Cincinnati. So it was about a two-hour drive. So drove down there I swam in the river, we did the swim a portion of the race in the Ohio River. And so there’s you start in this channel. And actually, the group of us went down there and we swam the channel upstream against the river against the current of the river, which is extremely challenging.
And just doing that right there was like, oh my gosh, this is gonna be a bit of a challenge to swim against the tide here against this course of the river for the first you know, third or so of the swim, but it helped a lot, you know, and then I rode the bike course I wrote the whole course and ran part of the marathon route.
So for the better part of a year, here’s what I did. I completely immersed myself in the world of Ironman Triathlon. I ate, slept, and dreamed about Ironman. This was a huge, huge goal of mine, and I wasn’t gonna leave anything on the table. I went all-in on myself and I did whatever it took to make sure that I could cross the finish line and I did I finished that event, hit a goal time, I felt amazing.
It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. And the most rewarding and the most life-changing things I’ve ever done in my life, it changed me profoundly.
But I want you to see the difference between just like dipping your toe in and total immersion. What I did when I was training for this event was total immersion. You know, dipping your toe in is just like, if I had just said, you know, I’m just going to run a few extra miles each week, I’ll do a few extra, you know, biking workouts, I’ll swim a few times, like that would be the bare minimum, like you got to do some training, right.
But I decided I was going to do everything that I could possibly do to make sure that I was successful in this event. So I immersed myself in the world of triathlon. So total immersion, this idea of total immersion is changing a lot of little things, not one of these things like reading books, or taking a trip down to Louisville, or, you know, listening to podcasts, none of these things is a big deal on its own.
But when you add them all up, they combine and compound to create this massive effect on your life. Because then I just felt like I was surrounded with all the support and the knowledge and encouragement and inspiration that I needed to get this thing done.
It’s like learning a new language like you can install Duolingo on your phone. And you can learn a few phrases here or there. And after a few months, you might be able to, you know, rattle off a few phrases or have a minor conversation, a simple conversation. But if you were to be transplanted in Rome, for three months, I guarantee by the end of that three months of you just living in the middle of Rome, like you would be speaking Italian pretty fluently by the end of that.
Because you’re immersed in the language and the culture the society, there’s no way you’re going to make it really without learning the language. I could force you to learn and to grow and to adapt and to evolve and become more. So you can see the power of immersion, right? But why don’t we do this? Why don’t we choose this path with everything that we do in our lives with all the big things that we want for ourselves?
And really, it’s because it’s hard. You know, it requires you to change a lot of little things. None of them, like I said, is that big of a deal on its own. But there are a lot of little changes you need to make. And when you change things like what you do like your behaviors, your actions, the things you’re actually doing, this is great. This is the surface-level stuff, though, you also have to go a little bit deeper.
You have to change your thought processes. You have to change your whole belief system, you have to change the way you kind of think and feel about these things. I had to change the way I thought and felt about the Ironman and about myself, I had to change the things I believed about myself. Because up to the point of like, you know, I don’t remember when it exactly happened when I made that shift from like, believing that I was going to do it.
Because I know when I signed up for the thing, I was like scared to death. And I was like, I don’t know if this is going to happen. That’s one of the reasons why I immersed myself in this world because I was like, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to make it happen. But at some point along the way, maybe a month or two before the event, I was like, I’m gonna do this, like I changed. I had to change my beliefs about myself, and what I was capable of.
When I signed up for the Iron Man, that was an impossible goal. For me, it seemed impossible. And in order for me to complete that event, I had to become a different person in the process. It changed me profoundly, you know, from so many different levels of my being.
So immersion is like changing things at different levels. It’s your thought process, your belief systems, your whole attitude, your relationship with yourself and with others and with the sport. And with your nutrition, diet, and exercise. It’s all of that. You know, if you want to lose the 50 pounds, you have to change the whole way you think and feel about food, right? Just changing one tiny thing isn’t going to get you there.
And yeah, this is the harder path. But the path to big goals. It’s always the harder path. It always is. It’s not the comfortable, easy way. It never is. It’s always going to require you to get uncomfortable and to do the harder things because if it was easy, and if it was comfortable, you’d already have it. And this idea of total immersion is how I decided to structure my new coaching program.
So I’ve just opened up the doors to the Running Lean Coaching Project, I’m super excited about this, but I decided that it was going to be a program of total immersion. So just a few of the things that you get when you sign up for the coaching project, you get three full months of access to the program, you get one on one coaching with me, you get twice-weekly group coaching. There’s an online self-paced training library of materials so you can learn everything that you need to learn on your own. There’s support via email, and messaging with me, there’s a private podcast channel and a private members-only Facebook group so that you’re surrounded, and completely immersed in this world, right, this whole program has been designed to be one of total immersion so that you’re surrounded immersed with knowledge, with support with encouragement and with accountability, so that you can be successful in your goals.
And if you want to learn more about the program, you can go to runningleancoaching.com/join, and I have a page where you can just learn all about it, and it goes into great detail and tells you everything you need to know about it. But you can see that there’s a big difference here, you know, you can, you can dip your toe in the water of, you know, weight loss or trying to train for a marathon or something like that, like you can read a book, or, you know, try a fad diet for a couple of weeks, right.
Or you can immerse yourself into a program like this one, and make your success practically inevitable. So I want to encourage you, and it doesn’t have to be my program, like, I share this stuff with you guys. Because I think it’s amazingly transformative. And the people that I’ve worked with have had amazing experiences. But it’s not for everybody, and I totally get that.
But find something, find something, find a way that you can immerse yourself in the work in the world of whatever it is you’re going for here. So your work really is to see where in your life, you might just be dipping your toe in. So maybe you’re training for a marathon. But you don’t really even have a training plan, you’re just kind of winging it, right? Or maybe you want to build a stronger frame, you want to be you know, build muscle. And so you’re kind of doing some strength training, you know, but you really don’t have a plan.
You’re not tracking your progress. You don’t maybe don’t even really know what you’re doing. I hear this from people a lot, especially runners who are like, I don’t really know what I’m doing with strength training, Patrick, and I’m like, oh, we’ve got to work on that. Or maybe you’ve picked up on some ideas to help you lose weight. Like you’re cutting out snacking, but you’re not really doing it consistently. You’re just kind of like, you know, sorta this is all just like dipping your toe in right?
What would it look like to immerse yourself in the work of changing habits and changing behaviors? What resources can you add into your life to help you what books can you read, podcasts, audiobooks, can you listen to documentaries? What can you watch? What groups can you join like Facebook groups? Is there a local running group, I love local running groups, if you’ve got one, join a local running group or a gym if you need to join a gym so that you can learn how to you know do strength training properly.
What people could you start hanging around with? What people share your goals? You know, find like-minded people that you can surround yourself with that will help to support you and encourage you and support and inspire you know, what can you do today to start changing your mindset, your attitude, your thought patterns, your belief systems? Because this is the big part of the work that has to happen.
You’ve got to like, question a lot of the things that you might have believed for years about yourself, especially when it comes to your ability to lose weight, or you know, nutrition for running or becoming your most badass self? Is that what you want for yourself? Do you want to become a total badass I want you to? What is it going to take to get you there? What could be possible for you?
If you immerse yourself in the world of habit change, as opposed to just dipping a toe in? What things seem impossible for you right now, could become possible with the power of total immersion. Finishing an Ironman Triathlon seemed absolutely impossible for me until I immersed myself in the world of the Ironman Triathlon. And then it became inevitable for me And I did it.
So how can you immerse yourself? How can you go all-in on yourself? How can you immerse yourself in the world of changing habits, changing behaviors, what big goals do you want to become inevitable for you? Because it’s all available to you. If you’re willing to not just dip a toe and if you’re willing to immerse yourself if you’re willing to jump in feet first, just do it. Cool.
And remember that if you’re ready to immerse yourself in the world of healthy weight loss, specifically for runners and other endurance athletes, come check out my free live workshop five simple steps to becoming a leaner stronger runner, the next one’s coming up March 31. Just go to runningleancoaching.com/workshop, I would love to see you there. You’re going to learn a lot. We’re going to have some fun together. Love you all. Keep on Running Lean. We’ll talk to you.
If you’re a runner and you’ve been struggling to lose weight or you keep losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over and over again. Or you’re finally ready to get to your natural weight and stay there for good this time then I have something you will love. I’ve created a powerful new training just for you called running lean for life. You’ll learn exactly how to transform yourself into a lean fat-burning running machine. So you can run without bonking, lose weight without calorie counting and develop the habits required to make it last for life. To get this free training right now go to runningleanpodcast.com/leanforlife and start your transformation today.