Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Little things vs. Big things

Ever since August, I have been tracking my step-count for a fitness program we have here at work. I also recently bought a BodyMedia FIT (review coming. I swear. It's half done.) and have also been wearing that pretty much 24/7, since it also supposedly monitors my sleep.

As a result, I've come to understand quite a bit about how different choices I make impact how many calories I burn that day. It's been very interesting.

Anyone who has done a structured weight loss program before has been told such hot tips for losing weight as:

-Park farther from the entrance
-Take walk breaks throughout the day
-Take the stairs instead of the elevator
-Walk over to someone's cube instead of sending them email
-Stand up for meetings

And many of us have the same reaction, I'm sure. Kind of an eyeroll, whatever, reaction. Because those things seem so lame. Plus how many calories can they really burn if you only burn 50 extra by walking an entire mile? Walking around the building three times a day is a lot less than a mile, right?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Once again, strength training helps my run

Today I ran a 10k. I was not supposed to run one. I signed up for a 5k. I fully intended to run 5k, or at least as much of it as I could manage given that running bothers my calf, which in turn pulls on my knee.

But the race was disorganized and poorly marked and a bunch of us did not turn left when we should have and ended up on the 10k course. Some people self corrected at some point and their "5ks" ended up being 4-5 miles long. But, by the time I figured out I was in the wrong place, I was pretty committed to the 10k course and I figured it was easier to just kept going.

So I did. I made it through the entire course without walking. I did have to slow down a bit to ease pressure on my calf. But I didn't have any issues with my lung capacity or any other aerobic limitations. In fact, I spent a fair amount of the run passing people who were either slower than me to start or started out faster but ran out of gas. I finished in 1:05, an acceptable, but not spectacular time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thank you, Garrett!

Today I ran for 20 min. with no walk breaks! The last time I had PT, Garrett had me run and gave me some advice. Mainly to relax my legs and also to run with a motion more like pedaling a small bike. Doing that caused me to use my ankles more and that helped to absorb some of the shock. I had been trying to keep my knee from flopping around and I thnk it caused me to run too stiff-legged.

I was also running too fast. This is one of the issues with coming back from an injury. You remember how it used to be and you think you are still there when you aren't. These days, running ten minute miles seems so slow, but it's what I need to do right now. So I'm going to keep doing it until I can run for a hour without pain.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Training for Ironman Canada

I swore I wouldn't start training for IMC until March. So today is March 1st and today I went to spin class. This may have been the first time I did that in 2011, though I'd have to check my logs to be sure.

I am going to try to workout 5 days a week every week and do workouts with more intensity to start. I'm also doing a lot more strength training. I'm following a program that involves Crossfit-like workouts most days of the week plus various swim, bike and run workouts. I am modifying it as needed to make it work for both my goals and to not re-injure myself.

For running, I have done as much as I can do with Couch-to-5K. All the rest of the workouts involve running straight for 25 minutes or more and I can't do that yet. However, for my last run, I tried relaxing my legs and running slower as my PT advised me too and that helped a lot. I'm going to start running slower and longer and see if I can work up to 30 minutes over the course of the month.

I also have been able to do bike and swim workouts without my calf bothering me and that's exciting. I didn't really feel it all at SPOGA class today (Spinning + Yoga = SPOGA).

Finally, I have stretched two days in a row! I know, I'm supposed to stretch every day. But I hardly ever do it. I keep trying to make it a habit but so far it hasn't happened. I'm going to modify my training logs so I have a spot to check off my daily stretch. I have a feeling that will work better for me than just trying to remember.

I'm so excited to train for this race. I'm glad I held off on starting too soon. Now I'm psyched and ready to rumble...

Mythbusters: Fat Burning Zone

There are so many exercise myths but this seems to be the biggie and it leads to a lot of other myths, so I'll start with it.

The myth goes as follows: if you want to burn the most fat, you shouldn't work out intensely, you should work out in your "fat burning zone". How do you know what your fat burning zone is? Why just take 220 and subtract your age then multiply the results by .50 & .60!

That sound you hear all the way across the Internet is either me grinding my teeth down to tiny stubs or me screaming into a pillow so loudly, you can still hear it. Because this common bit of advice is so wrong on so many levels that it's hard to know where to begin.