Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm early middle aged fit

Weather induced headache
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles 

TGIF and I mean it. This week has been tough and the traffic during my commute has grown increasingly worse since the end of summer. Yesterday's rainy weather provoked one of my sinus headaches, along with pounding pressure and exhaustion. I took advantage of working from home today by sleeping a little later. That, plus a couple of ibuprofen, helped minimize the discomfort.

I haven't had a chance to run since Monday, so once I felt a little better I headed outside. Cool temps, clear skies and low humidity made for great conditions. I felt some residual fatigue due to the sinus pressure, but I got around okay. Not my hardest effort, but still a good workout.

During my run I thought about a test I took on this website that supposedly calculates your "fitness age." The site is put on by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the test covers a lot of factors. This is not "Find out what kind of tree you are in five questions."  I answered honestly and my fitness age calculated to 41. Better still, my VO2 Max score was 48, which is considered excellent for my age group.

My buddies SIOR and TPP scored in the "teen to grad student" age range, not a surprise because they are both extremely fit. If you don't believe me, try keeping up with them on the hills at Bethpage. If I truly have the fitness of the average 41 year old man, then I have to conclude that 41 year olds run slower than I thought.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Increasing fitness by not running

Building fitness can be relaxing
I believe it's okay to take an ad hoc rest day every once in a while. I did it today and I feel no guilt whatsoever. While I will probably never get up and say, "Hey, I feel great, I think I'll skip my run", I didn't rest this morning because I was feeling weak or ill. What I felt was under-rested and I concluded that I'd be better off taking it easy, rather pushing hard and inviting a problem.

When you think about it, a day of rest is often better for you than a single day's run, because recovery periods are when your body actually builds fitness. That's holds true for a day or even two, but then it starts to go the other way. I've been doing workouts six days a week for the past few years. That generally works for me. My average run  (accounting for shorter distances on weekdays and longer ones on weekends) is 3.3 miles. This seems like the right amount of exercise to keep me fit and (knock wood) to prevent me from sustaining injuries.

The reason I don't feel any guilt for skipping my today's run is that I know I'll be back at it tomorrow. However, my decision puts me three miles behind in terms of reaching my weekly target of 20, but I can probably make up some mileage on Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, I'm happy knowing that taking a rest was the right thing to do this morning.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I used to run but...

Okay, I talk about running a lot. It's a great subject for casual conversation, especially with people you don't know well. While it might be dangerous to discuss politics or religion with acquaintances, mentioning that you run usually evokes the following responses:

1. I run too. What pace/distances do you run?

2. I run a couple of times a week. That's often followed by "but it's been a while since I've actually run."

3. Oh, I can't run. It's so boring.

4. I used to run but...

- My knees couldn't take it.
- I don't have time anymore.
- I realized I hated it.
- I wasn't any good at it.
- It was too much of a commitment
- I couldn't stay motivated.
- Now I swim, bike, weight train, etc.
Every once in a while mentioning running will spark enough interest to get people to try it. More than one person has told me they've taken up running (curiously it's often via the treadmill) after I've mentioned what I do. I still get "You've lost weight, how did you do that?" from people whom I haven't seen for a while. People love to talk about fitness and diet and they like hearing how small changes in both can make a real difference.

I don't try to convince people to run and I try to avoid the fanatic zealotry that often comes from those who find great satisfaction from athletic activities. Like I said before, it's best to avoid conversations about religion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Aging backwards

This past weekend my mother-in-law declared that I look ten years younger since I've returned to running. I appreciated the compliment although I think she was just being kind. Either way it was nice to hear, better than the more common statements of concern that I get from friends: "You're losing too much weight" and "You look like an underfed prisoner.” That is certainly not the image I'd like to project. Even my wife has pointed out that since I've hit my goal I should start eating again like a normal person. I told her she should listen to her mother.

I agree that I have reached my desired level for weight but I’m not going back to my old habits. I’m in far better shape than I've been in over a decade and I’d really like to stay that way. Besides, I’ve already had my suits tailored. Although I don’t do many upper body workouts I've noticed that muscle definition in my chest and arms is much more noticeable. Results like that add to the motivation to run and cross train. I'm not looking to reverse the aging process except to help ensure that I can ably run in the decades ahead. I’m in an unusual place compared to many runners my age who, despite dedicated training, will soon begin to see performance declines every year simply due to nature. Since my starting point is different (I’ve had lots of room for improvement since returning to running last August) I’m actually gaining in both performance and endurance. I don’t know how long it will be until I hit my peak and then start to lose ground but I’m not worrying about that now. It’s great to be told that you look years younger (especially if it were true) but I much more prefer the way it feels.

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