Tag Archives: Fitness

Couch to 5K Week 4 Wrap Up

With week 4 of my Couch to 5K program coming to an end, I’ve officially passed the halfway mark and I’m well on my way to meeting my goal of running a full 5k. The training time for week 4 consisted of 31:30 training sessions of which approximately 16 minutes of that time was spent running. The additional running time doesn’t seem to have affected me and I’m starting to feel pretty confident about being to accomplish this goal. Below I’ve listed out the intervals for week 4 of the training program and it was definitely a chore but I’ve managed to work my way through it.

5 minute warm up

3 minute run

90 second walk

5 minute run

2.5 minute walk

3 minute run

90 second walk

5 minute run

5 minute Cool Down

I’ve started to notice little differences in activities I do. Activities that used to be hard for me based on their physical nature are now becoming easier. My endurance for running during my paintball scrimmages seems to be growing and the fatigue seems to be less of an issue at the end of the day.

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How has your training helped with any activities you do? Have you noticed any changes in your endurance levels?

Couch to 5k Week 1 Day 2

Week 1 Day 2 is in the books and I honestly thought it wasn’t going to happen. The work schedule has been kind of weird and I find the evenings are the times that’ll work best for me. With that being said as I’m driving home it was dark and the thunder was rumbling so I knew the outdoors wasn’t going to happen so I took it to the treadmill. With my iPhone in hand I walked back into the spare bedroom and hopped on the treadmill to kick of Day 2. The hardest part was figuring out my pace, I know my paces outside but never really pay attention to them. So after kicking off the app and starting my training I finally found my paces and I was a tad bit surprised. My walking pace at minimum turned out to be 3.5 mph and my running pace for the intervals was 6.5 mph. The intervals were exactly the same as Day 1 but I found myself a bit more comfortable running and wanting to run more, but fought the urge and followed the training to the “t”. I know I have a long way to go but I feel as if I’m on the right track and definitely looking forward to the end result.

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Do you skip your training when the weather doesn’t permit? Which do you prefer indoor or outdoor training?

Couch to 5k Week 1 Day 1

Confusion has probably set in on those who just read the “Couch to 5K Week 1 Day 1” title as I’ve already ran several 5k races. With taking as much time off as I have and some knee problems starting to progressively get worse I’ve decided to start from square one. My first 5k I ran in February 2013 with minimal training. Even though I did well on my time, I didn’t totally run the 5k which is now my goal. I’d like to run a 5k from start to finish and have a respectable time. After speaking to several people who had never ran and trained they all suggested the Couch to 5k so I thought I’d give it a try. I went thru iTunes and found a C25K – 5K trainer from Zen Labs and that’s the app that I’ll be using throughout my 5k training.

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Looking thru the workouts it’ll be a 3 day a week program for a total of 8 weeks. Week 1 day 1 was 30 minute workout with walking/running intervals. The program started with a 5 minute warm up then into a 1 minute run. The 1 minute run was followed by a 90 second walk then repeat the process. Day 1 wasn’t too bad and I feel as if I’m off to a good start.

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So I chose to start Week one Day 1 at my most favorite place in the world (sensing a bit of sarcasm) – the Memorial Causeway. I say that jokingly of course as I actually do love that bridge. We met several years back and it’s been a love/hate relationship. I love the bridge and the challenge it offers but my knees hate it. Going forward the first day of the week for the entire program will be done at the bridge but days 2 and 3 will be done in the neighborhood as time doesn’t always permit me to go to the bridge. One thing is for sure, by the time the Best Damn Race comes around in 2014 I’ll be able to say that was the first Damn race I totally ran.

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What type of training have you done to prepare for your running? What type of progression have you seen over the years as you continue to train?

Failing a Challenge

Those familiar with me know I’ll never back down from a challenge so when the “Run Every Day in May Challenge “popped up I joined. At first I thought it would be a piece of cake and I’d breeze right through it, but the further into the month I got….. the harder it was. I’ll admit I made it ¾ of the way through the challenge before I gave in. Week one I was all pumped up and ready to take on the challenge, but by the end of week two it seemed monotonous and I was ready for it to be over. Week three brought procrastination and contempt for running and I actually found myself running the treadmill one night at 8:30 as I felt guilt for even thinking of skipping that day. Missing one day was the start of my downward spiral on the challenge and the end of my streak. That’s the one big difference between the wife and me. The wife runs because it’s her time to forget about everything and de-stress. For me on the other hand I run because I need to lose weight and also helps with my conditioning for paintball. While I’ve been slacking over the past few weeks (and it shows) I actually went for a birthday run with the wife Saturday. Granted it was under 1.5 miles we still went and I survived, barely but I did. I opted to skip this morning’s run but I have a feeling I’ll end up on the treadmill this afternoon for a mile or so to get back into a schedule.

Sleepy

Gaspiralla

Have you ever taken on a challenge only to fail?

New shoes for the road

The last few runs for me have been painful (both figuratively and literally). I’ve managed to get major shin splints which have caused me to do more walking than running. This past Saturday the wife and I went to Fit2Run over at International Plaza in Tampa so I could have a gait analysis done to see if it was my shoes. After arriving we were greeted by one of their sales staff and we proceeded to tell him about my issues. We discussed many things and then we proceeded to doing some tests so we can see if I had the proper shoe. They first did analysis on my feet which would show them the arch of my feet and how my weight is distributed. We then discussed shoes and we tried out a few pairs with me taking the new ones for a test run on the treadmill. I only ran for a minute on the treadmill but I could tell immediately the difference between my shoes and the proper shoe. That being said I made sure they came home with me so I could test them out. After trying on several pairs I ended up with the Asics Gel-Nimbus because they seemed to be the best fit for me and my training needs. The fit was perfect and the padding made it feel like I was walking on air.

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Sunday morning the wife and I woke up and went the Memorial Causeway for our weekly challenge of the bridge. It’s not really a challenge, but more like a test to see how we’ve both progressed in our training. She’s managed to progress and I’m at a stage to where I’m maintaining, which I’m perfectly fine with given the current issues with my shins. I’m very pleased to announce I ran my first day in my new shoes with far less shin issues than I’ve had in the past. I did have minimal pain, but I believe they could be irritated from running with the wrong shoe for so long. Given time I’ll make it to my end goal, but for now I’m taking it day by day. I’m now armed with the knowledge and the proper shoes to take me to the next level.

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Have you ever experienced pains or discomfort during any physical activities? What did you do to help correct the problem?

Reunited with my fitbit

April 2013 I managed to do the unthinkable, I lost my fitbit. While attending Generals Cup 2013 the device managed to slip off of my belt and was lost forever. Totally distraught about losing it, I prepared for the worst, actually having to fork over the money for a new one. Proceeding to fitbit’s site to customer service I found some information I thought I’d never see. One of the options to choose from on the form was lost device so I contacted them via email. While totally planning on having to buy a new one to replace it I figured it was worth a shot and had nothing to lose. Within 24 hours of supplying them with my proof of purchase information I had a response and tracking # for my new replacement device. Needless to say I was happy about not having to spend another $100 but I was prepared to as I love my fitbit. One of my concerns was what about all my data I had previously tracked and I was glad to hear I wouldn’t lose any of it. Once the new fitbit arrived it was so easy to sync the device to my existing account and literally took me about a minute and I was back up and tracking. The 2 week period I was without my device I felt like something was missing. I know it’s weird but even having it just that short time before losing it I can’t imagine going through the day without it. The whole customer service experience from fitbit was excellent and I never had any problems. It was unfortunate that I had to contact them, but in the end it was all worth it and I feel a lot better knowing I chose to purchase the right product.

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Have you ever lost or broken a device? How was your customer service experience trying to fix or replace it?

Stop The Scale

Those are three words I don’t really like but if I had to sum up in three words they’d be “stop the scale”. It seems as though I’ve hit my first plateau in my renewed weight loss journey, but I’m sure it’ll be a temporary one. I’ve weighed in for the past three weeks now at 228.8, which some may say maintaining is great but not what I’m looking to do currently. The question is how long will I be at this plateau? Many years ago I had the same issue while working out and managed to stay at the same weight for three months. Trips to the gym became more of a “chore” and “obsession” at the same time. Every trip to the gym would start with a weigh in and then I’d go off to do cardio for an hour generally ending back up on the scale. There were actually days I’d do this for hours and honestly it frustrated the hell out of me. While it took many changes both physically and mentally I finally conquered that plateau and continued on. Knowing this was actually mentally unhealthy for my weight loss, but still not able to control my actions. While maintaining is actually a great thing it can mess with you mentally and cause one to lose drive. Not exactly what I had in mind when trying to lose weight and I actually became obsessed with the scale at that point. I’ve had to take a step back to see what I can change as plateaus are usually your body’s way of adjusting to your lifestyle change. Whether it is by changing diet, exercise, or even both that’s what I’ve had to do in the past to beat the plateau. One thing is for sure….. This is the week that scale will move again. I’m just hoping it’s in the right direction.

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Have you ever hit a plateau when dieting or working out? How did you conquer your plateau?

Land of Confusion

If I could sum up my life this past week “Land of Confusion” would pretty much tell it all. With everything needing extra attention and time I never even had enough time to blog. The week held many twists and turns that would prove to test me both physically and mentally. The week started off with a bang as it’s the end of the quarter and that means quarterly review time. While I went into it knowing full well what to expect, this was the one and only item that didn’t throw me for a loop.

Wednesday the wife and I went to the Memorial Causeway to continue her training for her upcoming half marathon next weekend. Confusion seemed to set in as I was barely able to complete the same route that I’ve been doing forever. The past few weeks show continuous progress for both of us, yet I feel as if I’m going backwards with the way I felt this past week of running.

Next up on the confusion hit list is my weight. I’ve been on what feels like a rollercoaster for the past few months. The constant ups and downs have really started to take a toll on me as it’s slowly starting to kill my motivation. I have no idea as to why this is happening , but I feel as if some sort of change needs to happen in order to help break this vicious cycle I appear to be in with my weight.

The last item on my list is paintball, see I haven’t been able to play for almost two months now and I was able to go Saturday to play which proved to be fun. Plagued by chronic problems from a simple O-ring to a non-functional marker where the highlights of my weekend. Don’t get me wrong I was still able to have fun, but now I find myself sitting here now needing to perform repairs. I’m sure it’ll take an hour or so to perform the repairs, but still an hour of time I could be doing so many other things.

What was the worst week you’ve ever had? What made it so bad?

Memorial Causeway and Fitness

Living in Florida we have the luxury of having beautiful weather about 90% of the time which I’m now learning to take advantage of. Cardio is key to fitness and who wants to be strapped to a treadmill when you can be out exploring and enjoying the Florida weather, so that’s what the wife and I have decided to do. Some of you may know but in April she’ll be doing the Iron Girl Half Marathon which involves two bridges. Many people say “Oh no big deal it’s just a bridge” but for those who run can tell you, they are far from it. The wife wanted to mix it up a bit and train for her upcoming half marathon by involving some Florida scenery along the Memorial Causeway. We decided on the Memorial Causeway for many reasons which include location, the fact that it’s one of the bridges she’ll be running next month, length and the incline. Those features mixed in with the gorgeous scenery make for some great times and excellent cardio.

So what I’ve found out is inclines are no joke and an excellent way to help increase your cardio and overall fitness. The wife is using them to help with her half marathon training and I’ve been using them to help improve my cardio for paintball. The rundown of our bridge cardio was very simple, we wanted to go over and back three times in an hour. The total mileage for this after picking our start/end point totaled 3.77 miles. Attempt number one brought us a time of 58:05 which given the fact it was our first time and were trying to gauge how we would handle it. Keeping in mind this is a run/walk activity I feel the number was fair but we always strive to do better.

The second attempt seemed a bit easier, not much, but a bit easier. We found we were able to run a bit more at a slower pace but we were still running. After everything was said and done our time came in at 51:16 so we managed to shave almost seven minutes off of our previous time. We found the incline running to be a bit easier, not much but just a little bit. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised when we saw this change in our times.

Our most recent attempt seemed harder for me personally, but then again I hadn’t done any cardio in over a week. It’s funny how it takes forever to get into shape but only takes a short time to fall out of shape. With that being said the wife and I were able to finish this time in 49:01, which means we were able to shave off a little over 2 minutes off of our run/walk for the week. Every trip seems to bring us the results we strive for and I’ve had others express interest in joining. Every trip back seems to bring us closer and closer to reaching the cardio fitness we both desire. Although we have different end results in mind, the road to get there is still pretty much the same path.

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What have you been doing to increase your cardio? Do you or prefer the gym or exploring the natural sites of where you live?

Less is More

Well with week two in the books with my fitbit I’ve found out less is more. In comparison of the two weeks, week one had 11000 less steps yet I managed to burn about 800 more calories. The comparison also showed a difference of 5.4 miles (week two had the higher miles). The report also showed that I had a thirty-four floor difference in the two weeks, the second week having the increase of course. Although it’s been recording more sleep time for me I’m still finding myself feeling tired and run down. Last week I did manage to gain a few badges that include ten floors of stairs, twenty-five floors of stairs and my fifty mile badge. It’s pretty amazing to sit back and look at the numbers, of which I was totally unaware of. If you’d ask me how much I thought I’d walk in a week I would have thought maybe a couple of miles, not the twenty plus that I’ve averaged over the last few weeks. While I haven’t been using my fitbit to track my food intake I have been trying to track my water intake and track weight loss. What did I take away from my two week comparison you ask? While my miles were up, my calories burned were down and water consumption is still not where it needs to be. I plan to try and make a conscious effort to increase my water intake and also start to take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. I’m very curious to see how these two little things change the numbers… For better or worse.

 

Fitbit Week 2

 

Do you track your weekly miles walked and nutritional needs? If so, how and do you find it to be beneficial?