Tag Archives: Exercise

An Unforced Rest Day

8 Feb

Last night I sat down and put together a sprint workout.

3×800 at a target time of 3:10 per interval

2×400 at a target time of 1:25 per interval

1×200 at a target time of 40 seconds per interval

But today it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do.  I had run sprints Sunday, and then lifted Monday and Tuesday.  Today was my rare unforced rest day as a result.

In the last two months, my rest days have come more as a result of the needs I have away from training.  It’s a result of my work calendar and my family’s needs.  Today was a result of feeling tired and putting rest above the compulsion that I have sometimes to get out and exercise.

Tomorrow is another day, and I’ll be back to lifting.  But not before another night of good rest.

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Warriors Don’t Drink Coke for Breakfast

3 Feb

There are certain celebrities that have attracted a lot of attention for their athletic look in certain roles.

Ed Norton in Fight Club and American History X.

Gerard Butler and the Spartans in 300.

And Brad Pitt in Troy.

So much in fact, that there are workouts related to several of these films – like this one for Troy, the famous 300 workout and others.

So crossing my news wire this morning (I track beverages for professional purposes) is news that Brad will sometimes use Coca-Cola to get his kids (ages 3-10) up and moving in the morning.

Brad, are you trying to build Greek Warriors and Fight Club members or the people on the sidelines?

A Week Defined By What I Haven’t Done

27 Jan

In a lot of ways, this has been a week defined by what hasn’t been done.

It’s been very busy at work.  I attended a trade show in Orlando Sunday through Tuesday and failed to get out to run while I was there.  It was about eighty degrees and sunny, but the schedule was tight and I had other work demands to try to satisfy.

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2011 Fitness In Review and a Look Ahead to 2012

1 Jan

I’m hoping 2011 will end up being a year in my fitness and health I can look back as a significant turning point and improvement.

I became more knowledgeable about nutrition this year – and took what could have been a very difficult transition to living grain-free with relative ease.  I think the most major part of this transition was made possible through being comfortable in my own kitchen and enjoying the process of finding new meal options and new ways to prepare food.  As many in the Paleo community have said, once you take the initial steps and live for a short-time grain-free, and see the major improvement in quality of life – it becomes easier to continue on that road!

I went in the course of 12 months from vegetables being a part of my diet, to vegetables being at least half of my food intake each day.  I went from grains being 40% of my caloric intake to grains being 0% of my caloric intake.  I went from eating a few types of vegetables to now eating nearly every type of vegetable (and really willing to try any more that come along!)

Heading into next year, I plan to continue the Paleo lifestyle and expand even more on vegetables.  I’m really looking at ways to increase the seasonality of my food intake – I’m already working to remove some of the out-of-season fruits and vegetables from my diet and replace with more seasonally appropriate or non-seasonal foods.

At the beginning of 2011, I had posted intent to try to run 1000 miles this year.  I didn’t come close – and I’m fine with that!  Initially, the winter weather we had in Atlanta interfered with that goal, and as the spring came other pursuits consumed my time instead of running.  I ended with 353 miles for the year – which was a respectable increase versus 2010 (247 miles).  I managed to improve every one of my race distance personal records, starting on 1/1 with a 10k PR and concluding on Thanksgiving Day with a Half Marathon PR.  I want to improve my sprinting and overall speed before the end of the year.

I’ve improved on weight lifting as well.  I’ve seen strength gains on every major lift, and I’ve transitioned in the direction of making whole-body lifts my primary mode of exercise.  I plan to continue in this direction and increase my mobility in ways that matter.  I want to be able to support my body in more directions – working towards exercises like muscle ups.  Looking and feeling well will be important too.

I had bigger hopes for my soccer skills after the middle of the year.  I wanted to be in a position to try out for our company’s national soccer team, but at the end of the year just felt I wasn’t there yet.  It’s going to take more individual time practicing ball skills, and committing to finding time to play pick up or league play (or both) every week.  That starts tomorrow with pick-up play at the local park.

Vacation Adaptation

31 Dec

I’ve been on vacation for the holidays now since December 23rd.  It’s been a great week spent at home with my family, enjoying time together.

It’s interesting how quickly though your body and mind adapt to the lifestyle that being off from work affords you.

My normal schedule means waking at about 5 AM and commuting to the office for a 9-10 hour workday and then a 1 hour commute home, followed by an evening spent preparing dinner and food for the next day at work.  Not so, since vacation started.

Outdoors Time

The weather in Atlanta over the past week has been excellent.  Atlanta never gets really cold like other parts of the US – it’s definitely colder than the summer and fall, but it’s still weather that you can enjoy outdoors time.

During vacation, I’ve been able to play pickup soccer, do some morning training with a Goalkeeper preparing for a tryout, get outside with my sons for soccer, work on building another garden bed, and take the family out to a Miniature Golf and Go-Kart park.

Sleep

I think the lack of time in front of a computer, coupled with a lot of outdoors time has really helped regain a normal sleep cycle.  I’m tired in the evening and I can sleep until morning with only minor interruptions.  It’s gone a long way to making me feel normal and helping my body recover from some sickness and from the lack of rest during the last first half of December.

Exercise

If there’s one area that I wish I could do more of while on this break – it’s exercise.  Getting to the gym is less convenient when I’m out of the office, and my days have been more consumed with the family and kids during the time off.  It’s probably been good to have a week off from lifting to allow my body to repair and recover.

Diet

I’ve stayed consistent with Paleo during vacation – and being home has allowed me to cycle more variety into my diet each day and vary my meal times and sizes according to my hunger more.

 

Fitness Metrics as of November 1, 2011

1 Nov

Diet: Paleo Plus Dairy

I’m approaching two months of good compliance on Paleo plus dairy as my diet.  Cereal has stayed out of my breakfasts, bread and sandwiches out of my lunch, and I’ve avoided snack foods entirely.

Most of my dairy intake is from whole milk, homemade Greek Yogurt, with some occasional whole milk when it’s available.  I’m also using real butter in some foods.

I’ve experimented with new foods over the past month – roasting winter squashes and pumpkin as sides for meals.

I’ve been able to maintain my reduced caffeine intake that I started last month, and take some further reductions on some weekends.

With my brother’s wedding, I had one weekend of alcohol that took several days to recover from.

Weight Lifting

I lifted weights 10 days during October, down from 11 in September.  I had two out-of-town trips which reduced the days available.

My maximum squat increased 10 pounds, now to 215 pounds (1.5 times body weight).  Deadlift was steady with last month at 185 pounds (1.3 times body weight).  Bench press was steady at 150 lbs (1 times body weight).

Overall, I’ve been trying to find ways to make my weight lifting workouts more efficient – mostly doing fewer exercises that overlap and focusing on what I think are the most efficient for getting stronger.

Running

Running came back from September, but was less than what I had hoped for before the month started.  In total, I did 26 miles in five runs.  My long run was 10.56 miles.  I actually did the same distance last October.

My running highlight was early in the month with my overall race win in the Lily’s Run 5k.

In November, I need to return to 20 miles per week for at least the first half of the month to be well prepared for the Atlanta Half Marathon in 23 days.  I’m not concerned with finishing, but I want to make sure I can get close to a personal record.

Soccer

A five Sunday month allowed me to play soccer four Sundays.  My play continued to improve – with a goal coming last week on a corner kick.

My improved speed and agility is helping on defending.  I still need more repetitions on the field to get burned less often by feints and maneuvers.

Sleep

I’ve increased my weekday sleep by about 45 minutes since the summer time.  Weekends are probably close to eight hours.  Quality is also improved – less waking during the night.

Weight: 142 Pounds

I dropped three pounds during October – down from 145 last month.