Tag Archives: Fitness

90-Day Fitness & Accountability Challenge

It's on. 90-Day Fitness & Accountability Challenge. January 6-April 5.
It’s on. 90-Day Fitness & Accountability Challenge. January 6-April 5.

Because I love challenges, and because my list of things to do is apparently not long enough, I decided to begin a 90 day fitness challenge on January 6th. I blame this entirely on my friend Rick, because he’s the one who first introduced the idea to me (click here to view his post describing the challenge in detail).

The concept is simple: set a fitness challenge that works for you, and stick to it for 90 days. The challenge can be anything, so long as it is exactly that – a challenge. For example, if you are someone who already has a history of working out 3 times per week, a challenge might be to up that to 4 times per week. If on the other hand you don’t work out at all, setting a goal of two 30 minute sessions of activity per week might be challenge enough. Point is – you have to pick something that makes sense for you, and pushes you beyond your current routine.

For those of you who don’t know, Rick goes by the handle of @InspirationRick on the Twitter. Having seen the number of people he’s just inspired to take part in this 90 day challenge, I can tell you he’s earning that moniker. Well done sir. My hat is off to you1.

So what have I decided to do for my challenge? I have committed to 6 days of activity per week3. If I follow my training program for the upcoming Toronto GoodLife Marathon and the 50k Niagara Ultra Marathon, 6 days shouldn’t be a problem – although it’ll definitely be a challenge.

For the sake of my 90 day challenge, all of the training runs, yoga/stretching sessions, and visits to the gym will qualify as acceptable forms of activity. My walks to and from the office will not qualify as they are part of my regular routine.

From a nutritional/healthy eating point of view, I’m going to also strive to drink more water (1 big glass before bed and as soon as I wake up), and eat out less. To accomplish the latter goal, I’m going to focus on short-term objectives first; making lunches instead of buying them on campus every day during the month of January. If that works well, then I’ll see what other changes I can make.

Here’s to a kick ass 90 days.

1 Mainly because you’ve done an awesome job, and deserve the nod. But also because I want to hand you a hat so that you can cover up your face. Cuz it’s ugly2. ZING!

2 For those who are new to this blog, Rick is not actually ugly. I guess.

3 Which I will be tracking weekly with the rest of my Quest to 1000 km statistics.

10 To 15 Pounds Of Fatty Fat Fat Fat

What the what are these things that have me squeeing?
Yay! Numbers!

In case you were unaware, I’m a big fan of numbers. And by big fan, I mean I love numbers. I’ve always been this way. Even as a kid I would often find myself doing math in my head, thinking about patterns in numbers, finding comfort in their logic. There were many very late and sleepless nights as I grew because I’d often be doing calculations in my head into the wee hours. If I thought of a math problem or learned some new mathematics at school, it would take a lot of willpower to shut my brain off. Failing to will my brain to stop would leave me with a brain set on overdrive.

The point is, my passion for numbers and mathematics hasn’t waned. I have, however, found the ability to shut my brain down when I go to bed. I think if I hadn’t done that in my teens I’d be insane right about now.

So why all this talk about numbers? Well, I use it as justification for another update on my 2012 goals.

Another update? 2012 is only 2 weeks old!

I know. I know. I promise that I won’t be doing these every week. The reason I wanted to post today was because I have been collecting a bunch of numbers and if I don’t share them or write them down, I might just burst. Plus, this provides me a record of my stats so that I can track how they change throughout the year. These include things such as my Maximum Heart Rate, Target Heart Rate, Resting Heart Rate, Body Mass Index, Basal Metabolic Rate, Body Fat Percentage, and Hip to Waist Ratio.

Why have I been collecting this info? Well, as I said, I love numbers. Also, it gives me an idea of progress, and reminds me that I am not the fatty fat fat fat kid that I once was. It’s also good to know these numbers for training – so that I know if I’m pushing myself in the way that I should to achieve the results that I want.

So, without further ado, here are my results (mostly gleaned from calculators available herehere, here, and here). Feel free to comment as necessary.

  • A-pear-ently I'm "pear-shaped". Ha! See what I did there? I kill me.

    Current weight: 64.86 kg, or 143.00 lbs (last measured Christmas Eve, 2011)

  • Current height: 170 cm, or 67″
  • Current age: 36.42 years
  • Resting heart rate: 52 BPM (measured on waking, confirmed by the doctor), or 66 BPM (measured now after a large coffee and chores)
  • Max heart rate: 186 BPM
  • Target heart rate: 80% = 159 BPM, 90% = 173 BPM, 100% = 186 BPM
  • BMI: 22.39 (normal range)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate: 1560.7 (the number of Calories I’d burn doing nothing but “living”)
  • Body Fat Percentage: 10.20% via the U.S. Navy body fat algorithm, or 7.14% via the YMCA body fat formula.
  • Hip to Waist Ratio: 0.88 (which means I’m pear-shaped apparently)
  • V02 Max: 48.65 to 54.73.

Now because I’m a nerd I thought – what would 7.14% or 10.20% of my body mass be? That is, how much of me is fat? Turns out, somewhere between 10 and 15 lbs assuming my calculator results are accurate. Seeing these results, I’d really love to go and have it tested using a more accurate method. And so, dear readers, this is a new item on my Not-So-Bucket-List list (item #264). I’ve also decided that I need to accurately determine my V02 Max, so this has also made the list (item #265).

How did I do with the rest of my goals? See for yourself:

  • Starbucks old-fashioned donuts are so freaking delicious. But for 400 Calories, they'd better be. Image via: http://lakocinera.blogspot.com/

    So far I’ve burned off enough Calories (~10040) to eat 25.1 Starbucks donuts (~400 Calories each), or 62.75 tall vanilla soy lattes (~160 Calories each).

  • I’ve walked or ran the distance of 2.62 marathons between January 1, and January 14, 2012.
  • I’ve spent 28.6 hours walking, running, or stretching/yoga’ing so far this year (excluding today).
  • I’ve hit 41%, 52% and 40% of my January goals for walking, running, and yoga, respectively (with more than half the month to go).
  • My average running pace is 5 minutes 15 seconds per kilometre. My treadmill pace is slightly slower than this, while my road pace is slightly faster. Weird. I would have expected the opposite.
  • My longest run for 2012 happened yesterday – 10 miles, or 16.09 kilometres (total time 1:23:51, average pace 5:13).

In honour of these successes, I’m currently treating myself to some Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate. Because it’s all about balance.

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Just Call Me Lazy Pants McGee

This is not me. This is an athlete known as George Grey having his V02 Max measured. I want to do this. Image via http://www.cbc.ca

Since my surgery I haven’t been as active as I would like. There, I’ve said it. Sadly, that doesn’t make me feel any better about the situation, and this bugs me. I’m feeling quite lazy these days, and I really need to get back into the swing of things.

Of course, I realize that I must temper my return to the old Dan so as not to anger up the innards, re-herniating myself, or even worse, doubly re-herniating myself. Because doubly re-herniating is clearly worse than regular ole re-herniating, if my math is correct.

Thankfully I am healing very well and have managed to start up yoga again. I’ve also managed some minor running, but nothing in comparison to what I was post surgery. I have yet to get on my bike.

To get myself at least feeling a little better about this inactive phase in which I currently find myself, I’ve decided to try a little retail therapy. That is, this Friday I shall finally purchase the trainer for my bike that I’ve been dreaming about for some time. The trainer will allow me to convert either my mountain or road bike into a stationary bike. It’s like magic, except with bikes!

I want one of these. It will magically transform my road or mountain bike into a stationary bike. Ooooooh. Aaaaaaah. Image via http://biketrainerreviews.com/

Having the trainer will help in a number of ways; I’ll be able to train for long periods without having to worry about hills (at least, for now); I’ll have an outlet for this energy that I’m not burning being a lazy ass; I’ll be able to train over the winter; and I’ll be able to check off item #64 from my Not-So-Bucket-List list. Clearly it’s a win-win-win-win situation. And that many wins can’t be wrong.

I also have decided that I want to figure out my V02 Max. The V02 Max is a scientific measure of fitness, more or less. It basically is a number that tells you the amount of oxygen your body can use when exercising at its max. The higher the number, the better the health.

To accurately measure ones V02 Max, you’d need to strap into a contraption like that pictured above. Then you’d be surrounded by science-y types who would monitor various machines that go bing, review pages of graphs and line charts, check boxes on clipboards, mumble to themselves, postulate, and finally, after much deep-thought present to you a number that represents your level of fitness (or so I imagine). I honestly have no idea how they measure V02 beyond strapping you into the aforementioned contraption.

One can also perform simple tests at home. I won’t get into those here, but there are several. These all come with simple equations where you’d perhaps enter you age, gender, weight, and some measure of physical activity. It might be your heart rate following a 10 minute run, or how long it took to run 5km. Regardless, the formulas are easy to use, and there are many websites on the interwebs that will do the calculations for you.

I perused a few of the websites to figure out mine. Depending on the formula, mine ranged from 48.65 here, to 58.27 here. In both cases, those values (for my age) are great. So despite the fact that I feel lazy, my V02 Max is telling me things are still pretty good. That is, I don’t have to start worrying that I’m eating too many bonbons just yet.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I have some bonbons to eat.