RunforFood: Highlights of my 24 months of exercise regiment

Yes, it has been 2 years since I decided that I need to get my act together to get myself back into shape, literally. Peeps who know me personally, know I was athletic when I was younger. Well, not the national level but surely good enough at district level. But I know I need to find the right motivation to get running a  sustainable regiment instead of a short moment of enthusiasm.  Food becomes my motivation factor, and therefore my mantra, “Run for Food”  #irun4food .

My first run was a disaster, but you got to forgive the performance considering that I had not been exercising for at least a decade.

First run in 2011

First run in 2011

Since then, it has been a regiment to run at least thrice a week. At one period, I just keep on running on alternate days, and when I got injured in 2012, I told myself I had to augment my routine with swimming and cycling, which I did subsequently. 24 months later, I can fairly say that there has been a tremendous progress made, whether it’s physically (8″ slimmer and 15kg lighter), pace and timing (4 min/km faster) or health wise (more focused with fewer MC taken). I did a similar run this morning, through the same route as I did on my first run 24 months ago, and the result was sobering.

2013 Run

Run in 2013 on 24th month Anniversary.

I did feel tired towards the end of the run, but hey, I WAS tired from the first second I ran 24 months ago!

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of my exercise regiment in the last 24 months.

Less than 80

Less than 80

While the motivation of running is so that I can eat in peace, the “side effect” of physically more trimmed is also welcomed. I lost 8″ of waistline, and more than 15kg worth of calories.  It could be more, if not for my lack of diet control, but I am not complaining. That said, I am more selective with my diet choice though, the food has to be worth my hard earned calories for me to ask for extra serving.

Longest Run to-date

Longest Run to-date

One of my goals is to complete a 20km run before end of 2013. While there is still 15 days before the year end, it is highly unlikely I can last that kind of distance considering the state of my ankles at the moment. I probably could do a mix of run and walk to achieve that goal, but I want to challenge that goal with a consistent pace. In the end, the farthest I can achieve is a 16km run, 4km shy of my target, unless miracle happens in the next 2 weeks.

Best 5km Run (Oversea)

Best 5km Run (Oversea)

One of the things I try to do is keep my exercise regiment in all circumstances, such as travelling. So far I have managed to keep my running routine intact wherever I traveled, whether it’s Bangkok, Geneva or Cupertino. I actually like running oversea, particularly those in Europe and US because of the fantastic weather, cool temperature and low humidity. It is therefore no surprise that one of the best run is achieved when I was running in Geneva early this year during Spring time, clocking a 29.18 min timing for a 5km distance.

BestRunLocal5km

The best, however, is reserved for the run made just few days ago. My biggest peeve with running in Singapore is the heat and the humidity, and therefore I thought I would never outpace what I have achieved in Geneva (per above). It was therefore a pleasant surprise that I achieved my best 5km run, so far, at a sub 29 minute timing locally. The first km was done comfortably and when I saw that it was a under-5:50 min/km pace, I told myself there might be a chance for me to achieve a low 29 min run, so I pushed myself further. The last km was a challenge though, as I felt my leg muscles were too tired to even lift an inch.

Year to Date Exercise Report Card

Year to Date Exercise Report Card

All in all, it has been a great 24 months of exercise.  Over 2600km of distance covered, 336 hours of heart pumping moments and over 230,000 calories burnt. And that’ll a whopping over 800 of burgers worth that I could have afforded to eat! But obviously, it has to be a damn bloody good burger for me to waste all these hard earned calories.

Running Statistics

Running Statistics

 

RunforFood: “Life to date” Cardio Report card

Swimming-September

It has been a while since I last blogged! Month of September had mostly been a swim month, as I tried to give my feet rest as much as possible. However, I do not wish my exercise momentum to stop, and therefore I focus on swimming instead. It was a challenging because it is not easy to keep to a 3-5 times a week swimming routine, and consecutively for 4 weeks. The end result, at end of the month, is satisfying though, despite the boring routine (imagine having to complete between 40-120 laps per session). I even completed an 1km swim session under 24 min! With my feet having much needed rest, I am starting to ease into running, without any ankle or knee support!

Here’s my life-to-date Cardio report card. I was hoping that I can complete 400 hours of exercise by end of the year, but that looks like an impossible target unless I start exercising every day for an hour!

 

ExerciseReports

 

RunforFood: Report card after 18 months

Reportcard-June13

Back to mix of run, swim and cycle in June 2013.

 

It has been awhile since I blog about my #RunforFood regiment. The ritual to run for food is still going strong, and in fact, I do find myself improving in my fitness over the last few weeks. In May, I managed to catch a few runs while I was on business trip to Geneva, Switzerland. It was a fantastic weather (under 15 deg C!) to run! In June, I continue my running regiment, and augment with cycling and swimming to combat the hazy weather.

Runningreportcard-June13

4 mins more to achieve 200 hours of running time!

 

Running pace vs Distance

Running pace vs Distance – Increase speed trend is a good sign of progression

 

record-june13

A couple of under 30 min 5km run in June proves that the timings are not a fluke.

 

Run for food: Year end report card

Year end Report Card

Year end Report Card

Time flies, it seems just yesterday when I started to drag my near one-tenth of a tonne body to get some workouts. It  has been a year, and a year of running I am proud to say. Despite suffering a injured ankle ligament and still in process of recovery, I did not gave up like what I did 10 years ago where my fitness dove downhill after I suffer feet injury. I learnt that momentum must be built on, otherwise the inertia would be more than ten times of my weight.

More report cards

More report cards

December has been a slow month so far, I decide to go for shorter, but more frequent runs, as I frankly prefer to run more than swim and even cycling. Shorter run would give my feet more recovery time as I always feel the ankles losing its support after 45 minutes of run. A year have gone, I have chalked up nearly 1500km of distance, spending over 196 hours running, swimming and cycling, and consequently burning close to 131,000 of calories! Guess what? That’s equivalent of clearing calories gained for eating this super burger!

All in all, here’s the “score card”

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 14th December  2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  143  1041.48
 Cycling  14  356.24
 Swimming  62  91.4

Run for Food: Peak October and Lazy November

October is the peak month in terms of the duration and calories burnt. But I am expecting the level to tapper down to a more realistic one. The “3-2-1” regiment is not sustainable as I usually would feel tired up on Saturday to go for a 2 hours cycling routine. So it has been swim and run, and for the last 2 weeks, I have skipped “Wednesday” and declared that as a rest day. Getting lazy!

Ankle support

Fitness wise, I observed a steady improvement based on the outcome of some of the workouts. On running, I am doing more zone-3 running, and shorter distance interval training. I am not sure if that had helped in improving my fitness, as I could stay comfortable with running at an average pace of 6.30 min/km for 3-4 km before my heartbeat goes into zone-4. Something to improve on, i.e. keeping at that pace for a longer duration.  It helps that I am doing a more effective forefoot running now, which makes the run more efficient than heel foot running. I also attribute the improvement to better ankle support guard which I got recently. But the ankle still cannot sustain more than 45 minutes run, as my feet will start to feel the strain again, regardless of the ankle support I have.

Exercise Summary (Dec’11-Nov’12)

On swimming, I was pleasantly surprised that I completed a 1km freestyle swim under 25 minutes in one of the swim sessions. It is probably not something to shout about for most swimmers, but certainly for somebody like me who is not a natural swimmer. I also stretched my swimming distance to 3km on 27th October; The completion satisfaction level was high especially considering that I had to endure 86 minutes of mundane routine.

 

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 23rd Nov  2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  136  995.13
 Cycling  13  317.48
 Swimming  60  87.4

Run for Food: 3-2-1 Swim-Run-Cycle

Last week was a packed week, as far as exercise is concerned. I had decided to do less swim now, and more on running and/or cycling. That said, it all depends on whether my recovering feet and knees can take the physical stress. Based on how my body reacted after a “3 swims, 2 runs and 1 cycle” week, I do have to make some adjustment to my exercise regiment as I feel my left ankle and right knee are not completely recovered yet.

Tired leg after 1 week of exercise

Fitness seems to have improved steadily. I hit a top speed of 30.3km/h momentarily on my 16″ wheeler, but more importantly, I could consistently kept my speed between 20km/h and 24km/h,  throughout the 30km cycling route.

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 26th October  2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  128  936.1
 Cycling  11  284.5
 Swimming  40  68.6

Run for Food: Milestone reached for 1000km goal

RunKeeper dropped me an email yesterday, and I realised I am inching closer to my 1000km goal. I am just 100km away from my goal, but unless I can resume my 3 times a week running regiment, it is unlikely I can hit the goal before end of this year.

 

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 18th October  2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  125  902.62
 Cycling  8  220.5
 Swimming  31  60.6