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.

 

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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: 100 nickels more to offload

How much is 500g

That will be equivalent to 500g of my body mass. If only it’s that easy to offload. Actually, it should not be too difficult, considering that I have been exercising almost on a daily basis, except on Sunday. But given that we are in the Mid Autumn festive season, I should count myself lucky for not having any weight increase after dumping in dozen of moon cakes!

Me while my virtual race partner is far in front of me, out of sight.

This has been a rather intense week as far as exercising is concerned. I ran 60 minutes of steadfast pace (6.52min/km) in the mid-week, with daily 2 km swim daily in between. The virtual race partner feature in Garmin Forerunner 910xt is interesting. It gives me a sense of how far behind (or ahead) I am from my virtual running partner as I run. A good feature for people like me who runs alone but need some pacer to keep me from slacking away. The Garmin’s lap swimming feature went through a stress test last week, having swam a total of 320 laps over 4 swimming sessions. While it is not 100% accurate, with an average of 1-2.5% miscount rate, I can now concentrate fully on my swim, rather than getting distracted by the tracking of the rubber bands. My main gripe now is the device has problem identifying my breast strokes, as it frequently detects them as backstroke instead. No problem with freestyle swim though.

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 10th October  2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  124  892.68
 Cycling  8  220.5
 Swimming  26  51.6

I mentioned previously that I like RunKeeper for its dashboard reporting feature. While Garmin tracks and reports all the possible details at activity level, it does not summarize all the activities like what RunKeeper does, such as the one below. Thankfully, RunKeeper is more than just a activity logging website with its strong social networking capability, particularly its support for third party app. With GarminSync, I am able to sync and post my Garmin activities to RunKeeper automatically. To the sports enthusiasts, RunKeeper is the Facebook of fitness.

Total distance and calories spent so far

 

Run for Food: Swimming as effective weight loss exercise?

Ever since I had started swimming 3 weeks ago, I had observed my body is responding to the exercise much better than before. This is despite after reading about swimming burns less calories, or how it is less effective than running in achieving weight loss.

Apart from feeling the ache of my body muscles all round after a swim,  versus the feeling of ligament strains after a run, I thought I have become leaner after 3 weeks if daily swim, at least psychologically.

Here’s my reasoning; It is an established fact that exercising burns different source of our body “fuel” (fat, carbohydrates, protein, etc), depending on the zone that our heart is exercising. At aerobic zone, our body burns more calories than exercising at fitness zone, while consuming a more balance percentage of energy source between fat and carbohydrates.  Unless I am on low carbohydrates diet, aerobic zone is the most effective weight loss zone.  Having run for 9 months, I know it is not an easy to keep to aerobic zone throughout the one hour of running, probably due to the loss of body fluid. On the other hand, I noticed that I can keep to the aerobic zone consistently regardless of whether I stick to a 30 mins or 1 hour swimming session.

Back on swimming, I am never been a natural swimmer from the onset. I do not feel comfortable when in the water, even when I could stay a float or swim. For a long while, I would have struggled to complete a 100m  freestyle, let alone a long distance freestyle swim. In the last 3 weeks of swimming, I have been doing one lap of  freestyle with one lap of  breast stroke routine for my swim. The breast stroke is more like a rest stroke for me to catch my breathing before doing the next freestyle lap. But 2.5 weeks of consecutive swimming seems to have paid off.

Me Swimming

On 12th September, I managed to stretch my swimming distance to 2.5km, albeit with the alternate strokes method. Despite four consecutive days of 2km (with one of them being 2.5km) swims, I did not feel any more fatigue, unlike a week ago. While I only completed a 1.5km distance on the 5th swim day (I had originally planned for a 1km swim) I actually completed a 40 continuous laps (or 1km) of freestyle swim. It is simply amazing that after 40 years, I have finally achieved this feat.

With all said, I figure that I should try and improve my strokes so that I can breathe on the alternate sides. That would probably be my next goal while continuing to stretch my freestyle swimming distance. In the meantime, I am looking forward for my next run (target to be a week later), as I am confident that 4 weeks of daily swimming should bring some positive impact to my running sessions.

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 14th September 2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  120  862.12
 Cycling  8  220.5
 Swimming  11  26.1

Run for Food: 10km and 15km milestones recapped

I mentioned before Runkeeper has the feature to set and track goals. So far I have set and accomplished two goals, 10km and 15km respectively, over the past 3 months. Here’s some reports from Runkeeper on how the goals were accomplished.

10 km goal attainment

15km goal attainment

Now, I have just set a new goal, which is to complete 20km by end of the year. It’ll be a challenging one as I would need to strengthen my injury-prone feet to endure through the run. My last run over such long distance was easily two decades ago. Probably shedding off another 3-4 kg would help too, to reduce the (weight) stress on the feet and knees. For now, it’s aerobic running for another 2 months I think.

New goal

Run for Food: 10 kg off, 4″ gone, Mee Pok stays

new record!

3 months of workout, finally breaks the 85 mark, lost more than 4 inches, and 10 kg of body mass. Considering that I have not changed my diet plan (ok, I do take a more “normal” in-take these days, but still, I love all the mee poks and or-luas and can’t live without them), I think it’s a great progress, isn’t it?

old flower eyes

yeez gave me a small printed card showing the Hong Kong’s MTR network. I was squinting my eyes, trying to identify the MTR station that yeez was pointing to. My mind was wondering what the hell would a company print such illegible card. Then I realised something might be amiss, and the moment I took off my specatcle, lo and behold! Those tiny nano-centimeter-sized words were suddenly magnified by 10 times!

Must be the sign of aging eyes, I can’t imagine the days I have to constantly flip up my spectacles now, just to read the small prints. Certainly not prescribing to a set of “old flower spectacles”!