Friday, July 26, 2013

Wait on the weight?

Well, i've been having good workouts, and eating super nutritious, but my weight's not going down.  After pondering this for awhile, i decided to just let it be.  One of my big goals was to get down to 170, as this would enhance my stair speed a good deal, but if i'm having great workouts, building fitness, and eating super healthy, i should accept it.  Perhaps i'm just making up for all the years of atrocious eating habits, finally building the muscle i need to be a serious athlete, and generally healing.  Fine.  I'll keep mixing fasting into my regular plan for general brain and body health, and to keep my weight in check, but i'm going to eat healthy but what i want to, work out hard, and let my weight go where it may. Maybe when i hit my fitness goals, i'll try to edge my weight from 180 to 170.  I assume if i'm fit enough to roll out of bed and run a quick 10 miles every morning, losing weight will be no big deal.  Also, even if i don't do quite as well in the races as if i'd reduced my weight, i'll probably do better than last year, and in the long-term it's better to get genuinely healthy, and sort out any food issues.

I did make a new PR with my interval workout yesterday.  Six two-minute intervals at 162 steps a minute, double stepping.  50 second off between each interval. Here was my heart rate data:

I actually felt i could have gone a little harder, though that last interval was pretty tough.  I may try to reduce the rest intervals to 45 seconds next time.  My goal is to reduce the rest intervals as much as i can before US bank.  In a perfect world, i'd like to do those 12 minutes double stepping at 162 S/M with no rest, but that's not likely going to happen soon.  But if i get close, i think my goal of US bank in 12 flat is not too improbable, as to reach my goal i "only" need to climb at 140 S/M and the steps at US bank are significantly shorter than the stairmaster.  I'll also start practicing some real stairs wearing my 40 pound weight vest.  My work building has 300 steps which is somewhat more than 1/6 US bank, so if i can climb it 6 times at 2 minutes per ascent, carrying 40 extra pounds, getting back down the elevator as quickly as i can, i'll also feel more confident about US bank.

Aside from these two interval approaches, i'll mix in some easy runs ( 10 miles at 8:00-9:00 pace ) as well as tough 10-15 minute pulls on the stairmaster.  If i have time, maybe i'll do some of my 1,2,3 hour stairclimbs, but honestly, i'm going to de-prioritize those.  I simply don't think i'll have the time or the physical recovery resources!

And i'll be doing lots of yoga, of course. That's changed my life so much, i could never imagine giving it up!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Checking in on my goals, and my performance compared to last year at this time

I realized US bank is a mere 10 weeks away. Last year about a month out, i had a panic attack, so i wanted to get my ducks a bit better lined up before this opening of the stair racing season.

Last night i looked though my journal and scraped out a training log from pre-race.  This is from my regular journal, so it's not that detailed, but believing myself to be in better shape than this point last year, i thought it made sense to use those as a baseline.

My notes indicate that i did 18 minutes at 140 steps a minute, but i suspect that was with 4 breaks, as that seems out of reach.  It was also single-stepping which left my legs unprepared for double-stepping the real race.  2 months later, when i was in much better shape, i did 135 for 13 minutes, double stepping, and it was tough.

Nonetheless, i decided i'd go for 140, double stepping, for 13 minutes.  I was also not quite as rested as those workouts.

I was fine for the first 4-5 minutes, barely touching the handrails.  6-8 it stated to feel tough, from 8 on i was gutting it out.  Finally, at 10:30, my side cramped up pretty badly, and i hit stop, breathed and rubbed my side for about 25 seconds, and resumed climbing to get in my 12 minutes.

Base on my intensity guage, i think 135 for 13, my last workout before my best-ever climb, would have been do-able with about the difficulty my journal depicts.  So i think i'm about as fast as my peak last year.

Also, my journal says that 2 weeks out i was weighing in at 188, which is heavier than i thought i was. I'm 180 now, and i have more muscle, so i should be faster for the same fitness level.  Back then, my legs would give out, now my cardio is limiting me.

Based on that, my cardio engine is probably 95% of my peak last year,  10 weeks out from my first race.  If i got it to 100% of last year's, and held my weight at 180, i'd do us bank in 12:30 - 12:45.  But my goal is to reduce my time from 13:20 to 12:00, so there is still a lot of work to be done.  Ten weeks could well be enough time, though!  Instead of obsessing on that goal, i'll focus on doing the right things every day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Making progress, got to make more!

It's been awhile since i've checked in!

My diet has been generally better.  I've been cutting out a lot of the processed food, and am relying much more on vegetables, fruit, and legumes.

I would think this would result in more weight loss, but in the past 6 weeks i've gone from 181 to 179. But i think i've put on a few pounds of muscle at the same time, so i guess there has been more than two pounds of fat loss.

I've been focusing more on intervals on the stairclimber focusing on making improvements at US bank and sears tower.  Most of my workouts have been flat out on the machine, for example 162 steps a minute for 2 minutes, 50 seconds of rest, flat out again for 2 minutes, 50 seconds rest, etc, until i have 12 minutes at 162 steps a minute. My dream goal is to keep reducing those rest intervals until i don't need them anymore.

My goal at US bank is 12 minutes, i could do that going 135 steps a minute.  The extra 28 steps a minute accounts for the added difficulty of real stairs and turning.

My goal at sears is 17, which is "only" 124 steps a minute.  But after US bank, i will add intervals so i'm doing 18 minutes, which will require lengthening my breaks.  But i will want to do 18 minutes of intervals at 162 S/M, then hold myself to 124 steps a minute once i get in the building.

The 5K in august feels like a distraction to me now, i'd rather be focusing 100% on stairclimbing, but i also know it's good cross training.

After i'm through with my current batch of fruit, i'm going to watch my carbs for awhile, focusing on lean veggie protein and vegetables, and do some longer workouts, making a concerted effort to push my weight down to at least 175, while maintaining my interval fitness.

Right now, i feel overworked. I ran 10 miles with Kristin and Brady, which was fun, but i'm not a distance runner, and this beat up my legs.  My 5k practice a few days later was incredibly slow ( 23:55 )

In summation, i'm making some progress, but need to work harder to realize my goals of cutting 10% off of my times.