Saturday, February 25, 2006

Week 2 Progress Report

The week is not over yet, but tomorrow is a scheduled rest day, so I can give a progress report. The goal was to continue and build a cardiovascular base while running. I had 5 runs this week, so I cut back the time to 35 minutes. I did want to keep at least one longer run, so today I went for 50 minutes. I have been debating with myself what sort of statistics I should keep about my progress. Some times I run at a straight speed, but more often than not I do intervals or run at a steady heart rate with a variable speed. In addition I some times add an incline and some times I do not, so it seems like I am much slower on some days when it was just a higher incline. This all makes much of the data useless for tracking progress, but I still want something to help motivate me and prove to myself that I am getting better.

I'm probably going to get a heart rate monitor watch in the future and that will have more options to display my progress. Until then a simple measure is just the miles run. Hopefully when I am faster, I will run more miles in the same amount of time. This method doesn't account for inclines, but I really can't think of any way to account for inclines anyways. This week I ran a total of 14.77 miles. Adding that to my prior miles gives a running total of 31.24 miles. Here are some fitness stats:

Current body weight: 260.5 lbs (down 3.5 lbs in two weeks)
Body fat percentage: 36 (down from 39% in two weeks)

I have to take the body fat percentage with a large grain of salt because it is taken on an old Tanita Scale, and I doubt it is very accurate, but it should be ok in showing relative changes week to week.

From a qualitative perspective, I could feel the difference when I ran two days in a row. At first I had a little problem getting my HR up on the second day. I had to pace my self a little slower and focus on my breathing and then my HR caught up with me. I did intervals on Thursday. That was after a rest day and for only 35 minutes so it felt really easy. I probably should go longer on days when I do intervals.

Next week I start adding in swimming. I can swim ok with my upper body but my kicking is really terrible. Usually I would just use a leg float and just focus on my upper body, but I really do need to fix this problem, so I am going to start right this time and focus on getting my whole body positioned correctly in the water. This means I can't expect to do many lengths. Normally I would be able to do 20 laps easy. My goal this week is to start out at 10 and see how it goes. Here is my new schedule:

Monday: Run 40 minutes
Tuesday: Swim 10 laps (500 yards)
Wednesday: Run 50 minutes intervals
Thursday: Swim 12 laps (600 yards)
Friday: Run 40 minutes
Saturday: Swim 10 laps (500 yards), Run 30 minutes intervals
Sunday: Rest

I'm still debating whether to put swimming and running both on Saturday or move the swim or run over to Sunday. We'll see.

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Anonymous Dan Field said...

So, Paul, I was surprised to read that you might need to get a heart rate monitor watch. I know that you have that telemetry strap--it doesn't give you that kind of feedback? Does it depend on the model, or are those things just a completely different animal from the monitor watches?

-Dan Field

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usually a heart rate monitor comes with a strap and a wrist watch. The strap measures the heart rate and then wirelessly sends that info to the watch where you can see the reading. I bought the strap separately, because at the time I that was all I needed. Since the treadmill or elliptical machines that I use will also read the signal from the strap, the watch isn't really necessary. But many watches can be programmed to give you all kinds of other information, like your average HR, percent of maximum HR, total calories, fitness level, etc. which the treadmill won't do. Of course if I ran on the street I would also need the watch.

9:33 PM  

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