Sunday, 3 May 2015

Training and Weight Loss - End of April 2015 update

Well, that's April done.
No health issues, and quite a bit of training.

The thermodynamic weight loss model, burn up more calories than you stuff in your face and you'll get thinner, really seems to be the working for me.
So, on to April's training.
No "big news", just steady training and slow weight loss.

So, on to the training figures (taken from Strava, with a couple of corrections for "Strava crashes", etc.):
Cycling: 422 km (target was 400 km)
Running: 71 km (target was 50km), with another 139 km logged in my "Training Diary" as walking.
Climbing: 2873 meters (target was 1000m) but that figure does include climbs while running, as well as climbs while cycling! The "Strava climbing" figure, which should be just cycling, was about 2200 metres (edit: Strava reports 2185m of climbing, and they seem to have fixed the bug that includes running "climbs" in the climb total that I reported earlier in the year). I had set my original target just for "cycling climbing", so I still more than doubled it!
Longest Ride: 64.5 km (target was 60 km), but I also got in a 61.2km ride as well! I was pleased to have achieved the "target" distance twice in the same month! These are actually my 4th and 5th longest rides ever! (Longest ever was the 160km ride in the Summer of 2014, then before that it was the London to Brighton ride last year, then before that it was a training ride I did last year as preparation for the London to Brighton ride!)
Longest Run: 10 km (target was 10 km), which I did in the first week of the month, then concentrated more on my cycling! It was my fastest 10 km since I took up running again after a gap of MANY years!

So, with no new health concerns, and my previous concerns allayed, I still achieved all my "modest" training targets for the month!

Not so much running in April, then!
But I'm still not aiming to be a runner.
The running is just to support my general health and fitness and to provide a cardio-vascular workout that will support my cycling (!)

And my 64 km ride, which took in the first part of the actual Tour de Vale course, showed just how much work I still have to do!
There is a "step" hill (short and sharp) that I had forgotten about when approaching from that side, that just takes a bit out of you, so that when you turn onto the first part of the "main hill", you already a bit tired. The first part of the "main hill" is mighty steep, too, then a flatter bit, but not long enough to recover from the first rise (!), then up the bit marked 13% incline, before cresting. After that it is undulating territory, in places with a rather potholed surface, a bit of loose gravel on the road, and you might find horse-manure, too, just for variety. I suspect some of the narrow-tyred "road bikes" will get a bit of a rude awakening, while the fatter tyred bikes will do much better!
But that is the point of "route testing" - to check what the surface is like just as much as to check the exact route (which will be signposted and/or marshalled for the actual event!).

And the weight loss?
So how much have I lost?
Well, depending on which "smoothing" method you use, I have out 5.5kg (12 lbs) in weight in four months.

But losing weight is not just a "numbers game" - physical signs will appear as well.
For example, I had to find a smaller belt to hold up my trousers for work, because they kept slipping down, and I was on the smallest "hole" already.
Another eaxmple is that on the last day a month I had to go to our daughter's school for one of those chats about "student progress" (our daughter, as always, gets a glowing report, and a couple of the teachers promised to give her harder work in class!). So I wanted to dress nicely to meet the teachers.
Going through my wardrobe, I found a nice pair of trousers, but the waistband is only a "36" (inches - it is about 91.5 cm). I had been in the habit of wearing a "tight" "38", or a looser "40" (96 cm, and 100cm, respectively). Well, I got into that pair of "36" waist trousers. the fit was quite "snug", but I didn't have to hold in my gut or anything like that, and I certainly wasn't trying to force myself into them like folks do in TV adverts!
So I know I am really losing weight, because I can fit into smaller trousers than before!

This months "progress" chart.
The "blue" line is the figures I have collected from our household scales in the morning, and the "green" line is a simple 3-day average of the weights from the scales.
As the chart above shows, weight loss is not a process of losing weight every day - sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it goes down.
Lots of things affect the "daily" numbers - food from the day before, hydration levels (getting an apparent weight loss from dehydration is very easy to do, yet unsustainable!), exercise, exact restroom patterns, etc. etc.
However, although the chart is certainly bumpy (and the "green" line, which averages the numbers out over a three-day period, is a bit smoother, but still pretty bumpy!), it is clear to everyone that the overall pattern is downwards. The "high" readings get less high, and the "low" readings get lower!
Indeed, on the right-hand end of the chart, on the penultimate day shown, I got a new "low" of 90.9kg (200 lbs)!

Boring, steady, weight loss.

And yet obvious to anyone that it is a real weight loss!

5.5 kg  (12 lbs) off me is the same in cycling terms as 5.5 kg (11 lbs) off the weight of the bike, and I'm fitter and healthier for it, too!
Another couple of kilos (about 4 or 5 lbs), and I will be back at the top of the "healthy weight" band. So I'm not their just yet!
Already, since 1st January, my "BMI" has dropped from 27.2 to 25.7 (!) - but that's what happens when a man of about 6'2" drops from 212 lbs to 200 lbs (!)

For May my cycling target includes at least one 70km ride, so that'll be a good test of my state of fitness, and although it is not a "formal" target, I would like to get my 10K time below the "one hour" mark as well. I had hoped for that "one hour 10K" in April, too, but I did quite a bit of cycling (two 60+km rides, rather than the "target" which was just one) instead. I've already put a 16km run in for May (last night, in the dark, with just a few spots of rain throughout), which was a bit slow, but helps to build stamina, just the same.

Next update in a couple of weeks!

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