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Health and fitness in 2014


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Got my cycling up to about 120 miles a week and increased my average speed to over 16 mph when on my own. All the people I currently cycle with seem to be a bit slow now which can be frustrating - and a bit annoying when you're overtaken by a guy on a mountain bike whom you know you can easily out-ride when cycling at your own pace.

 

Been on a couple of Sky rides too, which are quite sociable and at least make me do about a 50 mile ride. They are still a bit slow though. I'm going to join a cycling club within the next week or two as they should hopefully be more my pace with the choice of a fast group and a steady group (start with that one just in case) - that's if I can get up at a stupid hour on a Sunday morning.

 

Why are so many sporting clubs (like cycling, golf and motorcycling) full of people who seem to have no social life? Or is it people who can party all night and still get up at 8am on a Sunday? I'm a bit of an insomniac who gets to sleep about 2am or later most nights and so with work during the week, I like to catch up a bit at the weekend - but also like a couple of nights out on Friday and Saturday. I can see the point with the light and traffic but I struggle to make it there in time; at least the Sky rides start at 10 am and only a 20 minute ride to the start.

 

My commitment to working out is lacking at the moment as I now really dislike my gym. It's just far too busy. I've decided to join another gym but just waiting for the month of my last payment to end. The novelty might also kick me back into the habit.

 

Seem to just be steady on the weight front and think I'm carrying about 15% body fat which I'd like to get down to 10-12% which should mean losing about 10lbs of fat while keeping lean mass the same.

 

To do that I think I need to be stricter with my diet as I have too many "exceptions". I need to be better prepared with more healthy but quick food available, especially at work. I think I need to also try a couple of days a week where I'm really strict and cut down the calories for those days.

 

How is everyone else doing?

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Im walking 1.5 hours 4 days a week in the killer hill / forest nearby. Long term its making me lose fats and making my stamina better as the first section is 45 degrees and an absolute nightmare. Im around 79kg compared to 81 last year If I step it up and behave on weekends I'll be 76kg in no time ad look 25 again.

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Walked up the Peak today Gribz. Walked all the way there from my flat in Hung Hom (bar the quick journey on the Star Ferry at TST). Not too bad til I got to the start of the real walk where it informs you its 30 minutes to the top (more like 20). Bastard of a climb though.

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Im walking 1.5 hours 4 days a week in the killer hill / forest nearby. Long term its making me lose fats and making my stamina better as the first section is 45 degrees and an absolute nightmare. Im around 79kg compared to 81 last year If I step it up and behave on weekends I'll be 76kg in no time ad look 25 again.

 

Sounds like you're around the same weight as me, Gribz - 80kg. Steep climbs are pretty good at getting your heart rate up and working you anaerobically so that 45' is pretty good for you. Sounds like a bit of a scramble. A lot of people think walking three miles round a lake will shed loads of weight but the reality is that on a flat walk, unless you're power walking, you're not burning many calories (there's a lot of fat golfers). Steep hills are totally different so it's a good move.

 

I'm not losing much weight at the moment but definitely looking a good bit leaner than the Christmas period. I think it's difficult to lose much when you're not exactly unhealthily overweight. Once you get to about 13% body fat, your body starts to rebel and it gets harder and harder unless you are exercising intensely for a couple of hours everyday and calculating your calories so you don't go over... It's pretty hard to keep that up all year round.

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You guys tried Strava? I use it for cycling but it can also be used for running and walking. It's a GPS app for your phone on which people put "segments" which is a short section of a route where you are timed and compared to everyone else. It's good to keep track of how you're doing and to measure yourself against other people.

 

I cycle a lot by myself as my mates are a bit slower than me and it really makes me push myself to try and beat my personal bests and move up the ranks. I seem to have had an incremental improvement yesterday and beat 12 personal records - including achieving one of my targets by getting a sub 3.30 on a really difficult 12% hill climb. Also had a about 8 second bests that were just a second or two out. Averaged 17.4 mph for a quite hilly 20 mile ride which is probably the best I've ever ridden and exceeds my target of 17.0.

 

Need to start making some new targets, so now looking to average 18mph by myself on a 25 mile ride or longer.

 

Still haven't joined a club as I still can't get up on a Sunday morning at a stupid hour but at least I'm confident of not struggling to keep up, and suspect I may be comfortably above average for the less-competitive groups, going by Strava results.

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Walked up the Peak today Gribz. Walked all the way there from my flat in Hung Hom (bar the quick journey on the Star Ferry at TST). Not too bad til I got to the start of the real walk where it informs you its 30 minutes to the top (more like 20). Bastard of a climb though.

 

Now that is a steep climb - The Peak. Its a cracking walk but it is a steep one. The Star Ferry has to be the best 25p anyone could every spend for the views alone.

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Sounds like you're around the same weight as me, Gribz - 80kg. Steep climbs are pretty good at getting your heart rate up and working you anaerobically so that 45' is pretty good for you. Sounds like a bit of a scramble. A lot of people think walking three miles round a lake will shed loads of weight but the reality is that on a flat walk, unless you're power walking, you're not burning many calories (there's a lot of fat golfers). Steep hills are totally different so it's a good move.

 

I'm not losing much weight at the moment but definitely looking a good bit leaner than the Christmas period. I think it's difficult to lose much when you're not exactly unhealthily overweight. Once you get to about 13% body fat, your body starts to rebel and it gets harder and harder unless you are exercising intensely for a couple of hours everyday and calculating your calories so you don't go over... It's pretty hard to keep that up all year round.

 

Yes agree RE the walking, if you are doing flat surface then you have to go at a good pace and do it for at least 45 minutes else your not working the heart rate up enough for it to break down fats. And you have hit the nail on the head - when you get near the perfect body weight its the last few pounds that don't shed off unless you are very strict, I think that's why I move to and fro the 78-80 kg mark as its an easy stage to go up and down.

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  • 1 month later...

Now joined a couple of cycling clubs and done two 100 milers in the last couple of weeks.

 

Also did an evening ride of 33 miles at an average of 19mph - although must admit to drafting about 2/3 of it. There was three of us and the guy who led most of it was an unassuming, 50 odd year old Scot from Fife, who was an amazingly fast cyclist and just totally relentless. I had to work my hardest just to keep up.

 

Averaged about 190 miles a week for the last few weeks and about 120 per week for this year. Need to have a recovery week every fourth week so taking it easy this week. Finding it easy enough to average over 17mph without trying too hard so hoping to increase that to 18 in the next few weeks.

 

Starting to look for a more expensive bike as I think I can now justify it. Will be keeping the current one for winter riding or in the rain.

 

Don't seem to have lost much weight although my scales are dodgy and it could be that. However, I do notice I'm slimmer looking with better definition and my legs are looking solid, so it could be loss of fat while gaining muscle. Feeling good in any case.

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Back to the walks this week, done a few in the last few days but only 45 minutes. But had a good weekend off the sauce and ate lightly, got up 8am this morning and did 90 minutes of up and down killer hill. The last 200m has the option for killer steps which is almost army like training if you run it.

 

Also did a dumbbell session on Wednesday to maintain a bit of tone.

 

Weigh myself this morning and at a good 78.7 kg albeit that's after losing some water from the morning.

 

But it will be a full week of walks coming up along with keeping the calories down.

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That hill sounds pretty evil but really good for you. The downhill sounds as hard as the up - is that ok on your knees?

 

You seem to be still losing weight, but it's always going to be slow as it doesn't sound like you've much to lose. I'm a similar weight on the scales although still haven't bought a new set. The current set changes the readout if you move slightly so it's difficult to get a consistent reading. But it is moving around the 79 instead of the 80 now.

 

Have just bought a bike from Ebay which is a 2012 Boardman Elite SLR 9.8 with SRAM Red groupset, Zipp 303 wheels and Ritchey WCS bits, so pretty much a pro-level bike in perfect nick.

 

Have swapped the seatpost for an ultra light 3T one I have and the seat for a Selle Italia SLR Carbone as well as put on some Speedplay zero pedals. Just waiting on a shorter Ritchey stem to come as the bars are a slight stretch.

 

It feels very light but need to weigh it properly - expecting around the UCI minimum weight of 6.8kg.

 

Only had time for a one hour ride but averaged 18.3 mph and broke 14 personal records on Strava... It feels really stiff and very smooth - it seems to cut down on the vibrations from the road as well as feeling like all your power is going to the wheels. Really enjoyed the ride and looking forward to the next one.

 

Aim on doing over 200 miles this week as just had a planned easy week.

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