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Health, fitness, and new bike ... - He's just this guy, you know.

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Schlock Mercenary
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January 8th, 2009

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10:43 pm - Health, fitness, and new bike ...
It's been a while since I've written about health & fitness stuff (and I haven't been sensible and tagged those entries yet), so here goes :

I've had my new bike for almost five weeks now, and I'm loving it ! It's great to be back on a bike again - the ergo bikes at the gym (my bike substitute while in Glasgow) just aren't quite the same. I've done 560km on it so far, with rides of 80km last Sunday and 50km on Tuesday, and plans for another tomorrow. 80km is probably the furthest I've cycled in at least 5 years, possibly more like 10.

I've decided I have two cycling goals for this year - to cover 4200km in total for the year (woohoo, 3% there already !), and to ride in "Around the Bay in a Day" - although I'm going to do one of the half-Bay rides, 100km or so, rather than the full 210 in one day. 210km can be my goal next year :-)

Working with the ergo bikes in Glasgow, and using a heart rate monitor, have helped in working out the sort of power level I can expect to sustain while riding, and what heart rate I should be seeing at that level. A couple of times I did a self-test, consisting of increasing power output by 50W every 30-60 seconds until I reached the "I cannae take any more of this, cap'n" level, then noting my maximum heart rate - each time it was 196bpm, rather different from the usual "220 minus age" formula you see (which would give 182bpm for me).
This seems to be about right, though, while riding up longer hills around Melbourne I've reached that rate at the point where I come close to "blowing up" and have to slow down a little.
In turn, this means I can work out the heart rate range to be riding in for my Anaerobic Threshold - and sustained riding around the AT should help to raise it after a while, which means I should be able to tune my riding towards getting fitter quite well. Of course, I need to throw in some interval training too for fencing fitness.

Weight-wise ... I've lost some. Hovering around 81-82kg at the moment. Most of the past few years I've been around 88-90kg, so this is a pretty good drop, although half of that came in the 4 days near the end of the China trip where I wasn't eating, after one meal disagreed with me (I TMIed and TMIed TMIly through the night). Of course, I haven't been doing any weight lifting since we left Glasgow either (except for moving boxes of books and household items around, of course), so maybe I've just been losing all my muscle mass (such as it was).

And finally, went to fencing training tonight for the first time since we arrived here - as expected, my point control is a bit variable - some really nice wrist hits, and some wild flails in the approximate direction of the opponent. I need a couple of neat-and-tidy lessons to get me back into the groove, I think, but there's plenty of time - first individual event isn't until April.

Current Mood: tiredtired

(2 touches | En garde !)


[User Picture]
Date:January 8th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
That there's some serious biking. Interesting to hear about the peak heart rate formula. That puts me at about 174, and I'm uncomfortably aware that I've been close to that on the X-Trainer (my substitute for biking in Glasgow) recently. My aerobic maximum is supposed to be 160, but I've gone past that as far as 170 without noticing. Oops.

I take it you bought a road bike? If those are MB figures I'm REALLY impressed.
[User Picture]
Date:January 10th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
From what I've read, the HR formula is just a guide - like BMI, results vary from person to person. I gather that the "proper" way to determine your actual max. is in a sports laboratory or something, where they do something like the power test I did, except probably more accurately.

The bike is road-ish, although it could be labelled "hybrid" too - drop handlebars, but pretty chunky tyres, and a pretty wide gear range (triple chainring, and I have a "granny gear", i.e. ratio less than 1). Probably heavier than my old racing bike. Still, I can zoom along nice and quickly on it, that's all that really matters ...

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