Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for March 29th, 2006


Posted by Trixter on March 29, 2006

I began using Jim Fixx's The Running Program two days ago, and am following the 30-step training program that ends with me running 3 continuous miles every day. This should get me in shape to run a 5K with my wife in about a month; the actual progam takes twice that amount of time, but I feel confident I could at least finish a 5K.

Step 1 two days ago was "Walk 1 to 1.5 miles." No problem. Done.

Step 2 yesterday was "Walk 1 to 1.5 miles." Again, piece of cake.

Step 3 tomorrow is "Walk half a mile. Run 110 yards. Walk. Run 110 yards. Walk. Run 110 yards. Walk. Run 110 yards. Walk." Uh…

Nothing like a computer program to make you feel like an idiot! You see, I don't have a numbered running track to use; I'm just cruising the neighboorhood. The only way I know that I'm walking 1.5 miles is because I measured it previously with my car's trip odometer. So how to do this properly if all I have is a stopwatch? A "comfortable" running pace for me in my current state of health is 5 miles an hour, which is 12 minutes a mile. A mile is 1760 yards, so I can run 1760 yards in 720 seconds, or (1760/720)=(110/X) so, solving for X, it should take me 45 seconds to run 110 yards. So let's substitute and read it again:

"Walk half a mile. Run for 45 seconds. Walk. Run for 45 seconds. Walk. Run for 45 seconds. Walk. Run for 45 seconds. Walk."

That's a little better, but how long/far should I "Walk"? Half a mile is 880 yards; combined with the running segments it is a total distance of 1320 yards. That's not a full mile, so to stretch it out I need to come up with another 440 yards four more times… aha, they must really mean "Run 110 yards, then walk 110 yards. Repeat 3 more times." Now why couldn't they have just written that?

My walking pace is 3 miles an hour, so walking 110 yards (I'll spare you the calculation) would take me 75 seconds. So, I'm all set as long as I have a stopwatch. Now, where's that stopwatch…!

All this from a program that was supposed to be making running easier.

(All kidding aside, it really is a great program.)

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Week #13 incognito

Posted by Trixter on March 29, 2006

There will be no week #13 stats as I am almost positive that I have self-destructed to the point of gaining weight for the first time this year. At least, I think I've gained weight, but every time I think that I end up losing half a percentage point of body fat or something. The switch away from regular pop must have really been the most significant thing I've ever done, since I'm not even trying and I'm still living at or below my body's energy needs.  And what are those needs?  According to The Running Program, my height and weight requires almost 3000 calories to break even every day.  Good gravy, 3000?  No wonder I'm floating downward:  I cut out 5 cans of pop a day, so there's 750 calories right there.

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