All screwing around aside...

... I've decided to step things up. I'll let the graphs speak for themselves.

Minutes per zone... I have significantly increased the amount of time I'm exercising per week after a 2 week hiatus from exercising. Most all of the exercise has been at a light intensity.

This graph shows the total number of hours I've spent exercising per week (blue) and the weighted number of hours (red). The weighted total is a description of the amount of time weighted by the exercise intensity, which is determined by %heart rate reserve. This weighted total is mostly useless, but it looked like fun... Fun with spreadsheets!

I read an article in the paper today about a triathlete who qualified for the national triathlon in Hawaii. She said she trained 20 hours/wk to prepare for the event. I'm not a triathlete. 20 hours is a part time job and I've already got a full time job and school. 6 hours is by no means a great deal of time spent exercising. I like to think of it as more of a starting point. I hope to double the volume over the next 2 weeks. If I can squeeze in 12 quality hours per week I think maybe I'll have a handle on this fitness thing.

On a separate note - I'm definitely going to change the plyometric plan some... I've started jump roping again, too.



I have here a plan for a plyometric training program taken from a 2003 article by Spurrs, Murphy, and Watsford about the benefits of plyometric training to trained endurance runners. The take home point of the article is that plyometric training makes previously very well trained endurance runners more "economic" in their running (running faster at a lower energy cost). The article goes on to explain the increases by showing improvements in musculotendon stiffness, increased force of isometric contractions (stronger), and some other stuff...

In a 6 week program, you don't actually "build" muscle because of any type of training (cardio, weights, plyometrics, etc...). You learn to use the muscle you have - recruiting greater numbers of motor units per contraction (motor unit = muscle + nerves that attach to it).

In a past life (high school, as sad as that sounds) I was very strong, much stronger than I am now. While there is some deterioration of muscle over time if it isn't used, it's still a very resource intensive thing to build up, so your body is reluctant to get rid of all of it... I plan on starting this 6 week program to see if I can't quite literally shock my muscles into waking up in 6 weeks and see if I can't produce the same change in running, biking, hiking, and whatever else economy.

I should, I think, actually have a much greater improvement than exhibited by the trained distance runners in the study because of my much lower starting point due to a lack of any recent training... We'll see. I'll let you know when I start the program and when I end it, and any changes I make to it between now and then.

Week/Session Jump Squat Jump Scissor Kick Double Leg Bound Alternate Leg Bound Single Leg Forward Bound Depth Jump Double Leg Hurdle Jump Single Leg Hurdle Jump Total Contacts
1/1 2x10 2x10 2x10

1/2 2x10 2x10 2x10

2/1 2x10 2x10 2x10 2x10

2/2 2x10 2x10 2x10 2x10

2x12 2x12 2x12 2x10

2x12 2x12 2x12 2x10


3x10 3x10 2x12 2x6


3x10 3x10 2x12 2x6


3x10 2x15 3x10 2x8


2x8 2x10 2x10 136

2x10 2x10 2x10 170

2x10 2x10 2x10 170

3x10 3x10 3x10 3x10 180

2x15 3x10 3x10 3x10 180

2x15 3x10 3x10 3x10 180

RW Spurrs, AJ Murphy, ML Watsford

The Effect of Plyometric Training on Distance Running


Exercise Lesson of the Day

My new plan...

I am not going to exercise at high intensities... In fact, my goal will be to keep my heart rate under 150 all week. There's a reason for this and it has to do with energy systems in use during exercise. More to come...

New HR Max!

Is routine the key to weight loss?

I went on an impromptu trip to Medicine Hat, Canada, with a friend. We ate, gambled, drank, and partied from about noon to 3am and spent the night in my car. Sunday was a wonderful day full of puking, shivering, and short bouts of consciousness.

I was met back in the states by bills, homework, an disappointed girlfriend, broken blower motor (see Goal #2 posts) and life in general. Needless to say, this threw my short lived exercise routine WAY out of wack. I went that entire following week without exercising even once. Bills and an acute lack of money was enough, I felt, to keep my blood pressure high and heart racing.

The next week was more of the same - pretty much nothing. On tuesday night (10/30/07) I was feeling restless, and needed to get out of the house. I haven't felt restless from inactivity for a while - it was a good feeling to get out even though it near freezing.

I used my phone (with a built in accelerometer based pedometer - more on this later) to measure running distance as an experiment. I also wore my heart rate monitor for fun. The jog was from my apt. to Romney - where I have my Graduate Exercise Physiology class (this seemed like an appropriate target). My jog was short - ~2.3 miles (measured by my phone). Total - I was out being active for ~30 minutes.

I would say it was split 2/3 jogging and 1/3 walking. My intent was not to go out and push myself to the max, as poorly conditioned as I am right now a slow jog pace is basically where I tach. out running on the road. 3 things came from this jog:
  1. I'm in worse condition than I thought...
  2. My Left Knee absolutely HURT LIKE HELL.
  3. My maximum heart rate is 207.
I had surgery on my knee last April - old injuries catching up and so on... I did some training and rehab on my own after that - a couple hikes, etc... Then, for no apparent reason, I went 3 months with no exercise at all... My return in October was great - no pain at all for 3 straight weeks! My jog last Tuesday shattered this. I will be more careful next time. I've been resting and icing since then. Tonight is my first night out and I am going to take it very easy.

My heart rate was 207 BPM. That's really damn high (not good or bad - just means I worked harder than I probably should have). I've updated my Excel Exercise Tracker (that's what I'm going to call it from now on) with this new value and changed my exercise intensities in my watch accordingly.