My Health Strategy

There was a time in my life when I could bang out 96 push-ups in two minutes, 120 situps in another two, and peel off a 2-mile run in 10:30. I miss being in that kind of shape. Realistically, I know it’s going to be difficult (if not impossible) to turn the clock back 20 years and be in the same physical shape I was in while stationed at Fort Bragg. But I want to get healthier and get back to racing again.

This year, I started riding again — more than I have since about 2007, and started logging all my data with Strava and a Garmin. My main thrust was trying to commute to work once a week — the route is mostly flat, and about 23-25 miles one-way (depending on the trail closure). Over the course of the summer, I got faster and faster at it, and enjoyed myself more and more as I could see serious progress happening in my Strava data. Even riding that once per week, I noticed not only my times improving (and setting several PRs per ride), but I noticed that I was dropping weight — my face was getting thinner, my pants were more loose, and the little beer belly I’d built up over the last decade was melting away. When I rode the Powderhorn 24 in August as part of a team, I felt super-strong and was happily cranking out the miles. Things have been on the upswing.

I Do Better With Data

I’ve always known this. It’s part of the reason I track my reading every year — it’s more efficient if I don’t re-read a ton of shit, and I can start to do things like figure out that one of my favorite authors has really started to suuuuuck. So why not apply it to my health?

Enter Apple’s Health Kit. While it doesn’t have everything I’d like it to have, or that other people would, it seems like a suitable program for keeping track of my nutrition, and a few other basic things.

My Strava data is already paired to it (mileage anyway), and I’ve started using MyFitnessPal to log food intake. It’s a start.

More Stuff

Right now, in poking around the weebs, it would seem that I can’t add new categories to track/graph, but I am noodling with the idea of a FitBit (probably a Flex, but ideally a Charge HR) so that I can keep better track of my daily activity levels and my sleep quality.

Shit I’d Like to Be Able to Track

  • water intake
  • VO2 Max
  • Wingate results
  • resting metabolic rate
  • morning resting heart rate

Planning and Executing

While this is my first week back at regular exercise, and my main goal is long-term health, my training is focused on riding and racing — the short-term goal to be in shape enough to race next year…and hopefully make the winter blow by a little faster.

Sunday, I went out and did my one-rep max tests (1RM), and my 30 minute time trial to determine my LTHR. I’ve got a spreadsheet set up on Dropbox, and I can access it from anywhere I have a net connection and my iPad. I’ve got the first eight weeks of workouts planned. I’m hitting it hard, yo. (I just wish I had a fatbike so I could ride outdoors a bit this year.)

Stay tuned.

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