Saturday, May 17, 2008

Measuring Fitness - Me

You might want to skip this post since it was written really for me. A friend of mine looked at this blog and commented; You've always been narcassistic. Since I've known this guy (DJ) for 30 years and he knows me well, it caused me to think. Why (again) do I blog?
- Do I write for self aggrandizement (ie self-promotion)?
- Do I write to amuse the audience?
- Do I write just as a way of processing (ie thinking through) my ideas?

I believe that I blog to clarify my own thoughts, partially to share thoughts with others, partially as a way to hone my skills for my day job (online education), and not at all, for promotion.

So, this post in particular, is written for me. It's for me to figure out and track how I measure my fitness. It's maybe useful to others as an example of how to think about such things. Maybe not. Maybe this one is just for me.

1. Run times. Before karate, I use to do 5K runs. My best times were at a `6:30 pace. Now, my standard measure is 2 miles. If I'm not under 16 minutes, I'm out of shape. When I am at 15, I'm in good shape. For my black belt, I got to 14:08 but never hit the 14 minute mark. In working back in shape, today I ran 2.8 miles in 23:15. It's surprisingly hard to translate those two numbers into a pace. I think my pace was 8:18 miles (8 minutes, 18 seconds per mile). Since three weeks ago, I was having trouble staying at a jog for two miles, I'm pleased.

2. Waist size (and weight). Now that I'm 50 (actually, for the last two decades), fitness can be measured by my waist size. Starting at 32, my waist size went up an inch a year until at 39, I saw it was becoming a vast problem. I held at 36-38 until the divorce started at the start of 2002. I was 47 then and weighing just over two bills (208). Then, I joined a gym and trained and trained and ran and ran and really watched what I ate. At one point, I was wearing a 32 inch waist and weighing only 180. That was great. I'm now back ~197 and wearing a 34.

3. Pushups (and situps). As I prepared for the black belt, I was regularly doing four sets of 25 pushups and situps. Sometimes, six sets of each. Now, I'm training at three sets of 20. This is maintenance mode.

4. Sparring. On sparring days, we have from four to seven matches each lasting 90 or 120 seconds. At my best, I made it through. Recently, on my first day back, I was useless on matches four and five.

My targets for this year:
- Run under 15 minutes for 2 miles for the entire 2nd half of the year
- Get back to 100 pushups, 10 pullups, 200 situps as maintenance mode
- Weight: no more than 190 (this is hard because it also means strict dieting :-<) but it's important - Stretching. Get my elbows on the ground bending down with legs wide - Sparing: Be in the game every match. Running Progress:
5/17 2.8 miles, 23:15 time, 8:18 pace
5/18 2.8 miles, 22:59 time, 8:12 pace
5/21 2.3 miles, 19:19 time, 8:24 pace (weird, I thought I went faster today)


1 comment:

Robert Barker said...

here is a link to a pace calculator that might be helpful to you.