2008 Fitness Goals: Midway Checkpoint

So here we are half-way through the year, and a good time for me to check in on my 2008 fitness goals.

Spring Plan Final Report

Just for completeness my reported spring 2008 fitness goal was simple: complete the June Philadelphia Triathlon. I did that the weekend before last.

I’m really excited to be done; the swim was harder than I expected, and I was slow, but I got it done. My bike ride was good; I stuck to my plan and finished feeling fine. Although my run started off badly (my body wasn’t dealing well with ingesting that much water in the river), but, um, once I found a porta-potty, I went from 12-minute-miles to finish that last 3 miles at 8.5 minute miles, sprinting the last quarter-mile at a 7.5 minute mile pace. Total time was 3 hours 20 minutes, but I spent 50 minutes doing the swim, about 10 minutes in transitions, have room to improve in the bike and run, so for the next one I have lots of areas to work on (which is exciting for me).

Midway Report

As a reminder though, that was part of a larger set of 2008 goals outlined in this post. The goals were:

  • Complete the Philadelphia Triathlon on June 22th.
  • Complete the New York Marathon on November 2nd.
  • Increase my weight to around 175-180 lbs by end of 2008, but keep my waist around 32-inches (i.e. muscle, not fat).

Adjustments

I’ve achieved the first goal on target and now must begin training for the 2nd goal. I’m currently injury free which is a good place to start.

I’ve learned that the third goal is too aggressive for me (when coupled with the tri and marathon). I just can’t gain that much weight (well, I can, but not gain weight the right way) and train for endurance events at the same time. During the winter I was able to add about 5lbs of muscle, but it took a lot of really hard work to even do that. So I’m going to pare my goal back to achieving 165-170 lbs by the end of 2008, keeping a 32-inch waist. For completeness, on last weigh-in I was 162 pounds at 11.4% body fat.

I’m also going to try to keep my running ramp slower than last year to hopefully avoid injury and actually show up at the NYC marathon start-line this year.

Summer 2008 Plan

This brings me to my plan for summer of 2008. I need to start my marathon training (which means more running) and I want to prepare for the winter lifting work I’ll do. Right now, I’m at about 11% to 12% body fat, and it’d be nice to run the marathon lighter, and start the winter “bulking” when leaner. So here are the goals:

By 9/30/2008 I will:

  • Get my body-fat percentage from 12% to below 10%, with a stretch goal of below 9%.
  • Increase my running mile by no more than 10% per week (starting at a base of 10 miles/week), and most importantly, avoid injury.
  • Join a new gym in California, and do weight/isometric/cross training on running off-days

As a stretch goal, I may also do the Marin Century (cycling) in August. This is for fun, and I don’t really plan to train for it, so it may kill me. We’ll see, but if I’m worried about marathon injury, I will skip it. Lastly, I have a week in Croatia in about 3 weeks, so no training then.

Winter 2008 Preview

My plan for winter is to switch back to bulking/lifting as my fitness focus, but I also want to get a swim-coach and really work on swimming. If anyone has good recommendations for coaches in San Francisco, please let me know. I’m going to sign-up for at least one more triathlon in 2009 and want to see if I can break the 3-hour mark.

- Art

Running Naked 41

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 1 of the new plan leading to my Triathlon in Philly on June 22th. The plan switches focus from weight lifting and swimming to endurance in swimming, biking and running. Also, in a sop to my wife who generally gets out of work at a reasonable hour on Wednesday, my new plan will be tracking Wednesday to Tuesday, with Wednesday being my day off training.

Subjective Data

It was strange to do a week almost totally devoted to cardio training, but I did a lot of swimming, biking and running this week. I’m still following Dan’s advice on swimming slowly, and also finagled the use of a 25-yard pool this week. I discovered that a longer pool really helps me develop a sense of rhythm, so I’m going to try to keep going there.

By end of week, my legs (in particular) and my arms are quite tired, but in a good way.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Note: Where are all the graphs? I’ve run into an Excel 2007 ‘bug’ or feature where you can’t have multiple pivot tables of the same Excel ‘table’ so I need to rebuild my spreadsheet for the new plan. Grumble. I’ll try for next week, but I’m still tracking actual correctly. If someone knows some good software that tracks both future plans and actual, let me know.

Assessment

Overall I’m happy with the work this week. My foot, in particular my right foot (the injury that knocked me out of the marathon) is feeling a little squirrelly, but not sore. I’ll keep monitoring that closely.

My increase in cardio time meant I had little time for yoga and weights this week. I’m going to think a little about that and see how to best readjust.

Plan

Two key goals for this upcoming week: Maintain cardio workout; Find a way to work in Yoga and 45-90 minutes of weight lifting as well.

Reminders

I’m planning to try (again) for the NYC Marathon in November. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, or the Marin Century (August) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Running Naked 40

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 18, and the last week, of the winter plan. The results: I hit my strength goals, I kept my waistline where I wanted it, I gained about 6 lbs, and I missed my swimming goal. I have created my spring plan, but it’s not ready to be posted yet as I work on some formatting issues, so that’ll be in next week’s update.

Subjective Data

I worked hard for the last week. The weather bordered on Spring on Sunday, so I got my first bike ride of the season in. I kept my weight workouts short, but with little rest between sets so it was more intense than the graphs show. And my weight crept down a little, and I was OK with that.

By Saturday I was really tired, and ended up sleeping-in on my last spin/swim/run combo, but I felt that was OK.

My swim workouts continue to be drill focused.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

I felt good on the week, and felt OK about my winter plan. Overall, I’d say a B-. I’m sad that I missed the swimming target, but gaining 6lbs while keeping the waist at 32 inches is pretty good.

Dan’s suggestion on the swimming drills really does seem like the way to go, so I’m going to do some self-teaching on that. I’m planning to head to a triathlon store in New York (yes, we have a store just for triathlons) and get some fins to help on some of the drills.

Plan

I have created the spring plan, which focuses on one and only one goal: Finish the Philly Triathlon. I don’t have it in an easy to parse form yet, but I’ll try to have that for next week’s output.

My weight room goal is going to be maintain muscle, keep body fat between 8.5% and 11.5%, and not worry about overall weight gain or loss beyond that. And I plan to keep up at least one yoga session a week.

Reminders

I’m planning to try (again) for the NYC Marathon in November. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, or the Marin Century (August) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 39

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 17 of the winter plan. One week to go, and the results are: missed the swim goal, hit the strength goal, and within spitting distance of the weight-gain goals.

Subjective Data

This was a light lifting week, and coupled with some schedule pressures, I missed my weight room time on Friday and my Saturday morning workout (long night…). Still, felt pretty okay for the week.

I did cut back on running as I promised — substituting a tough hill workout on Thursday for my long run — and my foot feels a little better now. I also re-laced my right shoe to take pressure off the top of the foot and we’ll see if that works.

On the advice of a friend, my (limited) swim workouts this week were all at a slow pace and focused on drilling. I’m going to try the same next week to see if I can get any gains that way.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

This was a very light week, but I didn’t have time to make my Spring plan. That needs to happen next week :) I found that the swimming drills were peaceful at least, and while I didn’t do as much ‘yardage’, I was much less frustrated and felt more balanced in the water. Of course, it could just be wishful thinking.

Plan

I need to create my spring plan, so I’ll try (again) to get that out for next week. I have officially switched to my maintenance diet, so hopefully body fat figures should start falling week over week to cut out the fat gained while I “bulked” for winter.

As for the upcoming week, it’s another light week: 35%, 15-rep, 5-set, 45″ rest in the weight room, and hopefully an increase in swimming, running and biking time over prior weeks.

Reminders

I’m planning to try (again) for the NYC Marathon in November. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, or the Marin Century (August) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 38

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 16 of the winter plan. Two weeks to go, but at this point I think we can start seeing how my goals will likely shape up….

Subjective Data

J and I had a weekend getaway in the Poconos this weekend (Friday-Sunday) and as a result, I wasn’t able to make it to the gym those days. I subbed in running on Saturday for swimming and spinning.

My running mileage was way up this week as a result of that, and now the top of my right foot is a little sore. Saturday’s 3-mile run was on a ridge overlooking the Delaware River, which was my first time doing hill running since my injury.

This was a hard lifting week (85%/4-rep/5-set/45″ rest), and my lifting ability at that level was pretty low. By my 5th sets on Monday and Wednesday I was dying. I didn’t get a chance to lift on Friday due to the trip to the Poconos, but truth be told I was in no condition to lift anyway.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

The trip to the Poconos screwed up my Friday and Saturday workouts, and hence my numbers; on the bright side, I got a run, a fun hike, and some yoga in during the trip.

This weekend I took a moment to step back and look at the winter plan. I blew my strength goal out of the water. My weight gain is at the low end of acceptable (and had I not gotten the flu, I’d be on track there). But my swimming is way off. As I said last week, I know I’m going to miss that goal (1,000 yards w/o stopping) for 3/31.

But my ability to hit goals week on week was pretty mixed. I think I bit off more than I could chew, and when pushed came to shove, I spent more time on the weight-training (which I was doing well at) than the swimming (which I’m struggling with).

<vent>That’s a little disappointing and frustrating. I can run 7 miles easily; I can spin all day; I can lift better than any time in my life. But after 100-yards in a pool I’m spluttering and need 3-4 minutes to get my breath back. </vent>

Now, what do I do about that…

Plan

I had originally planned to adjust my numbers for a spring plan this week, but I realize I need to do more research on what’s reasonable. I know that I overshot in my goals for the winter plan, and would like to do a better job of concentrating effort for the spring plan.

The big goal is complete the Olympic distance tri in June, so swimming needs to take priority. I’m extremely worried about my ability to do an open-water 1-mile (1,760 yard) swim, even if wearing a wetsuit. Plus, there is a significant chance that I may have to withdraw because of logistics; J and I are moving cross-country the week after the triathlon and may need that weekend for movers, etc.

But, even if I end up having to withdraw because of logistics, I want to train as though I’m still going through with it. So I expect my goals will have a swimming, a running and a biking component with some weight-training, and a goal to main weight at current levels through June/30.

I’m going to try to find some good tri-training materials this weekend. If anyone reading this has some recommendations let me know at aclarke (at) abclarke.com. I’ll try to have the spring plan posted and be working against it by 4/1.

For the upcoming week: it’s a 30% (woo-hoo!)/15-rep/5-set/45″ rest week. I’m going to cut out running completely this week if there is any pain on my left foot by Thursday. If I’m pain free, I’m going to shorten my long-run anyway (drop from 7 to 5) and try to add in a short run on Saturday as well.

Lastly, I plan to make spring finally arrive in NYC this week; I’ll let you know how that goes.

Reminders

I’m planning to try (again) for the NYC Marathon in November. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, or the Marin Century (August) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 37

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 15 of the winter plan. This week I discovered the flu took a lot more out of me than I thought, and have admitted that I’ll miss my swimming goal by at least a month. Read on for more.

Subjective Data

This was the first week back after the flu, and wow things were really hard. I had intense time pressures from work and some volunteer commitments that made me miss some swimming sessions, but the real reason the numbers were low this week was I felt weak and unmotivated every time I was at the gym. I’m chalking it up the post-flu fatigue for now.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

The flu wiped more out of me than I thought. Take a look at the weight loss numbers for one (a -3 lb loss). That coupled with my higher-rep/more-set/lower-rest weight routine this week knocked me out. I cut swimming and spinning on Tuesday and Saturday partly due to time pressures, but mostly due to feeling sore and worn out.

I did however start to feel better towards the end of the week, so I’m thinking I just need to be patient and keep at this.

As for the goals, I may now miss my weight goal of 168 by 3/31, and I’m definitely missing my swim 1,000 yards by 3/31 goal.

Plan

I’m also going to move my swimming goal from 3/31 to 4/30.

I’m going to drop the weight-gain goal because I need to transition to tri-training over weight-gain, and my weight will become whatever it becomes as I go there. That said I’m going to stay at a calorie-maintenance level or slightly above while training for the tri, so I may gain weight anyway.

And I’m going to continue lifting because that’s the right thing to do for tri-training anyway, although I may drop the hours I shoot for each week. This week is 85%, 4-Rep, 5 Set, 45″ rest.

I’ll adjust plan numbers next week.

Reminders

I’m still undecided between running a marathon in New York (November) or in Dublin Ireland. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. I’m not going to decide until around April. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 36

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 14 of the winter plan. The story of last week: Flu. I got hit hard on Sunday and didn’t even venture outside again until Wednesday. Based on that, I took the entire week off to make sure I could recover. Note to those who haven’t gotten the flu this season; don’t get it. The flu sucks much more than a cold.

Subjective Data

Not much to say here beyond I got the flu, but was good and took the entire week off to recover.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

Well, not much I can say on the training, but have to face facts; it looks like I’ll miss my swimming goal by at least 3-4 weeks. I’m still not calling it, but it’s hard to imagine I can somehow gain enough swimming endurance to go 1,000 yards without stopping (given that 125 yards without stopping is my current record).

My weight gain period is now over, and the plan is to go to a maintenance (but not cutting) diet. This means no more ice cream and cookies. Boo hoo.

Plan

I’m going to try getting back to the gym and see how things go. The weight training plan is 50% of max, 15 reps, 5 sets and 45 seconds rest. I imagine that’ll suck.

Reminders

I’m still undecided between running a marathon in New York (November) or in Dublin Ireland. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. I’m not going to decide until around April. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 35

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 13 of the winter plan. It was a week of mostly misses; some planned (due to a business trip) and some unplanned (due to work getting the better of me). Strangely though, even though a very light week, I felt pretty weak and unmotivated during my Saturday workouts. Hmm… I wonder what that was about… (see next post).

Subjective Data

This was a week of big misses, but not entirely unexpected. From Sunday through Wednesday I was out of town on business, and didn’t have access to good work out facilities. Plus, the one day I had time to go running, the skies opened and I couldn’t find the motivation to start running in the rain.

Later in the week once back in NYC, schedule pressures conspired against me and I had to restrict my workouts to an hour on Thursday and Friday. Saturday I didn’t feel quite right, but still got yoga in. Oddly I felt really sore and tired for my entire yoga workout.

As it turns out, my feelings on Saturday turned out to be a portent of things to come… but more on that in the next blog post.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Weight Log Book

Assessment

It was a week of misses, but a few positive things came out of it. My swimming workout on Thursday, while short, was actually quite good. My form was much better, and I didn’t have to rest much between drills.

At this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll meet two of my three winter goals: the strength and weight gain goals. The swimming goal (1,000 yards without stopping) is unlikely to be hit, but I’m still trying for it.

Plan

As planned, I’m going to switch to a weight maintenance diet on 3/1 (well, technically 3/3: my brother and sister-in-law are visiting on 3/1 and I plan to pig out a little with them).

Also, I know that this upcoming week is going to be a big miss in terms of workouts because, well, read the next blog post for why.

Reminders

I’m still undecided between running a marathon in New York (November 2) or in Dublin Ireland (October 27). If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. I’m not going to decide until around April. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June 21) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 34

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 12 of the winter plan. I hit most numbers, but was too tired for Yoga again this week. I’m out of town for a lot of this upcoming week with a last-minute business trip, so my numbers next week will be below original plan.

Subjective Data

The plan was to lift lower-weight/higher-reps this week, so I did that while concentrating more on cardio/swimming. By the end of the week, I was again really tired, and had to cut out Yoga again (just too sore to go). Still, swimming progress did get better, and I’m now able to go 150-200 yards at a stretch between rests. Hitting a goal of 1,000 yards without resting by 3/31 seems at risk though.

I continued eating more, and my weight gain increased. This is to plan though, even if I don’t like the look of creeping over the gray.

I also did one long run on Thursday that (due to my not remembering how long the central-park drive is) was longer than plan by a lot. The good news is no lingering soreness from that.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

I’m getting concerned about the ability to hit my swimming target, but I’m also doing all I can to meet it at the moment. Not sure what else to do but keep practicing.

Also, I know the weight gain is to plan, but I still worry about it; it took a lot of hard work to cut out the excess weight I had before.

Plan

Despite my assessment, I’m not making any major changes to the plan. I’ll continue with the gain-weight diet through at least 3/1.

I’m going to miss most numbers this week due to a business trip I’m on. I’ll try to get a run in on Tuesday, but I have no access to a pool or a weight room during the trip.

And for the record, the upcoming lift plan is 50% of max weight, 12-rep sets, 5 sets, and 45 seconds between sets.

Reminders

I’m still undecided between running a marathon in New York (November 2) or in Dublin Ireland (October 27). If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. I’m not going to decide until around April. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June 21) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art

Nude Numbers 33

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.

Summary

Week 11 of the winter plan. The plan was to do a week of heavy lifting, and it was harder than expected; I had to cut out almost everything else to finish the week. Still, it looks like I’ll easily hit at least one of my three winter goals (my strength gain goal).

Subjective Data

I was better about eating this week, and I’m back to gaining weight again. Of course, some of it is going to the abdomen area, but I have some room to spare still for my target.

The plan was for a very heavy lifting week – 90% of max. This turned out to be more exhausting than I expected and I found myself cutting back on all other activities as a result. I ended the week very tired, with an especially exhausted back, but I had a lot of fun max-ing out in the weight room.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Assessment

I concentrated on lifting this week as I planned, but it was even harder than expected. As a result, I didn’t get the swimming, spinning, running or yoga done to plan. But that said, I listened to my body and it was clear I shouldn’t push harder.

It became apparent by the end of the week that, even though I’m in week 10 of a 30 week lifting plan, I’ve made a lot of strength gains already. Hitting my 5% increase goal for March looks too easy.

Lastly, I did get one longish (500 yards) swim in on Thursday, and that goal (1,000 yards without stopping by 3/31) looks hard.

Plan

This week is a 40% of max lifting week, so I plan to concentrate much more on the cardio and swimming. I’m going to try doing a short swim on lifting days to increase my comfort in the water. Other than that, I’m going to keep with the heavy diet (so I’ll go even more out of target weight range) for a few more weeks and will try to be “all in the gray” next week..

Reminders

I’m still undecided between running a marathon in New York (November 2) or in Dublin Ireland (October 27). If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. I’m not going to decide until around April. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June 21) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.

Thanks for reading.

- Art