Numbers and results

I’ve posted about this before… my weight chart on withings… my scales measure my weight, body fat and lean mass (and a few other things)… and as I’ve been getting older my weight has steadily gone up and up and up.

I’ve been weighing myself regularly since 2008 – initially I shifted about two stone, then since then it’s been slowly going up and up and up…. but lucky for me it’s mostly been good weight (and a bit of ageing).

My Withing scales are cool – you stand on them and they send your measurements via WiFi to your phone or device. What you measure you can manage.

In 5 years I’m up about 10-14lbs – about a stone in weight. But right now I’m feeling good on it. A smidgen below 10 stone (and about the same weight as my Dad!) … but, and this is where the right type of weight comes in…and why the first number on the scale can’t always be trusted. It’s the body composition that I’m interested in.

In 5 years I’ve added just about 3.5lbs of fat… therefore, the rest of the weight that I have added 6-10lbs is lean mass (or other).

I don’t really feel much different to 2015 – maybe a bit heavier … or I probably don’t look much different to photos back then… but it looks like all of my training and the way I eat is getting this outcome.

Then if we look at this year so far… or this last quarter, since January I’m down 2.7lbs in weight, and that’s down -4.4lbs it fat, and up 1.6lbs mass. That’ll do nicely. The gym sessions and running are / is working … as was eating a bit less in January (or not being greedy!).

So there we have it – you can only manage what you measure, and weight and body composition will become an outcome of your actions.

The other thing to measure is weight and hip measurements, I haven’t done that for a while, but I’m January I got 2cm smaller one both so there we have it. 🙂

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Wk8 into Wks9 & 10

Last week became a week where life and some little stresses took over, and as a result my training took a back seat. I still did three runs and one strength session, but only about 12 miles, and no long run at the weekend.

Life is probably still taking over as I haven’t managed to post this until now… and I shaky do it on Sundays. I feel a bit like the cold and wintertime weather has knocked my mojo out of me a bit… but I’m glad I took the time out last week to chill / rest a bit.

Here’s what I did training wise last week anyway:

Wk8 – 17 Feb
Mon: 5k, Spin & Squat Strength
Tue: Rest
Wed: 5k lunchtime
Thu: 6.4M
Fri: Rest
Sat: Rest
Sun: Rest

I had four rest days, but my sleep wasn’t very good, until the weekend where I got some good sleeps in. 11 hours on Friday night – ooft. That’ll do nicely. And now it seems back to normal / not waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning wide awake. Garmin says my stress is up too… great fun.

This week I’m travelling to London with work for a couple of days, and felt like I needed another rest day on Monday. Back into the gym on Tuesday morning.

I did my second 5×5 strength of the year – here’s what I did last time:

Deadlift 46,51,56,56,61kg
Squat 27,32,37,42,42kg
Shoulder Press 21,24,24,24,24kg
Bent Over Row 36,41,46,46,46kg
Bench Press 22,24,24,24,24kg
Press Up Finishers x15,x10,x8

And then this time / this morning I did:

Deadlifts 51,56,61,61,66kg (last one x4)
Squats 32,37,42,47,51kg
Shoulder Press 24,24,28,28,31kg
Bent Over Row 46,48,51,51,48kg
Bench Press 25,27,27,30,30kg (last one x4)
Press Up Finishers 3xAMRAP x12,x9,x6

A bit more of progression this time. I didn’t finish two heavy sets (Deadlift and Bench Press). But all good. I deadlifted just over my body weight for a few reps. And felt like I’d had a good workout. 12 hours after I wasn’t sore much, so that’s a good sign.

I’ll have a rest and travel day on Wednesday, and on Thursday and Saturday I’ll run. With another spin and strength session on Friday.

Wk9 – 24 Feb
Mon: Rest
Tue: Spin & 5×5 PB Strength
Wed: Rest & Travel
Thu: 5-7M in London / Regents & Hyde Park
Fri: Spin & Deadlift Strength
Sat: 15M
Sun: Rest

Then here’s what I’m planning the following week… the fourth week in my cycle:

Wk10 – 2 Mar
Mon: 3x1600m
Tue: Spin & Clean n Press Strength
Wed: 6M run
Thu: 5k run
Fri: Spin & KB Strength
Sat: Rest / Day 1
Sun: 10M

Sun 15 Mar: BtoC half marathon

A week after I have the Balloch to Clydebank half, which if I’m honest with myself I haven’t really trained properly for, a I’ll do a couple of long runs before it then take it easy on the day.

I’m hoping the weather gets better soon… as I’m getting a bit fed up of it now. Roll on going to the sun in a bit.

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Get your sleep

If you have a spare 20 minutes, I’d suggest you take a watch of this. Matt Walker is the author of the book I listen to which give theories on why sleep is so important – and most of it is in this TED talk:

Last week I was getting on average about 4-6 hours of sleep because something stressful was waking me up. luckily I’m back to normal this week, but I did feel the effect of the sleep deprivation.

As Matt explains, sleep deprivation causes reduced immunity, lack of learning and memories, cancer and cardiovascular issues. So it’s a good idea to try and get your sleep.

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Wk7 into Wk8

Last week I did less running, mainly due to the weather…storm Ciara and storm Dennis… but I got stuck into the gym a bit more and had a good few rest days with plenty rest and sleep… a bit of balance.

Here’s what I did:

Wk7 – 10 Feb
Mon: Spin & Deadlift Strength
Tue: Rest
Wed: Spin & Clean n Press Strength
Thu: 15 min bike tabatas / express strength / 5k lunchtime run Fri: 6M
Sat: Rest
Sun: Rest

Just 9 miles running in the week and about 28 miles at the half way mark for February.

My running should hopefully pick up from this week as long as I put my big girl pants on and run in some of the horrible conditions. It’s never usually all that bad once you’re out.

Although I am glad I missed my 12 mile long run when storm Dennis was here. I didn’t fancy battling with him for two hours all that much. A bit of retail therapy and eating out did the trick instead.

This coming week, here’s the plan – mixing up run day then strength day and so on… and I’m visiting a friend at the weekend, so whatever day I don’t visit them, I’ll do my long run.

Wk8 – 17 Feb
Mon: 5k, Spin & Squat Strength
Tue: 8M
Wed: Spin & Deadlift Strength / 5k Lunchtime
Thu: 6M
Fri: Spin & 5×5 PB
Sat: Rest (or long run)
Sun: 12M (or rest)

The weather doesn’t look nice both days, but I’ll aim to get up early, wrap up warm and get out and get it done.

This morning I woke at around 5am… not quite ready to get up to train, but by 6am I was wide awake ahead of our run. Maybe that’s what two good rest days does – a bit of recovery.

Last night I made chilli for my lunches again, I’ll heat it up in the microwave and it’s a good nutritious and filling lunch. Peppers, carrots, onions, lean mince, kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes and spices.

That’ll do nicely.

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New coffee machine

You might already know that I like my coffee… I don’t tend to drink too much of it, but I usually have a regular 1-2 cups a day in the morning… and I’ve had a capsule coffee machine for a while.

I started off with a tassimo one a while back, then about 4 years ago I upgraded to a Nespresso Krups Innisa machine which did the trick.

Then the other day I saw a great offer for a stainless steel Nespresso Criesta Plus coffee machine. Either on amazon or through John Lewis it had about 35% off the RRP price and I decided I’d treat myself to one.

It arrived on Sunday and I haven’t been excited about a new treat like this for a long time. It makes all sorts of coffees, from espressos to lungo black coffees, to flat whites and lattes. I have to say, it is beautiful and the coffee is good too.

As usual, I’ll try to sell my old coffee machine, and the milk frother I have too. They come with the original packaging and Instructions etc. I’ve put them on Facebook marketplace so we will see.

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Wk6 into February training and results

Last week I had three good rest days, I did three runs of about 20 miles in total, and I did one spin and strength session on Friday. An easier recovery week.

I still felt a bit tired after the cold, and a bit worn out with less motivation than I had at the start of the month. But I still managed to do a good base level of exercise and was at work all week in my second week enjoying the new role.

Wk6 – 3 Feb
Mon: Rest
Tue: 6.4M easy
Wed: Rest
Thu: 3.5M lunchtime run
Fri: Spin & Simple Strength (Day 1)
Sat: 9.5M run (Cold all gone)
Sun: Rest

I wrote last month about me looking into cycles, and without going into too much detail, I’d done some research around females doing our training around our monthly cycles. The hormones change throughout the month, and have effects on how we’re feeling and there type of training we are best doing.

Apologies to any men out there that this is boring to, but to be honest I can’t believe I didn’t tune into this more before now.

I felt great at the start of the cycle and for the first two weeks – oestrogen levels rising to a peak mid cycle, and progesterone levels low. I did a few good strength sessions and plenty of running. Mid cycle can be a good time to aim for strength pbs.

Week 3 into 4 was where the wheels fell off a bit. Now this was likely coincidence and the fact I visited my Dad who had a bad cold and caught the bug. But then I caught a cold. I ran through it a little bit then rested and needed the rest. I also had some disturbed sleep in week 3. Booooo.

During this time – in the luteal phase – oestorgen drops and progesterone levels rise making it harder to recover and making you not as strong as in the first two week. By week four I was pretty knackered and much more demotivated than weeks one and two.

Although saying that, I nearly couldn’t be bothered gyming it on Friday, but when I did, I did a simple but hard strength session and I felt great after it and for doing it. All on day 1, and the usual one day of cramps followed and dissipated.

I read that the American football ladies team were coached about this and saw reference to an app FitrWoman and downloaded it for more information. It’s nice to know that there’s likely a reason for feeling sluggish or not being up for training and that hormones have a lot to answer for.

It’s also nice to know that when I’ve felt demotivated and gubbed in the past, it’s probably been to do with hormones and cycles rather than just not knowing what’s wrong and feeling like a failure for some unknown reason.

Or put in other, more positive words, I can now more cleverly plan my training around my cycle – which by the way is around 29 days long – and rather funnily synced in with the full moon. Ha ha. Sack all the detail and studies… it looks like maybe I’m a werewolf after all. 😂 my aunt would be proud lol.

(Here’s me an some colleagues going out for a lunchtime run on Thursday).

Here’s the plan for my second 4 week block of training this year anyway. With the long runs building with my marathon in June, I’ve entered the Balloch to Clydebank Half marathon on 15 March and I’ll still keep a focus on strength training around twice a week. With another easy / recovery week in week 4.

Block 2

Wk7 – 10 Feb
Mon: Spin & Deadlift Strength
Tue: 6M run
Wed: Spin & Clean n Press Strength
Thu: 6.2M run
Fri: 5M run / 8x400m
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10M

Wk8 – 17 Feb
Mon: Spin & Squat Strength
Tue: 4x1200m
Wed: Spin & Deadlift Strength
Thu: 6M
Fri: Spin & 5×5 PB Strength
Sat: Rest
Sun: 12M

Wk9 – 24 Feb
Mon: Spin & Clean n Press
Tue: 6x800m
Wed: Spin & Squat Strength
Thu: 7M
Fri: Spin & Deadlift Strength (Or rest)
Sat: 15M
Sun: Rest

Wk10 – 2 Mar
Mon: 3x1600m
Tue: Spin & KB Strength
Wed: 6M run
Thu: 5k run
Fri: Spin & Simple Strength
Sat: Rest / Day 1
Sun: 9M

( Sun 15 Mar: BtoC half marathon )

Now let’s talk about progress. In January I was a bit more careful about what I ate and tracked it in myfitness pal. I saw that I usually had a weekly deficit in calories mainly due to all of my training.

And my protein intake was up at about 30% – I try to have a high intake of protein for recovery but also to keep me fuller for longer (and eating less sugar hopefully). I think I’ll make chilli for lunches again soon as it was really tasty.

Now in 5 weeks – including all the exercise I’ve been doing – running and strength – I’m seeing results:

1 Jan: 140.7lbs
24.2lbs body fat / 17.2%
111.6lbs lbm / 79.3%

9 Feb: 139.1lbs
20.5lbs body fat / 14.8%
113.5lbs lbm / 81.6%

A drop of -1.6lbs in weight, but crucially a 2.4% drop or -3.7lbs body fat, and an increase of nearly 2lbs lean mass. That’ll do nicely. Hopefully next week I’ll be back to feeling strong and motivated in the gym – with all that oestrogen flying around.

I might need to travel to London with work at some point and if that happens I’ll need to rejig my training a bit but that should be fine. Looking forward to what next week and February into March has on offer.

And there’s a nice view from my new desk anyway.

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Heart rate and what it can tell you

My heart rate is measured regularly by my Apple Watch, and my Garmin fitness tracker, and last week I noticed a bit of a blip of an increased resting heart rate… to confirm that I had a cold. Boooooo. It’s more or less gone now, after a week thankfully.

My average resting heart rate is usually around 49-51… and last week around Wednesday I started to feel a bit of a sore throat leading to a cold / steaming eyes and nose etc. My first for a long time, so I’d better not moan too much. Plenty paracetamol and fluids and rest helped clear it away.

Then look at when I was at my worst with my cold on Friday last week (below), and my average heart rate jumped up to 59 that day.

It’s come back down over the weekend, with plenty rest, and this morning I got a warning It was 39 first thing…

Average Resting heart rates tend to be between 60-100, and it tends to be fitter people tend to have lower resting heart rates (and it can be down to genes too).

Resting heart rate is a good thing to keep an eye on to check you’re doing ok – (compare it to yourself and how your resting heart rate is usually, rather than comparing it with someone elses).

A raised resting heart rate can tell you that you’ve got an illness or infection, and can be a good indicator to take some time out and rest and recover, which is exactly what I did and it seemed to work. With a nice and sensible balance of running, and knowing when to rest to get over it.

What’s your resting heart rate?

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