Skip to main content

The fallacy of calories: Winter running vs. the gym

2009 winter run in Wausau, WI
I had to face myself this morning.  It was time to get out of the warm cocoon-like confines of the rec center and man up (or for female master competitors, woman up) and head outdoors for a run.

The winter storms had offered a reprieve and it was sunny and 27.  A light layer of winter running apparel was enough.  I ran the plowed greenway sections and then incorporated an around town loop to make up for the woods trails I can't get to.  Ninety minutes later, mission accomplished.

Simple math told me I had to get outdoors. does a wonderful job of calculating calories burned via exercise; 90 minutes at a 10 minute pace delivers a whopping 1525 calories.  Add that to my daily 30 minute walk across campus and back and I'm burning 1754 calories.

Now, let's contrast that with a gym workout.  I can sum up elliptical, rowing, stationary bike and/or treadmill and barely crack 1000 calories.  Let's put that as a 500 calorie deficit per day x 7 = 3500 calories.  So, converting to indoor workouts (diet remaining the same) puts a fatty fat fat pound of blubber on me each week.

Grabbed a Men's Health magazine while traveling a couple of weeks ago.  Noted an article from a physician who stated that a person's optimum weight is whatever one weighed when a freshman in high school.  That got the old brain churning...should master man set that mark as a goal for 2011?  My number is 153 pounds.  It would take a huge piece of mind power and a change in body set point to make that journey.

So how close are you to your high school weight?  Any chance we should make a pact and go for it?


Popular posts from this blog


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…

Fitness setback? Use the healing power of plants

Maybe you're like me. You had achieved a fitness and nutrition peak, but then slid off the mountain. Hey, most of us aren't professional athletes and we aren't paid to be ripped and shredded, right? Life got in the way. I produced my dossier for tenure, then finished several academic publications. And, there is always teaching and a responsilbity to the student experience. I'm not proud of the outcome, but that's how it works for me. When I wrote "Mind Over Diet" the key premise was self-negotiation. You must create your own scenarios that drive action. It's time to start over. My advice is to build your comeback with food, not exercise. Everyone wants to run to the gym and crank the big long does that usually last? I'd suggest the food is the ultimate change agent. Eat as close to "alive" as possible; take the processing and chemicals out. Fresh food will bring life back into your body. That's the foundation. Here…