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

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…