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Showing posts from March, 2012

Heart rate training is an advantage: Fact or fairy tale?

I was glancing at a chart in Appalachian State University's rec center, which was designed to tell me and other patrons how we're doing when it comes to heart rate zone training.
The most common approach will tell you to subtract
your age from 220; that's your max heart rate.  Then take 60% of that amount for low range, 80% for high range, and you'll have the fat burn/training zone. This system will profess that it's good to work hard so that you elevate your heart rate, adapt to higher bpm's, and perform at a faster pace.

Pump the heart faster and faster and pretty soon you'll be hoisting the trophy at Boston or wearing the yellow jersey at a tour stage. Solid advice or silly input?

I was listening to Competitor Radio (one of my favorite podcasts) and heard an amazing fact. Dean Karnazes was laying out the training plan he used for his 50 marathons in 50 days expedition. Dean went to Chris Carmichael, Lance's former coach for the Tour de France, and as…

Waffles: Perfect snack for lightweight runners

My sweet tooth was getting the best of me this evening; I wanted to walk from campus over to Frogurt for a big cup of good stuff, but it was raining and cold.

So when I plan to stay in at night and want something to come close to dessert, I whip up a hot batch of waffles. I'm not eating bread, donuts or other dough-based foods, so my waffle jag is the closest I get to that category of goodies.

Now let me put a new spin on your waffle intake. No syrup, no butter, nothing on top at all.  If you make 'em right, they become hot, low-cal pastries, hot out of the waffle maker.

Here's how it's done:

1) Buy a "complete" version of pancake and waffle mix...that means all you need to add is water.

2) I like to mix my batter in a mixing cup. No precise measurements, just put about 1.5 cups of waffle mix in the cup, add water and mix until the consistency is slightly on the thin side.

3) Stir in a few scoops of Splenda...sweeten to taste (I add about 3 heaping tablespoon…

Is endurance sport orgasmic?

And now for something completely different, check out the latest findings in a report posted on the US News & World Report Health page: Seems some scientists believe exercise + women might = a sport orgasm:

The newest sensation in sport is referred to as a "coregasm"  based on a relationship with core abdominal muscles, said Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

"The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting," Herbenick said in a university news release. "These data are interesting because they suggest that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event, and they may also teach us more about the bodily processes underlying women's experience…

S24O cycling: Can't we pack a bit more into our day?

Been a bit busy at work recently? Family time competing with your endurance sport preparation and events? If you're jammed for time, you may be interested in a new phenomenon in cycling (thanks to my brother Richard for bringing this important trend to my attention). Check out this link from to get the bottom line on this new time saver training plan:

Most of us here have toured on bikes. Maybe everybody. Touring is fine, but it’s often inconvenient to the point of it just not happening. Jobs, families, school, work… it’s time-intensive. Blessed be the frequent bike tourists, good for you if you’re one of them, but you know what’s so much easier and available? The S24O: Sub-24-Hour Overnight.

It’s local bike camping, where you leave after work, ride 1 to 3 hours, find a spot to sleep, and ride home in the morning. It’s minimally invasive to your family and work life. The ride is short, and if you forget some “essential” piece of gear, wha…

Wausau reporter shows me east side running loop

I am in town visiting my family and decided to contact the Wausau Daily Herald's ace reporter, Keith Uhlig. I've been able to stay in touch with the local scene in Wausau through an RSS feed of the Daily Herald into my Yahoo! home each and every day, I can live a small piece of my home town life. 

Keith covers everything from new town development to political trysts, but he's also a champion of the endurance sport life - running, cycling and cross-country skiing. We set aside time to share a run at 8 am this morning.

I ran about 5 miles on my normal loop, then circled over to the YMCA to start the second loop of the day with Keith.  He chaperoned me on a wonderful 4 mile east side run, up some hills and out into the country, then back to town.  We jogged at an easy pace and talked of all things in Wausau...and also about keeping the endurance sport spirit alive among master competitors.

It's all good. Running is that sort of sport, you simply reach out to ano…

I like glaucoma glasses

Ever hear the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure?"

My mom is cleaning out the house and offered me a great treasure...a pair of sunglasses that were provided post-glaucoma surgery.

These are really fine wrap-arounds that offer polarized pleasure.  They are light and really big.

And I'm sure someone billed a medical provider about $300 for these shades, so they're price-point-comparative to a top end pair of Oakleys.

And on this day they're mine for the taking.

I like my current place in life.  I'm 55, running about 70 miles a week and busting lower than 5% body fat.  That makes me quite strange and a 1%er among my peer group.  I'm an outlier and am so far gone I no longer need to conform to style and the norm.  So glaucoma sunglasses are my new eyewear trend for 2012.

You'll get ripped on 10 minutes a day?

We've all been inundated with advertorial shows on TV; the premise of most is that with very little effort, you can drop massive pounds and look like a ripped free-weight model.

Many programs are bogus, but one that I would suggest gained credibility is Tony Horton's P90X workout plan. This no-nonsense "muscle confusion" regime combined cardio, weight resistance and stretching...many reported solid advancements over 90 days sessions.

If this level of intensity is good, can less be better? Tony is now promoting the 10 minute trainer...all you need is 10 minutes a day and you'll be dropping dozens of pounds in no time...right?

I felt a dull thud hit my stomach when I saw this pitch.  I don't believe any 10 minute workout can attain results and if someone can explain it to me, please post a comment and I'll do a feature report on the outcome.  That said let's do some simple math.  If we developed a total anaerobic motion for 10 minutes, how many calories…

Food: It's not your friend and it's not entertainment

Had my elderly father out for a few errands yesterday and on the way home, promised him a treat...he's been a chocolate malt/shake man from way back, so we stopped at MacDonald's.  I grabbed a small chocolate for him, but also succumbed to point-of-sale advertising and ordered a shamrock shake for myself.

I enjoyed every sip of that delectable concoction, until it was time to enter it into MyPlate...a whopping 770 calories!  It was good, but never good enough to warrant 1/3 of what should have been my daily caloric intake.

I've been on a major journey the first 2.5 months of 2012 and have dropped 16 pounds off my frame.  There are no magic potions or 10-minute-a-day workouts that will earn those results.

In this blog post, I'd like to isolate food issues and make a few points that may help you fight the battle of the bulge:

1) Get some distance from food.  Step way back and examine it from afar.  It's not your friend, in most cases it can prove to be the enemy.

2) …

Get jacked with Premier protein shooters

(DISCLAIMER: After writing this report, I was contacted by the fine folks at Premier; they sent me 5-10 protein bars, a coffee mug and carry sack)

In wilder days, I'd hit the bars with my buddies. If I succumbed to peer pressure and bad influence, it was possible we might knock back shooters of the strong stuff.

I still knock back a few now and then, but in this stage of life it comes after a hard workout when my body is screaming for replenishment.  And my "shooters" have become the little miracle bullets at left...Premier High Protein Shakes.

When you're traveling or don't have access to a blender or the goods to produce a full blown protein smoothie, drop into your local Sam's Club and grab an 18-pack from Premier.  These little guys are way less than a buck apiece and pack 30 grams of high-octane whey protein, have 1 gram of sugar, and come in at 160 calories. The taste isn't bad and you're getting the stuff needed to the muscles with rapid deliv…

Get skinny and go fast plan, part #2

I'm continuing to push my get skinny/go faster training plan.  I have now lost 16 pounds since I fought back from a food binge semester break. It's an amazing place to be, this light and fit.

I am learning a few things over the perspective of time.  I'm the lightest I have ever been (155 pounds) but I have to filter that accomplishment through the ravages of a 55-year-old body.  Interesting that all my maladies are on the right side: Clicking jaw joint, arthritic hand, dinged knee and flamed-tendon foot. There's some sort of weight vs. fitness vs. aging body formula I have yet to invent.

But on occasion, you can strip that all away when God casts a ray of sunshine on your run.  I went out today after church - it's a record setting 60 degrees here in central Wisconsin.  Started easy but with most of the ice melted off the paths and streets my footstrike started to turn more rapidly. I had to borrow my mother's gym pants  (didn't pack any from NC) but that…

Lee McKinley: At 50, setting PR's at Western States 100

I've been catching up on podcasts from Trail Runner Nation. This morning, I was both entertained and energized by an interview with Lee McKinley.  This guy is 50 years old, still banging out Western States 100 mile finishes's the spin...he's getting faster.

I'd highly recommend this podcast, you can download it at:

Here's a teaser:  Lee was training with former Western States 100 winner (1990-1991) Tom Johnson, who laid out a training weekend for Lee.  It's a three day plan - 20 miles Friday, 50 miles Saturday and 20 miles Sunday.  The challenge, according to ultra icon Johnson, is to assure you can run all the miles at the same pace...gentle as you go!

Lee is a common sense athlete who has adhered to the swim/bike/run philosophy...the concept is to train hard but take the impact load off the legs when possible.

This interview is good stuff all the way through.  It makes my 55-year-old body yearn fo…