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Data Don’t Lie.

22 March 2018

I’ve been generally disappointed with my current fitness level as I attempt to return to good condition. It’s hard. Strength and stamina have both suffered. I’ve gained weight. I’ve lost definition. But an advantage I have over similar periods in the past when I rested for a bit and lost fitness is that I now have data about it. My Garmin keeps track in simple, intuitively visualized ways how much work I’ve been getting in each week.

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“Intensity minutes” are a weird stat where moderate exercise counts singly and vigorous exercise counts doubly. But I’m not sure where the threshold between the two is. It’s some calculation of my heart rate. But you can see the problem. From late November to early February I did effectively nothing. The low value at the very start of the graph is the lull post-half-Ironman.

So it’s no wonder that my condition dropped off. I’m making some changes to the way I’m exercising at the gym too: heavier wieghts. More upper body. I’m working toward the capability to do a 8-10 mile obstacle course race like a Spartan or Tough Mudder. To do that, I need to be able to climb a rope and swing hand over hand from rings. Those things are REALLY hard.

But I am coming along. My long run is up over 7 miles. I did some hard hill training on Tuesday that felt really good. Tonight I’m going to do an easy run of about five miles. This weekend we’ll be up to our usual tricks. Long run, maybe a trail run, maybe the gym. We’ll see. But I’m improving again, and I’m excited for the next step.

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