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Fitness update - 3 month gym weigh-in

Last week I had my 3 month gym weigh-in. As I said earlier, I have been working on my fitness levels this year. You can call it mid life crisis if you like (you jaded cynic you!) but for me it’s actually a combination of things:

  1. I am getting towards the stage in life when things don’t stay trim… automatically any more. A little maintenance is probably a good idea.
  2. The last year or two I have definitely turned around my personal life, and am enjoying life a lot these days. So I would like it to go on like this for as long as possible :)
  3. I have always been motivated the most by a sense of achievement. I used to write software in my spare time to do this, then for a few years I focused on achievements at work – which is still my primary driver (I am competitive and career-minded). But recently I’ve been in a more difficult work position where achievements are coming harder and slower. So I am focusing on personal achievements instead to keep my motivation and drive up.
  4. I am really enjoying being outdoors and doing physical activity.
  5. I am finding that I really enjoy being physically fit and want to stay that way.

Anyway blah blah blah, this isn’t livejournal. Where was I? I had my 3 month weigh-in last week, and am pleased to be making good progress towards my goals. If you are interested, my goals are:

  1. Get back to the 32 inch waist I last had when I was 25 (early last year I hit a peak of 35″)
  2. Get down to around 10% body fat (early last year I hit a peak of 23%)
  3. Be able to run 10 miles / cycle 50 miles / lift my own weight at least 20 times (press+chin-ups, not bench pressing)

Oops distracted myself again. 3 month weigh-in – right. Here’s the data:

3 month gym weigh-in. Old on the left, new on the right

3 month gym weigh-in. Old on the left, new on the right

…ah it’s good to be blogging again, sharing my vital statistics with the interwebs! :P

Anyway the big deal for me is the loss of 5Kg of fat, and gain of 1Kg of muscle (or lean mass at any rate). I am now in the 15% body fat range, and more than halfway towards my goal.

This means I am getting closer to my goals. My BMI and body fat percentage are now pretty much in the middle of the “healthy range” whereas before they were at the top end or slightly over that.

My waist is currently around 32.5, which means I am nearly at my target there too. The bad news is that none of my suits fit quite so well any more…

So what have I been doing these 3 months? Well, primarily I have been working out 3-6 times a week (less starting out, more lately). I started out doing 30 minutes of running 3 times a week, and these days alternate between running (3 times a week, every other day) and on the alternate days cross training (rowing on the machine in the gym or cycling – either on my bike outside or stationary in the gym). I quite often run to work and back, carrying my office clothes in a rucksack on my back. It’s about 2.5 miles to the office so this works pretty well.

My diet is a bit better than it used to be but I’m not making massive changes there, and I still drink quite a lot (probably too much). However I am doing enough exercise now that I can pretty much eat and drink whatever and still work on ditching the fat. This is a good thing, as far as I am concerned!

I am running a 10k race in a few weeks time (you can sponsor me for this at the link on the right!) and hope to run the london marathon either in 2010 or 2011 (it’s a bit hard to get a place these days, as I understand it). I also plan to do the BHF London to Brighton bike ride next year (as you can see I already practiced the route).

Did I mention I do a lot of my running barefoot or wearing minimal footware? Hehe okay maybe that’s a post for another day :)

London to Brighton bike ride

Yesterday I decided to do set myself a bit of a fitness challenge – ride from my flat in Limehouse (east London) to Brighton seafront, along the route of the British Heart Foundation’s annual event. Why this route? It avoids major roads and is very scenic. And I’d like to do this charity event next year, and wanted to see if I was up for it :)

So I set off at 10:40am with the route programmed into my Garmin Edge 705 (you can see the route I used here: Limehouse to Brighton route), my camelback on my back with a couple of energy bars, and my camera, not really sure if I was going to make it at all.

Well I did! I must say when the pain really set in around mile 35, I had my doubts. My legs were burning, I was very low on energy and clearly hadn’t brought enough food with me. However once I found a newsagent, bought some snickers bars and took a lunch break I felt much better and found my second wind. The last 10 miles were torture as they involved crossing Burgess Hill, a tortuous ascent, especially after riding 50 miles! I remember the feeling of dread when I saw it:

IMG_1170 “holy crap I have to climb that?!”

But somehow I got up and over and was rewarded with the views!:

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Shortly after that I got my first glimpse of the sea and I knew I was home and dry :)

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It was at this point that I recorded the rather cheesy video you see before you:

Finally, after riding 63 miles in just over 7 hours, I arrived, elated, at Brighton beach :)

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I hung around to see the sunset, then hopped on the train back to London. Job done!

Sunset on Brighton beach

If you are interested in the actual route I took and the detailed stats (speed, heart rate, etc) you can find it here: garmin activity log – London to Brighton ride. You can also see the flickr set of the images I took here: flickr set – London to Brighton ride.

London to Brighton bike ride at EveryTrail

Bike riding

Did a couple of rides this weekend, trying to build up my fitness. Yesterday I rode 10 miles and today I managed 18. My favourite new GPS gadget (a garmin edge 305) faithfully recorded my travels – here’s the map for yesterday, and here’s the map for today. Today was a nice route, I ended up cycling along the Thames path, around the Millennium Dome and out to the Thames Barrier. Very scenic.

By the way, I recently succumbed to peer pressure and created a Facebook profile – so if you’re on there, feel free to reach out.