Training and Fitness Trackers

on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7:36 PM

So after a little bit of catching up, I"m back onto the training schedule so far. Things are going okay.  Thankfully there hasn't been snow on the ground which has made running outside "easier", but the wind can be a bit of a pain when its blowing and it's cold. 

The gym thing is going okay.  I've only been there twice to run on the treadmill, both times to do LT runs.  I also managed to get a swim in last weekend. First time I've swam in at least 5 years. DOMS is settling into the arms now which I suppose is good. Water there is too warm I find though. I guess the pool temperature is setup for aqua-aerobics which is a class they offer and the casual swimmer. For any serious swim workout, it makes you want to throw-up. 

I got a fitbit charge HR.  I bought it last week cause with the tanking CDN dollar, it is actually cheaper to buy it here in Canada then to buy it in the US with the exchange rate. That tells me that they'll probably raise the price of it pretty soon.  Garmin is apparently raising the prices of their devices here on February 1, so I figure now is a good time to buy stuff before the prices start going through the roof. The device is a fitness tracker that also measures HR, but does so without a chest strap.  I wasn't too sure how well the device would work and googling around, most people say that the HR is a bit hit or miss.  I've only had it for a week, but I find the accuracy to be bang on so far. I"ve done a few runs outside and the HR seems to match what my polar HR monitor gives.  But then again, it was being used in cold conditions, with no sweat being generated and buried under multiple layers of clothing so there was no possibility of light interference. I wore it to the gym this morning in the hopes of seeing how it worked inside on a treadmill during an LT run, but I forgot to start the workout tracking mode where it records more detailed data.  The only HR data I had then was the daily HR monitor which only reports average HR every 5 minutes so I can't compare data for that.

I'm liking it so far. I'll post something more detailed once I've gotten a few more weeks of usage under my belt.  

Another fail

on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 10:58 PM

So the second week of training last week was also a bit of a fail. Only managed 18 miles total which included 9.5 miles  at the gym Thursday morning where it was freezing cold and windy. This was the first time I've ever gone to the gym before work.  Was there and running at 6:15 in the morning. This included 4 miles at LT pace, which was split into two parts because of HR issues. Yeah, that's happening again. Afterwards went straight to work. I have to work out the logistics a bit better since I forgot a bunch of stuff, like a hair brush and conditioner for my hair so I was walking around all day with frizzy hair.

My shins and ankles were quite sore in the days following. I'm not sure if it was the LT run or the fact that it was my first run on a treadmill in several years that caused the soreness. It was so achy that I only managed a 3 mile recovery run for the rest of the week and decided to skip the long run to let the legs recover.  I did do 9 miles on Monday outside and the legs seem to be okay. I did another 9 miles today with 4 LT miles at the gym so I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if any leg parts get achy again. I'm hoping to get to 40 miles this week which should hopefully put me back on track.

Gym Rat Wannabe

on Monday, January 5, 2015 at 7:55 PM

Happy 2015! First week of marathon training has been a fail. Squeezed in 8 miles on Tuesday, 6 miles on Saturday and 12 miles yesterday. Was supposed to do an LT somewhere in there, but I've been recovering from a bit of a cold so held off.  It hasn't even been that cold or that there's snow on the ground and am having difficulty trying to get the runs in. Not a good sign which caused me to realize that I probably need to sign up for a gym membership. Whenever I've done winter training before, I've always had the safety net of a gym membership even if I still did most of my runs outside.

The problem being in the past, I hate signing one year contracts since I know that come April, I won't set foot inside the gym until the following December.  Signing up for a membership is kinda like buying a car.  The sales guy is trying to size you up and figure out how much money they can extract from you and you're in there trying to get a fair deal. LA fitness opened up a new place close by to where I live and the good thing is they do month to month, provided you pay an initiation fee.  I went  to visit last week to try and get the sales pitch.

Quite nice place, everything's completely new, plenty of treadmills, classes, squash courts, a basketball/volleyball court and a swimming pool.  I had done some googling around and it seemed the price that everyone has been getting is $100 initiation fee and $40/month which I consider to be fair.  So when I sit down with the sales guy, he shows me the "regular" rate which is $100 initial fee and $70 a month or $200 fee and $60 a month, but because of a sale that have, they are offering it for $100/$50 or $200/$40.  This is a higher initiation fee than what everyone else was getting so I told him I'd think about it.  I kinda realized afterwards, that you have to play hard to get. The first thing they ask you is what are your fitness goals. If you go in and say that you're there everyday and use all the machines and play squash and basketball and swim, they will try to charge you more because they perceive that you think there's value to joining the club and are willing to pay for it.  I had mentioned that I would probably swim and do spin classes and weights and use the treadmill. To be honest, I would have signed up for the $100/$50 option that he offered if I didn't know better since I had decided I was willing to buy 4 months of treadmill access for $300.  In the end, I ended up visiting another LA fitness and went through the same pitch, but said that I only used the treadmill (which is true) and that I had no intention of doing classes or using the pool (maybe not so true) and ended up getting the $100/$40 price which I was looking for so I signed up. The membership is good at all the clubs in the Toronto area so I can still use it at the original club I wanted to.

I haven't actually tried the gym out yet, but it's looking like I may get that chance soon.  The temperatures are dropping down now and though I'm going to try and do the outside running thing ( i even bought some more winter gear), it's nice to have the option of running inside once again. Also it's been a while since I've swam so that'll be something I can look forward to.