One Month In Training

Image via Triathlon Training

I started working out about a month ago, when I joined a nearby fitness center. It’s basically the kind of place that I had been looking for, unsuccessfully, for years. It’s one MRT station away, at Xinpu, brand new, and has everything that I need. It’s cheap, because it’s a government fitness center. They have anything that you could think off, from a 50m swimming pool, only 1.25m deep, to swim laps, spa, gym, courts to play basketball, badminton, racquetball, etc.

Also, the cost is monthly or per use. I joined the gym and the swimming pool, but there was an ongoing promotion in October that kept costs low. The first week, I was at the gym every night. Since then, I have been working out 4-6 times per week, either by going to the gym, or running by the riverside.

Currently, I do 5-6km of running, followed by a 1-1.5km swim. Before trying to get some definition, I’m trying to melt away the fat. It’s working pretty well. I started out at 94.9 kg (210 lbs) and currently weigh 85.5 kg (188 lbs). My goal is to hit 78 kg, which is what I weighed a few years ago when I was running every day, and then start working out on the machines.

One thing that I noticed in late September and early October was that I was overeating, quite a bit actually. I think that most people who have to eat quickly during the day end up overeating. It’s just amazing how much people overeat. I have since gone down to half- and third-portions, with no ill effects. I snack all day, eat 1-2 meals a day. I eat when I’m hungry, cook all of my own food, and stay away from white grains (white bread, pasta, etc).

Instead, I am eating quinoa, black rice, amaranth, and other superfoods, coupled with meats and veg. I start my day with a protein shake that I make with 3 bananas, milk, and ice. I add a scoop of MP protein powder. Sometimes I add some drinkable yogurt, coconut milk, or other fruits. I usually make 1.5L, so I drink half, and take the other half to work.

At work, I snack on fruits, including dragonfruits, oranges, and apples. I keep some food at work, so that I never have to go out and buy something. I also eat nuts, Soy Joy protein bars, and I will add Quest Nutrition’s protein bars starting this week. Added to this, I eat one meal, consisting of a small portion of quinoa or black rice, added with some vegetables and meat. I find that pork and poultry work best this way. When I finish working out, I will eat a few protein bars, drink light sports drinks, and start cooking for the next day. I usually have another small meal at this time. It’s similar to what I had earlier in the day.

I’m finishing my MP Cookies and Cream protein powder. It was terribly disgusting, so I’ll be getting some EAS Myoplex chocolate protein powder on the weekend, so that I can drink more. I’m at about 1 scoop a day, but I want to drink at least 2-3 per day. Given the fact that protein powder is so disgusting, I did some research and EAS Myoplex is supposed to be one of the best tasting protein powders available in Taiwan, at Costco.

I found some high protein drinks from Ensure, but they are quite expensive, at about $2.5 each, if bought in cases of 6. I think that protein bars are a better value, coupled with better tasting protein powder.

Since October, I have run 70.85 km, inside and outside. The treadmill runs are usually slower, but feel like a lot more work than going outside to run. I’ve noticed that if I run 2-3 times on a treadmill and the rest of the time outside, I will run a lot faster outside. I’ve been able to get my pace down to 5:13/km, but for a few kms. I have run 5km in 28:15. This is my first time coupling inside running with outside, and I’m happy with the results.

I’m going to start adding the miles and/or the frequency of the runs. With the gym being so close to my house, I have many options available. The only problem is that I tend to work out late at night, and the gym closes at 10PM. My goal is to run before work, and then go for a swim after work. The great thing at the gym is that after a swim, I go for a soak in the jacuzzi, steam baths, and sauna before going home. For now, I tend to workout at night most evenings. Rest days are scattered around, usually 2 per week. Sometimes I need the rest, but if I pace myself, I can workout everyday.

I started very gently, with simply biking to work a few days a week. It’s not very far, but I took the opportunity to go out and ride after work. The only problem that I had, when trying to go to the gym with a bike, was that my backpack was just too big and heavy. There is also a time issue. If I finish at 9PM, I need to hurry to the gym to get into the pool, so that I can swim 20-26 laps before it closes.

I’ll probably end up getting a Garmin Fenix 3 in the coming weeks (I finally found a place that has them for sale, and they also have both models in stock), coupled with a Xiaomi smartband that costs about $15 or a Fitbit Charge HR. One thing that I need to do is to go to the gym, even when I’m sore and recuperating from runs, to do some workouts, probably swimming, in order to keep at it.

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