Training Plan Complete

….and now i need a new training objective! any ideas are welcome!!! I almost didn’t finish this today as the weather was lousy and i wasn’t feeling like it. But, if i hadn’t levered my lazy ass out of bed i would have had a red mark against my training plan which would have meant it wasn’t 100% complete. Its amazing how much effort we will put in for a little green tick! Runtastic sent my this certificate which although would be easy to forge is still kind of nice. Now thats completed i am off for a hot bath! I think maybe they overkilled on the praise but its cool anyway.

At this point i may take a leaf out of Tina’s book ( – i saw they had a winter challenge there when i browsed through. I have to admit, i kind of smiled seeing their site, because the idea of exercise equating to food is quite cool, especially now Xmas is upon us; it was also pretty well written. I am sure however two pretty girls with their own blogsite, don’t need me to help plug them :) In a couple of months they already have more followers that i will ever get.

The mail from Runtastic read:

Owen Richardson Congratulations Owen!You have proven your focus to complete your goals, nice work! You should be proud of your accomplishment!

Overview of your results

Duration Trainings done Trainings missed Final result
November 05, 2012 – December 16, 2012 18 0 100.0 Your plan

You did it!



Runtastic training plan almost complete.

2012 Running Stats

So, Tomorrow is a bit of an event – I will complete my runtastic 6 week objective to run 50 minutes without stopping. In point of fact, I’ve done this already but wanted to complete the programme  just to keep things neat, i thought i would share the stats – you cant see the dates on the graph above, but it covers 19th November to 16th December. At the 2 on the Y access was 3rd december – at this point it started with snow storms and blizzards – the reason for the stats dipping there comes down to a single training session that i had to abandon after 20 minutes because it was dangerous – nothing to do with grip, more to do with next to no visibility and different densities of snow making it difficult for me to know how hard to put my foot down – after 10 mins my ankles started to ache and i thought if i went on i would hurt myself, so i stopped. since then its been very slippery out so i have taken it easy. you can see that on the bad day my heartrate was also significantly up.

So what do the numbers tell me? Well. im fairly pleased.

  • The Red Line Is heart rate. In general my average heart rate has been going down which is good. Again since its been snowing ive been more focued on taking it slow and steady than anything else, and when i get into heart zone 4 – i tend to slow down a little because i don’t want to be redlining on zone 5.
  • The blue line is duration. Which you can see is up to around 52 minutes already – which is over my goal objective.
  • The Orange Line is Distance. Again this one isnt important to me (yet) but i am doing around 6.5km when i run now. If it hadnt started snowing it would be up already. I am slow now, but you can still see a marked increase.
  • The green line is pace. Again it dipped when the blizzards started, but has started to pick up.
  • The grey line is speed. Its slow, but then its icy and snowy. Its not a figure i pay any attention to at all. Speed is governed by my heart rate zone, which in turn is governed by conditions and elevation.

All in all i am fairly happy with my progress. I haven’t stopped running even though sometimes temperatures have dipped to -16c.I wont stop runing now the training program is over but i may shift focus – its not the best weather for me to start thinking about speed. but maybe pace and distance could be increased a bit.


Now officially overweight

..which is a good thing – as my BMI previously classified me as obese…

BMI 29.9

The next steps… eating healthy

So, i’ve got control of my calorie intake – 1500kcal per day, but depending on what i eat there does seem to be an impact on weight / fat loss. So what am i doing wrong? maybe its what i am eating. The biggest change calorie counting has made for me is tighter control of my portions. So things i need to be getting, that ive not been so good with:

  • Calcium – really important, i should probably drink more milk. Green veg and beans are surprisingly a good source.
  • Fat – Every diet needs it, but there are good and bad fats – Have to avoid saturated fat and trans fats. Unsaturated & polyunsaturated fats are good, as are monounsaturated fats.
  • Carbs – these can be either good or bad types. we need carbs. whole grain beans, fruit and veg all give good carbs; they are slow digested and keep blood sugar and insulin stable. White bread, white rice, refined sugar are examples of bad carbs – they digest quickly and cause spikes in your blood sugar.
  • Protein is essential, but you don’t need to overkill on it.
  • Sugar – although i have a general mandate to reduce sugar the rule of thumb that i have read mostly is avoid anything refined – sugar in fruit is ok.
  • Salt – Should limit the intake as far as possible.
  • CholesterolLDL is better than HDL but none is best!

Myfitnesspal has recommended daily values for things but i have no idea how much i should trust it.

Running on Lussebulle

In December already burned 1533 kcal which is around my daily calorie allowance at the moment. Lussebulle – AKA Saffron Rolls have 160 kcal, which means i can have 25 of these a day. Of course it would be a silly thing to do because of nutritional content but its a nice thought anyway. I have a fresh batch, which were made earlier… there were 25 of them!

When i was out running earlier i thought there would be two really cool things i would suggest to runtastic – one would be an SOS button- for when your in the middle of nowhere and end up hurting yourself. I would have it SMS someone with your location.

Second idea is to have a food counter of some description on the main stats screen. maybe a series of lights along the bottom that could be preconfigured with a calorie value. say there were 10 lights, and every time i ran another 160 kcal one lit up i would know i could have an other lussebulle – or whatever your weakness is – maybe 100kcal so each light would be a cookie….

just a thought!


Exercise in December!

Out in the snow

Out in the snow

So, Theres lots to share on the health and fitness front, which i will do here – i will also try to get back into the habit of blogging. Some random information on my Progress so far.

  • My loss in the last 60 days has reached 12.4 kilos.
  • I ran 66km in november – a total of 9 hours.
  • I have a total of 28.5 kilo fat mass.
  • Average Blood pressure is 121/74 average BPM 55

On a plus side is none of my clothes are too tight any more which is cool.  I am a little bit trepid going into december though. Yesterday was my birthday, and i suspended the diet for a day. December has been tough for a couple of reasons. Firstly with christmas coming sticking to a diet is going to be challenging. Second is the weather – in sweden there have been snow storms which have made going out running even with the proper equipment fairly impossible. The regular routes i take just don’t work because they are not all on regularly used paths, so are not all cleared. I can run over snow or over ice, because i have a set of ice studs but where you have varying densities and depths of snow the likelihood of hurting yourself increases exponentially. I will have to come up with new routes that are in more common places.

The cold by itself hasn’t caused much of a problem and i have a good set of winter clothes – i find my running kit growing though – i currently have

  • Running shoes (Nike Air +)
  • SOC running trousers
  • Soc Running Jacket
  • 2 x thermal shirts
  • SOC running socks
  • Stadium reflective armband
  • iPhone
  • Wool hat
  • a neck scarf
  • Polar H7 heart monitor
  • Capacitive wooly type gloves (that work with iphone)
  • arm band holder for the iPhone

… its a lot of stuff. Walking is a bit easier – i have a Peak Performace Goretex jacket which is just crazily warm for this weather – too hot in anything above -10 and comfortable if i wear it with a T-shirt in the negative 20-30 range.

Going out in anything up to -10 I can do with the clothes in the pic.  The jacket is a peak performance fleece that is ok with a little bit of wind – under it i had a thermal shirt. The trousers are an old pair of North Face trousers that i can now fit back into after a long time without them. They are good for extremely cold conditions too, and are probably overkill for the light cold that I see in southern sweden.

The next thing to do with my health and fitness checklist is to start to examine what i am actually eating – and making sure as well as meeting my calorie intake i am also meeting daily requirements for things like fat, sugar, carbs, protein – i am monitoring these values already, but need to get the balances right.

My fitness architecture

True tech style, this whole fitness thing has its own IT infrastructure with the following components:


A free app which I have blogged on before, it's at the core of things, as it integrates with with a lot of other apps, and is good for tracking the diet, weight loss and exercise in one place, as well as having a good food database which it's easy to add too.


Is a pretty good running app. I probably would have gone for runkeeper because I liked the achievement system in it, but runtastic integrates directly with my fitness pal – so my exercise is entered directly without me having to do anything.

Polar H7 Heartmonitor

This works with the iPhone 5 (but not 4), it's Smart Bluetooth and works great reporting my heart rate to runkeeper.

Withings bathroom scale

Wireless bathroom scales that can sync directly with myfitnesspal. They also have multiple sensors to report your weight distribution more accurately. It can store and track several people and even does a body fat measurement

Withings BP monitor

Does what it says on the box – but I can track my BP over time – it's not as high as I expected! It plugs into the iPad so I get pretty graphs but it doesn't sync into myfitnesspal – which is annoying !


A health update

Ok, the lifestyle change continues – I’ve been doing this now for 37 days and my total weight loss is now 8.4 kilos. which i am happy with :) This week has been a little bad in some respects – my gym trip on tuesday was meeting with the instructor – we talked a lot and not much actual training was done – i spent 15 minutes on the elliptical. Fundamentally now we are adding more weight to everything.

Today isnt a working day and i was nowhere near a gym so for the second time now – i ran. At the beginning of the week i completed 1.03 km in 8m 12s -which isn’t fast at all. I figured cardio would be good to supplement the weight loss, but i don’t want to push it too far. My first time the heart beat was a bit on the fast side, and my footwear wasn’t really that good so i went out and brought a few things:

  • A heart rate monitor – A polar H7 – which works with an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5 (it needs bluetooth smart). i can use this with a number of apps – i am using runtastic because when you finish your exercise it automatically uploads the information to myfitnesspal – and i love seamless integration :)
  • Running socks – they breath quite well and more importantly dont slip and slide – so i am less likely to get blisters.
  • Shoes (Nike Airmax Moto +) – they are neither the cheapest nor most expensive running shoes – but they are pretty good – have great shock absorption and the soul is shaped in a way that really helps with running – the toes almost point downwards.

The plan is to now supplement the 2 times in the gym a week with running 3 times a week. because i missed the gym today i went out and ran 2km – double what i did on monday – my heart rate was a bit alarming – it was hitting 170-180, and slowing down sometimes to avoid it going higher – i did 2km in 17mins 41 seconds.

I evidently need to be a bit careful here – in the gym my heart rate gets quite high on the elliptical – i am wondering if theres an underlying medical reason – its quite possible i have high blood pressure – i will see a doctor at sometime during the week i think – just to be sure. i was thinking of buying a blood pressure kit, and a cholesterol testing kit but cannot find a good cholesterol testing kit – there are a few out there but really i don’t want one number for my cholesterol i want two.

Ive spent a bit of money this month on health and fitness equipment one way or another – not because of feeling a need to buy every gadget out there- but because i just want to be careful not to hurt myself with trying to get fit. Theres also been a learning curve – some things i knew already but other things were interesting.

With running – technique is really important – and i am not working against my body. I want to get more fit – not to kill myself. I may well buy one of the training programmes on runtastic – set myself a fairly low level objective and work up. I can easily push myself too hard – its in my nature – I just dont want to ! Below is my weight progress and my stats from running today:

Understanding heart rate

I got this info from as my heart rate has been a bit high during excercise.

Maximum heart rate that is safe is fairly easy to calculate:

WOMEN: 226 – your age = age-adjusted Max HR

MEN: 220 – your age = age-adjusted Max HR

So for me max heart rate is 180. For weight loss I should be getting my heart rate between 60-70% of my Max HR (I kind of laugh because I was training at 100% until Glen pointed out it was a bit high. My rate should be between 108-126 and I was exercising at 170-200. So in terms of cardio I need to slow it down!

It reccomends on that site that I should do 30 mins a day, 3 times a week! That would have to be non gym days – we will see how that goes!

Diet – week 2

So week 2 of the diet is over and it's been an progress has of course slowed down. I have had a few beers in the last week, and still managed to lose weight which is pretty cool. The calorie counting is still happening, and I can eat anything I want as long as I plan for that – Wednesday I had 3 pints of beer without gaining anything. There have been one or two days where I have seemingly gained weight (100grams). Both of those times I was under my calorie intake for the day (in fact since I started I have never been over it). Water wieght I think is most likely the reason – and bathroom habits. The daily fluctuating interests me as I am trying to learn more about myself; I am not loosing sight of the fact that the weekly loss is more important than the daily loss. Once I had lost 5kg my diet planner suggested I recalculate my daily intake – it's now gone from 1900 to 1400 per day, and my loss is slowing down. I wonder if I should be eating more! If I eat to little I know the body will flip into survival mode making loss almost impossible. The human body is a complex thing!


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