Fitness Big Year: More knowledgeable about gear

Having jogged for nearly half a century, you’d think I’d be scientific about when to buy joggers. I mean, they’re kind of important in cushioning limbs, joints and bones. But no, I’ve always just worn them down until  . . . until I faced problems with limbs, joints or bones. Now logging runs on Strava makes a huge difference, because Strava keeps track.

I reckon I used to go for well over 1,200 kms on a pair of running shoes. Generally “they” recommend replacement after 600-900 kms, so today I donned new ones after 800 kms on the old ones. Even that was probably too far – those Brooks Beast shoes have huge chunks worn out of them. So I let Strava know I’d love to be notified when this new pair reaches 700 kms. That’s progress!

Fitness Big Year: Upping the ante

How often do I bring myself good news? With twelve full weeks to go in 2017, weeks mostly here and not there, it turns out I can raise my annual targets. Jogging: increase the goal from 900 to 1,000 kms. Cycling: up 3,500 kms to 4,000 kms. Gym sessions: was 90, make it 100.

Geeks love round numbers. 1,000 / 4,000 / 100 is worth a grin.

Fitness Big Year: Jogging in a crowd turns out to be fun

A solo jogger from way back, yesterday I tried company. 71 runners in the Palmerston Parkrun in Darwin. Only 5 kms but the heat, even early, was unfamiliar, and the photos show me huffing. Daughter Donna was far more relaxed.

A 5-km lonesome run would cost me just over half an hour. Parkrun plus coffee . . . some three hours. That’s a big disadvantage in my book. But here’s the thing: I enjoyed myself and had a sense that group running would eventually stimulate a faster me.

More Parkruns?

Fartlek: a pointer to next year?

A grey Melbourne day ideal for running, a week ago. I don’t feel especially fleet of foot but decide on impulse to do my 10 kms in “Fartlek” style. I’m no expert and didn’t consult any reference, but my knowledge of this form of training is to alternate fast stretches with recovery slow ones. So I alternate slow kilometers with significantly faster ones. I’m sure I don’t do the method justice – psychologically I can’t force myself to run fast enough – but the effect is exhilarating. Fast means a 6:00 mins/km pace or thereabouts, slow means 6:30. The end result? 6:20, sore hamstrings, and a feeling of exultation.

Perhaps this “year of fitness” is making me fitter? Perhaps next year I can aspire to some ambition, a faster Andres, someone who tries competitions?