Tuesday, 27 November 2007

New Regime

Going to try out the following regime. Idea is that you train at low intensity (i.e. maximize your bodies fat burning potential) for a few months (until your fitness level starts to plateau). Then you switch to high intensity training to develop that.

I done this for the first time tonight. Went well I think. My target HR was 152bpm, so I aimed to keep it between 145-150bpm (don't ask why, 147bpm - 157bpm would have made more sense). Done 5.19km in 41.10mins, which is an average pace of 7.55min/km (7.6kmph). Average HR was 147bpm.

Swimshack: Report

Had another session at swimshack on Friday. Started off working on some balance stuff, moved to some active balance (kicking on back rotating shoulders around spine), which went well enough. I'd done a fair bit of work on that over the last month or two, so was good to see that it was paying off.

Next idea was to move onto doing the same thing, this time face down, rotating up to the air. Easier said than done and my first two attempts involved drinking lots of water. I was then given a snorkel to get used to the position, which wasn't too bad, but tiresome enough.

Eventually managed to get 2/3 breaths on my right hand side but had to have a good few attempts to get it on my left. Lesson ended there, but the coach was very happy with the progress and reckons I should be ready to go back early in the new year.

Was down at the pool last night and nailed both left and right breathing straight away. Could only do about half a length, but still, not bad.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Fitness test

I done a fitness test last Monday, which is basically the Aerobic Fitness test described here. Test results were as expected more or less, which were summed up well by Thomas as:

That's excellent....basically you're an unfit, fat fvcker. :P

Well, things can only get better from here. Here's the first couple of pages of the report...let me know what you think.



DATE: 19th November 2007

Personal Details: Name: Chris Heneghan Age: 28 years


Height: 1.84 m Mass: 119.5 kg

Body Mass Index: 35.3 (high)

% Body Fat: 31.0% (high) Lean Body Tissue : 69.0%


Resting Pulse 76bpm Average

Blood Pressure 135:94 High Normal

Haemoglobin 172 g.dl High average

Haematocrit 51.0% High

Lung Measures

FVC (size) 4.29 litres Below average

FEV1 (strength) 3.56 litres Below average

Peak Flow (power) 606 l/min Average


Grip 54.2kgf Excellent
Leg/back 150.5kgf Good


VO2max 40.8 ml/kg/min Average

Maximal Heart Rate 184 bpm
Lactate Step Test

Running Intensity Heart Rate Blood Lactate
(kph) (bpm) (mmol/l)
7.5 157 2.7
8.1 161 2.4
8.6 169 2.9
9.0 171 3.3
9.6 178 4.2
10.1 184 5.1

Please also see graphical review within the comment.

Summary Comment:

Please also refer to the graphical data review of the results.

Body Composition

Your body mass and body fat% levels are high and in need of dramatic reduction to the benefit of your athletic performance. You need to achieve steady and consistent weight loss, whilst at the same time maintaining lean tissue. Your extended exercise regime alongside a modification to your diet will achieve this. The sensible approach will be to lose 1 to 2lb per week, for 14 weeks, and then reassess your requirements.

Short term aim should be 110kg and 25% body fat. This could be achieved in 4 months.

Blood Pressure and Resting Heart Rate

Your blood pressure was slightly raised, but this is not uncommon within a testing environment. Your resting pulse was average at 76bpm, which will drop as your fitness improves.

Lung Measurements

Your lung measurements are the low side of normal, so you may always feel some limitation to breathing whilst exercising. As you get fitter this limitation will reduce as your body becomes more efficient at transporting oxygen.

Make a conscious effort to concentrate on your breathing rhythm and utilising the full lung capacity as you exercise. Even look to exaggerate the extent of your inhalations, to use as much capacity as possible.

Haemoglobin and Haematocrit

These two measurements highlight the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Your haemoglobin was good and above the normal levels at 172g.l. Generally the greater the haemoglobin content, the greater the potential stamina performance. You can make an effort to increase Hb through the consumption of dietary Iron and Vitamin C (red meat, green leafed vegetables, liver, cereals, etc). The vitamin C assists the Iron to be absorbed.

Your haematocrit was high at 51.0% and this shows potential signs of dehydration. It is vital that you maintain a regular intake of water throughout the day, especially during times of high training volume.


Your strength is good to excellent and will be a physical benefit to your future fitness. Try to avoid to many high resistance exercises, as you will gain weight easily, but compliment your cardio training with high rep, circuit type training once or twice per week.

Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max) - Stamina


Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max) = 4.88 litres/minute
= 40.8 ml.kg-1.min-1 (Average)
Max Heart Rate = 193 b/min

100th Post!!

Well, its further than I ever thought this would go. This is the 100th post of the blog. Couple of things I could post about but think I'll just mark the post as is and post the other stuff separately.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Race Report: F3 Duathlon - Dorney Lake

Done the F3 Events November duathlon today at Dorney Lake, which was 5km run / 20km cycle / 5km run. Its on a totally flat course, around the 2012 olympic rowing lake.

Made it around, despite convincing myself at least 100 times that I should just do the "novice" version (2.5km / 12km / 2.5km). I started off pretty fast, mainly trying to keep with one of my mates who's a much stronger runner than me. When he maneuvered to pass a group of runners, I let him go and carried on myself at my own pace, which slowed considerably after this (see graphs below).

I was hoping to do the first run leg under the 30min mark (which would have been a pb) but unfortunately, I came in around 32mins, the second last person on that run leg.

Onto the bike, which was also my first proper go with using the cleats. Started off strong, hitting speeds up to 40kmph and thinking I was a great fellow. After 2km, that was to change, as the course doubled back on itself and I faced into a gale force wind. Believe it or not, it was actually a pretty calm day, (at least at the start where its a bit sheltered) so this was quite a shock. Speeds dropped down to about 19kmph on average and it was like a 2km uphill ride the whole way back. The route called for 5 of these loops and after the second attempt the "novice" race was appealing to me again.

I actually caught up to my mate on the bike leg, mainly due to the fact he was riding a mountain bike, with a half flat back tyre! Needless to say, he passed me quickly enough on the run!

For the second run I took a different approach, mainly a run \ walk strategy. Initially I was hoping to do 3 min runs \ 1 min walks but that just wasn't going to happen the state I was in! So settled on a good few 1.5 min runs \ 30s walks. I even told my mate at one stage when we met on the loop that I was only doing 1 of the laps! Next time I met him, I'd talked myself around into doing the second lap.

Anyways, got around in just under 2 hours. Official results aren't out yet, but I put my time down as 1h 57m or there abouts. Official placing I guess is 3rd last :) Things can only get better! At least I completed it!!

For more info, see here, here and here...

Run 1
Run 2

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Training: Turbo Session

Went down for my third session at the Cambridge Tri Turbo session. These are progressively getting tougher as the weeks progress. Attendance was down tonight (just 16), which I assume was mainly due to the England game being on.

Format was similar to the previous weeks, starting off with a warmup at our own pace, finishing off with 4 quick sprints of 15/20/25/30 secs in the lowest gear with a minutes rest. This was then followed by a few alternating sets of "rolling" in the highest gear (concentrating on pedalling in circles), followed by "spinning" in the lowest gear (concentrating on not bouncing in the saddle). Initially the sets were for 1m 30s, finishing off with 2 sets of 2 mins. The last rolling part was out of the saddle, which almost killed me!!

This was then followed by some one legged pedaling, which I just can't seem to get the hang of at all. This was then followed by a few minutes of pedalling in Zone 3 (e.g. pedaling at a level where conversation is difficult), moving up to Zone 4 (e.g. heavy breathing), before finally going for 2 mins at Zone 5 (tough going...legs start to burn). Started to cool down, going back to Zone 4 and Zone 3 before finally spending 10 mins recovering at an easy pace.

Overall tough going, was sweating like a pig. Probably felt better though than I did after the last two sessions though, which is good. Didn't get a chance to eat anything afterwards as I was straight down to a poker night in a local pub (in aid of the local GAA club), so diet was hardly the best today (grabbed a burger on the way home!).

Anyways, here's a graph of my HR over the session...

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Had a tough session session tonight down at the circuits. Was a bit stiff after yesterdays exertions (fitness test in the morning, followed by treadmill run that night) so wasn't looking forward to it. Still, gritted teeth and went along.

Still struggling weight wise. When I'm stiff as I was last night and today, I tend to turn to comfort eating, although I wasn't too bad today (just one Twix...could have easily been more). That said I did have two pub dinners today, both of which were accompanied by chips.

Anyways, here's a graph of my HR for the session...

Monday, 19 November 2007

First Garmin Forerunner output...

Here's my first outing with my new Garmin Forerunner 305, which was basically a walk into town and back out. Its broken into three parts (I had to stop on the way into town for something to eat) but the walk back is uninterrupted so I'm just going to post a link to that.

Anyways, heres the link.

I suppose I've a couple of things to note about it. First is that I have no idea what is going on with the elevation data. GPS elevation is notoriously dodgy, so I'm putting it down to that. I can't imagine there was anymore than a 10ft gain in height over the whole walk.

Secondly, my HR seems to be pretty high for a brisk walk. No idea why this is, perhaps its was down to just having had something to eat as during my walk into town it wasn't as high. If you look at the HR graph though, you'll notice towards the end of it there is a definite spike...this is where I'm walking over a railway bridge close to home!! Pretty nifty, no?

Some of the data needs a pinch of salt when interpreting...for instance, in the same HR graph, also tick the speed button and you'll see it spike to 30mph at one stage...pretty impressive even if I was sprinting, which I was not!

Overall, quite happy with it. Have yet to take it out in anger, but hopefully will rectify that soon.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Another week...

Another failed goal...as of this morning, my weight stands at 116.58kg, a whole 0.58kg heavier than I hoped it would be LAST Monday! Workouts this week have been very, very poor, mainly consisting of a lot of stuff on Wednesday and a brief walk around town on Saturday! Not good enough.

So whats my excuse this time around??? I'm blaming the weather...its been bloody freezing here the last few nights and now its started raining. Well, if I'm not going to go outside to train then its definitely time that I started doing some stuff back on the treadmill, which I'll be on come tomorrow night.

I've got a duathlon this weekend...5km run/20km bike/5km run so hopefully a bit of extra training won't go amiss for this.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Quick update

Got my new Garmin Forerunner 305 yesterday. Haven't had a chance to play around with yet as I spent most of Tuesday evening at the theater (don't ask) and spent the rest of the night fixing new pedals and cleats to the bike (and adjusting the front dérailleur).

Main reason that had to be done on Tuesday was that I'd another turbo session tonight, which I followed up with a quick swim in the pool afterwards. All this on top of a game of 4-a-side football today at lunch, I decided to give the body a bit of a rest when I got in tonight. Will hopefully get out for a run at lunch tomorrow.

Played a game on Sunday as well which left the legs a bit sore. Lost, but we were rubbish and didn't deserve to win.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Tonights training

Thought there was some GAA training tonight, so decided to run down to the pitch like I'd done last week. Was also planning on getting to the pool afterwards, so brought my swimming gear with me.

I actually missed the turnoff for the most direct way to the pitch on my run, so continued onto the way that I normally drive. It added an extra 500m or so to the distance I'd say, but thats no big deal.

Overall the run went well, only stopped briefly to let a car pass at a junction (and took a couple of extra seconds break). Made it down to the pitch to see that there was no floodlights and hence no-training. Done the 3.6km run in 25mins.

Like my run last night, I was aiming to keep my HR below 166bpm, which I more or less did for the duration. My average HR for the run was 158bpm with a max of 168bpm.

Have to say that I'm pretty happy with two longish distance runs in two nights.

As for the pool afterwards, I'd an empty lane to myself for the guts of an hour. It went well enough, apart from the fact that my leg\calf\foot would cramp intermittently, which I assume was due to the run. Still not doing a length normally, but I've managed to do a few lengths taking three breaths every stroke. Hardly swimming, but something to build on.

woohoo...training update

Made it around the block non-stop for the first time tonight. I'd initially planned on just doing a brisk walk around the block, but after two minutes decided to push the heart rate up a notch and started running. Main aim for the run was to keep HR below 166bpm (seems to be around my lactate threshold (the point above which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood)), which I managed to achieve for the most part apart from on the hills and the last bit of the run.

The lap time was 37m 39s which is about 2m slower than my PB, but the main point is that it was non-stop. My average HR was 163bpm and my max HR was 176bpm. I reckon I could have gone for further at that HR, so it would seem that is a good level to be training at for longer runs.

New Kit

Ordered a Garmin Forerunner 305 earlier today from Amazon. Basically a HRM with GPS capabilities, which makes it a pretty powerful piece of kit. To be fair, I probably don't really need it, but its just another gadget and one I've been thinking of getting for a while.

There's a bike cadence sensor that you can get as an addon, but it wasn't in stock so I didn't order it. I'll more than likely get it at some stage in the future. I must also get a bike mount for it at the same time.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Swimming update

I've been getting pretty bored with just doing drills in my swimming sessions so I've started trying to do laps. Still haven't managed to do a full lap properly (going a length taking just one breath per three strokes), but I have noticed that my balance and kicking have improved significantly over the last few weeks.

I do seem to be struggling with breathing though. I can go about 3 sets of 3 strokes with one breath between sets, but just don't seem to be able to extend that any further! To try to improve this, I've been practicing breathing every stroke, but only seem to be able to get 5-6 strokes before needing to recover (take more than one breath). Strangely enough, I seem to go the same distance in both exercises!!!

Still, work in progress and all that.

My first turbo session

Went down to Cambridge Triathlon Club's first turbo session of the year there tonight. For those of you that don't know what a turbo is, they are what treadmills are to running. You clamp the rear wheel of your bike into a frame (looks like an upside-down V) and the back wheel rests on a roller. The roller provides resistance which normally increases as you spin faster. Here's a link to a similar turbo to mine, which should give you a better idea of how it works.

There were about 15-20 people there, most of them kitted out to the max. Some seriously nice bikes there and obviously a few serious athletes there. I was also suprised by the amount of "kids" there...must have been at least 4-5 teenagers there. Despite the obvious fitness differences it was a very social and quite laid back.

Overall, it was an easy enough session, which was mainly down to it being the first session of the winter. The coach was taking time to explain the theory and concepts behind what we were doing as well, which was good and it also gave us an insight of what was to come over the upcoming weeks.

We mainly focused on technique tonight, which was relatively handy although the one-legged peddling was pretty tough I found. Need to get the cleats sorted out on my bike. There was also a bit of endurance work, going through the different levels of intensity, which meant the sweat was absolutely pouring of me by the end of the session.

All in all, its was a very good session and I'd definitely go back. For one thing its something to do on a Wednesday night, but also because there seems to be quite a few knowledgeable people there to learn how to approach the sport from. Its only a fiver for a session (2hrs) and in the 1h 10m I was going tonight, I burned about 750kcal! Magic.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Weight update

I've had two pretty decent weeks on the weight loss front, losing 0.76kg in that period. However, a bit of a bad start to this week already, where I'm after putting back on 0.17kg over the last two days!

Not going too bad on the exercise front either. Jogged down to the gym tonight, done some rowing and cycling, followed by a bit of swimming and had a brisk walk back. Didn't really eat the best stuff today, but hopefully I've broke even with the calories today.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Weight Charts

Last 14 days

Last 30 days

Last three months

Last year

All time

Personal bests

This post will be a place holder for my PB's and general race results. I'm also going to include PB's for some training routes that I do regularly.

Reality check

As was pointed out to me today by one of my mates (cheers Paul), I seem to be struggling to pass the 116kg barrier on my weight loss quest. As he said, its been down around that level since August, with no major changes either way.

Now, in the back of my head, I suppose I've always known this was the case. Its as if I have a mental barrier at the 116kg level that subconsciously is subverting my efforts to break through it. Perhaps this weight is significant because the lightest weight I've registered since Jan 06 is something like 116.3kg and I'm settling for that subconsciously.

Well, its definitely time to forget the excuses and just push on through. Looking at the stats, since mid-August my "average" weight calorific deficit has been a paltry 56kcal! 56kcal! 56kcal. Thats not even a mars bar! Its one and a half unbuttered cream crackers! Unacceptable.

As I said before, I probably knew this in the back of my mind all along. But now thats its been noticed and pointed out in public brings a lot or reality to it. I've had a pretty good week or so, weight loss wise, which I hope to continue. I'm going to forget about long term goals and just focus on one short term goal...to get my weight under 116kg. If I haven't done it by the 11th, you'll have to start getting on my back! I'll keep a daily note of how things are going here, just to keep you informed.