New Counter 29 December 2011

Friday, December 31, 2021

Close but no cigar..........

 I ended 13th December with 20 sessions left to complete to reach my 2021 target of 365. Sadly on 14th I tested +ve for Covid and that, as they say, was that. While symptoms were mild I have been left feeling weak and fatigued and so have yet to get back on the treadmill.

I am sure I will in the next few days and I will do so with the added benefit of a keto diet, which I think will help me recover prior performance more quickly and then to go on to challenge my Lifetime best in 2022.

But for Covid I am confident I would have hit my goal. I had though found it more difficult in the last few sessions as I took diet a little for granted. For me it is clear to exercise at my best I need to be fasted from the night before, whether I need to be fully ketogenic or simply no carbs before exercise I will seek to discover in the coming months. For 2021 I was generally low carb and that enabled me to achieve the following:

2021 Summary
Total number of sessions                            345
Total distance covered                                1915.63km
Average distance per 50 minute session            5.55km
Average speed                                                    6.66kmph

Predictably I improved distance as the year went on, 2nd sessions were always better than 1st sessions and the more I did the more I could do. My best was 7.51km or 6th November, my 3rd session that day and only 130m short of a lifetime best. November was also my best month with 49 sessions of average 6.54km.

Overall pleased I set myself the challenge at the beginning of 2021, for 2022 I intend to try and establish a routine of a minimum of 3 double sessions each week, and to do so following a ketogenic diet, for January at least. 

Of course that will be post-Covid malaise dependent, which goes to confirm that not everything is M and M is not everything when it comes to health matters.

All best to all for the New Year and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Consistency is the key- perhaps even more so than diet

As I approach the end of 2021 I am delighted that I challenged myself at its beginning to complete 365 50 minute treadmill sessions in the year. While I have some catching up to do to reach that target I have learnt a lot and feel as fit, if not fitter than I ever have. 

Yesterday I managed 3 sessions in the day and was able to start the first at 7.2kmph and easily completed 6.3km in 50 minutes. What is becoming clear is that regular exercise makes all the difference. I started 2021 with a session of of 3.46km. My best year to date has been 7.51km in 50 minutes, which is not far short of a lifetime best (7.64km set in 2016),  which is now my next target before I pass 60.....

At the beginning of the year I was very conscious about what I ate and I avoided carbs. More recently I have found that unless I eat lots of carbs I am able to exercise at a pretty consistent high level irrespective of diet. I still exercise mostly in the morning, and often fasted from the night before, but what I eat in the evening seems now to have little impact. November has been my best month so far, 35 sessions average 6.64km) after getting back to regular sessions in October (49 sessions average 6.1km). I am lucky in that I am retired and so have the time to focus on exercise and making it a priority. In truth I wish I had done this years ago! Dr Slonim told me in 2006 that regular exercise, following his "prescription", was needed. I semi complied but have not been as consistent as I need to be until this year.

I will continue until I reach my 2021 target, 53 sessions to go with 38 days left of the year. In 2022 I plan to start the year on a mission to set a new lifetime best. To do that I think I will need to be stricter with diet and get deeper into ketosis, as I was when the previous best was set. With 365 sessions behind me I think I'll have a very good chance to pass that lifetime best before I hit 60 in February. Something that very few people would have the opportunity to achieve. 

YTD Summary data

Session total: 312 Distance covered 1,705km Average speed 6.66kmph Average distance per session 5.46km

Thursday, October 7, 2021

7th October 241 sessions done 124 to go

 After a slow summer post marathon walk I have only just got back to regular treadmill sessions with 2 a day so far in October. Having no kids at home and therefore access to the treadmill without concern for those still sleeping has been a help but simply making the decision to recommit to the challenge more so. Today I was rewarded with my best 50 minute session since June 6.4km felt good though I was never able to jog for more than 2 minutes today. 2 hours of dog walking, a sausage roll, coffee and a keto bar seem to have got me in the right place! Currently I am 39 sessions behind a 1 a day schedule,  year to date, so I have some catching up to do but I am pretty confident I can hit the 365 target and giving the rapid improvement so far this month that I can end the year far far fitter than I started it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

26 miles is a long way

 8 hours walking alongside the Thames on the hottest day of the year, to that point, without M impacting me was a strong endorsement of the benefits of regular and consistent exercise. At the beginning of the year my purpose in setting a 365 treadmill session goal was somewhat nebulous, trying to use the time provided by Covid to some positive effect. Regular long dog walks with a mate helped prepare for this specific challenge, while having lived, and walked, in Singapore, the heat was less of an issue for me than most. It is now clear to me though that to be able to function at my best, whether walking with friends, or continuing to play cricket the treadmill sessions are a vital part of daily life henceforth. 

I have only done one session since the walk, circumstance and a short holiday the cause, but 198 sessions year to date mean I am currently 10 sessions behind my target. Starting on Saturday I will look to close that gap so I am back on track by the end of August. 

The sessions mean I am able, almost for the 1st time, to play cricket, which has always been a physical challenge, without thinking much at all about M, that for me is a huge benefit and one which I will not let go readily. While the thought of walking 26 miles did not concern me and was a hugely enjoyable experience, chatting and walking with those I met along the way. For someone who used to avoid walking with anyone that's another large tick in the plus column.

Key for me is always to start  each session at a comfortable pace and build slowly. Usually I exercise on an empty stomach after coffee. Second session of the day is usually much better than the first. Pushing just enough leads to progress, gain without pain, which is why I like the controlled environment of the treadmill.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Near the midway point - feeling the benefit - new challenge

Year to date I have managed 184 treadmill sessions so am on the home straight with 181 to go and still 10 days left in June. I had hoped to be a little further ahead but following a brief hiatus more consistent use of the treadmill is helping me off it. This last weekend I played a competitive cricket match, kept wicket for 30 overs( 180 plus squats) and then opened the batting, (lots of running) going on to score my highest score for a good number of years. Two days later and I have no pain other than in the front of my shins - for me that is now common but going back to my twenties and thirties, before keto and before consistent treadmill it would take me a week to be able to walk normally after cricket - just in time for the next match!!!!!

I have also been walking regularly along the Thames with a friend, for the pleasure ( my 11 year old self would not believe that possible) and in preparation for a 26 mile walk from Windsor to Henley on 17th July. The opportunity, courtesy of McMillan, appeared on my FB feed in February and I signed up as a further challenge to myself and to provide added incentive to keep up the treadmill work. As the day approaches I am looking forward to it and feeling ready. I am aiming to complete the walk in under 8 hours but of course completing it is the main challenge....

In the interim its back to building stamina and treadmill speed, while aiming to accumulate plenty more runs over the course of this cricket season.......................

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Peaks and troughs...peaks and troughs

 So its been a while since my last blog and after excelling in March and reaching a PB for the last several years of 6.81km in 50 minutes I have let things slip and today was only able to do 5.4km. Disruption to my daily schedule in April meant I only did  13 sessions during the month and have as a result regressed. It has though served to emphasise how easy it is to slip up and how quickly deterioration in capability follows.

In March I did 33 sessions and averaged 6km per session. In April only 13 and my average had slipped to 5.64km. So far this month I am having to build back 14 session at an average of 5.37km. Diet has been broadly the same and I have continued to exercise on minimal food.

On the positive side I am still way ahead of where I started the year and have managed 159 sessions towards by 365 session target.

Work to do! Even more so as I am signed up to a 26mile walk on 17th July. more details in due course on that.

The above pattern is a small picture of life with M - when I have followed the regime set by Dr Slonim and exercised on the treadmill daily I have managed to improve and that helps in daily life and with weight. When I have not deterioration has followed as night follows day.

Monday, March 8, 2021

March - picking up the pace

 After a PB at the end of February March has started really well. 11 sessions so far and on four of the five days I have done two sessions the second 50 minutes has seen me cover 6.3, 6.24,6.38 and 6.35km   . The least distance covered so far has been 5.1km, while most  6.38km. Have decided I will now focus on 2 sessions a day for 3 days and then a rest day. Aim to make as many as possible second sessions above 6km.Average distance is covered this month is a whole 1km better than in January. promising signs.