Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The year that was, in training!

864 kilometers of Running
3,840 kilometers of Cycling
95 kilometers of Swimming.

It was an interesting year, looking forward to an even more interesting one ahead.
I hope I traverse twice the distance in every field in 2014, faster and stronger!

A Happy and a Prosperous New Year to everyone! May you all be even more fitter next year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Why I am not going to run for the next 6 months, at the very least

    So it's been around 7 months since I had my satisfying long run. Now when I think back about all those miles I used to put in, I can't help but wonder how did I ever manage that. 
Stress injury, the culprit behind the long unwanted breaks on running, reared its ugly head every time I've tried to get back to running, ever since. Thrice, to be precise. 3 times the bugger has sent me down into the dumps. I came back from my run today, and for a moment or so I thought I was back. I really enjoyed the run, even posted a reasonable timing, but back in my room when I was feeling up the tibia for that familiar pain, I wasn't disappointed. The pain is back again. 
But this time, I tell you, this time, I am not going to let the bugger belittle my spirits again. Instead of the original plan of running twice weekly, I am not going to not run at all. Instead, I will spend an hour or so on the cross trainer, the elliptical or maybe just go cycling, hard, but not feel despondent for the lack of that run.
And I am going to keep not running, till I reach that illusive 70 kg mark. No more registering for any race, event, or blah.
To my favorite running shoes, I say, I'll be back.
Stress injury, Screw you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I know I know, this seems to be steadily transitioning in my work-out blog. Well, to be honest, I want it to be one, because in the future, when I feel bad for not having run as I wished, this little piece of writing will cheer me up.

I ran today, 5.9 km to be exact, and it just felt great. This has been my first run in the last 10 days, and was nothing like anything! I don't remember running like this in the last 6-7 months. It just indicates that all the strength training, cross training and diet is paying off! I felt I was flying, and indeed I was. 4:32 / km, haven't run at that pace comfortably in ages, and hope to keep doing so, get better and better!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bring it on!

When I completed my first Half Ironman Triathlon last year in November, I realized that weight was something I needed to work on, and also, my aerobic fitness. And so, I subconsciously came down from 76 to 72kg for my next one in March. The effects of training showed, as I managed to shave about 2 hrs from my first stint.
Then I set my target at completing a full Ironman. I wasn't worried about the cycling leg of the event. I knew, that with a good road bike and a little bit of practice, it would be the easiest part of the race.It was the marathon at the end of the 180km bike ride that sent shivers down my spine. And so to work eliminating that fear, I decided that I'd conquer the marathon first, all alone, as one singular goal.

And so, I began with the common 10x10 program, wherein you run 10kms everyday for 10 days on a stretch. I went headstrong into the event, that i would run faster each day then i did the day before. I pretty much did what i set out for. But on day 9, I ended up sprinting the last kilometer. And then on day 10, I felt a strange pain in my leg. Some research on it ruled it as a stress fracture. Well, later, it turned out that it was a stress injury. But nonetheless, it meant that I wouldn't be running for a very long time. And there, I blew away my chance to conquer the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon.

At this point, I weighed 77kgs. Quite expected. Trips to home always put on some extra weight on you.

Luckily for me, we had our Inter-IIT aquatics tournament just then. The next two months were rigorous, to say the least, with intensive practice sessions, and juggling academics, placements and final year projects all at the same time. At the end of it, we did emerge victorious in all our intended endeavours.

And I thought the time was just ripe to step on the weighing scale and expect a good fall. Ouch. I was 78kgs. Every year, the 2 month practice would leave me 5kgs lighter. I had put on a kg this time. Something was not right, or so I felt.

I still had the marathon to conquer though. I had registered for the Mumbai marathon a few months back. Now was the time, to get back on track. And so, I found a nice plan, targeting a sub 3:30 finish and followed it up religiously, until 2 weeks. Until I felt that same nagging pain in the inner tibia of the left leg. And I knew, that the next marathon was off. Shame. 

Fortunately, I had the placement season coming up. Preparing for interviews and all would keep me distracted I felt. And they did. But only after getting the job, when I stepped on the scale again, did I realize that I had added 1 more kilo! It was high time to panic. And so, I jumped on to my military regime of working out every single day.

But this time, I was sane enough not to run 5 times a week. Instead, I filled up my week with 3 days of weight training, 2 days of cycling and 2 days of running. I decided, that I was going to bounce back from my low period a lot more fitter, and a lot faster, stronger and healthier! 

I found a nice workout plan online, and have been following it for the last two weeks. At least, I am enjoying going to the gym. (I hate it though.) But the tibial pain still threatens to come back.
To add to it, the weighing scale hasn't been very encouraging. I has consistently showed a positive gradient. I put on 2 kgs in 10 days. Ouch.

Standing at 81kgs now, I felt something was definitely not right. Yes, adding weight when you expect it to be otherwise definitely brings it's share of lows. Having been through a phase, where I was once 96kgs, I definitely didn't want to be there again! But somewhere along the way, I realized that I was getting stronger. I could lift up things, which I couldn't do so earlier. That's when I realized, the simplicity and the beauty of the regime.
I was surprised! I could lift it with just one hand??

This graph (I know I am a geek. Being in an engineering college does that to you) explains what is going to happen.
My theory of what's happening to me.

It's easier to build muscle than to loose fat. The first happens relatively faster than the second, and I was feeling it. More the muscle, the healthier you are. I just have to give some time to my body to adapt, and regain it's fitness. Soon, my body composition will change. I will be a lot more fit, will have a good amount of muscle, loose any unwanted and unnecessary fat, and well, who knows, will end up with those dream packs.
So everytime I step on the scale, I'll be looking forward to reaching the peak. Because I know that is where things are going to take an interesting turn.
I know that I just need to be patient, cut off from everything else, maintain some control over eating, and keep at it. The results will be fabulous. Spectacular. And very very satisfying. To all the events and challenges that are going to come up I say, Bring it on!