February Health Log
This is the 54th day and the second monthly health log where I do a bit of reflective practice. You can read previous logs here: Jan. All round the results have been solid this month, I’m losing fat at 440 grams average per week. I’ve started preventative physio for my legs, been increasing running volume and variety, weights sessions are seeing a good volume increase too. No major slip ups on food, that feels really well tuned in. Booze was more than I’d like which needs addressing this month. I will run my first half in 33 days so I will be refining my training towards that.
- Say goodbye to my gut fat
- Improve cardio performance
- Improve gut health
- Drink less booze
28 days of Feb: down 1.6kg of fat. 143.05km of running. 6 lifting sessions.
|Jan 6th||Jan 31st||Feb 28th||Month
|Fat Mass (kg)||15.1||12.8||11.2||-1.6||-3.9|
It’s the second month of dedicated focus on my health. I did a reset last month and started easing back into training and progressively adding volume. For the last few years I’d been ballooning in weight and fat. My diet was all over the place and my training was inconsistent or non existent for weeks on end.
What did I do in February?
Food & Drink
- No big changes on food, I’m hovering between 2-3 meals a day, aiming to maximise protein at 42 grams per meal. Small amount of whole carbs, variety of veg and fruits
- A few meals out, takeaways here and there so I’m not working off an unsustainable model of pure whole and unprocessed foods. Added a couple of absolute bangers I had out locally below.
- Booze went off track after seeing a few people, definitely felt the impact of just a few extra drinks compared to January.
- No fasting, I considered a 2+ day one but I’m slightly hesitant as I’m balancing a higher volume of running with a reduced meal size already. Perhaps after the first half race it’s worth a shot.
- Experimented with adding coffee back in on a few occasions because I do really love it. Mixed results, a range of feeling OK, anxious and gut somersault. I’m really on the fence about coffee. Perhaps I just stick to certain days of the week to enjoy it. Whatever happens, I’ve broken through the pattern of depending on it twice daily and my gut grinding for hours on end.
- Bought the Polar H10 and I’m using this in the gym and outside to keep a close eye on the heart rate goal for the session. I’m working off the zones in Strava, which I know are estimates so I’m still interested in getting a VO2 max test done to see what my zones and lactate levels actually look like.
- I noticed my pace had to increase by a fair bit (I might be able to figure this out from Strava) in my zone two sessions to get out of zone one. This led very mild muscle strain because my legs just haven’t got used to moving at that pace yet
- No half distance for February, I might squeeze that one out in the next few days of early March, however the weather looks well rank.
- Ran a total of 143.05km in February. Peaches did her first 10km. I did a silly experiment to see how fast and far I could run in the park – managed 3 km at 3:59 /km pace. I’m finding it hard to easily pull data from Strava on my effort sessions, which tells me I need to make a better effort at labelling runs if I really care about organising the data.
- My cardio recovery markers have improved by a big leap, see Apple Health trend below.
- Physio for knees and legs is going really well. Had a video appointment with a physiotherapist and he sent a bunch of extra exercises. I’ve got a nice routine going now and added bands, a wobble cushion and a range of exercises to mix it up.
- Weight training has been at an average once a week, I’m seeing more volume and better form in a few exercises.
- I still haven’t cracked how to make pull ups a part of my weekly routine, perhaps I need to book these in for after I have dropped Peaches off at school. That way I know I would get x3 sessions a week.
Plan for March
- Get ready for the Putney Half, this is on the 2nd of April. I need to do a bit of reading about the best training plan, my bet is I will want to be doing a wee bit of zone two the week before and that’s it.
- I haven’t yet done any park intervals, so that’d be fun to try. I messed about with the Apple Watch programs and it seems pretty easy to program something into the watch too. My gut says it might just be easier to measure a distance in the park and go for that on loops. Let’s see.
- I’ve also been wondering if I set running distance/duration targets for each week. Strava tracks this in the activity view very nicely so they could help nudge me along if I get sidetracked.
- The treadmills can be very sketchy at reading the live heart rate, there seems to be no logic to when they cut out or if one treadmill is more reliable than the others. I’ve downloaded an app that I’m going to test drive that claims it gives a live view on the phone. Although, in writing this I now realise that I won’t be able to watch any live DJ Sets which really keep me going. Bugger. I guess I could take an iPad and iPhone, but jeez, way to look like a complete melt. Bottom line, how do I keep track of my heart rate without needing to glance at the watch constantly.
- Back on to strict low drinking. I’ve already had a kick start this week just gone and was only out on Friday for x3 drinks with Jess.
- More prehab / physio conditioning for my legs. This is going great and I’m keen to get as much as I can in to bolster up the running strength and be ahead of any injury risks. I might pop my routine up as a webpost here, the only issue is the visuals, I guess I could record myself doing them but that’s a bit cringe.
- In terms of body fat goals, it’s highly likely I’m getting into the really difficult stage very soon. I’ve been in the high 17% for a total of five days on and off at the point of writing this on 4th March. Realistically, I should be looking at ending March in the high 16%, stretch goal of making the low 16%/high 15%. Again, let’s see. It might just take a couple of months to get there depending on my body’s adaptation.
What have I learned?
- Prehab / physio / stretching at least three times a week is essential for strength and bolstering running performance.
- Even with a high quality diet and gut health foods I can’t avoid the damage even a low amount booze has on my gut condition.
- Tracking and planning my running session types will help prepare my legs for faster speeds as my cardiovascular performance improves.