In part one of this blog, I discussed my goals for 2013. Namely that I wanted to lead a fit lifestyle and not set such specific goals that might derail me if I did not see specific results. My philosophy is going to be “take care of my days”. (see part one for more)

While I did give a short background of myself and my challenges with leading a more fit lifestyle in part 1, I did not get very detailed regarding what my workout regimen has been in the past.

I, like many have fallen off the workout wagon many times. Sometimes my stretches of consistent workout will last for months other times less. I am not always sure what it is that knocks me off, but I have had that issue in the past. Obviously, a big part of staying true to my resolution is staying on the workout track. While working out is just a part of living healthy, I find it is probably the most important and here is why:

For me the two top challenges are working out consistently and food. And I find that on days when I work out (I usually do in the morning) the workout ITSELF is a motivator to eat better. I might still think hard about the calories I intake on a day with no workout, but in my mind…it winds up being different. Let me give you an example of the two mindsets:

The McDonald’s Hamburger

On a day with NO workout I see the McDonald’s hamburger (a total weakness btw) and I might think “That burger has 400 calories

I then may or may not eat that burger.

On a day WITH a workout I see the McDonald’s hamburger (still a temptation) and might think
That burger equals 20+ minutes on the treadmill

Many times the concept of “I just worked too hard on that treadmill” will keep me from that temptation.

Anyway back to my workouts.

I have never been a free weight or for that matter even a machine weight guy. This is something I home to explore more consistently in 2013. Mostly my workout consists of running, playing tennis, and playing/coaching hockey. Again part of 2013 will be to implement more than just cardio.

When it comes to my running I am different than most because I actually PREFER to run on a treadmill. I almost never run outside. There are really three main reasons for this.

1) I don’t have the best knees – The hard pavement is hard on my knees and that tends to make my runs shorter. Also it makes recovery more difficult which puts more time between runs which then leads to an opportunity to fall off the wagon.

2) I like to run in a vacuum – I like the idea that nothing else affects the performance of my run except my physical effort. There is no wind, hills (unless I want them) or diversions from a path due to things like construction. (Chicago has two seasons Winter and Construction) This makes comparing my runs over time much easier to do.

3) I am a math guy – I love being able to see the numbers right in front of my and figure out during my run am I ahead of my goal for the day, (allowing me to perhaps slow down a bit) or am I behind and how much so…how MUCH will hitting my goal get harder with each minute I do not speed up?

So while I have a good excuse this time (at least in my mind) I have not run (or really done much but coach my son’s hockey team) for the past two weeks. I had a pretty bad cold that lingered and was in my chest and so I felt running would be a bad idea. This was the longest I went this year without running so I wanted to get a new baseline. It is actually good timing with the New Year and my resolution.


Knowing that my first run back was likely to be difficult, I decided to try to go at what I consider my base speed (a speed at which you feel comfortable running for a decent amount of time, say 30 minutes) and I would go for 45 minutes if possible. By definition this should be possible, but again just coming off this hiatus.

I did make it as you can see from the two pictures of my workout review. So now my baseline is about a 9 minute mile for at least 45 minutes. My running goals moving forward when I am doing a regular run (not sprints or hills ect) will be to consistently improve on those numbers. So either lower the average mile time, increase the time, or a combination of both. Again with the numbers.

So why do I have two pictures here? Because it will allow me to have two different ways to look at my daily goal.

When I started my run I knew my pace would be ABOUT a 9 minute mile and I knew if I hit my goal time of 45 minutes I would be SOMEWHERE around 5 miles.

So in the first picture you see my goal measured in DISTANCE. I ran EXACTLY 5 miles in a time of 44:34 or in my mind a full 26 seconds better than my goal. SWEET!

treadmill runpart 2

The second picture shows you my goal measured in TIME. So I made it the 45 minutes and I was able to make it 5.05 miles OR .05 miles faster than expected.

treadmill run new years

So now, even though in reality they are similar, on my next run I can set a goal based EITHER on running longer or by running faster. (or both) I know that if I keep 45 minutes as the constant my goal should be to get further than 5.05 miles. If I keep speed as my constant, I want to try and go LONGER than 45 minutes. Either way I will then be setting a goal for the next run in a self-competition type way.

BTW-Notice in the 45 minutes I burned 802 calories?

I guarantee you after working that hard, that will NOT become 2 McDonald’s hamburgers.