Saturday, June 21, 2014

The 15 Hour Prescription

So as I stated in my last post, I have put on 15 pound over the last couple of months.  But that really doesn’t do justice to the 40 pounds I have put back on over the last 3 years.  To put this into context,  8 years ago I weighed over 265 pounds.  A year later, I weighed what I weigh now, 220 pounds, and the following year I was down to a very comfortable 177 pounds.

That was 2009 when I ran my first half marathon and marathon.  At 177, I weighed what I did as a junior in high school and I never thought I would be at that weight again.  I was able to keep at that weight for three years that is until life stepped in 2011.  It was later that year that I lost my job of 12 years due to organizational restructuring.    This is also the year that I saw my half marathon PR, and after my times began to creep up.  Stress, changes in schedules and lack of motivation all contributed to the weight gain.

So when I posted my “May Goals” it was really to jump start my motivation.  I had already been off for a month and was suffering some sort of leg pain.  I later had it diagnosed as a Lymphatic channel infection.  Go figure.  Well, through more water on any motivation that was left.

So now it is time for a new goal…..  

I am not talking about a race, even though there is something on the schedule and something that I am eying.  

So looking back at my stats from 2008 to 2011 there is something that is very telling.  During this time, I averaged 15 hours of exercise.  Hmm…that is an average of over 2 hours of exercise a day.  This consisted either of commute by bicycle or running.  And yeah, there were 5 marathons during that time that were trained for to bump up that average; however, even when factoring that in it makes sense why I was so lean.

Yep, during that time I was also very focused on my running mileage, with the average non marathon training schedule being around 32 mile per week.  The commute was just a bonus since that while I knew it was helping, I couldn’t directly correlate it with my running. However, when you add it up to the greater whole, yes it did factor.

When you think that on average I would end up burning around 500 to 700 calories on the 5 day commute and anywhere between 700 to 2,000 calories on any given run (an average of 4 a week) you can see that at 15 hours of exercise I was burning roughly between 5000 to 9,000 calories a week.

Now for comparison, over the last three years I have found that if  maintain 8 hours of exercise I will pretty much maintain my weight.  I can even play around with reduced calories, macro nutrients ratios, etc, but that doesn’t seem to affect the weight gain or loss.

So long story short, my goal is to work up to the 15 hour goal.  I am calling it my 15 hour prescription.  

Basically, if I am motivated enough, I can easily the first 6 hours through commuting.  I say motivated, it means riding no matter what – wind, heat, rain, no matter what.  This requires 5 days a week riding.

The remaining 9 hours will be tougher.  I can run at lunch; however, I am limited to 1 hour during lunch.  So,  I would have to find a way to get the remaining 4 hours, which would be fine if I was training for a marathon; however in a normal .    So it is time to be creative.

As with most goals, I am not saying that next week I will be instantly at 15 hours; however,  it will be something I will be building on.  And to keep me on track, and accountable, I will be posting my results on a weekly basis.  Let’s see if this new strategy pays off.

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