Exercise again

I can’t bring myself to post about the latest manoeuvring for numbers in the Parliament, and nothing much is going to happen on policy until that’s all resolved. So, since exercise seems to be one of the topics in which nearly everyone is interested (and there are lots of other blogs devoted to the topic on which *everyone* is interested), I thought I would expand on my last post. That post made it seem as if I’m focused on running, but actually I try for a more diverse portfolio
* Group training, three or four times a week
* Running, 5k or so, twice a week, mostly on treadmill or soft surfaces. I was running further and on hard surfaces but cut back when I started getting knee pain
* Cycling, 20-30km, once or twice a week, plus riding into work intermittently
* Swimming, 500m-1K, two or three times a week
That seems to be enough to keep my muscles a bit sore most of the time, but to avoid obvious injury to my joints. Following some problems a few months ago, I’ve been getting some useful advice from my physiotherapist and a sports podiatrist on how to avoid knee injuries from running.

22 thoughts on “Exercise again

  1. Ok Prof- its time to up the swimming. If you can manage 500 to a K X 3 per week – aim for a K and half – that should take half an hour on good day – 3 times a week.
    Here is the routine for a 25 m pool (Ill have to change it to suit a 50m pool). 400m warm up divided into 1. 1 X 200 and 2 X 100m. then 6 X 75 kick (must have swim fins and board). total 700m. Now a nice 150 of swim walk to relax. Then 650m like this..250, 200,150,50 or reversed with the last two laps in each part formstroke ie your choice of any stroke except freestyle. 15 secs rest between each minor and 30 seconds rest between each major.

  2. ever thought of Pilates?

    i did a six month stint (sore muscles? for the first three weeks.)

    the instructors asked for info about injuries or medical conditions and suited idividuals to relevent excercises.

    worked my way into it–twice a week for first month then slowly up to every day for last three months.

    dropped 10 k and didn’t change the way i ate.

    mind you there was a 20 min bike ride there and back.

    that was six months ago and the muscle tone is only now starting to show how slack and lazy i’ve been since.

    i’m going back.

    ps. Pilates instructors can’t count.

  3. Neither can swimmers count – my maths is still out of whack. Thats a 1.65k swim (Prof you can cut 50 fom your warm up and 50 from from the swim walk) and the last 50 is a bonus go slow two laps swim down…over your 1.5K swim. Let me know when you do it! Ill give you another set!

  4. Swimming is good exercise, but if you are trying to keep flab off, some people think swimming may not be so helpful because swimming in cold water may increase appetite as laying on blubber is one way the body adapts to cold. Going the other way and increasing the amount of heat your body has to deal with by not using air conditioning may be a way to lose fat. Note however that increasing global temperatures make it more likely that not using air conditioning during a heat wave will result in dying.

  5. Sounds like a fun regimen – you beauty.

    It’s true blubber is a cold water aid and an endogenous flotation device so swimming normally doesn’t trim fat, but swimming is a gorgeous thing to do so who cares?

    Pilates good, yoga and taiji good, Feldenkrais and Alexander technique and dance classes all good …. it’s all good today, apparently 🙂

  6. JQ,

    Sounds like a pretty good mixture of activities there.

    My only question – how do you find the time? That’s a minumum of 8 sessions per week.

  7. I try to do (and usually do in fact) a session every day. On the weekend, I usually do something early in the morning and aim for another session later in the day (but I don’t always get round to the second one).

  8. Lift some weights or do some bodyweight exercises to maintain or enhance strength and muscle mass. I also think it helps with the fat burning and with increasing metabolism if it’s intense enough.

    No need to go into meathead territory for this. I only lift once or max twice a week nowadays and basically only do barbell deadlifts and the occasional benchpress. Squats are useful too but you really have to do them right or they’re tough on your knees. I used to do squats but I do deads with better form.

    Other than that, I do lots of push ups, sit ups and pull ups. You can follow your running with pullups and then run some more if you find a nice park along your route with equipment.

  9. And if I may spruik the virtues of deadlifts further
    1) it’s the perfect, most economical weight bearing exercise. it’s doing something that should come naturally to anyone (i.e. picking something up off the ground) and it hits all the major muscle groups at once so no need for silly isolation exercises.
    2) it strengthens your back, you’ll never put it out again (unless you do so by doing the deadlift itself with improper form so it’s important to do it right)
    3) it trains you how to pick heavy stuff off the ground without putting out your back
    4) you do martial arts – it’s good for building explosiveness around the core.

  10. I need to get back onto weights – I’m in the process of moving and my weights are down in the garage in a state of confusion.

  11. I’m hoping if I uplift them enough, they’ll enlighten me (while also embiggening me in the right spots).


    If my earlier suggestion of Zen-exercise sounds too taxing, you could try Audax. Audaxing – which is French for ‘stupidity’ – is a form of long distance cycling, the ultimate event being the famed Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP)1200km randonnee, for which you’ve got three-and-a-half days. As macho masochistic meathead mentality manifestations of masculinity go, PBP is sufficiently pointless to rate highly.

    I did my first PBP in 2007, and followed up last year with Sydney-Melbourne Alpine 1200. And yes, my butt is still sore. Anyhow, Audax is probably not for everyone, but for pointy-headed nerdy type policy wonkists, it provides plenty of time for cogitation and theorising.

  13. @Tom N.
    There could be far worse things than having sore knees (sore bum for years)…anyway I have a modification for the Profs swimming set (and Prof as a natural counter…you can do all sorts of imaginative things in a 1 K swim BTW. Lots of people think swimming is boring because they just go up and down on their own at the same pace every time…..you can break set up anyway you like…mix different speeds / strokes / counting / rest breaks in.
    eg…the first lap of say 100 at fast pace followed by 2 moderate then an easy ie slow lap (Give yourself 4 different paces – fast – solid – moderate and easy and mix em up). One fast distance usually equals two or three moderate or easy (recovery) at my age… Dont bust your boiler!
    Also some hypoxic work is fun eg a few 75s breathing every 3,5 and 7th armstroke throughout (must be a bilateral breather or its every 2,4,6th).

  14. Ah John, it takes me back to when I was super fit. I competed in the King of the Mountain at Wycheproof, Vic, 2 years in a row back in the ‘olden days’ of the early 80’s. While training for that I was playing Squash 4 times a week and lifting weights twice a week.

    They called me Mr Fitness at the squash club. But everything’s better when you’re fit. Eat! God did I eat but never crap because the whole state of super fitness brings you in tune with your needs. Your body tells you if you need a feed of eggs, or steak, or fruit and you learn to trust the urges. Have a day off and you’re not as hungry but itching to do something. Work hard and you eat like a horse and sleep like a baby.
    I never achieved a resting heartrate of 45 which a former rugby player assured me was his average but it was generally around the 50 which was a pretty good feeling.

    Anyway, good luck to you John and enjoy it while you can. You are 6 weeks younger than I am so you really are doing an amazing thing. Hope you can enjoy the benefits of fitness to your sex life!

  15. Salient re the sex life spin offs from exercise….what if your other half isnt quite as fit and bursting with new energy and serotonins ?- super fitness by one partner could be a recipe for marital disharmony… where the less fit partner secretly looks forward to the fit ones tapering programme.

  16. Alice, your mathematically complex swimming regime may be OK for the Prof, but most of us struggle to keep count as the long black line passes beneath. Remember there are three kinds of economists – those who can count and those who can’t! My regime – I do a 500 k warm up, pause for a few minutes to contemplate how I could have been a champion, then do a 500 k warm down. The other week I cycled 4 hours from Brisbane to Gatton to give a 2 hour class and then cycled back – a time-weighted benefit-cost ratio of 0.25, though there may be intangible benefits I haven’t counted. Jogging has too high an impact factor for me, and I’m not talking about journal ratings. Leonard Cohen sums it up: “All my friends are gone and my hair is grey. I ache in the places where I used to play …”

  17. @Marginal Notes
    The mathematical routine really does make it less tedious though its probably a placebo effect. Instead of facing 60 laps of a 25m pool to get a 1.5k swim out – its broken into digestible bits and is simply less tedious less daunting. There is, as you note well, one downside to swimming – you can get so hypnotised lapping along that black line your brain blurs so you cant seem to even manage simple maths… its well known in swimming circles. If you cant remember whether its the 6th or 8th lap you are swimming…you have to do two extra laps as punishment for forgetting. That tends to mitigate this problem.
    Love your warm up warm down approach Marginal. Increasingly I hate the F word (fast).

  18. Salient Green, if you “eat but never crap” is that sustainable?! Or is this another case of a missing comma? (You can tell I’m marking assignments – I should get back to it!)

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