4th November, 2009

New iPhone 3GS – iMapMyRun

My cell phone provider just released their new GSM network and iPhones today so I ran out and replaced my old Treo.  I’m not an Apple fan boy – but I love this phone.  The Treo pretty much sat in my drawer and was charged only when I went out of town.  Anyhow – I digress.

The first app I installed on the phone once I got home was the free – and I immediately !   I have to say this app is great, I love it!  Now all my runs (and eventually my rides) will be tracked and mapped.   The site shows average speed, distances, start and end time.  You can also optionally enter your average and max heart rates for the workout if you login afterwards and edit the workout.  The iPhone app also has functionality to tweet or update your Facebook account with your completed workout information.

The only problem I had was when trying to save my route from the 3G network when the run started while the phone was connected to my wireless.  The app would crash, but once inside if you start the app again it would let you save the run no problem.

There is also a paid version of the application that lets you control the iPod from within the iMapMyRun app.  With the free app you have to quit the iMapMyRun app to change songs – then start it up again and resume the existing workout.  Or, just have a nice long playlist.

31st October, 2009

Halloween II

This year, we’re !  I have three bags of tasty little treats.  And you know what, I’m eating some too!  (Well a couple of them anyhow).

I bought the candy this afternoon – it was nothing short of a miracle that I was able to find some.  One lucky child around 8pm will be getting everything I have left dumped in his or her bag.  Not gonna be keeping this crap for around for more than tonight.  Or I will probably =)

12th October, 2009

First circuit workout done

Man.  That kindof kicked my ass.  I went into it looking at these and figured this would be cake.  I was totally wrong – even with 45 seconds between each exercise that kicked my ass.   I can see why these circuit based workouts work!

I made it through the entire thing and after eating I’m feeling great.  The change of pace was SO NICE.

Thanks !

9th October, 2009

First set of circuit workouts from Phat Training

Brandon from sent over my first set of workouts.  I’m pretty stoked to start them next Monday.   Basically there are three days of circuits (Mon/Wed/Fri) and two days of general cardio (Tues/Thurs) which I will fill with running/cycling.     Saturday and Sunday off to recover.

The are an interesting concept.  Basically, you do a burst of intense exercise for a specified amount of time, then a short rest.  The trick is to not let your body actually recover between the circuits.  Circuits should cover the entire body rather than focus on just one area.

My initial instructions are to start with a 5 minute run on the treadmill. 

  • Week 1  30 seconds on, 45 seconds rest two times through
  • Week 2  30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest two times through
  • Week 3  45 seconds on, 30 seconds rest two times through 
  • Week 4 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest three times through

Each circuit is made up of 9 exercises each one focusing on one part of the body.   The the videos on the provided web portal are short and to the point – about 10 seconds long and they show how each exercise works.

After I’ve worked up to the week 4 schedule – it will probably stay at least at that level.  At that point, each set will take about 9 minutes.  Multiply that by three, add some padding, and the five minute run and the circuit based workouts will take roughly 35 minutes.   Tues/Thurs I’ll fill with my usual ~3 mile run or ~6 mile ride which also takes about 30 minutes.  That should be pretty easy to fit into a lunch break with a shower and some time to make lunch and eat!

I’ll let you know how Monday goes – I’m really looking forward to the added variety to my exermacizes.

5th October, 2009

Phat Training!

I’ve been struggling with the running for a while.  Pretty much the way I do things is I take something new and go with it.  Over and over.  Then I get .

A few weeks ago I contacted Brandon at .  He’s my wife’s cousin, and I saw him talking about being a fitness coach on Facebook.  Today, after a little back and forth, I met with him at his studio.  I explained to him what I’ve been doing and he suggested their program. 

It’s perfect for me – 35 bux a month and he gives me updated workout plans once a month or so, weekly calls to check in with me and answer any questions I might have.  The Phat Online website has videos showing how to do each of the exercises.  This should make working out at home, or at the office, or even on the road in a hotel a lot easier.  Good workouts – no gyms!

It also includes a subscription to – an online meal planner.

I’m pretty stoked to get some more variety into my exermacize…can’t wait to see what Brandon has for me.

2nd October, 2009

A new addiction – cappuccino

I spent last weekend in Montreal on a business trip.  It was a good trip, stayed with an old friend and got to meet his new babby!   Managed to avoid the wine for the most part =)

Sadly, I was introduced to a new form of caffeinated awesome.  Espresso based beverages – cappuccino in particular.  Since I’ve been back I’ve been running out every morning and buying a quad shot of skim milk foamed goodness.  I can’t stop, some days I’m going twice!

So a warning to you all – don’t take a hit from the espresso crack pipe, its turning out to be more expensive than smoking was!  But oh so good….

27th August, 2009

Fructose is an evil poison and could be killing us

Found a great video of explaining the dangers of our food supply being poisoned by the addition of fructose to damn near everything.  His argument is that the addition of fructose and reduction of fiber is the cause of the North American obesity epidemic.  This video is an hour and a half long – but it is very much worth investing the time to watch it.

He goes into great detail (right down to biochemical reactions involved) exploring the differences between glucose (the sugar we want) and fructose. 

Some of the key points I took from this video is that consuming X calories of fructose versus the same number of calories from sucrose (table sugar) the fructose calories will result in more fat creation than the sucrose.  Fructose is a carbohydrate that is metabolized like fat.  Fructose, like alcohol is a toxin.  Sheesh.

After watching this video I started looking at the labels of a lot of the foods I have in the kitchen.  It seems this stuff has made it into damn near everything – even the “healthy” products have it.

Around 1:11 into the video Dr. Lustig talks about exercise and why its important with regard to obesity.  It increases the efficiency of your muscles use of insulin.  Exercise is your body’s natural stress reducer – which helps reduce your appetite.  The most important thing I think pertaining to the topic of fructose is that exercise can help burn off the fructose before it gets saved to fat and starts causing all the different kinds of fun explained in the lecture.  Given that it seems almost impossible to avoid exposure to fructose – this is key.

Wikipedia has some additional info on the .  I’m going to be keeping my eye on this subject – and watching the ingredients lists more closely.

5th August, 2009

Lock that bike up…

One of my friends was telling me a story recently about how his bike was stolen.  He was working around the side of his house and he left the garage door open.  Someone walked into his garage and rode off with his bike.  Broad daylight, and he was only a few feet away!

Ask the and he will tell you that bike theft is huge.   Ben from set me up with a couple of quality U locks, and a heavy duty cable.  

The cable is really handy, it lets me lock the rear and front wheels as well as loop through the frame a few times without taking my bike apart or using multiple locks.

Some locks (Kryptonite does) will also offer insurance if your bike is stolen due to lock failure.  Make sure you read the fine print though, this offer only applies if you fill out a form and send in money – mine wanted another twenty dollars.  Various locks have various covered amounts too – so if this is something you’re interested in make sure you buy the lock with the appropriate coverage.

So please, if you invest any amount in a bike – don’t cheap out on the lock.  Kryptonite has some good points on , as does McMaster University !

31st July, 2009

New Bike! StumpJumper FSR

I’ve been wanting to get a bike for a while now.  The number one reason is I just need more variety.  I really enjoy running, its one of the best, and easiest cardio workouts there is but doing the same thing over and over – even if you change up your routes can get old.

Today we went down to and Ben helped me find a great deal.  A pre-owned, but  “executive driven”

I chose to go with an full suspension bike.  I’m wanting to get into off-road riding.  I’m thinking I also want to get into .  I chose Specialized for two reason.  First, I used to ride one long long ago back in the ski racing days.  Second with the full suspension the Specialized Brain Fade controller lets the suspension differentiate between the inertia of pedaling versus the shock of an actual bump.   As I understand it, with other full suspension bikes you lose a lot of your pedaling energy to the suspension.

My wife fell in love with a red “Cruiser” when we were there. Hah it has three speeds, a leopard print seat, and leather tassels =)  We’ve already gone on a leisurely ride around town.  She’s not very good on hills, maybe we can get her doing “healthy nurse”.

I’m looking forward to my first “workout length” ride on Monday.

5th June, 2009

MapMyRun – plan and track running routes

A friend of mine tipped me off to and how awesome it is for planning routes for both cycling and running.   MapMyRun adds a ton of functionality on top of .  First off the site is dedicated to running.  There is a ton of information to be found on the site.  From tips and forums to a calendar of running events around the world.

Once you create an account you can start planning and mapping routes.  Using GMaps you digitize the routes segment by segment and the distance is calculated and tracked.  Workouts can be logged and related to routes.  You can share your routes/workouts with friend, or make them public if you choose.

Keep in mind if you do plan to make your routes and workouts public that its not the best idea to have them start and end at your home.  Too much information given out on the internets these days..

They also offer a both a free and paid iPod Touch/iPhone app – but this works best with the GPS. Sadly, my iPod touch is lacking in the GPS department.  The primary difference between the free and the paid app is the ability to control the iPod without closing the iMapMyRun app.