Folks, I was bad last night. After the shovel and the snow plow had opened us to the outside world, we loaded up the kids, went to a restaurant, and pigged out like ... pigs. I ate a rib-eye steak, five shrimp, mushrooms, salad, and even an appetizer. If the table had a tablecloth, I probably would have eaten that too. I felt like such a bloated sack when I got home, I decided I would exercise - even though it was an off day.
I thought I'd use my fancy treadmill in new ways and decided to do a cardio program. So, I attached a belt around my chest right under what I will charitably call my pecs - the same pecs which I have on occasion called man boobs. And it turned out that the treadmill isn't very good at maintaining my heart rate in a given zone. It overshoots high and undershoots low, over and over again like it was programmed to avoid the zone which I targeted. Then I set it to manual. I worked out for an hour total. Here is what I learned:
1. At a speed of 3.3 mph and an incline of 3%, my pulse is steady at 126; at 4% it hovers around 135.
2. Shin burn is more a function of walking speed rather than inclination angle, at least for me. It's kind of disappointing to think that I can't even walk fast without shin burn. I remember walking fast to college classes and having it happen, so this has always been a skill of mine.
3. At the end of a five minute jog at 4.5 mph, my pusle seems stable at 161. I only did the five minute jog after 55 minutes of warming up, but I shouldn't have run on an off day.
4. I like the wireless heart rate measuring thing - and no, not just because it lifts and separates.
5. Massage works. I mashed my lower legs vigorously, probably a half dozen times over the next half hour and this morning my calves and shins feel peachy.
I've taken it easy today, and I will most likely do some cardio-level walking on the occasional C25K off-day. But, it was not a good idea to run on my off day. I gave my bones a little extra cheese and yogurt, so hopefully they will stay happy. (Do bones really like cheese and yogurt, or is it just me?)
Until my cardio performance improves, I'm going to jog at the reduced speed of 4.5 mph because I don't need my heart going up to 185 beats per minute. If at any point, I can't even do 4.5 mph with a reasonable heart rate, I will have to repeat weeks until I can.
Someone tell me when my cardio will get into shape! I haven't found squat on the web as far as rates of improvement goes.