Archive for July, 2008

Biking and Ellipticating

July 30, 2008

I did another serious workout today. Started on the elliptical for 30 minutes and did 410 calories, while keeping the strides per minute up around 140. Again it was the interval setting, with resistance of 8 and 12. It was a good sweaty event that seems to me like it should be called ellipticating since it isn’t really running. 

My wife got a terrible side ache just after we started the weights so we came home before we were done. Once we decided she was actually ok, I went for a bike ride to finish the day. I live on a hill so it isn’t the right course for my race. I had to ride up to the top where there is a plateau and zig zag all over the place to add it all up to 12 miles. With so many hills it is a little tougher. I did the ride in 48:25 which is exactly one minute longer than the flat ride I did on vacation. But this was less than an hour after the other workout. I did an hour and 18 minutes of very tough heart rate over 140-150 aerobic working out tonight. This is actually getting close to how much time I will be spending on the course during my triathlon so I am excited I can do so much now.

I averaged just under 15 mph and I found a website calculator that seems to give you some high numbers for things, so I like it. This website says a bike ride of 14-16 mph burns 1032 calories an hour for a clydesdale such as myself anyway, which is just over 800 for the 48 minutes. It also says the elliptical is 1109, but the precor was only telling me it was around 900. I think the bike is a bit more, not less, as the wind helps cool you down and let’s you go at it just a teency bit harder. Another website is very near 1000 if you extrapolate to my weight. The funny thing about this one is all the various descriptions of the exersion on the bike. So apparently, I am not racing, I am only doing vigorous exercise. I don’t qualify as racing until I hit 16 mph. I guess this explains why I will be finishing in last place for the men.

My stevivia showed up today so I am going to go make my “famous” chai tea. Famous in my own mind, I just love the stuff. So I gotta run now.

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Workout and South Beach Diet and Stevia Update

July 29, 2008

Workout

Over the weekend I got a new best time again for the 500 and 100 yards of swimming, 14:37 and 1:55. So for those keeping track this is only 3 seconds and 6 seconds better, respectively, but this was after I did my toughest workout yet. I do the swimming last out of convenience, which just has to be dropping my times a bit. I burned 405 calories in 30 minutes on the adaptive motion precor, then did my weights. This adaptive motion thing, if you haven’t seen it, is very strange looking. It reminds me of one of those machines you strap into and then start walking around looking a tad robotish. But the ones from the movies that are big enough to pick up cars and stuff (yeah that is right the science fiction ones). So, it is like an elliptical, but your stride length is variable, you can go all out strides or you can do like you are climbing up stairs. I felt like I had a little too much weight on the front of my feet and one foot even started to get numb so I don’t think I will be using it much, I try and get a fast stride and the best I could do was about 110 per minute. With the eliptical I can push it and get to 140 and holding at 120 is about the same as 100 on the adaptive motion thing as far as percieved effort is concerned. I find these machines very easy to work out hard and keep the heart rate up. So it will help me with the cardio improvements I am looking for, but obviously I will need to incorporate some real treadmill and pavement if I am going to get practice for the triathlon.

South Beach Diet

I have it set now. I will commit. (You thought I never would didn’t you?) I will be going on the SBD phase 1 this Saturday for 1 week for sure and if I don’t get too tired then will extend it to 2 weeks. Once finished with phase 1 then I will move to phase 2, then I will stay on the SBD phase 2 until my triathlon. So I am commiting to 3 weeks at this point in time. I hope to get some weight off to make the triathlon a bit easier. I have no idea how much I will lose while working out at the same time. I would imagine that it won’t be quite as fast as before only because it was probably water and muscle before. This is the real SBD test with workouts as far as I am concerned.

Stevia Update

So I got an email from Sweetleaf back that answered some of my questions. So I will share that. See my post and the comments I added if you are not familiar with what I am refering to. Sweetleaf stevia is not a crude extract, although it seems as though it would vary some by plant quality. This is what they told me:

Our new sweetener product is called SweetLeaf Sweetener and is 98-99% pure sweet glycosides, of which 40.5% to 70% are rebaudioside A. There are many different sweet glycosides and even various rebaudiosides; “Reb A” tends to be the sweetest in the context of the other glycosides in its natural state. Our processing also includes the removal of the leaf elements that give bitterness, which allows the fresh sweet taste of the glycosides, including Reb A, to come through more purely and vibrantly.

Our Sweetener extract is produced very differently from our dietary supplement, although the dietary supplement has been a fine product and the stevia leader in the marketplace. In the sweetener, only purified water touches the stevia leaves in extraction. Our new Sweetener has achieved the GRAS(Generally Recognized as Safe) designation by adhering to the highest standards set forth for safety and purity in plant constituents and processing for stevia by all scientific monitoring bodies worldwide. Ours is the first and to date only GRAS stevia sweetener. There is no aftertaste; there is only a sweet, enjoyable taste. We do not need to add any ingredient to the extract to make it taste better. We do add a pro-biotic natural soluble fiber to the packets as a carrier to make it easier to use. People tend to use too much with the pure extract. And the fiber is good for you, too.

Cargill/Coca-Cola product, Truvia, as well as Sweatleaf is GRAS by the FDA now. Generally recognized as Safe (GRAS) means they can sell it as a sweetener, put it in drinks, whatever they want. So we are going to see a lot of it in the coming months. It will take a few months to get people to notice this new sweetener is available as an alternative though. It is still not in my neck of the woods on the shelves.

So the one item now that I am greatly interested in is the bulking up agent they use to make it easier to use and measure. Truvia is using erythritol, while sweatleaf is using a pro-biotic natural soluable fiber. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that does not have the same side effects of other sugar alcohols that cause trouble in the large intestines because it is absorbed before it gets there. Here is an excerpt from an abstract:

Erythritol administered orally to humans was rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and quantitatively excreted in the urine without undergoing metabolic change. At high oral doses, urinary excretion accounted for approximately 90% of the administered dose with minimal amounts appearing in the faeces. A comparison of the human and animal data indicated a high degree of similarity in the metabolism of erythritol and this finding supports the use of the animal species used to evaluate the safety of erythritol for human consumption. It can be concluded, based on the available studies that erythritol did not produce evidence of toxicity. 

Erythritol is a sweetener itself, it is just less sweet than sugar. The combination of a sweetener that is not as strong as sugar makes some sense as a bulking agent as long as the alcohol sugar does not cause trouble. 

The pro-biotic soluable fiber that sweetleaf uses sounds like a good idea to me. It is soluable so it will disolve into drinks, and this is the same type of fiber that people buy on it’s own and take as a health benefit, so it seems to make good sense to add it to a product that is trying to be a healthy sweetener.

I will reserve any further comments on which one is better until I have the ability to taste some of this stuff. I ordered a trick HD video camera and this stevia last week, so if the UPS guy drives by my house not leaving me anything and I see him, he may get attacked. I am seriously jonesing for these things to show up.

Triathlon – How the Race Works

July 27, 2008

So check out a couple of videos on triathlons in the world cup series that are leading up to the Olympics if the thought of a triathlons is just interesting you can see the “crazies” performing. (ok they are actually called “elite”)

To watch the best woman one, the crazy women, check out the Tiszaujvaros link which is the city in Hungary and then click on the top video in the list which is the women link, the second one is the mens. It was hot that day. This course has some weird double transistions that have people running around barefoot after the bikes, I thought that was a bit strange. If you know nothing of triathlons, you might think it strange the way they do things in transitions, they always have a bunch of rules to keep injuries down, so you will see them only running their bikes in the transtition zone for example. You get disqualified for breaking the rules.

http://www.triathlon.org/?call=TWpreg==&keep=sh

I want to be clear, this is not my class of performance. I would take two times longer to finish a race than these guys or even the gals. But, I guess the weird thing about me is that I would think it was fun to try.

So if you watched the video I suggested you would see that woman that was totally dehydrated and couldn’t but barely make it to the finish with a goofy gate that makes your stomach go queasy. That right there is why the swimming leg is first and not last. Much less likely to have to save people from a drowning.

Here is how the triathlon works:

First, you go swim, totally wearing yourself out, stumble to the bikes and get you shoes and gear. Now all the crazies work on these transitions to get them to seconds, but the one triathlon I did, I just took my time cause my fingers, toes, lips, head, arms, legs, and skin were blue and very cold from the lack of wetsuit and the cold water. I was prepared to go fast before, but when I was actually there I just wanted to get out of there so people would quit staring at the slow last guy and wonder what in the hell compelled this guy to race timing was not part of my cares. So after you stumble your bike out of the transition zone you hop on and go for it. Now bike racing is weird cause you need to ride in groups to cut down on energy spent due to wind drag. I did a mountain bike course and many times the race organizers just make this illegal to draft so they don’t have to worry about the injuries. I have a hybrid mountain bike so I won’t be doing anything special anyway. I figure I don’t deserve a nice new racing bike until I prove to myself that I can do this for more than one race every 5 years. They don’t use this no-draft rule with the crazies though so you wind up with everyone racing in groups like a real bike race in those videos. Next you get off the bike and run. The bike shoes racer’s use have the clips, so there is a change of shoes. But I don’t have this issue cause I don’t have clips on my bike. I just hop off, toss the helmet and start running, er sort of running anyway. You know the fastest version of foot transportation that I can muster might be considered a walking speed to the crazies.

Anyway, these videos were of a course that is much longer that mine, but I will have about the same finish time in mine. I will be swimming 500 yards, biking 12 miles, and running 3 miles. I could not hope for times in minutes better than 12, 45, and 40 plus 2-3 minutes for transitions. Therefore my goal that I cannot reach would be 1h 40m, so I hope to finish by 1h 45m as a realistic shot if all goes well. Which with a quick check of the early race this year would put me in , yeah thats right last place for the men, but only by seconds. So my goal is to not be the last guy. If that doesn’t work out I will have to beat some of the women, there were many more and the times were more spread out so I know can do this. I think women are more often just doing these races for fun, and the guys in them are mostly more competitive.

I need to get a good 3 mile time to see how close I am to the 40 minutes. Maybe new shoes are in order too, I love shopping for new super-light running shoes. Sometimes I wonder about myself, that is not supposed to be a guy trait I don’t think.