Saturday, July 07, 2012
On June 1st, I started a 30 day trial to experiment with sleeping 8h per day.
(Following the inspiration from Kriszta11.)
My conditions were:
- 8h, no matter what
- Preferably during the night, but I can catch up later during the day
- If not 8h on a given day, might add extra the next day to save it back
- Cannot stock sleep for the day ahead
- I do it for 30 days, and then decide what to do afterwards
I made a written contract for myself, and a tracking calendar, that I scotched next to my bed. I found an easy way to track the time spent sleeping during the day - I use a simple casio watch's stopper (15 USD - I got it from a friend as a gift).
I managed to sleep 8h almost every day. There were 3 days off, when I was on a conference, and our program was just too heavily charged. Start at 7.00am, and we were left to go to bed at 2300 in the evening. Of course, with shower, brushing teeth, changing clothes, some down time, etc. - 8h never fits in that.
1. My overall energy level increased tremendously
2. My after work head ache has gone
3. I am more active during the work day in general
4. I am more rested when back home after work, the recovery time is shorter
5. I learned to sleep with earplugs and eyeshades
6. When travelling, train, bus allows some extra sleeping time
7. My optimal time is around 7h20-7h30 minutes.
8. Sleeping exactly 8h can leave me more tired in the end
9. In general, the time lost by sleeping, is gained back by being more alive the other times
10. I eat less during the day - just less appetite
11. The saturday morning farmer's market under my window is not a challenge anymore - I just don't wake up, thanks to the earplugs
12. Earplugs also help me to sleep with the window open all night - fresh air is so much better (before I closed the window to cut out the noise of the square)
COULD BE IMPROVED
1. Fix time to go to bed at the same time of the day
2. Develop a go-to-bed routine, time it
3. I often wake up at night, would be interesting to experiment what influences this, and move towards sleeping the whole night trough
4. Optimise my sleeping cycle, to wake up at "refreshing" phases vs. "leaves me tired" phases
5. I tend to wake up at the same time in the morning, no matter how much sleep I had. To fit in enough sleep, I need to go to bed earlier.
6. One reason to stay up late is watching movies - probably shorter things, like TV series would fit better, to get the benefit of enjoying watching it, but not necessarily for 2+ hours.
7. I already don't drink coffee and coke after 3pm, but I should also limit exercise to max 3h before sleep. A decent evening run can keep me awake easily until 0200am.
If you want to try 8h sleeps, my recommendations:
1. Commit to do it over a periof of 30 days, no matter what
2. Set the start date, probably in a few days
3. Set the end date.
4. Prepare what you need to make it happen:
- earplugs (it took me 10 different brands to find a comfortable one: Macks silicone),
- eyeshades (the 3rd version was finally comfortable: Daydream B-1002),
- window covers,
- tracking calendar (self printed),
- new bed,
- calculate when you need to go to bed,
- which days will be hard
And get this done before you start, so when you have started, you have everything in place, and can focus on sleeping. Maybe allocate 30 min to prepare.
Stopwatch to track - I have about an hour to sleep for today to complete.
The Saturday morning farmer's market in Gleisdorf
Saturday, June 30, 2012
This is just a short check-in. It's very hot these days in Gleisdorf, and I have decided to shift my exercise to the morning.
A friend of mine is doing the exercises in the morning, and she said it energizes her for the day, and makes that "I've done something today already" feeling.
So, as the Saturday market kicked in under my window on Hauptplatz (Main Square), I decided to head out for a 30 min bike run. I like to include some variety to my rides if possible, and this time I took a path on the other side of the river, vs. I usually go.
Then I got further away, so I turned on the map to check where I'm heading, and looked for a circuit type of way back.
Then I arrived to a mountain, which was begging to be climbed.
Then I was in Weiz alrady, (15K approx from start), from where I new the road to home.
Then it became a 2h adventure.
It made me remember my time last year, when I made a similar trip with my bike. That was the time, when I started to do exercise. I mean exercise in general in my life, and I made a trip to Weiz. I was not exhausted that time, but it was the crown jewel exercise I made that week.
Now, a year later, a similar, longer ride, with hills, and some-off road, is just a fun thing to start the day.
How my perception of things can change.
Here's a hous that fulfills almost all my stereotypes of an Austrian house in the mountains. The only thing I miss is some grazing cows in the corner.
Monday, June 18, 2012
So, finally I made it to my Pose-training.
Saturday, full day, in Vienna Südstadt, 9 person and a trainer.
First we had an intro on theory, and then a video for the "before". Then many exercises and drills, and then a short run. In the afternoon again some theory, a new set of exercises, and run again, then a video for the "after". We also watched some top runners, like Usain Bolt - I was surprised that so many uses this technique.
Before the training, it took me 4 "frames" to arrive to the POSE-position, after the training, I was already at 1.5 "frames" (on the trainers video camera).
It feels different running with this technique. Lighter, faster, and natural in a way. Now, I am doing a lot of drills to learn-in the movements properly, so scaled down my distance to 500m only, but many times.
I was hesitating at the beginning, if its worth to do the training, I already watched the videos on youtube. But it turned out, it is helpful to have a trainer to set the right example, and correct the mistakes.
I was landing on forefoot, and leaning forward, which I thought is good in the POSE-technique, but apparently not. I should land on the ball of foot (or the whole of the foot), and keep straight.
The most important is in fact to PULL the leg - the less time it spends on the ground, the faster I get. A common mistake is to land on the heel, to push forward, or to lean forward.
Screenshot from my "after" video, in POSE, and some rain:
My next task is to buy the proper shoes, without cushioning and 0 mm heel-to-toe elevation.
So, all runners out there, all I can is encourage you to get a training in POSE, or one of the derived methods (Chi running, Natural running, Evolution running, Barefoot running, etc.).
It looks like the book, the video, helps, but the in person training really makes the difference. It takes time to learn the proper movement, it's more like learning the basic steps of a new dance choreography - it comes with practice and time.
Training: 160 Euro
Travel: 70 Euro
Shoes: 120 Euro
Speedropes: 40 Euro
Book: 26 Euro
Accomodation: 0 Euro (offered by a friend)
Total: 416 Euro
All in all, if I will run injury free, that's a good investment. Getting faster, is just a bonus.
Anyone using one of these shoes?
Any feedback or recommendation?
Inov8 f-lite 195
New Balance Minimus Road
Mizuno Universe 3
Saucony Typ A5
Nike Free 3.0
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Today, I decided to start the day with exercise, and then follow with the rest.
So, after sleeping 8h (6th day in a row!), had a few bites of breakfest, and headed out with my bike. I made a 35 min trip, moderate speed on my city bike (20 km/h), about 450 kcal burned.
I used this ride also to make a new round for running, it will be 12K lap, along forest (but asphalt road) and some villages, both with elevation and flat. It will be a really nice round. Maybe I'll try it in the evening.
Today is warm, so I feel first thirsty, then hungry, I pay attention to drink first, then eat. So far I'm in the budget, but if I want to eat more treats, I need to do more exercise.
Here's a pic from the bike ride:
Otherwise, I enjoy the many fruits of the summer!
Monday, June 04, 2012
I put in the title that now I'm back in Austria, to keep track. Maybe more for me, than for you.
I was always true to my 10 min exercise per day. Once I started last year, in May 2011, I always do it. Sometimes it's like borderline, and I have to re-label some of my activity during the day, when I am super tired, super travelled a lot, or just super low on energy. But it was always in. This gives some kind of strenghts to me, to know, exercise is always part of the day.
Today, I got back from work tired. I've spent all day in front of the screen, very focused, making a poster-presentation for next weeks R&D conference at our company. I have to some up all results from the last 1.5 year in a A2 page. What to put in, what to leave out, make nice graphics, deal with the Smart Chart wizard, and re-color the flat default colour templates installed by the IT department. I got up at 6:30pm from the chair, and I was surprised. I started at 9am. Inbetween, just a quick lunch, and then squeezing the thoughts into those powerpoint slides. How come I didn't even get up during the whole day?!
Back home, I just wanted to eat first. I was hungry already, since I eat regularly at 12:00 at work, I get hungry by the evening. On the way to home, I stopped by at the supermarket, and loaded my stock of fresh fruits.
> 1 kg of apricot (early ones, steel green, missed the sun)
> 1 kg of pear (that's lots of carbs)
> 2 kg of banana (it was so cheap)
> 2 huge cucumbers (low on cal, and high on fiber)
> a few cans of green beans French style (it's summer, but it was on sale)
> a head of lettuce (bio style)
> some bars of dark chocolate, Lindt 85% (this is not fruit, but goes with, I got and addict)
It was soooo good to eat lots of fruits. Somehow, since I'm a convert (it takes a couple of weeks to get the hang of this fruit'n' veg thing), I'm just craving fruits. Looking back, sounds crazy.
And then, I watched an episode of Nikita, then replied some e-mails. It was still raining, and my motivation to get out to do some exercise was hitting the floor. And it was still raining.
And then, I said to myself, ok, 10 min is not the end of the world, I can get wet in 10 minutes.
Then I got out, the music got me energized, and I did my usual short distance, 6K.
Now, I can get to grips to my current habit under development (inspired by Kriszta, thanks!), 8h a day to sleep. I started on 1st June, so far very good.
Here's a pic from my weekend Bike-Run-Bike sandwich near the river Raba.
How was your day?
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