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Getting back to routine

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm enjoying getting back to routine this week. I've got 2 workouts in so far on the bike, though neither was the 15 miles I was aiming for, 10 miles each is still pretty darned good. Dealing with some mild soreness in my thighs/quads, but nothing I can't handle. I've got one more bike workout on Saturday. Maybe I can hit the 15 miles then.

Tomorrow will hopefully be my first morning in the pool. I plan on starting out with some drills. This will likely be my only chance to get in the pool this week. Next week I'm aiming for 2 pool workouts, 3 bike sessions. Thursday nights will be an hour full-body ST class, and I'm going to try to do at least 1 other ST session for each area during the week. Once I get my biking up to par (within the first 2-3 weeks), I plan to drop that to 2 and swimming up to 3 sessions.

So one of the things I've been struggling with is calorie burn estimation and SP's calorie ranges. Based on SP's calorie burn estimators, I was burning 2000 calories a week with 2 ST, 2-3 bike, and 1 Zumba session(s). But the bike calorie burn estimator was showing way lower calorie burn than what SP or other online calculators showed. It used to not be an issue, but with all the extra exercise I'm throwing in, I want to make sure I'm getting the right amount of calories in to stay as energized as possible and still lose weight (albeit slowly). And the 1800-2000 calories a day to eat with just seemed crazy excessive.

So I bought a new toy. I'd been waffling over a FitBit, or a JawBone, or a BodyBugg...but with all the research, I realized that they focused mostly on steps taken. Which doesn't work so well if you're swimming or biking. And the JawBone does not have Android connectivity yet (BOO. That should be standard with the rising popularity of Android devices). I also didn't like the price of any of them. I'm also more focused on heart rate this time because I want to build endurance and heart health.

At the end of the day, I settled on this.

It's a Polar FT4. The wristwatch keeps track of heart rate, workout length, and calories burned. It connects wirelessly to an elastic chest strap/transmitter.

I will likely post a review after a few weeks of wearing it, but today was the first day I tried it out. For 45 minutes on the bike (roughly 10 miles), I burned about 424 calories and averaged a 146 heart rate (basically right in the middle of my workout range). Like I suspected, it was pretty much in the middle of the bike/SP calculations on calories burned.

So with that in mind, I readjusted a bit and now my calories to eat seem a little more realistic. Basically, if I get between 1500-1800 a day, I'm golden. Which sounds about right for me. Though with all this working out I am way hungrier than usual and will likely stick closer to 1800 for a while.

I did complete my first morning workout today. I've been doing them in the evening, but the pool is pretty busy at that time, and when trying to coordinate pool time, showers, and exercise times, the morning is the one time that I am consistently "free". So eventually just about everything will move to mornings. But I am NOT a morning person, so I can already tell this is going to be a struggle.

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    Congrats on the workouts! I think 10 miles is pretty impressive! At my peak the most I ever did was 13. Haha and I'm jealous you have pool access! That's the only form of exercise that I could do all day everyday with zeal, but I don't want to have to pay an exorbitant gym membership fee just to have access to one for a few hours in the day. Bleh!

    I totally know what you mean about the inconsistency of calories burned on pretty much any form of fitness! Whether I swim laps or do a steady progression on the bike, the numbers vary wildly from the machine itself to Spark to anywhere else on the net, and it's frustrating! Do you average them out? Go with the lowest to be safe? Arg! It's frustrating just to think about it, haha. Please do write a review of your new gadget! I would love to hear how it works for you and if actually helps relieve the aggravation of numbers haha.

    Hope you're having a great day today!
    1759 days ago
    I use a HR monitor as wellwhen I work out. I find the SP estimates to be way high so I adjust the minutes down to reflect what I actually burned. Is the FT4 water proof? I was thinking of getting a water proof HR monitor to use in the water.

    I'm following you on the bike, I got to 7 miles last night.
    1759 days ago
  • KIMBERLY19732
    Great post!
    I love to go to the local high school gym and do water aerobics. It 's mostly seniors so I totally feel like a babe-lol! I have not been in ages but I'm plannning to return at some point.

    I have found via tracking that I have to work to get enough protein. Calories are usually not hard for me :)

    FitBit doesnt always register my bike riding, but I'm loving it. I have not had a pedometer in a very long time but it has been so helpful. I know you'll love yours! emoticon
    1759 days ago
    Good on you getting back into routine!

    I'm a big, big gadget fan....can't live (or train) without 'em! The polar's are good HRM's....most of them should synch up with any bikes or ellipticals you use at the gym too.

    I've got a bodymedia fit core armband and I'm pretty happy with it. I use that one for the calorie burn estimate. Most everything are within 10-15% of each other, but I have noticed that the readout from the machines themselves are usually the least accurate...same with the heart rates they give you from the handholds.

    Good job and keep at it!
    1760 days ago
    Yay! I'm so glad you got the HRM! I can't wait to read your review. I have a watch HRM that is schizophrenic. Congratulations on keeping hold of that vine!
    1760 days ago
    You are on fire!!! Well done! You are doing great!
    1760 days ago
    I have to say, I was very disappointed in my bodybugg when it basically gave me nothing for biking, I'm guessing because it couldn't count steps? I've gotten away from wearing it, but I'll be getting back to it soon! :-)

    Sounds like you're on the right track, keep it up!
    1760 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1760 days ago
  • CHRISTINA006006
    I have been looking at that heart rate monitor too! Cant wait for your review!
    1760 days ago
    Biking and swimming...are you plotting a triathlon at some point?

    Seeing all the mentions (probably about ~95% positive) of various gadgets on spark people, I was amused to see a sign on the wall at my gym about how "heart rate monitors might not be accurate while using our cardio machines". I'm not saying yours isn't accurate, or casting doubt on the fitbits and bodybuggs in any way, but I have previously idly wondered how a step counter might translate the motion of an elliptical machine. Curious to hear your opinion of the FT4 after you've had it a while.
    1760 days ago
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