Monday, November 23, 2009

A running start...

Completed the 100 push up challenge... now what?

Now I want to improve my aerobic capacity. Which frankly stinks.

Looked at the Presidential Fitness statistics for a woman my age.


Apparently I can do more push ups than 95% of the women my age. Fair enough, most women have more sense than to try these challenge things. But what bothers me is the aerobics section. According to this site, 85% of the women in my group can walk a faster mile. Really?

I played around with the numbers trying to see what 50% of the population could do. It looks like they think 65% of the women in my age group can jog a mile and a half in 15 minutes. If my math is up to snuff, that means 65% of these women can run a mile in 10 minutes.

I don't think so. From what I've seen out there, there are two categories. The majority of women that I've seen out walking could stumble a mile in 15 minutes. There's also a slim (pun intended) minority who can run a mile in 7 minutes and then go on to run several more miles before breakfast.

In other words, I don't think these statistics have much to do with reality. It's frustrating, because I would like to find a measurement that I can compare myself to and judge my progress. I haven't wanted to measure how slowly I run because it would be a depressing number. Kind of like women who know they're overweight but don't want to go near a scale.

Exercise du jour: Back to the couch to 5k. I know, I know, I already did that once. But then I was trying to see if this body could actually go for 30 minutes at a time without suffering some kind of breakdown of the knees or ankles or sundry ligaments. Now that I know it can, and I've been walking several miles on a weekly basis, I figure this would be a good time to try to speed things up. Not just move faster than a walk, not just a slug-jog, but actually to run. I still don't think I'll ever be doing a 10 minute mile, but so long as it's getting my lungs working and my legs moving, it's good. I hope.

There are several different c25k schedules out there. The one below is the one I'm starting out with. I also just found this site, which links to a number of different music-based c25k podcasts. The run/walk times on these are slightly different, but I'm not sure if that matters all that much. So long as they're all geared toward the clueless and the out-of-shape, can't I get a good workout from any of them? We'll see.

Just don't want to do anything that involves my arms. Which are rather sore today.

Couch to 5k week 1 day 1 Brisk five-minute warm up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Fail on the jog/walk, but I did walk for 70 minutes, so I still get a star. Run tomorrow.


Tricia said...

Good luck, the C25K is a great program! The Robert Ullery podcasts that go with the program are a great help.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Those "averages" are complete horsesh#t!

Perhaps they mean the average score of people fit and motivated enough to take the test? Because very few adults can even run a mile and a half!

I wouldn't let these phony results discourage you. That's great that you're tackling cardio after your awesome success with pushups!

Ruth said...

I agree with Crabby in 2 ways:

1) BAH! to the average mile, etc. AND
2) Awesome you, if you can do that many pushups, you can do anything!

I jog/run about 3.5 miles 5 days a week, typically. The 1st half mile, I alternate walking and jogging to warm up. Then I jog the whole 3 miles or so left, alternating jogging with running. How hard/often withing the jogging I run depends on:

1) How snowy and icy it is. If it's pretty snowy and/or icy, I don't run as hard or as much.

2) How thrashed my muscles are from having run the day before, if I did it hard.

This seems to work well for me--some days I push myself really really hard, and others are pretty mellow. I think alternating like that is good.

Best of luck--I'm sure the program you're following will be just great!

McB said...

Stop comparing yourself to some mythological someone else. Stop. You ready know what needs work. And I have to tell you, those women who are supposedly jogging everywhere? They're all being treated for sports injuries. Because you aren't supposed to do that to your body. Get fitter - yay. But stop chasing numbers and statistics. They lie. Get in better shape, that's a good thing. Stop using somebody else's standard.

Alart. Literally a red alart.

Anonymous said...
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C said...

I'm an idiot--where are the stats on that website? Yes, I am trying to get a PhD but I can't navigate a website. Lordy...

The Merry said...

Hey Xenia! You need to enter your stats in the little box on the left-hand side, the one that's got stars by it. Once you enter in your data, it tells you how you compare with other people.

JavaChick said...

I always wonder if they take height into consideration when they talk about these statistics? Cause I'm pretty sure that with my short little legs it's going to take me longer than a tall person to cover the same distance. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Dr. J said...

I believe, "I can do more push ups that 95% of the women my age," also.

By the way, in my column I had the idea of chasing the turkey, but I figured I needed to leave out the bloody chopping the head off, so I decided not to go there :-)

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Merry! Thanks for your support with my column!

Mary :: A Merry Life said...

I'm with Crabby. Those averages are crap.

But yeah, its a good idea to improve, so go you!! The C25K is a great program. Good luck!