Škodabike marathon 2012

April 28th, 2012 by UFO in Czech Republic, Health

Today I attended the event called Škodabike marathon 2012. It was a mountain bike race in the hills and forests near Ostrava, CZ. The weather was excellent, the heat wave that had come two days ago, served us almost 30 degrees in shade.

The start was on the main street in Poruba. About 600 people attended the race, so it was pretty crowded near the start line. First kilometre we rode behind a police car that escorted us to the outskirts of Poruba, where the real racing began.

Map of the race. Interactive version is here.

The race course was very hilly. On the total distance of 38 km there were 930 height metres of ascent (see the activity log for details). I knew most parts of it, because I rode through the area many times, but several parts were totally unknown to me.

The bike race was a new experience for me. I was not racing against other people (although I liked overtaking) nor time, but against myself, to find out, whether I can make it or not. I am happy I did. I am still waiting for the official results, but if I recall correctly, my time was 2:09:41.

My runkeeper activity page ->

ŠKODABIKE 2012 homepage (in Czech) ->

My journey to fat loss

April 7th, 2012 by UFO in Health

Graduating from the university was an important milestone in my life, especially because it significantly lowered my stress level and gave me free time and opportunity to exercise. And after almost two years of doing nothing except working, studying, eating and sleeping it felt great to do something else, outside on the fresh air.

I have created a runkeeper profile and started logging my activities (bike and first experiments with running). After I had logged a few of them, it became a habit and also motivated me to keep trying. Having the data and the ability to see and measure my progress has been constantly pushing me forward (yes, I know I am a geek :-D).

Exercises were not enough, I needed more information and more knowledge. At that time my friend Luke recommended me a book The 4-Hour Body from Tim Ferriss. I found the book really inspiring, although many of the chapters belong to the category of „do not try this at home“. If I should summarise and pick the key ideas I have adopted, it would be:

  1. Eating properly is at least one half of the success.
  2. Even small changes can bring big results.
  3. Tracking progress and having as much data as possible to do so.
  4. Using kettlebells in workouts.

From the points above I would like to discuss the first, because I think it is the most complex and important one.

Learning how to eat

Last autumn and winter I started to train and exercise, but I was constantly hitting a barrier of nutrition. Although I was eating the right stuff, I felt tired, moody and not well. It culminated in December, when I was alternating between sick and ok almost every week. The turning point was actually a Christmas gift: I got a voucher for body assessment and professional advice on nutrition from my mom. I had wanted to have the data (body fat, muscles and so on) for some time, but I had not been able to force myself to actually get them.

When I first contacted the nutrition studio, where everything should take place, I got an interesting offer: I could attend a twelve-week course with lectures, regular assessments and a diet plan that would fit them. I braced myself and took it.

On January 15th I had a first session: a long questionnaire and first body assessment. The results were not so bad, but there was definitely a room (more like a gap :-D) for improvement. The following week I got my diet plan. Six meals a day consisting of ingredients that formed a compact whole that should „reduce“ me. In the beginning it was tough, my cooking skills were not astonishing, I had to weight everything, it took a long time and so on. I grit my teeth and endured. Each week it got easier and easier and after a while it became a habit. Nowadays I eat every 2–3 hours and it seems normal to me.

Results after 12 weeks

  15.1.2012 4.4.2012 Difference
Height 169 cm 169 cm obviously none :-D
Weight 70.9 kg 65.2 kg –5.7 kg
Body fat 15.5 kg 8.0 kg –7.5 kg
Body fat % 21.9 % 12.3 % –9.6 %
Muscle mass 31.4 kg 32.5 kg +1.1 kg

All measurements were done using the same machine. They were also done in clothes, so the actual weight is a little lower, but the difference stays.

The change is not only in numbers and results. I feel more healthy, have got more energy and generally am more happy after the course. Together with other events that had happened it has been gradually changing the way of my thinking from the pessimistic to more optimistic and positive. All it needed was a bit of inspiration, a small nudge in the right direction.

I understand the methods mentioned are not for everyone, but if you have got a strong will (at least to start and try), I can certainly recommend the approach.


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