Monday, January 20, 2014

Why I Need To Retire From My Day Job

I just finished a one hour treadmill run primarily focused on calorie burning.  Instead of the high intensity interval workout, I did 3.0 MPH, increasing to 3.5 MPH, and then to 4.0 MPG, dropping back when the shin splits became too unpleasant.

Correct me if I am wrong (and I'm sure that someone will), but shin splints indicate that there is not enough oxygen to metabolize glucose, so the body switches to anerobic glycolysis, which generates energy by splitting the glucose molecule in two.  It is a less efficient energy production system, but when oxygen is short, it is a good short-term strategy.  The downside is that the byproduct of anerobic glycolysis is lactic acid buildup in the muscles that are short of oxygen.  Once you drop below the level where there is sufficient oxygen, the body metabolizes the lactic acid.

I am not having any problems anywhere except my shins.  This is a good sign, I think, because it suggests that the oxygen insufficiency is just at the remote end of the circulatory system from the heart.  Everything else feels not just good, but positively spectacular.  I burned 393 calories, averaged 3.38 miles per hour, and did this for sixty minutes.

I have also started using a gadget called the T-Core Fitness Trainer.  My wife went into a store called Tuesday Morning a couple of weeks back -- one of those places that specializes in selling all the stuff that either ended up not selling somewhere else at a silly price, or stores that went out of business.  The T-Core Fitness Trainer (which Amazong sells), is one of those "As Seen on TV" things that you find yourself wondering if it actually works.  The MSRP is like $30, but at Tuesday Morning I bought it for $9.98 -- and it is a bargain.

There are a series of exercises that they show on a DVD that work the abdominal muscles, and provide a pretty decent workout in about ten minutes.  I don't look like the guy doing the exercises in the video, and I probably never will, but I can definitely feel that it is working my abdominals without straining anything.  I started at the 40 pound level, but I am pretty sure that at some point I will adjust the bands up to 80 and then 120 pounds (at which point I will start to look like an older, hairier version of the guy on the DVD).

If you do the exercises right, you are supposed to only be working the abdominals.  I don't believe that is even possible.  It definitely is working my arms as well, which makes it as close to an under-the-bed gym as I have seen in quite a while.

Oh yes, back to the title: keeping fit takes a bit of time -- which is part of why movie stars can be so incredibly buff -- many of them spend three to four hours a day when they aren't making movies getting and staying so muscular.  I'm not sure that you really need to be quite that fit to be optimally healthy -- but I just don't have enough time because I have to go to work.  Maybe next year.

UPDATE: From reading this, it is apparent that what I am feeling are not shin splints.  (They sound far worse than what I am experiencing.)  The pain is gone by the next day, and is almost zero three hours later.  I think this might be just lactic acid buildup caused by oxygen deficiency.

And yes, electrolyte levels are probably pretty good.  I drink a lot of fruit juices (lemonade or pineapple juice) because citrus discourages kidney stones.


Billy Oblivion said...

"Correct me if I am wrong"


At 3-4 miles an hour even and old fart like you isn't pushing hard enough to go anaerobic anyway.

I'm sorry if I've missed something on your blog over the last 3-6 months, but when it comes to exercise you DO NOT want to just work your abs.

What you "need" to be doing is basic weight lifting--squats, deadlifts, over head presses and the like. See "Starting Strength" by Mark Riptoe. You can do a reasonably hard workout in 40-45 minutes thee days a week--maybe twice a week depending on your level of protein syntheses) then run on your gerbil wheel (hey, I have a exercise bike) two or three other days.

jdege said...

What is your electrolyte intake like? Going low-carb significantly increases your body's demand for sodium and potassium - and shortages can lead to severe muscle cramping, usually in the calves.

Fidel said...

what he said....shin splints are a result of disruption of sharpies' fibers in the lower leg muscles, a tearing.

Not anything particularly related to metabolism.

jdege said...

If it goes away in an hour, it isn't technically shin splints, it's just pain.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Fruit juices have a lot of sugar, which is bad for you. If you need citrus, you could just drink pure lemon juice diluted with water.

Clayton Cramer said...

At work, I use lemon juice in water. And yes, I do get more sugar in my diet than I probably should.