“What I think about when I think about running”

Richard Anderson on running:

In April, I started the Couch to 5K training program. As I write this, I’m in week 7, having missed some time due to travel, injury, and other issues. I run because I want to be in better shape. I want to lose weight, and stave off an early death from a life spent sitting. I do not run because I like it. In fact, I hate running.

I run twice a week. I use the Nike Plus app. When I rate the run I never ever ever use anything above the middle face with the flat mouth. I don’t smile. I convinced myself I do this for fresh air and so I can sleep better.

This and the “look better naked” mantra is the only reason I exercise. There is no mindfulness. There is no zen moment. There’s only a feeling that this sucks and that I’m doing this for the right reasons.

Good to the Last Drop

I thought I’d give The Magazine another try. It helps that they deliver issues to Kindle.

Anyway, this article explores the use and marketing of caffeine products in marathons and how it’s dangerous.

“The very spot where you can see the finish line first is where these people get sudden death. It’s unbelievable,” he says. “The added rush of adrenaline that you know you’re going to finish. That’s where their heart stops.”

It’s a serious problem with a solution marathon runners won’t want to hear. Stop running marathons.

“Fighting Fatigue in the Afternoon With Exercise”

Articles like this are one reason why people never get in shape. Advice like this:

…She suggests eating something every three hours, including a snack such as a small piece of fruit an hour before a workout and a meal of protein and carbohydrates within the hour after.

Make it appear like a complicated science experiment.

From Not To HOT!

One of the things I like most about Mark’s Daily Apple are the Real Life stories he runs every Friday. I like seeing before and after photos because they show progress and demonstrate how regular people can change.1

Plus, I’ll be a male pig and say it: almost every time Mark runs a profile on a young woman it begins with a ghastly looking photo and ends with someone I want to “take to the cave.”2

This story of an anorexic overcoming her eating disorder and adding strength training to her workout is no different. Wowzers…to both photos. Starts with her body ravaged by anorexic abuse and ends with someone who would turn heads entering a room.

I’ve been thinking about how “I want to be healthier” may be the biggest lie in fitness. I think most people’s desire to get in shape has almost nothing to do with health and nearly everything to do with vanity. Shallow? Perhaps. But I think attractiveness is a much better progress indicator than getting healthier. You can’t really measure your triglycerides every week, but you can sure tell if you’re on the right track if your pants start getting looser and your complexion clears up.


  1. Although, I feel like I’m being tricked when I go to r/progresspics and see a lot of posts marked NSFW. 

  2. Which is paleo for “bang” 

“The Power Plate-Old Nonsense Reborn” by Fred Hahn

Have you seen these Power Plate things? Fred Hahn calls it the latest fad in fitness.

From the Amazon description of the Power Plate my5:

The my5 employs a technology called Acceleration Training to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration. These vibrations transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, thereby enhancing your overall fitness in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, three times per week.

It sells at nearly $5000 and is endorsed by Dr. Mercola, who I agree with on some things yet disagree on others. This is one of the latter.1


  1. I like some of the things that Mercola recommends, but when he starts endorsing specific products I get cautious. You should too when you see doctors getting into merchandising. 

Food Addiction and Fitness

Reddit user crich897:

I began my latest serious weight loss journey almost three months ago. And I have done phenomenally. I have lost a fuck-ton of weight, and I feel fantastic, physically. I can run, I can bike, I can play tennis, I can do physical things and have fun doing them.

But, damn, do I ever want a Crunchwrap Supreme.

Nerd Fitness

Steve Kamb’s talk at Google about what he calls “Nerd Fitness.” Kamb takes the idea of getting in shape and equates that with leveling up in video games.

He says that his methods aren’t that different than what you may have heard before. What I think is different here is how obsessive we can get with measurements when making these changes in your life. That’s why Loseit.com exists, and that’s how Garrett Murray lost all his weight.

Measurements allow you to see some kind of progress. If you don’t have them it’s more inviting to just give up and claim you aren’t supposed to be fit when it’s been two weeks without any visible progress.

This guy eats a lot of eggs

eggs.jpg

Frederick Hahn, co-author of The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution, outlines a typical day’s meals.

His breakfast: 4 poached eggs with hot sauce and butter, 4 strips of bacon, and coffee with heavy cream. I assume there’s no sugar in that coffee.

He’ll have another two eggs for a snack along with fish (sardines / shashimi) and some salad with meals.

He never has desert. Nor does he have any grains.

Nope, no bread, pasta, rice, or any grain product whatsoever. I rarely eat fruit – I generally only eat the wild berries and other fruits we planted in our backyard when in season. In the winter I eat no fruit at all.

Make no mistake, the dude is in shape and could probably put you down in one punch if he wanted to. I don’t know for sure if he only exercises for the 30 minutes a week that the Slow Burn recommends.

My father bought me this book. I have to try the workouts before I can really see how well it works for me. It seems like 80% of this plan is changing the things you eat, which, if you follow the meal recommendations, could have you eating a lot of eggs.

Photo by nickwheeleroz used under a Creative Commons.