Friday fitness.

There is a big debate about fitness counters and step counters. if you are frugal, there is one in your cellphone… but they are in all smart watches. There have been questions as to fi they work, and this paper suggests that for the average person (primarily in the USA) they do increase physical activity. Which is probably a good thing. If you are involved every day in a group fitness program that you don’t run — and sensibly uses periodization, rest and scaling (more on this below) then you probably don’t need a step counter. But if you are not, you probably do.

What does such a program look like?

  • There is a certain amount of volume, probably larger than you would think. The best advice here is Lydiard, who argued that his athletes should jog (run very slowly) in the morning for about 30 minutes. Slowly. After work, during base phase, he scheduled 100 miles of running a week, but that did not include the jogging. Much high intensity training assumes that walking is enough (and it is) but there has to be a certain volume of around 60 — 90 minutes morst days.
  • You need to sleep longer than you think. When I was a young man, running a Lydiard style training programme I needed nine hours sleep a night minimum[1]. When I was working long hours (at times 80 -100 hours a week) I was unable to train at the needed volume without injury. As you get older, sleep matters more
  • YOu need to schedule rest days. That is not “active rest”. That is days where you do as close to nothing as possible. Once a week is ideal, once a fortnight is necessary
  • And (this is the mistake I made as a young man) you need to work on strength, flexibility and power. Gymnastic movements and weights help. This is where something like Crossfit, where a coach is watching your form, is needed
  • Periodization means you start off very low intensity, allow your injuries to recover, and then when you have an aerobic base you bring in higher intensity work. You peak for competition, but you then recover. This may be the master’s games, or open competitions. If you are retired from competition, your peak may be the long walks in summer. Then you allow your body to recover from that peak effort, and start the cycle again. Lydiard got that right about the time I was born, and (interestingly) the best multisport and crossfit athletes try to plan a year out this way — otherwise they break down

OK. Some linkage: Mark Sisson says that modern high blood pressure tablets may help the middle aged regardless of blood pressure. And in his reply to questions system, how to do high intensity while intermittent fasting. Note in particular that the cooldown has to be long enough to get rid of the lactate and free fatty acids — 20 minutes or so of walking.

This week we have not really gained or lost. Since we are stablizing — and we have my parents with us, so we are thinking of their needs first — I’m putting absolute changes in

Kea Weka
Change weight this week. +0.3 kg -0.1 kg
Change since baseline (nine weeks) -7.6 kg -7.5 kg


  1. Three marathons sub 2h 40 minutes and a 10 K time of around 34 minutes. That was “B” team club running when I was in my 20s. The “A” team were all provincial or national reps with three sub four minute milers of the six to eight in the team.  We moved away from Lydiard, and we stopped winning.