Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I've gone and put my foot in it...

I've broken the board (or "deck") of my treadmill again, this time it has lasted for slightly more than a year. The first time it broke after only 5 months, but I was using the treadmill much more heavily and running at higher speeds. According to the iFit website, I have run 1,093 kilometres in the last year on the treadmill, at an average pace of 4:05 /km. It's quite possible that some of those workouts didn't get logged properly for whatever reason but, if it is a reasonably accurate measure, then the board is about as robust as a pair of trainers (and minimalist ones at that)!

I suppose that the professional treadmills must have a much more resistant block of wood because otherwise gyms would be forever replacing them. Now, I wonder if there is a way to have one made to fit my treadmill? Perhaps I could have one made that is also less "bouncy" and more akin to running on asphalt. So far I have turned up a couple of possibilities by digging around on the internet, so I'll let you know if I manage.

In the meantime, I went for a run at lunchtime - outside - for the first time since the Marathon. It was also the first time I had been running with someone else I think this year. It was very enjoyable, especially with this great weather we are still having in December (sunny, about 15 degrees). I had been in a pretty foul mood all morning, but a bit of fresh air was all I needed to dispel the clouds.

UPDATE: I managed to find someone in Spain ( who could make me a custom deck out of plywood - which is what they use in the upmarket treadmills instead of that MDF crap. As the deck is quite large (65.5 cm x 143 cm), they recommended reinforcing it with some bars - something I am getting an "expert" to do for me. All in, the cost is around 185€ for the deck plus about 60€ for the reinforcement and installation. If it lasts at least two years, it will be worth it.

By the way, just in case you are wondering, it isn't as straightforward a matter as simply having a piece of plywood cut to the right size: it has to be coated in a special "slick" surface to avoid it overheating as the belt runs over it. These days, most treadmills are supposed to be used without any additional lubrication.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bouncing back

Just to show that the body fat analysis on bathroom scales has some value, you can clearly see on this graph how I have been steadily burning the fat all year, at a faster rate since I started preparing specifically for the Marathon in September, and after the Marathon (on the 1st of November) has started to come back.

There is a similar trend in my weight, but it is less pronounced (but a bit less volatile from one day to the next). This is where it is handy having the scales syncing the data automatically, because you really only see the trends after a few days of measurements.