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Old 08-31-2013, 02:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mass versus acceleration

So, as I often mention, I was Active Duty Army and now I am in the National Guard. Since I came home, I have made an effort to exercise on my own.

I need to stop allowing girls to interfere with that, school, and other really important things.

I have been doing better with the exercise--since I had annual training five weeks ago, I have done push-ups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run three times every week, even though I am not seeing any progress.

In six weeks I have my Annual Physical Fitness Test, where the Army will judge my worth based on how many push-ups I do in two minutes, sit-ups in two minutes, and my run time. I will pass the push-ups, do well with sit-ups, but I really worry about the run, my fastest time was ninety seconds too slow.

I really hope that I speed up as Arizona cools down.

My other concern is height and weight. I was several pounds over Army standards at annual training and it looks like I am about halfway there.

Anyway, this is basic physics, right? Is there a formula that would give me an idea how much I should speed up as I lose weight?

Thanks! I hope that all of you have a great weekend!

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Old 08-31-2013, 02:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How much overweight would you say you are?

My suggestion for the run is to start out slower, and train longer. Start so slow that you feel like you are going too slow. If you start too fast you get worn quickly and have no gas to finish strong. Is the time still something like 18 minutes for 2 miles? Thats 9 minute miles, which is not too difficult. Instead of training for 2 miles, run at least 3. I don't care how out of shape you are, if you start out slow and pace yourself you can make it all 3 miles. You've got to put your mind in another place and stay mentally strong. As you run the 3 miles for a couple weeks you will notice minutes being shaved off your time. After 6 weeks you should be getting a lot faster.

I hated running in high school. When I started trying to run for 5k's, it turns out I love it. The key to making it is to pace yourself. When I start out for the first mile I have to really hold myself back from going to fast. After the first mile I am fully warmed up, and can speed up a bit. At the start of the 3rd mile I can feel my legs and lungs working hard, but since I paced myself I can still speed up to finish strong. Over the course of a few months I went from 45 minutes down to 30 minutes for 3 miles.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There's not really a formula, because it depends on where and what that mass is, plus other factors. To take one extreme, if it's all a beer gut, then it would (simplistically! - see below) be a simple linear relationship: lose 10% of your weight, and you'd accelerate 10% faster. But at the other extreme, if the excess weight is all in your leg muscles, losing weight would decrease your speed.

But all that's almost irrelevant, because much depends on the type of muscle you have (the ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch fibers), how well they're trained, the exact shape of your body (biomechanics), the efficiency of your respiration (for anything but short sprints), and much more. If the running test is still 2 miles, it's going to be a test of your aerobic capacity more than anything, so as cbaber says, you have to aim your training at increasing that. Of course reducing non-muscle weight is going to help, and - the good part - the training will help reduce weight.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Anyway, this is basic physics, right? Is there a formula that would give me an idea how much I should speed up as I lose weight?
Hi Xist,
This is probably not what you want to know. Anyway, for healthy people the amount of energy it takes to walk, jog or run a given distance is just about proportional to their weight.
So if you lose 10% of your weight and speedup 10% you are doing the same amount of work.
One way to look at it is:
Let's say you are 10% over your weight goal. And you can run 2 miles in 19:15. As you lose weight and increase your pace you will get to your goal weight and 2 miles in 17:30, but will be doing the same amount of work - burning the same number of calories and requiring about the same effort.

For a 200 lb person it takes about 115 Kcal per mile to walk or run (at a comfortable pace). The Army PFT expects a 25 year old male to run 2 miles in 17:30, about 6.86 mph. That's a solid running pace, so probably takes 125 Kcal per mile. So 2 miles is about 250 Kcal. For comparison, a large order of McDonald's fries is about 500 Kcal.

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Old 08-31-2013, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't really have anything to add, but cbaber and jamesqf have it pretty much summed up. If the test is 2 miles, than run 3 or 4. That way it will be like baseball players before they bat. They use the doughnut to make their swing heavy, that way when they get into the box, their bat seems light. If you run more than 2 miles, then when it comes to test time, you'll be able to do 2 miles in your sleep.

You shouldn't put girls on your s**t list, because they are stopping or interfering with your school and exercise (and ecomodder ). You have to have a reason to make yourself better and what better than all the girls!

Of course it also would help if you weren't in such a ridiculous place (temp. wise) to exercise. When do you exercise? Morning before it heats up, during the day, or in the evening after it cools back down a little?

Also, hockey. I can't tell you how many people I've seen join us playing hockey and have lost not just one pants size but 3,4,5 sizes. They have to change out their whole wardrobe to get clothes that fit again.

@jamesqf: Is there a way to determine the muscle type one has? Is there a way to measure one's respiration efficiency to measure and track improvement?
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I hurt my back 2 years ago and wasn't able to walk. For 2 months all I did was lay on the couch in agony and sleep maybe an hour per night. Due to the extreme pain, I wasn't able to get to the kitchen to eat. I'm 6'2", and went from 190lbs down to 160lbs.

When I could finally move again, I found that running was very easy. On my first run, I went 6.2 miles in 70min. Pull-ups were also a breeze. 5 months after the injury, I climbed Mt. Rainier with ease compared to the last time.

As others have pointed out, weight is a critical component of performance, and among the easiest to change. While I can't recommend obliterating the disk between your L5-S1 vertebrae as a healthy way to loose weight, I can recommend modifying your diet, paying attention to portion sizes, and reducing sweetened beverages.

While training and exercise is important for maximizing the efficiency of your body, weight reduction multiplies the effects of training. It's like trying to get the best quarter mile time at a drag strip; you have to make the engine more powerful (training) while reducing the amount of mass that has to be accelerated (diet).

As cbaber pointed out, 2 miles is too short to train. I don't even hit my groove in a run until 25min in. Jeff makes a good point that girls don't have to get in the way of progress. Last week, my wife pushed me to go faster than I normally would have gone on my 6.2 mile run, and I enjoyed it. Then there are bedroom activities that are very aerobic...

You could even join a coed team and have fun while getting exercise. I bet a game of Ultimate Frisbee would leave you hurting, and that brings me to my last point. "Pain" is where the gain is. If you can hold a conversation while you are on a training run, you aren't pushing hard enough. I've seen too many people going through the motions of exercise without putting forth the intensity needed to make it worthwhile.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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JamesQF, good point, I was asking about acceleration, which is immaterial.

Thread closed!

Wow. Four responses! I am going to need to split my window!

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First, I want to apologize for the length of my original post. I edited it down a few times and that was the best that I had.

To be honest, I do not feel that my relationship with any of the girls that talk to me can progress. When I meet a girl with whom I feel that I can have a serious relationship, I will make time for her, but I will take care of myself, and try harder to be the best person that I can.

As for my weight, six weeks ago a scale at Fort Huachuca said that I was at 218, and this morning my scale said that I was 214.4, with my limit being 211. Hopefully, that will not be a problem.

My time limit is 17:42, but unfortunately, the brand-new laptop on which I kept my log broke and I lost my run log. I think that my best time was nineteen minutes.

At annual training, I kept hearing how running 30/60s (sprint/jog) are the best way to train, although it was the same Private that just kept talking. I try to maintain a constant speed on Monday and do 30/60s the other days.

This morning it was 81, but we had 71% humidity. When I wrote that I ran three times a week, that was the average. In order to run at six, I need to go to bed at nine, which rarely happens when I spend time with girls.

I do not have a "beer gut," the only alcohol that I have ever consumed was Zzz\Nyquil, according to instructions, although I doubt that you should use Zzzquil for months on end.

I just like sleeping and not lying in bed, bored.

I have wondered if I have a "Gatorade gut." I would rather discuss that with an actual medical professional.

If I reach my "fighting weight" without otherwise improving physically, I should be twenty-three seconds closer to passing. In theory, if I dropped to 203 pounds, I would make my run time.

So, now I do Insanity every day?

Jeff88, this donut's for you! Yum yum yum!

There are girls in whose company I want to improve myself and there are girls that will keep me where I am.

There are relationships that can progress and those that stay in one place.

When it cools down enough to run after sundown, hopefully I will have time to do that as well.

If it jiggles, I do not think that it is muscle!

Thanks again, guys! I hope that I covered your responses! Please enjoy your respective evenings!
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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In order to run at six, I need to go to bed at nine, which rarely happens when I spend time with girls.
If you don't have an externally-imposed schedule to meet, try doing what the natives do. Take a siesta in the afternoon, then enjoy the cooler hours of late evening.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff88 View Post
Is there a way to measure one's respiration efficiency to measure and track improvement?
Yes, but you'll need an exercise science lab, and to get your VO2 max measured will cost you unless you can get in on a study that includes it as a metric.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
At annual training, I kept hearing how running 30/60s (sprint/jog) are the best way to train, although it was the same Private that just kept talking. I try to maintain a constant speed on Monday and do 30/60s the other days.
In order to knock a minute and a half off your time, you'll have to do two things: run longer to improve your aerobic endurance, as others have suggested, and run faster to improve your cadence (the key to reducing your time). The Private was only half right when he said alternating sprinting and jogging is the best way to train, because you need the aerobic capacity to maintain the higher pace as well. I would do at least one longer run each week (the rule of thumb is no more than 10% increase in mileage each week, so don't do too much too soon), and at least one speedwork run--it doesn't have to be rigidly structured, either, if you don't want (what runners call fartlek, a Swedish word that loosely translates to "speed play" and entails sprinting during a run when you feel like it, for as long as you feel like--the key is just to get used to your feet moving faster).
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
If you don't have an externally-imposed schedule to meet, try doing what the natives do. Take a siesta in the afternoon, then enjoy the cooler hours of late evening.
I have a very difficult time falling asleep at night, so I use melatonin and Zzzquil. Napping is not really an option, unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
In order to knock a minute and a half off your time, you'll have to do two things: run longer to improve your aerobic endurance, as others have suggested, and run faster to improve your cadence (the key to reducing your time). The Private was only half right when he said alternating sprinting and jogging is the best way to train, because you need the aerobic capacity to maintain the higher pace as well. I would do at least one longer run each week (the rule of thumb is no more than 10% increase in mileage each week, so don't do too much too soon), and at least one speedwork run--it doesn't have to be rigidly structured, either, if you don't want (what runners call fartlek, a Swedish word that loosely translates to "speed play" and entails sprinting during a run when you feel like it, for as long as you feel like--the key is just to get used to your feet moving faster).
I want to keep running two miles the first day of the week to watch my progress, but increase the other runs by 10% a week?

Thanks guys! Enjoy your evenings!

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