If you're following my Instagram feed or my Twitter profile you know I'm and avid runner. I also exercise wherever I can. Getting back in shape was a decision I made about three years ago when I found out I was getting quite chubby because of the nature of my work and my eating habits. 2012 was the best year for me as far as my fitness is concerned... and I think 2013 will be even better.
When I confessed to my friend Miguel Guía that I felt I was getting out of shape a few years go, he said that I was enjoying a fit body in my twenties and I took it for granted... and now I'm in my thirties and need to do something about it. Especially when my daughter was born I stopped doing any sports (I was regularly training Karate Shotokan and basketball before) and gained 10 kg (20 lbs) by the time my daughter celebrated her first birthday.
Gradually in 2010 and 2011 I was trying to exercise more, my wife convinced me to start running... and I felt better. I was losing weight, gaining some muscles and feeling I could get in shape... but it wasn't until 2012 came along that I finally put my habits in place and made the biggest difference. Here's what happened:
I got me a running partner and ran 261km in 2012
My wife, also a jogger, prefers to run alone. I like it, too... but as I explained in my last post getting a running partner put the habit in place. Now every Tuesday I run together with my neighbor... and even though today my partner couldn't run, I did my 10km run anyway and it was great. The habit is engraved now.
I use "RunKeeper" app on my iPhone to track my running progress and while I ran 120km in 2011, I did more than twice that in 2012 (261km). Mostly, because I started running with my neighbor in September regularly... so the second part of the year was "the most effective one" :-)
Thanks to the running partner, I improved my time and distance from 6km runs at 6:20 min/km speeds to 10-12km runs at 5:20 min/km speeds. I'm running faster and further than ever before.
And I run 0-2 times per week. I hardly ever now have 0-run-weeks but I very often manage to only run once per week... but the weeks I make the two runs are the best.
I finally started exercising regularly
I now exercise 2-3 times a week and I feel my muscles moving in the right direction. The habit change of running helped me also move to regular fitness training. And I do it all at home (no gym membership necessary!). I feel I'm in the best shape of my life.
I lost 6kg (12lbs) and counting...
While a 6kg loss over a course of a year might not mean a lot, it does a lot to my body. And remember, it's not only the fat that is gone. It's the muscles that are back... and the muscles are heavier than fat... so what happened is that I lost about 10 or more kg of fat and gained some muscle weight in the process.
And I'm not on any diet. I just try to eat more consciously - avoid excessive carbs and sweets and eat healthy snacks. I'm not religious about it though.
What are my goals for 2013
Running: 500-700km and running every month 40-60 km I can get it done. I'm at 51km in January and the month is not over yet :-)
Weight: lose further 4kg while maintaing fitness training and eating even healthier than last year.
I'm writing all this not to brag, but hopefully inspire you to get in shape, too. Even a small habit change can make a difference and contribute to greater health and fitness. I'm in my mid-thirties and I just ran my longest distance ever (12km) and I'm planning on running a half-marathon in Autumn and I'm in my best shape ever. Better than I was in my twenties.
A small habit change can go a long way. Here's to a fit and healthy 2013!
Question: What are your goals for 2013? Are you planning on taking up running? Maybe some other sport? Lose some weight? How well are you doing?
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 (life)
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- Michael Sliwinski