At this point in the year, it’s evident that I’ve been sharing the things I’m doing outside of sitting at a computer most of the day.

Thus far, I’ve shared:

And if you’ve not read the rest of what I’ve been sharing since last year, you can read them using the following links below:

  1. Developer Fitness: Getting & Staying in Shape
  2. Developer Fitness: More Progress, My Devices, Apps, and What’s Next

As we’re headed into the fourth quarter of the year, it’s the time that I take a look back at what I did this summer and how I stacked up against some of my goals and what I’ve been doing in the past year.

At the end of the previous post in this series, I mentioned:

So that’s the plan for the upcoming quarter. I’m sitting at 179 right now and I’d love to hover around 180 – 185 so if I can stay in that range, I’ll be happy.

I’m extremely interested to see how next month’s challenge pans out. And I’m eager, for those of you who are working to work out, to share your stories, posts, reflections, etc. on your blog, via email, or via Instagram.

With that said, here we go with 65 miles and counting.

So here’s how everything panned out over the course of the summer.

Fitness in 2018: Quarter 3

This post is likely going to be a bit shorter than some of my other ones because I didn’t focus on as much variety as other material.

Instead, I had generally had two goals:

  1. keep my weight in a certain range,
  2. run as much as possible.

Sure, I ended last quarter saying I wanted to run 65 miles in the month (which I did), but I decided why buck the trend throughout the quarter and just focus on that for the next three months?

And that’s what I did.

I don’t have the specifics of all the data because I changed fitness apps towards the end of the quarter (which I’ll discuss more momentarily), but I did run about 230+ miles for the summer. So it’s not a lot per month, but it’s better than I was expected.

On top of that, I continued to maintain my weight between 180 and 185 with the biggest struggle fighting the metabolism that comes with running. And by that, I mean two things:

  1. I worked on getting my speed down to an 8-minute mile or lower for a distance of 2.5 – 3.1 miles,
  2. I didn’t want to eat anything too late at night.

For the second point, the struggle is real. Sometimes I did fine; other times I didn’t, but my weight stayed within the range I wanted so I was content.

Now for the usual set of details.

On Injuries

I’m happy to say that I’ve not experienced any injury in the last quarter. Unlike last quarter where I had to have some work done on my L5, this was not the case for the current quarter.

Fitness in 2018, Part 2: L5

Instead, the only thing I really had to combat was the Georgia heat and humidity, but that’s not an injury, is it? It’s more of a kind of torture.

For Each Run

While running, I spent a lot of time listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and music. Sometimes I wouldn’t listen to anything. It depended on my mood.

In all of my years of running, I can definitively say that music can help or hinder my pace depending on what my goals are. That is, if I’m going for distance, music generally isn’t the best thing.

I try to keep with the pace, and if I do that, I end up working too hard by not maintaining a good pace and ultimately creating some sort of weird self-defeating situation.

My Current Status

Last time I wrote, I was sitting at 179 pounds which was the lowest I’ve been in years (arguably since college). Right now, I’m hovering around 183 give or take a pound depending on the day.

I’m okay with the slight additional weight though because it’s come at a resting heart rate that ranges between 47bpm and 53bpm which is pretty good. Perhaps the added weight comes from lean muscle developed during running? I don’t know.

As long as I pay attention to my body and not overwork, overeat, or over-anything, I’m generally okay.

As with each of these posts, I do like to share some of the resources I have as well as what I’m planning for the next quarter.

Resources

Each quarter, I try to share the things that I use to focus on whenever I’m working out – be it running, some type of lifting, or how I schedule things. So this will be no different.

Much of what I’m going to share is going to overlap with last quarter because I think it’s so important. The difference is that I’ll try to elaborate a bit more than in previous posts.

As with each post, I always share the following posts (though this time I’ll include a bit more detail):

  • Calendar Everything. I know not everyone is into scheduling things out or making a plan, but I firmly believe that regardless of your personality type, getting something on the calendar makes it harder to avoid. You don’t avoid more significant appoints like doctor’s appointments or work meetings, right? Why not elevate your fitness to that level.
  • Write It Down. No matter what it is that you do during a given day of the week, track what you’ve done, so you eventually begin to develop a map of your progress over time. This helps with motivation all the while allowing you to see where your weak spots may be (and thus allows you to correct what you’re doing).
  • Smart Small. Don’t come out of the gate with an unattainable goal. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That is, don’t aim for three miles; aim for one. Don’t have for 25 push-ups, aim for 8. Whatever it is, work up.
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Some days are going to be easier than others regardless of how long you’ve been working out. Listen to your body, do what you can, then move forward from there. If you can’t do a target speed for a given amount of time, that’s okay. Just focus on getting the run done rather than getting it done in a certain amount of time.

Next, I’ve simplified the software and hardware I’ve been using as of the previous quarter. This quarter includes some free weights, but I’ll wait to cover that at the end of the year.

For now, here’s what I started using in the past quarter.

Hardware

  • Apple Watch Series 4. I’ve been a big fan of the Apple Watch since the third series, and I was able to upgrade for next-to-nothing with the release of the latest version. The size, speed, and new features have made it so much easier to go for a run without needing to bring my phone (assuming you have the cellular version).
  • AirPods. I continue to love these headphones because it not only allows me to pair with whatever I want to listen to on my watch (be it the radio, or other things that I’ll cover momentarily) but also because the build quality is higher than that of the wired headphones.

Software

  • Audible. I’m a big fan of swapping back and forth between my Kindle and Audible because of the stage of life we’re currently at, and Audible finally released an Apple Watch application. Until then, I had to carry my phone with me. But not anymore.
  • Overcast. Because of the updates to watchOS, Overcast, my preferred podcast app, was able to reintroduce support for podcasts on the watch, so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to take them with me if I’m running (or even if I’m just out and about without my phone).
  • Strava. I’ve got almost ten years logged in Nike+, but I opted to make a move to Strava after doing a bit of research. Though they tout themselves as “the #1 app for runners and cyclists,” they also support standard workouts which is great. Couple that with their Analysis add-on and you get some really good insight as to your heart rate, elevation, effort, and so on.

To Quarter 4

This quarter, I’m excited because I’m working on a hybrid program of lifting and HIIT. Again, I’m no Beachbody coach or anything like that, so none of this is an endorsement, but I’m focusing on LIIFT4 for the next eight weeks, or so.

Fitness in 2018, Part 3: LIIFT4

The workout is four days a week which still gives me a day a week to focus on running (or two if I wanted to incorporate an extra one on the weekend). But I can definitely tell I’ve lost some of the muscle that I originally had this time last year because as I’m typing this, my arms feel as if they are going to fall off (and if you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll know why).

As I’m working on this program, I’m focusing on lighter weights and more reps for leaner muscle – not size – and I’ve learned from previous experience that I do not like size.

For me, it’s about maintaining a level of fitness that works with my body type (and that’s something for which we should strive should you be interested).

With that said, here we go into the final round of 2018. I’m expecting to gain a little weight, try to develop some lean muscle, all the while maintaining a low resting heart rate.

So here’s to the end of 2018. We’ll see where I stand in a few months.

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