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Everything posted by james452

  1. From personal experience, swimming is a funny one when it comes to building endurance. Here are a few things that helped me build swimming endurance Focusing 50% of my swim workout to technique work through swim drills Building upper body strength through lifting weights (think shoulder press, pushups, pullups). Swim technique is always number 1, it doesn't matter if you have excellent aerobic fitness from other sports, if your technique is bad, you will struggle swimming a few laps. Once your technique is good, having strong muscles makes it much easier. Seriously, I stopped swimming for one month, focused on strength work, then went for a swim and swam faster and longer, without my arms feeling tired.
  2. First thing I'll say is, don't run, do a slow jog. This is important mentally because it transitions you from a walk to almost a run. Take it nice and slow at the start. If you think you can go slower, you should go slower. Once you complete the program, you'll feel more comfortable increasing the speed. As for the treadmill thing, if that's what is going to get you started running, then do it. I myself first did C25k on a treadmill. For the first few weeks, I alternated treadmill running with running outside. I found myself a little soccer oval that was always empty, so I ran there quite a few times. Eventually I found running outside to be way more fun than a treadmill so I stopped treadmill running entirely. The important thing is to just start. Do that first run, then work everything else from there.
  3. I think the biggest thing that will blow out your meal budget is eating out. The more you eat out, the more expensive it is. That doesn't mean never eat out. Set aside date night once or twice a week, then aim to cook all your other meals. Plus date night doesn't have to mean going out to a restaurant. My partner and I started cooking dinner, then putting it in a picnic basket and walking over to a nearby park to eat. Another thing to reduce your grocery bill is to reduce the amount of flavourings you put into your food. For example, rather than putting many ingredients into a salad (lettuce, carrots, cucumber, feta, olives, etc), you can make a 1 or 2 ingredient salad (use half a lettuce for example), then put on 1 or 2 things for dressing (salt, olive oil, vinegar). You'll find the food is still as delicious, but it was easier to make and cheaper.
  4. It's a good news day A few good things happened today. Firstly, I received my referee report for a paper I submitted, and it's very positive. Just need to make some minor changes, and I'll have my first ever academic paper published Secondly, my partner is being offered a job today. This is basically her dream job which is awesome. It's 8 minutes from our house, and pays very well. She just has to undergo some negotiations and get a contract written up, then once she finishes her PhD (hopefully April), she can start working Not so good stuff I'm learning how health insurance for hospital cover works here in Australia. I need surgery to fix stuff in my nose so I can breath and the sleep apnea disappears. I can get this all done for free through Medicare, but I may have to wait 6-24 months to get surgery (which isn't too bad but I'd prefer it sooner). If I go through my health insurance, I pay a $500 excess and can get surgery within 1 month. Or so I thought. Health insurance covers you up to the scheduled amount. If a surgeon charges more, you have to be out of pocket, which means I'd pay an extra $2,000-$10,000 for a surgery, money which I can't pay. The surgeon I saw, charges that amount. But it's not all bad, because there are a number of surgeons who charge the scheduled amount, so if I go with them, I just pay a $500 hospital excess fee and I get it done quickly. What this means for me is I have to go and get another consultation (which means paying another $300 out of pocket to get the same surgical prescription), but an extra $300 means I don't have to pay $10,000. If I knew this earlier, I would have gone straight to the cheaper surgeon. However, it will be my first time ever having surgery, so I'm learning how the system works. My next step is to book an appointment (and hopefully not have to wait 2 months). More good stuff My sister is due to give birth within the next 4 weeks. She has had some issues with the pregnancy, which means she could deliver early. Hence at any point this month, I could become an Uncle for the first time
  5. My justification was if I do at least one triathlon, then I can get a triathlon watch, but I still need to save up for it. I guess it was my reward for doing a race. Do you use a watch to track your runs? If you just want to track runs, the Forerunner 235 does a really good job of it.
  6. Been using the splint for about 1.5 weeks now. The biggest problem is it's causing too much teeth pain. I tried adjusting it to make it a bit bigger, but then I started snoring again. Last night was the first time I slept without using it, which meant I had to sleep in the lounge room so my snoring wouldn't keep my partner awake at night. This is rather disappointing. I guess I'm most annoyed that the splint is made of rather cheap materials, yet there are plenty of other decent ones available for half the price. It really sounds like the sleep clinic is trying to make money off people by charging a lot for a "trial" splint, then making people upgrade to the $1,000 custom splint. Now this is only usual because in Australia, medical clinics don't try to rip you off. Surgery...maybe After seeing the sleep clinic, I went to see my GP again (mostly to get my blood test results and a booster shot). We discussed the sleep apnea results, and I mentioned that I have trouble breathing through my nose, so I went to get a CT scan of my sinuses. Turns out I have enlarged adenoids, and this would contribute a lot to my sleep apnea. I'm seeing an ENT specialist next week to find out whether surgery will be necessary. I learnt last night, that my adenoids have been enlarged since I was a child. Originally I thought my parents didn't try to do anything about my snoring (which I've had since I was a child). Turns out they did try stuff, but the doctors just said I would grow into them, which clearly hasn't happened 20 years later. Hence surgery is looking likely. Hopefully I can get it done soon. Good stuff I got myself the Garmin Forerunner 935 last week. It normally costs $700 here, but found it second hand for $300. It is awesome. It's a big upgrade from my forerunner 230 (which didn't have heart rate). I mostly like that you can record basically any type of activity. Walks, hikes, skiing, parachuting (yes this is true). I used it for a pool swim and it was pretty good, but it overmeasured the distance I swam. I learnt that every time you stop in a pool, it counts that as one lap. Hence I'll try not to stop in the pool during each lap. Originally I wanted to do a triathlon in early April (and get to use my new watch), but if surgery happens, then I'll choose to skip the race (unless I have surgery after the race). Depression playing up Not sure if depression would be the right word. Basically because of all this sleep apnea stuff, my mood the last week or two has been much lower than normal. This compounded with my finances not being in too great a position (basically because my income is variable, which it will increase in a couple of weeks). I track my spending with YNAB, so I am aware of every single dollar I own and where it is going. Because of this medical stuff, I've had to move a lot of long term savings (like money set aside for car insurance), into other categories (like groceries, rent, medical expenses). I actually should be fine, I won't be going into debt. It's just when you have multiple payments of 500-1000 dollars in a couple of months, it gets to you. But looking at the positive side, I know where the problem lies (adenoids), so I know how to fix it. It's just a matter of seeing specialists, working out appointment/surgery times, filling in lots of paperwork, getting insurance sorted, and so on. The way I've summarised this "depressive episode" is that I've had to adult way too much this last month Looking on the bright side of life My sister is due to have a baby within the next month. This means I'll be an uncle for the first time which is very exciting. She also has her birthday next week, and we've joked the baby will be born that day. Relationship with the girlfriend is going strong. She's been very supportive with this sleep apnea stuff (even going out of her way to call the doctors every day asking for results). My cat is happy again (she tore her cruciate ligament a few months ago, and now it's mostly healed). She basically has a new lease on life and is playing like a kitten again (which is great for a 9.5 year old cat). Started getting some good results in my PhD work again. I was stuck on a problem for the last few months, which ruined my motivation to go to work every day and solve it. However we have a possible solution, so I've been excited to go in again and work on it. Hopefully I have something nice written up within the next few weeks so it will be ready for my 2 year review. That's a lot of stuff Thanks to those people who asked follow up questions. It's nice to have people support and check in with you. Thanks
  7. By visible improvement, do you mean weight loss/body changes? If so, it generally takes about 4 weeks for you to notice changes. Have you taken photos and measurements of your body? Doing that once a month is a good way to see differences. Have you noticed your clothes feeling looser? I find that my belt size is my best indicator of fat loss because you can easily measure it. If you're lifting numbers are going up, that's awesome, keep using that as your motivation. At the start of lifting, your body adapts to it, then it puts on good muscle once the weight starts getting heavier. By the looks of it, you're about to hit a 100kg deadlift soon, and the first time you deadlift 100kgs feels super awesome.
  8. Night one of using the mandibular splint Ouch. Everything I am going to explain is apparently normal and will take 3-4 days to adjust to. Woke up with teeth pain, jaw pain, and headaches. I was told to expect this, as the splint moves your lower jaw forward, plus it can be uncomfortable to keep something in your mouth for over 8 hours. However, your mouth adapts to this after a few days. I laid in bed for half an hour with the splint out of my mouth so I could wait for my jaw to feel better. It got better after taking some ibuprofen. Basically, the sleep specialist said that after 3 days, I'll be sleeping like a baby. The positive Using the SnoreLab app, my snore score has averaged 7 (basically I snore 7% of the night). After 1 night, my score was 1 Plus, my girlfriend who sleeps in the other room, said she couldn't hear me snore at all. Basically my snoring was loud enough that she could hear it in a different room. Hence her not hearing it suggests it is working. However, because of the pain, I constantly woke up and therefore couldn't get a good night's sleep. But after I adapt, I should have the best sleep ever The number one thing I'm looking forward to is being able to sleep in the same bed as my girlfriend again. The byproduct of that is I'll also lose weight and the sleep apnea might entirely disappear. Long term I've changed my health insurance to one that covers the cost of these splints. But it may take a few months before I'm allowed to claim it. Hopefully this isn't the case. The proper customised splint can cost up to $1,000, and if insurance won't cover it, then I'll need to use the cheap one. But my long term goal is to lose most of the weight in the next 3 months, such that my sleep apnea goes away. Yet I understand even if I lose weight, it may never go away, at which point, I'll need to figure out how to afford the expensive splint.
  9. Nice. I feel like when people have a fitness goal (like squatting 100kgs or running a marathon), it makes it a lot easier to stick to their diet. I'm glad you've been enjoying the lifting sessions. I did stronglifts for a few months about 2 years back and it was the most fun I ever had lifting. Don't worry too much about missing a day or two on your diet. Even the best people will have chocolate and chips and some beer every now and then. If you feel like the junk is sabotaging you too much, then try one of these strategies Get your wife and/or PT to keep you accountable. Remove all junk food from your house Keep a food journal, and write down how your body feels after every meal (this works well because you can pinpoint foods that make you feel like crap immediately after eating it)
  10. Sleepy time Got the mandibular advancement splint today and will use it for the first time today. It's a trial version, and you can tell it looks simple and cheap (though costs $150 AUD) so still pricey. Hopefully I adjust straight away and get good sleep tonight. I had to go home early yesterday because I was just too fatigued. Hit the sack straight away and slept for 3 hours. Therefore I have a strong need for it. Less Training I think for the next week or two I'll drop my training load and add a lot of walking into my routine. Once my sleep improves (and hopefully I lose some weight), I'll get back to my regular routine. This means greater focus on diet and sleep.
  11. I think that will be my plan because I don't think my health insurance will cover it. I don't have too much weight to use. The apnea could go away if I lose about 10kgs, although I'll be aiming for losing 15kgs.
  12. Test results are back! Finally got those sleep study results back. Mild sleep apnea. Apparently I had 6 apneas per hour that night, if it was at 5, then I would be considered normal. My treatment is weight loss duh, but that's tricky to do with the sleep apnea. Effectively I receive 92% oxygen whilst sleeping but it should be at 100%. Hence I stay mostly in light sleep and rarely go into deep REM sleep. Deep sleep is where your body's metabolism kicks up a notch, and without it, you put on weight easily. Hence to lose weight for the sleep apnea, I need to get a mandibular splint. It's like a fancy mouthguard that alters the shape of your mouth whilst you sleep so you stop snoring and can get more air in. I can't get it until Tuesday, and it will cost about $150. However, that's the trial version that I'll use for 2 weeks to see if it works. If it does, then I'll need a custom fit one, and I might be looking up to $1,000 for it. I'll need to check if my health insurance covers it. I know some of them do, but mine may not.
  13. Given you are new to this, it would be a good idea to keep it as simple as possible. For your rests, just walk around the room for a bit and catch your breath. If you rest properly, then you can go even harder for each exercise. 30 minutes is fine. Feel free to add a 5-30 minute walk around the block to that. Again, start easy, then slowly make it harder as you get better at it.
  14. Mentally you need to accept that because you had a heavy lifting session one day, your run the next day will be really bad, but that's fine, that's all part of training. In those cases, your run is a recovery workout from your gym workout. I myself do 2-3 strength and conditioning sessions combined with 2-4 run/bike/swim sessions a week. Yesterday I had a great gym session, my run today I had to cut short because my body wasn't feeling it. Point is, listen to your body and you'll be fine with this type of training.
  15. Sleep apnea...maybe Near the end of last challenge, I did a test for sleep apnea. I'm still waiting on results but there's a strong chance I have it. If it is confirmed, then I'll either be on a CPAP, or I'll need surgery. My brother had a similar thing and it was fixed by surgery (tonsil removal), hence there's a chance I'll need it. Regardless of what happens, this is my priority for this challenge. If I need surgery, then I'll probably take a whole month off work. If I need a CPAP, then I'll need to adapt to it. Triathlons again If you read my last challenge, you'll see that I did my first triathlon in 4 years. It was a short distance (250m/10km/3km). The next one I can do is in 2 months time. Me doing this race is contingent on what happens with the sleep apnea. Regardless, I'll be training as if I am doing the race. My priority with training is to improve my running which is definitely my weakness of the three sports. I won't be able to run fast until I lose some weight (currently 100kgs), but I won't be able to easily lose weight until sleep apnea is sorted, so the goal is just adaptation, skills, and building some volume. Diet Time This goes with the sleep apnea thing, because I've noticed that my sinuses have been congested lately which affects breathing and sleeping. If I don't have sleep apnea, then it could be something to do with my sinuses, but sleep apnea is more likely. I've been eliminating foods which are causing the congestion and the biggest culprit appears to be coffee When I drink it, my face feels like it is on fire. If I drink chai tea, I feel fine. Therefore it's the coffee, and not the caffeine in it. The reason I'm adding dairy to the list of stuff to eliminate is because it can encourage mucus production, and my sister said her congestion went away when she stopped having milk. Creating a side hustle I've been reading Chris Guillebeau's Side Hustle book lately on the recommendation of my brother-in-law. I like it because the book is broken down into 27 days, which is effectively 27 steps to complete. I'm making sure to read one day at a time, and to complete the tasks for it. I'm also getting ahead with setting up profiles and a site. Effectively I'll be doing tutoring again for mathematics students, but attempting to extending it by creating guides and courses to sell to students. Diet Quests Reduce/eliminate foods that cause me congestion Coffee Milk Cheese Fitness Quest Stick to my current schedule, with an emphasis on running Mondays - Swim Tuesdays - Gym Wednesdays - Bike and/or run Thursdays - Gym Fridays - Run or rest Saturdays - Bike or swim Sundays - Run Sleep Quest Record sleep using SnoreLab app Wear mandibular splint every night for 2 weeks (and make sure to clean it well) Side Hustle Quest Complete one task per day as in the Side Hustle book
  16. I did the race! It went well. Goal was to finish in under one hour, finished it in 59:53 therefore success My brother signed up at the last moment, so it was pretty cool to be doing the same race. He's pretty good at triathlons, he placed 4th out of 16 people in our age group (mostly because he thought he had a flat tyre so he pulled over and turns out someone else had a flat). Race was 250m swim, 10km bike, 3km run. Splits were Swim: 7:33 (though this included the run into transition) T1: 2:11 Bike: 26:11 (happy with this) T2: 0:00 (fastest transition ever) Run 23:57 (had to run/walk most of this) It was clear from this that running is a weakness. Being 100kgs makes it hard to run well, but training will make it a bit easier. The goal is to keep swimming and cycling at 1 session per week, then 2-3 sessions of running per week, and 2-3 gym sessions. The next race is 2 months away so hopefully I can improve my running by then, and hopefully lose some weight, and hopefully have this sleep apnea stuff sorted out.
  17. Start easy. You mention night walks, I suggest starting with just 5 minute walks, and then increasing the time later on. As for diet, why not aim to drink one litre of pure water a day on top of whatever you are drinking. You might find that by adding water in, you'll naturally decrease the amount sugary drinks you consume. If you want a more in depth guide, I do suggest joining the Nerd Fitness Academy. The initial price might seem a lot, but it's a great investment for improving your health.
  18. I did a home test for sleep apnea the other week and I'm still waiting on the results, but I've been thinking a lot about how sleep apnea makes sense with how my body has been over the last year. Until my test results come through, I'll just assume that I do have sleep apnea and will try doing what I can to help it until I receive treatment from a doctor. The big thing that jumped out at me is that you can get rid of sleep apnea by losing some weight. I wouldn't be considered obese, so I don't have too much fat to lose, but based on how my body is, I certainly could safely lose 20-30 lbs. However to lose weight to improve your sleep apnea, you need to improve your sleep apnea so you can lose weight. Basically, I'm kind of screwed until I receive treatment via CPAP or even surgery. Hence my question to you today is, what did you have to do differently so you could lose weight when you have/had sleep apnea? Did a particular diet/exercise routine make it easier? Did you make any lifestyle changes that helped?
  19. Playing on hard mode Since my last update, there's been a few unexpected boss fights. The biggest one of all is that I might have sleep apnea. I did a home test for it recently and I'm still waiting on test results (my partner has called the clinic every couple of days for me, and I'm grateful that she does that type of stuff for me). I would say there's a 90% chance that I have it. It makes sense, my sleep hasn't been as great, I'm generally fatigued throughout the day, I have a LOT of trouble concentrating at work, and worst of all, I've struggled losing weight over the last year despite what I consider to be a very good diet. A couple of extra factors, my uncle has sleep apnea (which is probably because he is obese), and my brother had it (in which they had to remove his tonsils and some other stuff). In a way, I want the test to come back positive. Although I never want to have sleep apnea, knowing if I have it would explain a lot, and it gives me something to fix. Right now my partner and I need to sleep in different rooms because my snoring is keeping her awake. I want it fixed up so I can go back to cuddling her at night. That's mine (and her) motivation to get this sorted. Other possibilities Let's say the sleep apnea test comes back negative, which would mean there's some other sort of problem. Culprit 1, my sinuses. I've recently been experimenting with eliminating foods to figure out what causes my head to get congested. Initially I thought it would be dairy, so I took that out. Then my next guess was coffee, so I removed that. Then I had a long black, and my face felt like it was on fire, which means for now, I can no longer have coffee (I think dairy is fine but I'm keeping it to a minimum right now). I initially tried to go completely without coffee, but then my energy levels and tiredness was horrible. I then threw in some chai teas, and I feel a lot better. I guess this is my go to caffeine drink now. Culprit 2, thyroid problems? This one is stretching it. I'm only considering it because I read about Staci's thyroid problems and felt like the symptoms resonated with me. I did get a blood test done which included a TSH check so I'll know if there's something wrong with them. The Obstacle is the Way Firstly, you should read the book of this name by Ryan Holiday, you won't regret it. Despite this big obstacle, I signed up for the triathlon on Sunday. 250m swim, 10km bike, 3km run. My first triathlon in 4 years and I'm very excited about it. It's the shortest distance it offers, and I know that I will struggle (and other people would wait a month or two before jumping into one), but the whole point of this race is that I do a race. I just want to say that I'm a triathlete again, and to use this race as a baseline. In the future, it will be fun to look back at this race and to see how I've improved.
  20. I'll preface this by saying that I'm interested in having some discussion and to find out what techniques people use to set time aside to read. The more detailed you go into your answers, the better. For me, there's been two main ways I've set time aside for reading: Reading on the train to work, Reading for half an hour first thing in the morning, and half an hour right before bed. The first I did because I didn't want to sit there and play games on my phone for 40 minutes, twice a day, 5 days a week. And I had just purchased 5 books so I needed an excuse to read them. I read the entirety of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and Name of the Wind on trains. Unfortunately I changed jobs so I no longer read on the way to work (but I do listen to podcasts). The second method I've been following for about 2 years now and is how I do the bulk of my reading. The morning reading is very ritualistic for me. I wake up, make a cup of coffee, sit down on the couch, my cat then jumps on my lap and naps for 30-120 minutes, and whilst she's sleeping, I'll read a book. To be honest, the thing that makes me happiest about that is the cat sleeping on me. As for night time reading, it's a very good way for me to wind down. I usually will read comics on my tablet, and I'll read until I'm sleepy (sometimes falling asleep during the comic). A little bonus, I'm currently reading the following 3 books Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko Dragon Ball Super Volume 1 by Akira Toriyama (the Japanese print so I can practice reading Japanese) What do you do to set time aside for reading?
  21. Encourage him to try it out just once. Say something like, "I'd like you to come to the gym with me today. If you find you like it, then maybe we can keep going to the gym together. If you don't like it, then I won't bother you about it again. But I'd like for you to try it out just once." As for my girlfriend, she actually mentioned to me that she was interested in going to the gym, so I brought her along to my next session and went with her ever since. Turns out, she requires an accountability partner in order to go to the gym. Since providing that accountability, she's been going to the gym roughly 3 times a week over the last 2 years. These are two possible options that certainly could help. I think the key is figuring out what your boyfriend needs in order to get him to workout. If you figure that out, then it will also improve the quality of your relationship.
  22. Following along because I may have sleep apnea, and doing a search on the forums lead me here. How was the testing? Do you have results for it yet? I'm doing my test tonight.
  23. See ya neck pain It's clearing up after seeing people to massage and manipulate parts of it. I've narrowed down the source of the problem to the mattress topper we purchased a few weeks back. My mattress is pretty firm, but my girlfriend wanted a mattress topper to soften it up because that helps her sleep better. However, I figured out that it doesn't help me. I removed it from my side of the bed so she can still use the topper and I can use the harder part of the bed. I've done this for one night, but it's the first night this week I woke up and didn't feel like I had a lot of back pain. I still need to find a new pillow, going to look at contoured latex pillows. Swim swim swim Managed to fit a swim in yesterday and my pace was pretty good. 5x50m swims with 20s rest, averaged about 58 mins per 50m. Basically, I used to do about 52-54 secs/50m, and that was in a 25 m pool so you get to kick off the wall which makes you faster. I think next swim, I'll go to a 25m pool so I can compare my time now to my time a few years back. Weight After figuring out that there's no hard flat surface in my house to use the scale on, I decided to use the scale at the gym, but they no longer have a scale (which I'm surprised by). Guess I'll just continue with diet, and aim to make training consistent and spend more time moving around and hope that makes changes to how my clothes feel.
  24. I might do the workouts for fun at my gym. Last year was the first time since 2013 that I didn't do the Open, and seeing how ridiculous some of the workouts were, I'm glad I didn't. Basically I think that what Dave Castro programs for these Crossfit workouts are a bit ridiculous. If the workout he posts seems sane, then I'll do it.
  25. Obstacles in the way Started the week off with some pretty bad neck pain. Been seeing some specialists. One says it's like an injury, although I didn't do anything to injure yet. Hence maybe it's just months/years of poor posture building up. It's feeling better today but may take a couple of weeks to heal up properly. This means no swimming or cycling for another week. Running should be okay. I find that standing, walking, running, basically being in a tall stable position, my neck will be okay. Work work (or lack of work) I've been trying to figure out why I just don't want to be going into work since the new year started (work being a PhD). I feel like it started when I was looking for jobs once my PhD finished. This must have depressed me a bit because I saw a whole lot of interesting jobs that I feel like I'd rather be doing than working on my PhD. And looking at the huge salaries these jobs pay doesn't help either when you get paid slightly more than minimum wage. I've also been out of a routine recently. There are no set hours for a PhD, they just expect you to go in and do work. Hence no start time that I have to be in at work which means I'll be slower and lazier with my mornings, but then I'll want to leave early so I get less work done than I need to. The third thing, my current project is very open ended, which means that it's difficult for me to know exactly what I'm doing and where this work is heading. Action Steps Set a start time for work (8am) and commit to it. Make a plan for my projects. Pretend that I am writing a paper for it, and try to imagine what would be in that paper. Those sections then become tasks I need to complete. When I look at jobs, if I see one that's interesting, I will send a friendly email to find out more about it even though I won't be applying for jobs for a whole year.
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