Posted by: Armand | March 3, 2011

Oops, I broke the treadmill

Seeing as I’m in Malaysia for the next few weeks all my running training is happening on a treadmill. Which I broke today after my first run – a 5ker which I finished in 27.45. Theoretically this is a good time for me but in practice – the treadmill makes things so much easier I should be able to get closer to a 20 minute 5k. See if I can manage that this trip, once the treadmill repair people see if they can replace the part… Not that its a cheap treadmill (it’s not) or I’m a heavy lump (less obviously untrue) but suspect some of the plastic goes brittle in the hot humid conditions…

The speed wasn’t inspired by this, but in an interestind sidebar: My Dad’s friend popped over the other night and recommended PACE training for fatburning (which I need, the fatburning not necessarily the PACE training). I’d not heard of it before and am slightly suspicious of it despite the logic, which is (in part) – you want to get into the fat burning zone and stay there long enough for your body to switch substrates, but not convince your body to switch to creating fat to support the ‘habit’ – a consequence of which is you should chuck your long distance running/ aerobics routine.

I’m vastly suspicious of anything that tries to make weight loss sound ‘easy’ and Dr Sears’ method sounds a bit too good to be true (12 minute workouts etc)…

I need to understand more about human metabolism. I wish Ben Goldacre would write a book about this stuff as between this and the nutrionist stuff he writes about in Bad Science I’m sure there’s a bunch of debunking (or at least: rational explaining) of this, Sears, Atkins, and every other populist weight-loss plan we get confronted with at parties so that I could provide a semi-definitive – “it sounds great but like too much work for me” or “the science makes no sense.”

Anyway, I mostly run for fun rather than weightloss (although that’s a necessary objective for me if I’m to break a 2hr time for the half this year).



  1. I think it’s an accolade to break exercise equipment. Somehow indicates that you were giving the type thrashing that it wasn’t expecting.

    re: the science. It’s a real minefield, and there’s still a lot of active study underway. I’ve decided that there aren’t easy answers so my philosophy is just to run lots. If you want to lose weight: run harder, longer, both of the above. If you want to run a marathon: run a long way.

    I can’t claim credit for the term ‘sweat run’. I believe it comes from sports where a weigh-in is important such as boxing. The idea is to sweat out as much mass as you can before the weigh in, and then re-hydrate. Not sure if it ever goes as far as full bodily evacuations though. The only time in my recent history that I’ve dipped below 10.5 stone was when on a 20miler in the heat, and I’d stupidly forgotten to take a drink. At 15 miles I was reduced to a sluggish pace and contemplated nipping into someones garden to use their garden tap. At 17miles I found Lanbeach Social Club and managed to get some water in there much to the amusement of the regulars (yet another outing of the ‘Run Forest’ heckle). I temporarily lost 4lbs.

  2. Thanks Sensei. Re: running harder, longer – that’s the plan. Understood re: sweat run – that term has whole new meaning here where every run is a sweat run. Turn away if you’re easily shocked…

    …but every run I do here (indoors, at home) is shirtless, in running shorts only, and even then is dangerously sweaty. I’ve no idea how people cope with marathons in this weather, it’s absolutely insane.

  3. Sweat run is too close to being a sweet run on paper.

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