Blog: The Fitness Zone
Sunday morning, 8am. Things weren't all that promising.
I was sitting on the boot sill of my car, a wonderful 1993 Toyota Sprinter wagon. For those in the know, that's a Japanese import version of a Corolla.
Who'd have known I'd still have it after all these years. I'd sell it, but it's not worth much, even though it's only done 120,000km. That statistic alone means it's going to go for years yet, even though the paint is starting to fall off.
My frugal upbringing means I won't be able to part with it until the wheels fall off - I could be 90 by then.
None of that was going through my mind at the time. I was too busy shivering.
Last week's sea swim was interesting in many ways.
First, there was the departure from port of a fairly large ship, passing quite close to our proposed course and causing a delay of 15 minutes or so.
If it hadn't been for that delay, the whole swim would have been over before the main event - the arrival of the orca.
Organisers were spared the agony of deciding what to do if the pod had arrived earlier, but as it was, the swimmers were well under way in the 1km event when the orca family steamed through The Cut.
Although the largest one showed a momentary interest in getting up close and personal, they largely ignored us, staying on the other side of the small fleet of kayaks and inflatables that customarily accompany the event.
We all want to know when we're going to die. Perhaps that explains the fascination with studies such as that recently conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The nub of the research was that a seemingly fit person of 40 might have a fitness age of 60 - or vice versa. Your fitness age would presumably give you some clues to your lifespan.
If your fitness age is 85, then you might be interested in doing something about it, especially if you are only 50. Getting your affairs in order would be a good start.
On the other hand, if you're 65, like me, and you want to know how to arrange your finances so you don't run out of money before your demise, then it would be in your interest to have some sort of predictor of how long you've got to go.
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that putting five measurements - waist circumference; resting heart rate; frequency and intensity of exercise; age; and sex - into an programme, helped them predict a person's VO2 max (the ability of an individual's body to transport and use oxygen) quite accurately.
How do you stay fit and active when you've picked up your Gold Card?
Possession of the card marks some sort of a landmark in your life - it means you're getting older.
Older than you used to be, but not necessarily OLD. Definitely not old enough to fall into an armchair, no matter how tempting that is at times.
Ever since childhood I've been involved in some sort of sporting competition.
That competitiveness transferred to work, where I always wanted to achieve to the best of my ability.
When I started running as an adult, the social and competitive options were few. Back in 1984, you ran with a club during the winter.
There were three choices, Trafalgar, Nelson or Waimea. Each had their own programme, although there was some interclub competition from time to time.
The winter was divided between the balmy autumn days running on grass and farmland, before moving into the serious mud of the cross-country season.
Sometime approaching August, the road season got under way. Even then there were races like the Swan Trophy, still a regular 10km fixture on the late winter programme.
Back then it was a straight run from Richmond to Tahunanui and I suspect it was closer to 11km.
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