Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chris vs Jeff: The New Pact

This weekend, I was in the middle of a run with my friend Jeff Riddle when he asked me "We both know our weaknesses, right?"  I knew exactly what he meant--what is holding us back as better runners.  Jeff has a weight issue (or eating problem).  Myself, I tend to run too fast and not long enough.  I need more consistent, easy miles. Less speed, more endurance.  Jeff needs to eat less and lose weight. Less weight will translate into faster and easier running. We both have known "our weaknesses" for years. Sometimes we work on them, usually we don't.

Of course, that question from Jeff was leading to more than just us admitting to our weaknesses.  He had an agenda. A plan. We knew our weaknesses and we even knew how to correct them...but we fail to make adjustments in our training or daily routines. Jeff proposed a pact. He would eat less and I would run more. Having finished my 100-day running streak, it seemed like a great time to jump into another goal that would motivate me through the spring.  I'm game.  What are the details of this pact?  It's not a pact with the devil is it?  Nope, just a pact with the Riddler!

Jeff will consume 1700 calories or less per day. And he'll "go vegetarian."  No meat, but dairy and eggs are OK.  I'm pretty sure he threw this part in to grab my attention.  It worked. Jeff's a basic meat and potatoes kind of guy.  If he was willing to reduce his daily caloric intake and drop meat from his diet...who was I to stand in his way!?  Good for him. (I am already vegetarian.)

Chris will accumulate at least 50 miles per week all at a heart rate of 150 or less.  Walking is OK as long as it is part of intentional exercise. The key is more miles at an easy aerobic pace. This will hopefully build my endurance base, keep me injury free, and establish a foundation to run well at trail ultramarathons this summer and fall. No speedwork, no tempo runs, no races. If I'm careful, I might be able to incorporate short, gentle strides to work on leg turn-over...but my heart rate can't exceed 150. Why 150 as the limit?  It's a nice "round number" to remember and it fits in well with several running philosophies and coaches:

Phil Maffetone: 180-age +/- adjustments = 180-46+10=144
Ernst van Aaken: 150 or below
Arthur Lydiard: Easy, long, or recover = 60-75% of heart rate reserve = 136-156
Roy Benson: Easy fat-burning = 65-70% of heart rate reserve = 143-150

This pact began on Monday, March 26 and will continue through Tuesday, July 3...that equals 100 days!  July 4 will be a day of celebration and we can assess our success and re-evaluate our goals moving forward into the summer.

What does the "winner" get?  Jeff says "Satisfaction of setting and reaching a goal."  I need more than that!  If we both succeed, I propose we go out to lunch and celebrate.  If one succeeds and the other fails, then the loser treats the winner to lunch.  If we both fail, then we sulk at home by ourselves with no celebratory lunch.

We both agreed to post our progress in a public forum at least once per week.  Preferably every single day.  We can blog, tweet, e-mail a listserv, or do a public running log (like DailyMile).  Whatever works to keep us accountable to each other...and the rest of the world!

I hope we both succeed.  If Jeff stays the course, he'll likely lose 25-30 pounds and several inches off his waist.  If I keep piling on lots of easy aerobic miles, I'll become a master fat-burning machine capable of massive feats of endurance.

Feel free to track my progress on this blog, my twitter account, or my DailyMile log.

Jeff's blog should be more active now and he'll likely track his progress there.


trice said...

Hah! Let the entertainment begin!

Chris said...

I am here to entertain you!

janak said...

Vegetarian diet alone will not help lose weight if one keeps eating cheese pizzas and any corn chips! It takes will power! To help reduce the caloric intake, I suggest drink lots of water before a meal. Also chomp on lots of greens, apples etc. Chewing those for a while helps with cravings.

Jeff my friend, I am rooting for you.

Chris said...

I love my veggie pizza with lots of cheese. Plus beer. And chips and salsa. Then more beer. Good thing Jeff is doing the calorie restriction...I just need to eat and run. More of both!

GTI said...

I think I have the opposite problem from yours, Chris, I never do enough fast running. I'm great at going out and logging lots of long slow distance. Between the two of us is a perfect training plan. :)

Chris said...

Guess we both have to have a better balance. Nothing to excess.