For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tips from an old friend

Mike Galoob - athletic jack of all trades
Mike Galoob was my room-mate at college.  For a year or more we shared a low rent pile-of-crap house 30 feet from the railroad tracks in Norman, Oklahoma, while attending the University.  We built a climbing gym in the attic and through a legendary halloween party (the only party i've ever really thrown) that took us weeks to clean up from and resulted in a gaping hole in our ceiling that we tried to cleverly disguise during the house inspection required to get our deposit back when we moved out (we didn't get it back).  During those years all we thought about was climbing - we climbed under bridges, on buildings, and up water-towers (for which we got arrested).  We'd drive round trip to Colorado on every long weekend, or make our own 'unofficial' long weekends by skipping class.  Mike was a tremendously gifted climber and talented athlete all around - gutsy, great stamina, and extremely confident.  The only thing he had going against him was really stinky feet (a small price to pay since we were all a pretty smelly bunch anyway).

I lost track of Mike for many years but thanks to the good side of facebook we've started to catch up.  What's interesting is that in some non-insignificant ways our lives have paralleled each other
- he's married to a rather athletic woman (like me) and has a pair of young kids (girls - mine are boys).  He's still climbing occasionally (but not nearly as much) but is more focused on racing/endurance sports, and is apparently pretty good at it.

He's been reading a posting some comments on here recently and yesterday sent me an email that had some great thoughts that bear passing on, stuff that seems so relevant that i'm surprised i hadn't really thought of it before:

Weight matters
I've (short-sightedly) always subconsciously assumed people interested in what i'm writing/pursuing would be in pretty good shape at optimum weight.  I retrospect, this is a ridiculous assumption.  And as Mike pointed out - one of the 'easiest' ways to get faster is to get down to fighting weight.  According to Mike's personal experience (and some of his research), you can expect to gain about 2 seconds per mile of running speed per pound you drop.  Even people in reasonably good shape might be carrying around an extra 10 lbs or so (Mike says he dropped about 20 pounds when he decided to start racing more seriously) - shed that and without any fitness gains you should find yourself 20 seconds per mile faster.  And i gotta tell you, if you've been running regularly you'll recognize that 20 seconds per mile is a pretty significant gain in terms of speed.  In fact, Mike's mention of this has made me decide to try to figure out where my own 'ideal weight' is - i don't think i've got much to lose, but I am certainly heavier now by about five pounds that i have been in the past (and as much as i'd like to think so, its probably all in those burgeoning calves of mine.

As for Mike, I'll be keeping an eye on what he's up to, and have decided to follow his training - there's a link on the right (around and around and around) for those interested.  Thanks Mike!

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