Workouts and fitness in 2019

Last year I dedicated myself to improving my workout regime, having seen a marked improvement in my fitness in 2018. It was going to be a challenge to better my previous years efforts, but improve them I did.

My headline stats for 2019 were as follows…

All workouts
The number of recorded cycling workout numbers are a little skewed, as I changed how I was recording my daily cycle commute (footnote if you’re interested in that). The important numbers to focus on are time and calories.

TLDR; I increased the amount of recorded calories burned from 102,024 in 2018, to 180,970 in 2019 - an increase of 77%. More impressive to me is the fact I burned 2.5x the number of calories in 2019 compared to 2017!

2019 workouts total.png

I went the extra mile with the breakdown this year to show how the major workouts types I record breakdown by calories burned. I first got the Brompton in April 2018 which is why there are no cycling workouts before that date. 2018 looked like this:
Workouts by type 2018.png

And 2019 was clearly more even across the board, mostly due to the year-round use of the Brompton and resulting even distribution of cycling.
Workouts by type 2019.png

Walking + Running
Combined running & Walking distance I have a daily average of 8.1km. That’s up from 2019’s daily average of 7.7km. I can put this down to the increased amount of running I’ve done. Little has changed in my daily walking. Also, since watchOS started suggested you record a walk once you’ve travelled about 1km (software update in October 2018), I recorded more walking workouts (see the yellow bars in the above graphs).

walking plus running 2019.jpg

I ran 775km in 2019 - a 17.5% increase on the 660km I ran in 2018. Below is a comparison of the past 3 years. I ran 207 times (2 less than 2018), burning 12% more calories running than the year before (a total of 51257 calories).

Running workouts.png

As mentioned above, this is the first full calendar year I’ve had the Brompton and I changed how I record my commute cycles. Also we did not do a cycle tour in 2019 due to peoples availability, so the usual August spike is missing this year. However I did cycle all the way to work a fair amount in the summer, cycling a total of 2,742km in 2019 - just 17km more than 2018. So despite missing the roughly 250km summer tour, I still made up the distance.

Cycling workouts.png

I actually burned about 5% less calories doing what I generally just record as an ‘Other’ workout, as it contains all sorts of weights and stretching exercises. This comes as a surprise to me as the results I’m seeing in my body would lead me to believe I did a lot more in this area in 2019. I was expecting to see my calories burned here account for the majority of the overall increase I saw, but apparently not.

This is however an area I expect to grow in 2020 as I’ve started to diversify my weights workouts more using a great little app called Fitbod.

I set a new standard in 2019 and I’m feeling great because of it. I’ve had the least amount of problems with my back since I first injured it over 20 years ago, and I’ve managed tone up a little this year so I think I look better too.

I intend to try and continue to do more. I would like to do more lunchtime activities during the week (naturally this will happen outside of winter) and perhaps experiment with the time I dedicate to my morning routine. I hope eating even better and drinking less will also contribute to an overall healthier 2020.

I find these stats fascinating, and will continue to analyse my performance with YOY comparisons as I find it very motivating. Next year I’d like to extend my focus on metrics to observe how my heart rate is improving while doing these activities. Now I have consistent data spanning years on the same activity type I should be able to see an improvement in how my body is able to handle those workouts.

And finally I’d like to call out my Apple Watch once again. I’ve talked in the past about how I use the watch, and its because of this amazing little device that I have all this data at all. Being able to quantify my workouts has motivated me to improve. Closing those rings, earning awards and competing with Watch-wearing friends really does help drive you do more exercise, if that is a goal you have. I think I can honestly say no other device has had as greater daily impact to my life over the past 5 years than my Watch.

Part of my 2019 year in review.

Cycling workout changes footnote.
I use a Brompton most days to travel to and from the train station, meaning I will cycle four times on a standard day; home - local station, city station - work, work - city station, and local station - home. I began using Shortcuts to record this activity in late 2018 as I would rarely remember to start such a routine workout consistently on the watch. My first shortcut recorded one cycle workout for each direction of travel, which would include combined data for two cycles, in one recorded workout. After a few months of data I decided there was not enough granularity in accuracy in the way I was documenting it so in April 2019 switched to recording two separate cycles for each leg; four per day. I just changed the shortcut structure to log differently so I still only have to activate two shortcuts on the average day. I created other shortcuts to log additional or non-standard cycles.

Thanks to Shortcuts automation in iOS 13 I’ve made this even easier by triggering a notification to launch the shortcut when I arrive at the station on a weekday at my usual morning/afternoon commuting times. ⤴️


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