Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Squeeze: HR Training - Day 7

The Short: The same as yesterday, but replace the treadmill with actual road, trail, snow, ice, puddles, and ScrewShoes.

The Long: You know how they say that when you train at higher altitudes, your body works harder? Seems that even a small amount of altitude change can do this too. Today's run was at my in-laws place in North Bend, near the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Throughout the entire run, it was alot harder to maintain control of my HR. Every time my body would move out of the aerobic fat-burning zone (aka the Most Aerobic Pace or MAP zone) and shift into the moderate zone (what Stu Mittleman refers to as the Most Efficient Pace or MEP zone), I could actually sense it before my Suunto would go off, even if the HR rise would be only about 1-3 beats above 138 bpm! I could actually "taste" the odd shift from my MAP to MEP and let me tell ya, it isn't a sweet taste. I can't identify what it is exactly, but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough. I'm sure it's related to the bump from tapping into fat as the primary fuel source and dipping into that area where fat and sugar are both used (or as Stu's Book refers this as, "The Tightrope Walker").

Another thing that helped with the difficulty factor was the snow that was still on the ground. Tie that to also running on actual trails that are still mushy and wet and you can expect to use more muscles as you move across the land. More muscles working = more work. More work = more energy expenditure. More energy expenditure = higher heart rate.

But all in all, it wasn't too bad of a run. There were moments where I was moving long pretty well and feeling pretty free. I always enjoy myself the most during those times and look forward to those before hearing the beeps. However, it COULD have been better. But as the weeks progress, I'll also be making more trips to places of higher elevation to have my body adapt more and also do some hill training to prep for Cascade Crest.

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