Friday, December 5, 2008

Turtles and Boomerangs

Yesterday's run...sucked. Well, sucked in that I got another reality check/slap in the face. Geared up with the Suunto t6 that Arthur sold me awhile back, I decided to play into the rules of the heart rate monitor training. I would hold back and make sure my body stayed in the aerobic zone, in my case - I calculated it to 126-147 BPM based on what happened on Tuesday with my HR spiking to 210 BPM when I was finishing up.

So, 4.23 miles later (yeah, I wore the footpod too - seems gmap-pedometer overshoots the distance a little bit), I struggled to keep my wonky heart rate down in the zone. Average HR was 149, I kept it in the zone for under 20 minutes. The rest of the time, I was over 147 BPM. My body was shuffling at best at a rate of 14 minutes per mile. I've been able to crawl faster than that!

So, moving like a turtle, I did finish my run and didn't feel beaten up like I had in the previous runs. I must have done something right then. Eric Sachs told me that my internal perceptions are messed up, which I agree with. The pace that I feel comfortable running at doesn't match up to my body's actual effort in running it. If it feels easy, my heart should be working easy. Everything that I learned about heart rate training has come back to bite me in the butt. I toss out the HRM, only for it to return back to me.

Dr. Maffetone's methods. Lydiard's training. Daniels' training. All of them pimping on the need to build your aerobic base, finally has sunk in. This is why my performance two years ago was so much better than my performance lately. Atleast now, I know what I have to do and Eric gave me the okay to add on as much mileage as I'd like as long as I keep it in the zones and don't feel beaten up by the extra mileage.

So no anaerobic workouts for me. No weight training (body weight stuff is fine - pushups, pullups, crunches). No going balls-out on things for awhile until I get this aerobic capacity nailed down. This also means no CrossFit or HIT for awhile too.

Off for a walk now (one of the things that a fellow runner in my group told me can help with dropping my HR). Thinking about the next event, at a rate of 14 minutes a mile to keep my HR in check, I should be able to finish the Pigtails Flat Ass 50k in...a little over 7 hours. Oh boy. My HR better learn to adapt soon!


King Arthur said...

Listen to your heart, but don't be afraid to adjust those HR limits by 3-5 beats either way because we’re all a little different.
Your speed/effort perception reminds me of a workout I did 3 weeks ago. I had the 3 kids in a wagon (~180lbs total) and pulled them with a rope around my waist for 3.5 miles. It took 55 minutes! It wasn't until about halfway through that I realized I was working hard. I had an EPOC of 50.5 / TE of 2.6 (that’s equivalent to a 6.5mph effort on the same trail) HR was between 90 and 150 (we made a lot of stops). …
My point? Forget all about 2 years ago and work that base while working off your “base”. If it were me I’d have to do a lot of biking, rowing, swimming, etc. to give the body a rest from the pounding of running. 2 work outs a day one run one cross.

Also never forget that 4mph for 100 miles is 25 hours, so you don’t have to be fast.

You can also break that HR zone into 2. .. Like 120-130 for when you’re beat up or on day 2 of a double and 135-150 for when you’re feeling fresh or for those shorter runs.

Jon said...

You dragged your kids in a wagon for three miles? Dude, talk about family bonding. Gimme a call when you decide to add your two dogs and wife into the Radio Flyer Wagon. I'd like to see you pull a Jack LaLanne and drag them with your teeth while you're at it. :-)

And you got a point abuot the HR limits by 3-5 beats since my HR would drift over to 152-155 bpm often during yesterday's run (152-157 bpm was my previous easy run/steady-state run effort). But I don't think I'll re-calibrate for atleast a few weeks. I want to give this a chance based on the highest point my HR was on Tuesday (210 bpm from the readout).

One thing I think I'm going to have to do is to warm-up better before running. I think that on Tuesday, my heart rate didn't settle in until maybe 15 minutes into everything.