Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blazing my own trail: HR Training - Day 32

In my attempt to try and run with the group, it could be only described in one word that populates the internet greatly...


The reasons for the fail:

- No warm-up. Note the chaos in the beginning. Although, I think that the area near the store might also have some interference as well (that's my take on it anyway).
- Letting the group dictate the pace instead of me doing my own thing. But that's the problem with going with running in a group when you're focus is how your HR is doing and no two folks are alike. The guy that eventually ran with me (Rob) the entire 4+ miles has HR trained longer than I have and even though he's coming off of an injury layoff, he's able to run at a faster clip with a lower HR. But it was a good balance that evening since my comfy pace (note the middle where it holds pretty steady) and his easy pace where he's running at a lower HR (around 135 bpm for him, I think) were pretty close.
- Not being able to actually hear the beeps this time from my Suunto to tell me to switch from Zone 2 to Zone 1. It was supposed to be a Run 12 minutes at Zone 2, run 2 minutes in Zone 1, repeat three more times. Do you see the odd markers in the beginning? That's from straight-up confusion when was running. I didn't realize to drop zones until it was too late. I also didn't complete the run (should have covered 6 more minutes worth of time).

Thankfully, I didn't get beaten up during this run like I did in the past ones, which proves that I am improving from when I started. I also did have the company of atleast one person (Thanks Rob), which was a nice change instead of being on a treadmill or alone on the roads all the time.

I had asked Eric about the training plan and what comes after day 42. At first, he said that we weren't there yet and not to rush the plan. I was very suprised to hear that response since it would be 10 days until the end and the idea of not even knowing what to do with myself after the plan just doesn't sit well with me. If this was just a fitness thing and nothing more, I would be fine with it. But since I have a goal race for the year, not having a plan of attack is foolish.

He then gave me some more detail, but not quite what I expected. He wanted me to fine-tune my HR training some more and repeat a certain week where my HR stayed the most rock-steady (after you remove the garbage data of interference, coffee, no warm-ups, or experimentation.) What? Repeat a week? THAT didn't sit well with me either. Fine-tuning my HR further, great - I'm all for it. But just repeating a previous week? That doesn't make much sense. I know I've made gains. I KNOW I'm not rushing the plan and I'm really doing my best to focus on my HR. Looking at my past data, everything does look good when you remove the crap. However, it has also been a very big learning experience and alot of information I had to figure out on my own (which is why I've been posting all this stuff).

There was an extra nugget that he tossed me though that I kind of figured on my own, but he confirmed. He said that he trains in 5 zones, while noting that I only have three (technically 4 if you include the peak zone that is usually reserved for the last minute kick in races or a flight-or-fight response that people get when in danger). Now this helps greatly since that will let me breakdown those zone runs further for my benefit. Remember the whole MAP/MEP/SAP thing I mentioned? This is where things might fall better into place.

Here are my current zones based on the VO2Max test taken on Dec 16:

Low Zone: 79-138 bpm
Moderate Zone: 139-161 bpm
High Zone: 162-178 bpm
Peak Zone: 179-183 bpm

Here are the zones based on the Maffetone 180 approach with the Stu Mittleman twist (Congrats Stu on making into the Ultrarunning Hall of Fame!):

MAP Zone: 119-138 bpm
MEP Zone: 139-149 bpm
SAP Zone: 150-169 bpm

I've made an adjustment for my age since my original calculation was when I was on the cusp of moving from age 30 to 31. Note how now my Aerobic Threshold of 138 bpm from the VO2Max test matches to the highest number of the MAP Zone. Coincidence? I think not.

Remember my comfy pace? My HR stayed around 145-149 bpm. Check out the MEP number. See how it is in the lower part of the Moderate Zone?

Update: I re-did the calculations for the other options of "If you're an experienced endurance athlete (3-5 hrs of running or more a week), add 10 points" and "If you're active but not experiened (less than 3-5 hrs of running a week), add 5 points".

Adding 5 points:
MAP: 124-143
MEP: 144-154
SAP: 155-174

Adding 10 points:
MAP: 129-148
MEP: 149-159
SAP: 160-179

Yeah, based on my VO2Max test, these numbers are WAY off if I raised them.

So if I start chopping things up from the VO2Max test and the Mittleman numbers, this is what I end up with:

= Low Zone =
Zone 1a: 79-118 bpm
Zone 1b: 119-138 bpm

= Moderate Zone =
Zone 2a: 139-149 bpm
Zone 2b: 150-161 bpm

= High Zone =
Zone 3a: 162-169 bpm
Zone 3b: 169-178 bpm

= Peak Zone =
Zone 4: 179-183 bpm

So the question does this help me out now? What does this do for my training?

This is how:

= Low Zone =
Zone 1a: Warm-Up/Cooldown/Recovery, usually walking briskly or a slow shuffle
Zone 1b: Easy Pace, using fat for fuel

= Moderate Zone =
Zone 2a: Comfy Pace/Steady-State Pace
Zone 2b: Tempo Pace

= High Zone =
Zone 3a: Long Interval Pace, aid with increasing Anaerobic Threshold
Zone 3b: Short (but Harder) Interval Pace, aid with increasing Anaerobic Threshold and VO2Max

= Peak Zone =
Zone 4: The final kick (BOOM goes the dynamite!), aid with increasing VO2Max (to be used judiciously.)

Now that I have my numbers more fine-tuned to what I need to do, I just need a structured running plan (or enough info to devise my own, which I'm pretty close to). I'll try and ask again in the last week, otherwise I think I'm going to have to find my own way and hope for the best.


King Arthur said...

If all you did was to start again in the middle, you'd be doing just fine.

1. Like you said today’s run @ 150 bpm is not the same run as it was a month ago.
2. Don't forget the tried and true rule of 10%. Don't increase more than 10%/week or 10%/month.
3. Make sure you stick with running nearly everyday. If you run just slow enough to be able to run again tomorrow, then you're golden.
4. And don’t forget to Train for the Terrain. The treadmill isn’t going to trash your feet and ankles like the trail.

Jon said...

I could do that, but all this would be is more HR experimentation and if I'm going to experiment - I might as well have the focus to be aimed towards Cascade Crest. (Did you do the VO2Max test?)

1.) Very true. I know I've improved from when I started.
2.) Yeah, but there's no real way for me to get close to the 10% rule if I repeat the current schedule in its current format. This is why I need more guidance.
3.) That I'm definately doing, but I will start cross-training to compliment my running and overall fitness.
4.) Definately!

King Arthur said...

No I didn't get tested. It was too expensive for me. One of these days I will.

lynchseattle said...

Hey Jon,

I put together an entire training plan for the year. The results of the VO2 tests for me fit into a 6 week prep/base building period. After that I have to move on though and continue with my regular training program, which includes certain races and events throughout the entire year.

Do you have a program put together yet towards your goal?

Jon said...

Hey Chris,

I have a tenative plan setup using the zones I mentioned in my post. However, Eric did say he thought about my training and wanted to go over some things after the Pigtails run. However, my kid wanted to bail after I finished my 1st loop, so I never got to talk to him. I'm hoping to get to the group run on Tuesday to shoot-the-shit and stuff.

Wanna trade notes sometime?