Tag Archives: training

A Little Bit of Fast

Given that I’ve now signed up for a 5k, I thought that I should try running with my ‘fast legs’ and see just how well positioned I am currently. 

I went out first thing this morning without any food so that I could take advantage of the lower temperatures, even though I know I’ll be running the race at peak temps as it starts at 5:30pm. 

With all my gadgets prepared, I did a few lazy stretches and then hit GO. 

At the half mile I was cruising at 7:03 pace. Not too shabby. By the mile marker I had slowed to 7:05. Doh. This is right before a hill so I pushed a little harder over the hill and managed to get some additional speed down the other side. By this point my legs were feeling warmed up.  I finished strong with a 5k time of 21:46 and an average pace of 7:00. 

Not too bad at all. I’ll do some work on pushing a little harder and I will also target some runs later in the day to get used to the temps and humidity. 

Other than that, it is going to be down to start line positioning and how busy the trail gets. 🙂

It felt good to shake out the cobwebs with this faster run. 


Marathon Pace Sandwich: Hard to Swallow

Today’s mix run was difficult. One mile warm up, four miles of marathon pace and then a mile cool down. That’s a long time to go at that pace and my lets felt heavy. Waaaaa!

A beautiful morning for a run with 57F and none of the forecast rain. I kept my easy pace to about 8:45 and my race pace was slightly behind where I wanted it to be (7:44).

I was also distracted and messing around with the nike+ app which I still haven’t managed to successfully calibrate. I shall do this at the track tomorrow morning. I now have a little pouch for the widget on my shoe so no more losing it as I run. 🙂

The Nike+ app is pretty nice as it is integrated into iOS and just pressing the home button while running will get it to read your current stats. Nice touch. However, until it is calibrated it is just talking nonsense based on Nike’s idea of an average runner. According to their site the average male member (oh er) of my age runs 31.4 miles in 30 days. What a bunch of slackers. Or perhaps I need to step it back a bit? Naa.

My new shoes are en route but I don’t think they’ll get to me before I go away on business tomorrow so I guess I’ll be putting another 30+ miles on this pair before they are done.

I wonder if you wear through the soles does that make it barefoot running? 😉

Benefits of a Rest Day and a Good Meal

Yesterday I took the day off running. I think that officially it was only my third day off this month as I tend to squeeze some other activity or cross-training into any gaps I have.

I’m glad I did it for several reasons: firstly, I really needed a day off as I was exhausted from upping my mileage and riding to work on Monday and Tuesday. Secondly, it rained all day and if I had ridden my bike I would have been soaked through. Finally, it gave me space to think about why I was so tired.

Why was I so tired? (So nice of you to ask). I have a couple if thoughts on this.

Really rest on a rest day. Doing cross training is okay on some of the rest days, especially if you isolate the muscles and work on different sets, but I think sometimes your body needs a complete day off. Listen to your body. I hadn’t done this for a while.

Diet is the other thing I was ignoring. All the activities I was doing each day required extra fuel and I hadn’t been doing that. Theoretically I need to take on 1000 calories more each day when I run and bike to maintain my weight.

I was totally ignoring this and guess this contributed significantly to my tiredness. So it is time to power up my “Lose it” app in ‘maintain mode’ and track my calories for a while until I get back into the correct eating patterns.

Of course I need to make those calories good ones that will contribute to my fitness rather than just stuffing in candy, but that’s a whole other conversation…

My run today with fresh legs was still in the 7:51 pace range but I managed to keep my heart rate in the right zone for much more of the run, only really popping out of it within the last half mile as I saw the lights of home.

Tomorrow is track day and I will try to do a test to find my actual maximum heart rate. Should be interesting…

Heart Rate Zone Training

After a weekend of lighter cross-training (basic body weight lifts, pulls and pushes, monkey climbing, etc. at the playground, and a 42 mile intense Buke ride) it was time to consider my approach for this next few weeks.

Firstly I need to start increasing my distance from two miles. For the next few weeks I’ll work at three mile runs.

Secondly, I want to start noticing and training within the correct heart rate zones otherwise it will be very difficult to increase my mileage significantly.

My wife found another formula for calculating max heart rate on the Runner’s World website that they have tested so I’m going to use that until I calculate my own specific max.

Their formula for men over 40 is 205 -(.5 x age). This gives me an estimated 184 which seems closer to numbers I have observed over the last few weeks. I will add this to my HR formulae table here.

For the run today I tried to stay in the 80-90% HRmax range which equates to 147-165. For my first attempt at this I feel I was quite successful, but at the cost of my speed which fell to a 7:44 pace. I think this was because I was concentrating on HR and not focussing on pushing backwards or lifting legs. I also stopped my metronome partway because trying to keep on that beat pushed my HR up too high. I think my general form was good though.

I did spike out if the range once but only briefly. At the end of the run I didn’t feel over stressed and recovered very quickly.