Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Good Training Weekend..

Saturday, Aug. 17th
It was great being in Northport again. I had worked in Huntington and Northport for a time about 10 years ago, and the last time I spent serious time there was at last year's Cow Harbor. It seems every time I pass through, some thing else is going up, or businesses have changed hands.  It was good to be back, and it was especially good to run the course again. Well, as good as the St. James hill allowed it to be.
I have a love/hate relationship with this course. I've run it several times in the process of training for it, and then the actual race itself last year, my first year of running. The St. James hill is really gruesome. It's almost a mile long, with a 70 foot change of rise. 
I managed to run/walk the hill on Saturday morning.  I was so grateful it was over..and then I remembered the left turn onto Waterside Ave., at that it never ends. For the amount of work I put into it, (hate) I was very pleased that I was able to tackle it again. (love!)
I ran this in an hour and a minute. When I trained last year, my times were 1:17:00, 1:06:00 and 1:01:00. Racing it brought me in at 00:58:18.
The last 10k I ran, (the LI Marathon 10k with a bum calf) I came in at 1:00:33 - but that course was flat. I had expected to take at least 5 minutes off my 10k time with that race - I was coming from an 8:15 pace 5k. But, because of the calf injury, it was not to be. This year, with only a month left to train, 7 lbs heavier and deconditioned from poor training (I've only ridden my bike once this year, compared to 25 miles every other week 6 weeks before last year's race..) it will be interesting to see how I do - if I decide to register for it. So far, there are 1800 people signed up, they close registration at 5000.
Runmeter Data

Sunday, Aug. 18th
I finished reading Hal Higdon's novel Marathon. It was ok.  I stuck with it because I was interested in the goings on behind the putting together of a marathon. What I found really interesting, however, was the way he described one of the character's experience of running the race - the strategy, and how the character (a Kenyan) was feeling while running. Higdon describes the Kenyan as having a resting heart rate of 29 bpm, and a maximum rate of 160. I know the character is fictitious, but Higdon is most likely working with real numbers from elite athletes. The point being, I believe that I can probably be a better runner if I can train to run with a lower heart rate. I know I won't get to elite numbers, but what would happen if I could keep my heart rate as low as possible and learn to run faster and longer because of it? I've read plenty of blogs that tout that training according to HR is the way to go. And I've even seen tables of data that dumbfound me. Yes, Paul - I'm talkin' bout YOU.

So, I used various calculations, and let me tell you, there are a handful of different ways to arrive at your max heart rate. So confusing. One of the latest theories puts my max at 178 - taking in account my age AND sex. I found instruction that said I need to try to stay within 65-75 % of that number. 
I programmed Runmeter to alert me of my heart rate while out today, and I must say, although it was easier in the beginning and harder the longer I ran, I was surprised I was able to manage it. Earlier in the run I was able to simply slow my pace to bring my rate down, but as the run progressed, I found I had to walk to give me the control I needed. I was able to keep moving for almost 2 hours. I only covered 8.5 miles according to Runmeter, but I know I could have gone on for at least another 30 minutes. My legs were feeling it before I was even cardiovascularly spent. I really enjoyed the run. I found I was much more relaxed - it was a pleasure.
So, I've got to come up with a plan now that incorporates this HR training. I know I wanted to start training after work. It makes sense that this might be the way to do it.
I ordered Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot used off Amazon. Now that I have audio prompting of my rate during my run, I'm hoping this will spur me onto a better way to train.

Runmeter Data - first of three runs. I'll have to reprogram my activity to be unlimited instead of 45 minutes at a time.

Magellan Data - the whole 2 hrs. Avg heart rate, 130 bpm


  1. Solid time coming off an injury. I ran it at 8:00 am Saturday for the first time. Great course and challenging, but doable. The worst part was walking up Scudder to get back to my car. James street is tough, but overrated. Steep but not that long. The best part of my run was running about 20 feet away from a giant buck on ocean avenue. It just stood there and stseed at me, before darting away. I was very happy for that chain link fence between us

    1. I parked at the school and did some strides back to the car. I almost got hit by a car as one sped out to Main street between two buildings by the theater. I'm glad my reflexes are still good.
      Aww~ I miss all the GOOD wildlife!
      Thanks for the advice of getting me back down there. I'll do it at least 2 more times before the race, and I'll register if I think I have a chance at a PR.

    2. "I'll register if I think I have a chance at a PR."

      Well, you'll have zero chance for a PR if you don't register. As for me, I will definitely PR because this will be my first 10k. :) Ran in it 56:21 saturday morning. My goal had been 54 minutes, but now I'm getting greedy and thinking 52. Just need to stay injury-free! Knock on wood.

      If you hadn't hurt your calf, you'd be looking at close to 50 minutes. And you will PR if you can train consistently from now until then.

    3. That was a great training weekend! I bet you break 55 on race day, if conditions cooperate. Yes, James Street is a fun challenge, but Waterside goes on foooreeeeveeeer it seems. You're going to kick butt. Amazing considering the time you took off. I don't bounce back that easily.

    4. Anonymous..wise words, my friend. Looks like now I HAVE to register! Sounds like 52 is realistic on race day for you from 56 during training. I hope you NAIL it. Good luck!

      AM, Thank you so much - the comments between the two of you made me smile wide! It's amazing how sometimes it takes other people to see the potential in ourselves when we don't.

      Blogging is cool. Connecting is king.

  2. Re: heartrate training, I would totally ignore any formulas you find on the internet for calculating max -- there's just too much individual variation, & too many variables to take into account. (To give you an idea of how off they can be, the supposedly "most accurate" formula out there said I had a max heart rate of 183, when in reality mine is closer to 223-225.)

    The best way to do it if you can't have it done in a lab (which, btw, SUCKS) is to put on your monitor, warm up, then run say a mile where you start at a comfortably hard pace, then gradually speed up until you are basically sprinting the last 200m or so all-out. The highest number recorded on your monitor will be close enough to be usable for heart rate training if you want to go that route.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Angela! I did as you suggested this morning, and my max got up to 185 - not so much a big difference from the equation, but I've probably got 20+ years on you.
      At least I know for sure now! TY!


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