Showing posts with label exertion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exertion. Show all posts

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Performance gains from running by heart

Getting to the heart of the matter
Today's run (street): 4.4 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.2 miles
Monday's run (street): 2.1 miles
Sunday's run (Bethpage bike trail): 4.2 miles

I've been doing more running than blogging these days, with four workouts since my last post. Every time I've gone out since last weekend, I quietly thank KWL for sending me my FR35. While I have made stamina gains resulting from cutting out most processed sugar in my diet (and losing a few pounds in the process), it hadn't done much for my performance. The FR35 has been a real catalyst for some measurable gains in that area. So thank you once again KWL.

Last Sunday I went to Bethpage to run the bike trail and ended up covering a little more than 4 miles. I ran it about 9% faster than my average pace over the past six months. Having my heart rate showing in real time helped me apply more effort that resulted in better performance. I respond to HR feedback positively, while tracking pace tends to discourage me.

I went home from work early on Monday and went out for a rare afternoon run. It was only two miles, but it was the fastest two miles I've run all year. Yesterday morning I did my usual Friday route. I didn't get around as fast as I had on my prior three runs, but it was fast compared to a couple of weeks ago.

This morning I aimed for a little more distance and headed out with performance running on my mind. Performance is relative of course, but my perceived exertion matched the 80%-92% max HR that my Garmin recorded. I ended up pacing around my new average, but I'd hoped for more.

In terms of performance, I'm still 5% slower than the top end of my current target and I'm 10% away from where I really want to be. More significantly, I'm running 30 seconds to a minute per mile faster than just a few weeks ago. When I get to the pace range I'm aiming for, I'll consider racing again.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Middle school snow shoe adventure

Trekking along the glacial firn
Today's workout (snow shoeing): 1 hour (2.75 miles)

I decided to go straight for an outdoor workout today and headed over to the middle school for some snow shoe trekking. There's still plenty of snow cover, but the roads are free of it. Wearing snow shoes on pavement is a no-no because of the crampons, so I elected to take a short drive over to the school. It's difficult getting my boots into the bindings, so I put them in beforehand and then stepped into my shoes when I was ready to start.

Once equipped, I walked onto the field and headed out. The school field's perimeter is about a half a mile if you keep to the far edges. I thought I'd do a few laps around and see how it went. I started moving at a brisk pace but had to ease up a bit after a quarter mile. Like running, you need to anticipate that you will heat up over time. Unfortunately, I didn't do that. After ten minutes I was ready to shed my top layer and ski mittens.

ER was here
Instead of laps, I followed the snow where it drifted and where there were interesting areas to "explore." I criss-crossed in both directions and, just for fun, spelled out ER in honor of the eponymous blog. Going in a straight line over a period of time (versus the frequent slowing and turning required in my backyard) was ultimately wearying and certainly a good workout.

I tried to gauge my level of exertion compared to running and ellipticalling. Running in snow shoes felt comparable to hard track intervals, while brisk walking felt like a challenging hike. Overall, I'd position the effort of snow shoeing as somewhere between running and the elliptical. Of course, that comparison only applies to me. People who are elliptical maniacs may consider that a harder workout. Then again, those people would probably be snow shoe maniacs too.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pushing the pace without really trying

Today's run (street): 4.3 miles

Was today's run hard because I was tired, or because my pace was 20 seconds per mile faster than than it felt? I'm not sure, but today's run, that I planned do do s-l-o-w-l-y, didn't end up that way.

The temperature was in the high 20's when I went out at 7:30 AM. I'd had a decent night's sleep and the chilly air felt good. Yesterday's long elliptical session had me thinking about a recovery run today. I usually dislike the first couple of minutes of every run, until my aerobic breathing kicks in, but this morning I had no such issues.

Since I had no time constraints, I followed a different route than normal that had slightly more uphill roads than usual. My stride felt fluid though my legs felt a little heavy. I planned to cover about five miles but I began to feel a little fatigued after covering just a couple. I thought, perhaps, that the full week of workouts, plus last weekend's race, were catching up to me.

I modified my course and headed back towards home after passing three miles. I picked up my pace as I got closer to the end and reached my driveway after covering 4.3 (Gmaps verified) miles. I must have run harder than I realized to attain a pace in the low 9:00 range, but it probably contributed to my lagging energy.

We have a family get-together later today, and I plan to go out for an early run tomorrow. Christmas morning is a great time to be out, since most people stay around home and the streets are clear. I don't celebrate the holiday, but I do love the peaceful time. 

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