Thursday, July 17, 2008

Easy Run + Hill Sprints

This morning's run on my training schedule was a 50 minute easy run plus 6x100m hill sprints.  It was actually scheduled for yesterday, but I was still really sore from the massage the day before and really tired from watching the MLB All-Star Game the night before.

I have been noticing that my heart rate on my easy runs has been higher than where it should be.  I'm not sure if this is due to me losing some aerobic capacity during my post-marathon, nursing the hamstring injury rest period, or perhaps still some lingering effects from my blood donation last week.  So this morning, I decided that I would do what I could to keep my average heart rate in the 140s during the easy part of the run - no matter how slow I slogged along.  The plan - no music (I sometimes get "lost" in the tunes or match the cadence of my gait to the beat of the music), go slow and if my heart rate goes up to 155 or higher I need to walk until it gets back down to about 147.

Well...I kept to my plan, and it was the slowest I have run in a long time.  I had six walking breaks - mostly during the hills where my heart rate started to creep up.  Luckily, these breaks were all short.  My final pace was 11:59/mile.  OUCH!   My average HR was 148, which is where it should be for these runs.

I'm hoping that by keeping at this pace I'll build up my aerobic capacity again in the next few weeks.  I remember how frustrating it was for me when I first started HRM training - slowing down to get in the HR range, when all I wanted to do is run at the pace that I knew I could.  However, after a few weeks, my pace at the lower HR improved - and my race pace got much faster - so I'll slog it out for a few weeks.

After the slow, easy part of the workout, came the hill sprints.  Today there was 6 of them.  After number 2 I was ready to quit!  Geez, those are not easy.  When I first saw them on the training plan I thought, "Oh, it's only 100m - piece of cake".  Now I know better.  So, after the second hill sprint, I said to myself "OK, one more and I'm half way through".  After that I kept counting down "I can do 3 more / 2 more / 1 more...".  It was definitely a tough workout.  I'm glad I slowed down for the easy run beforehand.

The best news - although my hamstring is still tender and sore from the massage on Tuesday afternoon, I did not feel the pain/discomfort that I had been feeling behind my knee.  Thank goodness!

Since I'm still trying to "rehab" this tendon / hammy / calf injury, I think I am going to skip tomorrow's short easy run plus Short Strides, and instead I'll do yoga or cross training.


jeanne said...

i REALLY need to get a HRM. I can only imagine what my pace will be with it--but i hear it really does wonders.

Mike Fox said...

Yes, the HRM can be really frustrating at the beginning. When I first got mine I was mainly running on a treadmill (it was winter and I hadn't experienced the joys of running outside during the winter...OK I was a big wimp for the cold). On the treadmill I was originally running around 5.0 mph, but the HRM had me "running" in the 4.5 mph range - to the point where I had to do a fast walk at times. Luckily, this only lasted for about 2-3 weeks, and then I started to creep up to faster paces at the same heart rate.

A few months later, my training pace was around 5.2 mph and I was running my first sub-30min 5K!

Mike Fox said...
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