Posts Tagged ‘heart rate’


Change of Plans…Again

Sometimes plans go out the window. And when you want to keep a thing going, you just do it. Prior to Week 7, I was working with a high(er)-mileage, lower intensity plan designed to build endurance. Generally speaking, the time commitment was about 9-10 hours a week. I’ve since changed the plan – a familiar occurrence over the past 3 years – and benefitted greatly.

After starting work in Hawaii, I decided that I didn’t want to put 9-10 hours into running. For a while, in fact, I was walking back and forth to work, which took about an hour and a half every day. The walks didn’t mesh well with running. For a couple weeks, I didn’t run at all, just trying to get my bearing in a new state, and work out the more important details (food, apartment, money). In all, for 3 weeks, I didn’t run. I played basketball a couple of nights a week though, and that may have been enough to save me from falling out of shape altogether.



Around Week 10, the first of the month or so, I decided to start running again. I tried at first to start over with the low heart rate runs that I was doing before, but my pace had dropped from around 8:30 to 10:00. Enough of that. On Saturday of Week 10, I sped up. A lot. All runs would be at 83-88% heart rate or what Greg McMillan refers to as the steady state pace. I still run mornings and nights, but either 3 or 2 miles depending on the day. I included a weekly speed session on Wednesday mornings of either 3-mile tempo, 3×1600 or 6x800m length. On Saturdays, I planned to do a long run of 10-12 miles depending on the week.

Basically, I switched to the same plan that netted me a 17:44 5k in 2011, except that I’m running a lot more frequently upwards to 48 miles instead of 21. I’m not lifting weights now, though I’ve committed to pushups, sit-ups and squats after (mostly) every run. And the long runs are a little bit longer 10-12 miles instead of 9. I still take every fourth week off from any speedwork and shorten the long run.


So Far…So Good

Results have been nice since the switch. I dropped 10 pounds initially, through running, basketball and so silly dietary habits, but have since put back on about 5 of those pounds. My morning heart rate has been the most pleasant surprise, moving from 54 bpm at the start of Week 10 to 43 bpm, in the middle of this week. The pace for the 3-mile runs at 83-88% heart rate also moved down from 8:30 to 6:49.

All said, not a bad go in the last 3 weeks. Really trying to build off the lessons from previous running plans. Last summer, I consistently ran fast 3 miles runs in the morning, but did not include any long runs for endurance, run frequently enough to keep my weight down for speed, oh, and didn’t include any speedwork at race pace or below. I’ve tried to correct those mistakes now to become more complete runner. So far so good, with a month to go in the training regimen.

The weather is predictably nice for running, that is, I can always run. But the temps are consistently around 80 degrees with a similar figure for percent humidity. I have to remember when I’m comparing my progress to previous years, that I’ve never consistently pushed this hard in this sort of heat and humidity. Just hoping to keep the train going. Speaking of which, I’ll probably switch to daily updates again as well. Blogging helps keep me motivated.


Last Week:

Sun: 2 miles (morning) / 2 miles (night)

Mon: 3/2

Tue: 2/basketball

Wed: 3/2

Thu: 2/basketball (double-header)

Fri: 3/2

Sat: 9


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [Alright. Not going to happen. Looking for 48 miles in the middle of August but faster than originally planned].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Still good, though I am battling a cold this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down 5 pounds when I originally set this goal. Been as low as 10 pounds down. Really need to decide what to do here. Felt pretty weak when I dropped lower.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Yeah. The pace has improved…because I’m running at 83-88% and not 75% heart rate. That said, I still want to improve. So…that means faster than 6:50 pace on three-milers and faster than 7:30 on the weekend long runs.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [Alright. I give up. There will only be one race. August 16.  For all the marbles. Now to pick it and stick with it.]


Stay motivated!





That’s it for Indianapolis. 11-miler at 5 a.m. to close it out because Dad and I are going to hit the road to Texas in a minute here. Been a challenge running in the Midwest in the winter and early “Spring”, but mornings like today make it all worthwhile. 59 degrees, breezy and no one on the roads. Lots of mileage (by my standards) this week, and it was for the most part…fun. Running’s a great way to start the day and relieve the tension at the end the day as well.


Last Week:

Sun: 4 miles (morning) / 3 miles (night)

Mon: 4/4

Tue: 4/3

Wed: 8 miles (4x1mile w/ 0.5-mile jog, 1 mile Warm & Cool)

Thu: 4/3

Fri: 4/3

Sat: 11


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [55 miles this week. Personal best. Up to 57 next week.]
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Not bad. No run-stopping pain. Still some foot tension though.]
  3. Drop weight. [1 pound lighter from Saturday to Saturday. Good pace. Not too fast.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [At 75% Heart Rate: 10:44 pace last Saturday; 9:28 pace this Saturday.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in four 5K races. [Need to pick a race to run in three weeks. Goal for this week.]


Time to wash up, pack up and drive off.

Good luck with your training.

See you next Saturday!

Workout: Warm [2.5 mi.], 0.25 miles @ 6:26 pace Weather: 66 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Ouch. But I ain’t mad…

Long story short…great warmup. Right foot pain. And done. Didn’t get through the workout. But it was a GREAT day…honest.

So…I’m up watching Monday Night Football with Mom last night, and we saw a College Game Day commercial. The music in the background reminded me of being a kid. And there it was…one of those “what-is-that-song” moments. Fortunately, Mom does remember the music that was popular when I was a kid. Thank goodness. Saved me about 5 minutes of a desperate search on Google for the name of the tune:

This…This…This. The theme from the Greatest American Hero. Immediately went to ITunes and put it on the playlist for the run today.

Drove to the park in perfect weather. Sun. Spring Colors. 65 degrees. Plugged the earphones in. Put the theme song on repeat. Waiting for me in the parking was a fellow Texas Longhorns fan who wanted to tag along for a mile or so. And so began the Greatest American workout of all time. Has this ever happened? No. Was this planned? No. It was the music.

ITunes shows that I played the song to its conclusion 5 times, but what play count did not measure was the number of times I replayed the song from the beginning without letting it finish. Totally in the zone for the 2.5-mile warmup. Striding. Smiling. Shirt moving with the breeze. It’s a down week, so I shortened the tempo portion of the run from 3 to 2 miles. Just taking it easy out there. I had this. Routine work…

My right foot hurt about 10 steps into the tempo portion. I mean, I must have accelerated for about 15 seconds before the Greatest American workout became just the Greatest American warmup. I’ve felt this pain before in the right foot. It comes from wearing shoes too tight. The foot can’t flex (toes pointed upward), and one of the outside ligaments feels like hell. I’ve been cheating. Wearing road racers for tempo runs, and it finally caught up with me. Shouldn’t be too bad though. I stopped before it really felt bad. And tomorrow’s an easy day.

There’s an offensive and a defensive component to this workout deal. I started this plan with the intention of getting better. Improving my current physical fitness level. And I think that’s happening (more on this in a second). But I also want to stay safe. As important as pushing my limits on good days, is making sure that I try and limit the damage on days where physically and/or mentally I’m just not there. Today was a physical thing. The foot will probably heal. I’ll take better precautions and roll on. There’s a lot of repetition (doing the same workouts again) built into my plan, so missing a workout doesn’t throw everything off as it would in a more linear plan. It’s all good.

As for the fitness level improving, my morning heart rate moved down to 41 bpm! That’s all-time best for me. I want to credit doing the longer runs during the week to balance out the fast stuff. Been reading on some of the blogs about the benefits of slower running, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. I appreciate the knowledge. On to tomorrow!

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The Fall – Week 6, Long Run

Posted: September 28, 2013 in Fall Plan
Tags: , , , ,

Workout: 11 miles @ 7:43 pace.  Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: Got it done. I’ll take it.

Came into the run with a lot of confidence from the past two weeks. Didn’t think it would be much of a problem. For the most part not that bad a go out there. First two miles, I wanted to be somewhere else – a familiar story. After that, started to settle in and put the run away.

Nice to see a family reunion at the park. People with the BBQ pit having a good time and such. Also a man golfing out there. Just seemed like a good Saturday family scene. On the flip side, it felt like the BBQ smoke made the whole back half of the park 5 degrees hotter. Also, didn’t help that in my mind, smoke —-> food. Food that I wouldn’t get to eat. 😦

Started to hustle with an effort that I didn’t want to put into the run during the last three miles. Hoping to hold some of that back mentally. Thought about all the fat that the body must be processing at this stage of the run, and it motivated me to continue. Almost 80 degrees and 80% humidity outside.  Shirt and shorts were wet and heavy by the end. Heart rate stayed pretty consistent at 164 bpm throughout the whole run. The monitor is starting to produce some weird glitches though. For instance, miles three and four registered averages HR of 211 and 185.  No way I got that high. After that every mile was run at 164 or 165 bpm. Really like the consistency of that heart rate, even though I was tiring.

48-mile week. Not very often I get to this kind of mileage and not get hurt. Hoping that things will be different this time. Well-earned day of rest tomorrow from running.  Looking forward to eating and watching the NFL.

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Workout: 6 miles @ 7:38 pace; core work. Weather: 72 degrees, dark, wet.

Recap: Almost didn’t do this run. I tried early this morning for 1/2 mile, but I didn’t like the way my feet felt. Walked home and decided to take the day off. Went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get some compression sleeves for my calves because I heard that they aided recovery. Plus, they look kind of cool. A little later, I was looking up tendon pain in the sides of the foot. One of the recommendations was not to tie the shoes too tight. After knocking down some cookies, almonds, corny dogs and fries, I decided to re-try my run. And it turned out to be a good one. I hadn’t run at night in some time, maybe since last year, so it was nice to see some different scenery. Stomach held down the food pretty well, and the left foot didn’t give me too much trouble.

I did learn a lesson about relying on technology though. My habit now is to only show the time remaining and the pace for the runs now. I really want to avoid seeing heart rate, because I don’t want a number to tell me how I’m feeling. I’d like to get comfortable with “easy runs” as easy runs, especially. The pace felt fine for the most part. Being night time, however, I occassionally need to see the pace, and I have to check the night light on the Garmin to do so. Of course, I accidentally hit the watch menu to indicate heart rate and I saw “185”, which for me is like being right in the middle of a hard tempo run. Rather than panic, I ignored the watch, figuring that something must me wrong with the reading. The run just didn’t feel that hard, though it wasn’t a cakewalk either.

After getting home and uploading the data, it turns out the Garmin had my maximum heart rate at 212, a number that I can only reach through intense short intervals – if at all. And it read that the heart rate was over 200 for at least 3 minutes. Long story short…it lied. Now, maybe it was because I ran past a row of fast food joints. The same joints that can set off those police detector scanner things that are illegal to own. In any case, running by feel worked tonight. Have to remember not to get discouraged by the Garmin on the fast days either. Just complete the workout.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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Workout: 3 miles @ 83 to 88%; core work. Weather: 66 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: Good things happening out there. Humidity is a bit annoying but still improving. Soreness is almost completely gone now. I’ll try squats and lunges again tomorrow, so I can hurt some more. Really enjoying this heart rate deal. No pressure.  Pretty hard to fail as long as the right intensity is reached during the run. Might want to switch to longer runs in the Fall just for the heck of it. 20 minutes everyday is not a lot of time to spend doing something you love.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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Workout: 3 miles @ 83 to 88%; core work. Weather: 66 degrees, rain.

Recap: Planned to take another day off but couldn’t go through with it. Enjoyed running in the rain too. A run with heart rate limits like this helps me to understand what happens when I try those harder runs now. I can feel the pace slowing down as I hold in a certain zone. The legs get heavy, but on days like this I get to ease up at that point instead of trying to stay on pace. Patience.

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