Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday Morning Long Runs

I love running my long slow runs (LSR) on Saturday morning, preferably at an early early early hour. Yesterday, I took off at 5:30 for a seven mile run. Not the longest distance, but I am slowly ramping up, sticking to the ten percent rule. The ten percent rule is a common running rule of thumb which states that we should not increase our weekly total distance run by more than 10% of the prior week, or we risk injury. My plan asked me to run 4 of these seven miles at my long slow pace of 10:00min/mile or more, and the last three at a tempo pace of 9:15. I pretty much nailed it and felt good the whole way.

This typical Saturday route starts out with a half mile uphill, then levels out on the canal for more distance than most people need. The Phoenix canal system goes for miles and miles East and West, mostly in one mile segments divided by major cross streets that are designed to scare the living shit out of scampering runners. Since I almost always do an out and back route, the run ends on that same half mile going downhill, which really helps with pacing and the psychological delayed-gratification feeling of finishing fast.

I am also monitoring my Heart Rate (HR) again because I'm trying to identify zones of running effort. If your telescope is strong enough to see the graph above, you can see a HR of low to mid 140's for the first 4 miles then up to around 160 for the last three miles. These zones are different for different people depending on a lot of factors. My 160 will almost never be the same as your 160. Without going into too much detail, these numbers can be used to identify zones of perceived effort. They can be used for a lot more than that, but I'm sticking to perceived effort for now. For me right now in my life, a HR below 150 is an easy rate where I can continue for a long time and hold a conversation with another person (real or imagined) or a 1 year old labrador retriever. On a percentage scale, 100% is my all out run-for-your-life can't do anything but get away from the Boogieman, and 60% is my conversational long run pace. So I would say that the 160 was probably near the 80-85% zone. I could maybe continue at that pace for about 5 miles or so. The more I track HR, the more accurate and precise these measures will become, until I cross-over into data overload and then I put it away for a while.
These Heart rate zones can change over time based on fitness, so it's a good idea for me to wear the HR monitor, at least periodically, for overall accountability and to track changes in my overall running fitness. I'm a huge fan of the Garmin running GPS systems, and I use the Garmin Forerunner 305 with the Garmin HR monitor bra-strap.

"I would be very interested in testing and positively reviewing a brand new Garmin Forerunner 910XT multi-sport trainer", he gratuitously asserted to the Google digital marketing Venus FlyTrap.
Beautiful! Just beautiful!!
I've scheduled a race every month this year, mostly races I've run in the past. but there are a few new venues on the list, and I'm looking forward to competing against Jeph, my younger virtual training partner. I am also continuing to hold to the sweets-free January challenge. I've lost nearly ten pounds of blubber, and I do believe it's making a real difference. My wife is joining me, but she is considering a one day a month cheat-day. I thought about it, but know that one day of cheating will end up with me seeing June on the calendar from a back booth at Arby's.
Bring It!
FYTO 5K is next weekend. Are you registered? RTP has somehow gained another follower, welcome to sporadic randomness!


2 Slow 4 Boston said...

I'm constantly monitoring my HR. I got a pretty good idea what it needs to be for each of my workouts and how long I can keep the HR at that level. I think it's great you're getting into the HR thing.

Good luck with the 5k.

Christina said...

It was nice meeting you too! You did awesome yesterday.

I admire you for the no sweets month. I would like to do that but haven't committed to no sweets.

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