Saturday, July 27, 2013

Getting Back To It

I ran twice this week. Both were around 4 miles and both felt great. My legs were fine for both. Tuesday was an evening workout and today's was a morning workout. The humidity was mostly the same for both but today the temp was 13 degrees cooler. I ran both solo although I started out with friends today.

I ran with my Garmin on both days but set it to only show my heart rate. I really want to get away from focusing on pace/time. I wanted to use HR to determine when I need to take walk breaks or slow down. If my HR went above 80% of max I would take a walk break or slow down. As my endurance improves I should be able to go farther/faster at the same heart rate. In theory this makes sense but .... .I don't know what the MAX is. I've never tested it and the formulas are way off. The formulas put me at somewhere around 167-171. I ran comfortable both days this week averaging 152 so my max is definitely more than the formulas predict.

I thought about backing into it. I know my resting heart rate is around 72. I tested it this week wearing my HRM to bed and checking first thing upon waking. BTW, sleeping with the HRM is not comfortable but I really wanted to find out. So using that and my average HR for this week and the next few runs I could probably back into the MAX. But that assumes that my perceived effort was in the fitness/aerobic zone. And if I knew that it was then I don't need the numbers.

So now I am bordering on taking the fun out of my return to running and biking. So PPPfffftttt (this is a G rated blog after all). I probably won't ditch the watch - it does help to know distance when the trail is not marked - but I'll use the data only after the fact to see where I'm at. I started distance running because I wanted to see how far I could go not how fast I could go. I can use the talk test to be sure I maintaining an appropriate effort.

I also biked once this week and hope to go out again tomorrow. I did not feel nearly as good on the bike as I did on my feet. I rode my bike probably every day as a kid. All over everywhere. I do not have any memory of  being bothered by hills. I continued to ride when the kids were small and carried them on the back of the bike. Even then,  I do not remember hills being as much of a problem as they are now. I see a hill while on the bike and I mentally fall apart. It's embarrassing, really. On my feet, eh - the hills are not my favorite part of the run but they are no big deal either. I guess the difference is walking my bike up the hill is much more embarrassing than walking myself up the hill. I have some work to do! :)

All in all I'm glad to be back with all options available to me. I'm very curious to see how my new eating habits will work with increased activity but I'll post my thoughts about that another time.

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