I guess this is one of the differences between elite athletes and want to be athletes.....No where in my pointy little head could I ever come up with back to back 18 mile days as "easing back into training". WOW!
Was this planned or are you taking advantage of the oxygen build up from the Marathon? I'm addicted to my watch so those runs that i can just ride on feel; like you said, and put the watch away are priceless.
I half planned this week and tried to just keep my mileage "how I felt".. I don't think easy volume is that hard.
Lucho,So I did a little 5 mile test today and need some feedback. It was a little hilly, but that shouldn't matter, right?5 mi., avg. 156 max 169. Obviously, I'm disappointed. A few thoughts: this felt very very easy like it was zone 1ish. But the HR? My pace was okay, but I was trying to go pretty easy, just without checking my HR the whole time - I guess I should have. What gives? I guess as CV said to you at one point: don't read too much into one workout? Before one of my trail races earlier, I ran over 8 miles harder and averaged 158. That was a harder run. So, this 5 mile test felt really easy, but my HR sucked, in my opinion. This might be a little TMI, but I had to go to the BATHROOM the whole time, too. I'm reaching, Lucho. I want to see some results! I'm going to keep doing the 140-150 runs, make them longer and do a lot of these 5 mi. tests at 140-150. I should see speed increase, yes? Isn't that the test - faster pace in that HR zone? I feel slow.Thanks, Tim.
Matt,A couple of questions...1) Was the test done on a loop or in a point-to-point fashion? It needs to be a loop, and preferably one free and clear of obstacles and impediments (i.e., no stopping).2) Why the 169MHR? That's much too high. Try your next test where you can control the factors better and repeat them the same way (i.e., the track, or a flatter loop).Okay..."what gives" is that you have a relatively poor aerobic system. Sorry for the bluntness! You are probably much faster than this without the HR cap in place, which further exemplifies the point. It's not uncommon to be in this situation (many decent athletes are), but it forebodes of slow improvement (if at all).Having to go crap the whole time didn't help your cause either!For now...since it's a very sub-maximal test, try it again as soon as you can and do it somewhere where you can better control things (HR primarily) and conditions. As a side note...the less aerobically fit you are, the easier this test "feels". Almost every single athlete I've ever watched do this (or coached), starts out with a slow initial test and a super low perceived exertion. As they develop their aerobic motor (which we train them to do) the pace gets higher, as does the perceived exertion; a seemingly weird phenomenon but almost always the case, despite the heart-rate intensity not changing. Try the test again (don't worry about one poor result!) and give it some time. It'll teach you whether or not your chosen style of training is working fr you, amongst other things.On the track:Warm-up 1-2 miles, slowly.Test for 5 miles at 180-your age, and no higher. This is where so many athletes get into trouble; they decide it's too low of a HR and therefore too slow of a pace. Don't be fooled into this line of thinking. It just means your aerobic system is weak if it's slow going like that. The same goes for anyone reading this!Record your total time, each mile split, your total avg HR, your perceived exertion and the conditions and any other thing of note. Make a spreadsheet when you get home and start tracking results. This test changed my athletic life, and for the better. The power-meter (and subsequent tests) did the same for me on the bike. HR is the primary important factor and I use watts and pace to measure improvement, not the other way around.Cool-down a half-mile and repeat often!I hope this helps!
Yeah- what he said! Chuck beat me to the punch, but it was more eloquent than my grunts would have been. To add a little bit here- the reason that people rarely stick to this training is that because their effort is so low/ pace is slow/ and HR is high- they think they are not going to get fast by doing this. So they run harder- which actually erodes their ability to utilize fat, build capillaries, run efficiently, basically they LOSE endurance. I posted a link to an article that Chuck sent me- it's to the left of the page. Read it, learn it, live it. Thanks Chuck.
Thanks you guys. Really. Since I'm determined to nail this,what is my HR "range"? Chuck said for the test no higher than (in my case) 141. On my normal work-outs, am I 140-150, or 135-145? Or should I just not go beyond 141 for a while? Should I go get tested professionally? I really want to nail this! Thanks again!
Matt- The goal is to teach your body to favor fat as fuel and build efficiency, strength and speed while doing so. The rule of thumb is to err on the side of caution. The more fit you are the more you can bump your HR too. I am using 140-150 for the next 10 weeks.. walking if I see 151. You should start at no more than 135-145 and maybe even 130-140 for a week or two. It is going to be painful and slow- but if you are dedicated and disciplined this training philosophy WILL take you further than any other in regards to reaching lofty goals.
Matt,It comes down to being patient, which so many endurance athletes seem to lack. But the body responds favorably fairly quickly, especially if you have a poor aerobic system to begin with. My recommendation is as Lucho says: err on the side of caution for now (141 HR cap...walk when you exceed this and try NOT to exceed it) and stick to flatter terrain, for as long as it takes. How long is that? Well...Re-test every week to ten days and note your progress; it should take about 3 weeks for any initial change, though I've seen it happen in athletes in as little as two weeks and as much as 8 weeks. The big gains happen after years of smart training! I personally always come back to "base training" when I see my "base" eroding...when my power on the bike (as measured by a power meter or Computrainer) begins to drop at any given intensity, but primarily the mid-range to high-end AEROBIC intensities. (Side note: disregard the whole notion of aerobic and anaerobic and their definitions based on oxygen. Aerobic = increased fat utilization. Anaerobic = decreased fat utilization/high glycogen dependency.) Training is not always as simple as cross-referencing HR to pace or power, but I'd have to say that it's one of the most important steps you can take and the knowledge you gain will take you a long way. Implementing such quantification would do more for an athlete than any lab might otherwise do. It's repeatable and it's "real world". Plus, it's cheap! So many athletes get carried away with the whole notion of "speed" and "going slow"! We're not promoting going slow, but rather slowing down. Temporarily. The body's physiology is slow to adapt and trying to rush fitness simply doesn't work; it compromises health too much, and health and fitness are not synonymous. Keep in mind there's "speed" (your fastest capability in any given activity) and then there's "aerobic speed". The idea is to close the gap between your God-given talent and your trainability. If you ever want to head up here to Solvang on a weekend for some tests, etc, let me know. I'd be happy to help, free of charge of course.
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