Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Break through again...

I'm too lazy to download the Garmin download stuff thingy.. so I took pics of my watch from the morning's run.
All of this run was between 7800 and 8400ft altitude on my killer hill route. There's not a flat spot on this run and the longest downhill is about 1/4 mile, tons of steep rollers. I blew away my previous time on this route by several minutes with an average HR that was 7 beats lower. All of this is coming on the heels of 2 X 100 mile weeks where I ran so slow it was painful... but I kept my average HR for nearly every run below 140. I walked to keep my HR down. Below is the result of HR discipline.



Just looking at the numbers it isn't that impressive, until I consider that a month ago I was hitting 10:00 pace on this same route and could not hold my HR below 150! High intensity running is what messed me up.


Josh said...

So, what is the lesson here?

BTW...I re-learned the same lesson as well this winter as I was trying to base my workouts off of pace running on the treddie and in poor conditions...snow.

I went back to what has worked in the past (HR based run training)and my running is really coming along nicely without the injuries I was encountering earlier.

Dave said...

I know you've said you like the new Garmin, but what's it like? I have a first gen 305 (or is it a 205? either way it's old) that's on it's last legs and I'm looking to get something new. I just don't want to spend the money if it's not all that great!

Congrats on your breakthrough! I'm no where near your level, but I think the low intensity stuff has worked well for me as well. Yesterday I got in 10 miles in 1 hour for the first time ever in a tempo run-granted it's pretty flat around here. It's definitely a testament to the long and slow days I put in early this season!


Brandon Fuller said...

Pictures of the Garmin display. Hadn't thought of that.

Lucho said...

No doubt Josh... we learn more from our mistakes every time. The surprising thing for me was how quickly I'm correcting the mistake. My body responds immediately. And as you, I'm healthy. No one races well off an injury.

Dave- I love the 405 with the exception of the battery life. It works for a runner but even I need to recharge it every other day. If the battery had a longer charge life it would be the coolest thing in the world... maybe even in the whole county. The HR monitor far exceeds any Polar I've ever had in terms of accuracy and the whole 'glitchy' super high HR readings don't happen at all. Polar usually has an initial settling period in the first ~20:00 of a run before it gets reliable. Garmin is perfect from the first step. If I ever download the download software then it would really be a useful tool, particularly from a coach/ athlete perspective. I would say that it is for sure worth the money. Consider the battery life however- for an Ironman athlete that bikes a ton it wouldn't work. Even for a high mileage runner it is border line.

Brandon- High tech + high tech = low tech.

GZ said...

Download the free Zonefive software from here: Very easy to use. And very very cool output.

Installation of the USB drivers for the Garmin are here:

There are garmins (like the 305xt) that now have extended battery life (longer than 10 hours).

Some of the 305s are going for 170 bucks these days ... (check amazon).

Lucho said...

G- I did download all of that and it wouldn't work. I checked a forum and they said I needed to delete some file from the sporttracks download.. I'm technologically inept so I gave up. I'll wait until Ben is 3 and have him do it for me.
Thanks though!

Brett said...


I do about only 30 miles a week. A couple months ago I knew I needed to get my mileage up for an ultra, so for two weeks I started doing several 8-15 mile runs in consecutive days. So I decided to go slower (8:30-9 min/mile) than usual (7 min/mile,150 HR) Just backing off the pace like that plummeted my heart rate from 150-155 to 125-130.

I was shocked at the heart rate drop off. I also expected to be really beat down and sore from the mileage though...but what shocked me even further is that I saw the same thing you are seeing. Within the very first 2 days, I found myself running faster and faster but still keeping the heart rate well below MAF.

I think you have really got something here and after I finish my "in season off season" here in the next few weeks I'm going to ramp the training volume back up but at slower paces and see what happens.

Thanks for more great advice/experiences.

Lucho said...

Brett- There's very little dispute over building a proper aerobic base. I started training MAF in 1997 and didn't stop until just last year. I'm struggling to learn what training modifications I need to do in my transition from Ironman to marathon. I think that most of the elite runners out there don't do extended (12+ weeks) of 'base' work because they mostly all been running at a high level most of their lives. They don't have an aerobic fault so they can train intensely year around. If you aren't an elite runner though, there is a big benefit to simply spending a few months building your muscle, tendon strength and also teaching your body to burn fat at a fast pace. The demands on the skeletomuscular system for the marathon are quite different though so there can't be a year round focus on MAF. You can't neglect the muscles and their ability to hold goal pace, there is more than just fuel economy at play here. If your goal marathon pace was 7:00 and you managed to build MAF pace to 7:00... then your marathon pace has now become 6:xx. In essence- your MAF will never catch goal marathon pace. I think the best approach for me will ultimately be to focus on what works best- high mileage, moderate HR. Then exploit this training as much as possible and hold it until I no longer see progress. Then come in to the last 8 weeks pre-marathon and do specific pace work and tempo (2-8 heart beats BELOW LT). One thing that I also have seen is that the longer I hold the aerobic period of training the shorter my build should be because I can peak very quickly off this. In all my past marathons I have peaked many weeks before the race. This has a lot to do with building your body to a point where it can handle very difficult workouts and rather than break down from them- it sucks them up like a sponge. Last year I ran some sessions that indicated that I could run under 2:20 quite simply and I absorbed them easily and peaked my fitness very quickly. That's the beauty of this kind of training. If you can't train hard enough to reach your goals, then you may have a limited base fitness. Sorry for the ramble.

Brett said...

That was not a ramble. It was all good.

JK1 said...