Archive for the ‘recovery ceiling’ Category

Running well these days

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

So again coming back into running. I have actually run a lot lately and just didn’t write about it. I kept thinking I should and even thought about topics to write about. But just never got to it. So runs this week were a couple of base runs after a long cold/flu. They were hard but I pushed through them. Both runs I took walking breaks which were needed. But the last two runs (yes, four runs since I wrote) have been really good, a recovery run and a tempo(ish) run.

Yesterday I did a great recovery run. 10k and kept my heart rate below my recovery ceiling (HR less than 144 for me) for probably 95+% of the run. I had my first slip up when a woman was running in the opposite direction of me. We both hit the end of the East Moreland Reedway blocks (or whatever it is called) looping back towards reed, her going with traffic and me across the park blocks between us, going against. I noticed she was barefoot and we chatted a bit about barefoot running, she was training for a barefoot Hood to Coast team. I was pushing it to keep up with her when I remembered that I was trying for 144 and my HR was 160! So I said so long and went slowly on my way in a different direction. It actually didn’t take me too long to get my HR down and I continued through reed and the canyon all under. I knew the hills were coming up and as I got closer I tried to bring my HR down as much as possible to get ready for the slow climb. The first set of smaller hills through campus went fine, all under. But the final stretch is significantly steeper and I had to really slow down. There was nobody around so I didn’t mind appearing to run as slowly as possible! I almost made it, but I crept up to 146 for parts of it. Still pretty darn good. The last hill went fine. I had brought my HR down to about 129 before I started and made it to the top under 144. Then crossing the street at the top of the hill I was up to 150. I didn’t sprint across the street or anything, but maybe my dislike of cars… All in all a great recovery run with an average pace of 12-13 min miles.

Today was a different story. I started pretty cool with some clouds that quickly gave way to sunshine and some warmth. I hadn’t decided what to do on this run. I found myself doing a steady brisk pace with ease and decided to push the pace throughout the run. Today’s now decided goal was sub 10 min miles for 10K. I kept strong for the first three + miles and then bonked a bit coming out of the canyon and up the hills. I slowed down for the hills but kept pushing. At the top I was still under 10 min mile pace so I pushed again. I think I even needed a last burst of energy to get me through the final four blocks. In the end, under 10 min miles easy.

So two solid runs back to back and both training runs of sorts. Ones I can at least categorize in my running log. well, tempo(ish).

Four runs, four days

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Today I did a recovery run that marked the fourth day in a row I have run. This has always been my benchmark for getting back into running. Over the last couple months I have gotten close a couple of times (three days in a row twice) but never got to the fourth for one reason or another. So today, I finally made it over the hump. I am ready to embrace running again! Not that I ever really didn’t, but my enthusiasm has been diminished this spring.

Yesterday after I blogged the last post, I went out on one of my base 10k runs. I started out pretty fast and decided heck I may as well keep my pace going. I ended up running sub nine min miles for the first three miles. Then, pooped, I stopped the tempo portion and just coasted out the final 3+. The fast portions went really well, but I was exhausted for sure. It did feel prety good to get some speedwork in. This was another run after an injections where I felt extra energy. I wish I knew if that is really a side effect to the rebif or if it is a mental increase to my energy levels.

Today I just did a 5 mile recovery run. I tried really hard to keep my pace under 144 (my 70% recovery ceiling HR) and I more or less failed miserably. I was able to bring my HR down to that level several times but my avg was 150 and I really felt that is where I hovered for most of the run. Running four days in a row could have a little bit to do with that, but I think I have just lost a significant amount of my base fitness. The good thing is that it gives me something to improve upon that I can see immediate results for. I still plan on doing more quality runs and staggering them with recovery. Maybe I’ll read my HR training book again to get some inspiration.

Six days in a row

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Another milestone passed: six days in a row and a good start to the miles this week with my 8.5 recovery run. If I was concerned about the five days in a row to make 40, I was even more skeptical about getting a good start to the week by running a sixth day in a row. I did a pretty good job with the recovery run today, my avg HR came out under my 70% recovery ceiling, but just barely at 143. It was a good run and I don’t feel too tired after. I am a bit concerned about over-doing it as in general I have felt somewhat sluggish lately which I mostly blame on the miles. But for the most part I am doing ok I think. I probably will either take tomorrow off or do my short three mile tempo run, mostly just to get up to seven days in a row!

The natural running seems to be going pretty well for me, not that I wasn’t doing a for/mid strike anyway, but now that I am concentrating on it I see that I really do it on a regular basis. At one point today I noticed myself slipping into landing on my heels. I was tired and it felt more comfortable, but I didn’t give in and regained my focus on proper form.

Almost perfect recovery run

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

I really buckled down today to take my recovery runs seriously. While I was doing my whole warm up run I kept my HR under my recovery ceiling of 144 (or so I thought, actually I hit 145 in the first mile according to my Garmin). So since I thought I was “perfect” in my recovery run I worked hard to keep the HR low. Mostly I had it around 130 or lower, I really slowed down. I even made it up lower reed’s hill under 144. As I crossed the bridge over the canyon I heard what turned out to be an organized rugby game with a pretty large crowd and as it turned out two guys playing catch with lacrosse equipment who wouldn’t move over and let me by. So, my HR shot up to 151 and my perfection run was blown. Still I got it back down and on my way to trader jos. From there a mile home with my purchases of two bags; one of cooking greens and the other a bag of kettle corn (balancing “good for you” with bad…) It was an interesting juggling act getting them home.

Over all my HR averaged 135, so a very successful recovery run. My avg pace was 11:45, so super slow. I think I could do this pace for the full 26.2, the question is will I be happy with a five hour time? I think I need to pick up my pace a bit.

Another long slow distance run today

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Today I decided to go for another long(ish) run to start off my week. I wasn’t sure how I would feel as my food intake yesterday was highly suspect. I managed to put away my fair share of junk food during the super bowl. I didn’t drink anything so I didn’t have a hangover to deal with. It was good to sweat out some toxins! I am sure I put them there in my body.

I just got a new pair of Asics Gel-Kayanos. I got them used on ebay, they are an older model but in fine shape. So I broke the golden rule of new shoes (technically they aren’t new as they supposedly have 30 miles on them) and didn’t do a short run to break them in. They felt fine and my feet don’t feel sore at all, so I think I am good. My two pair that I have been running in both had over 650 miles on them and I decided it was time for a new set. I also picked up a pat of Kayano 16s as well. They are a 2e width which I hope won’t be a huge issue. My shoes always feel a bit snug, especially with the lift I wear in my right shoe, so I think the extra width will be ok. I’ll try those out next. Maybe I’ll take them out for a short run tomorrow which will work well with rehearsal (don’t like to exhaust myself on rehearsal day as my playing seems to suffer.) So far the 10s are good. They actually feel a bit loser than the newer models I have been wearing.

I am really feeling like I need to do some speed work to pick up my pace a bit. In the past I have noticed a significant difference with my pace after doing intervals at the track. I have been running so slowly this winter, much slower than in the past (though some of that I blame on not getting accurate measurements of distance, so I thought I was running faster). Still I have noticed other passing me up more often this winter. Some of that I can contribute to age but I also think some of it has to do with my conditioning. With the heart rate training I have been doing I do a lot more slow running trying to keep my HR under the 70% ceiling. I think I can boost my speed with some work. Maybe a track workout on Wednesday…

I am working on upping my weekly mileage and keeping my increase to 10% of my total. Last week was the second steady 10% increase This week I am shooting for 33 total miles and with 10.5 out of the way today I should be able to easily do that. The hardest part is going to be holding back so I don’t do too much. I have been doing my long runs on Monday which has worked out fine for the last two weeks, but I’d like to get back into the weekend schedule for my long runs. But that would put me way over my weekly total, so maybe I’ll hold out awhile longer and stick to the Monday long run schedule.

One note about today’s run. I did a pretty good job of keeping things at the recovery ceiling ending up with an average of 144 (perfect!). I want to incorporate recovery runs in as well that stay under 144, but I am really happy with that average for an LSD run.

Longest run of the year

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Yesterday I did a 12+ mile run. It started out to be a base run of around 6.5 and ended up quite a bit longer. The sun was out yesterday and I think that inspired me. Plus I had a break from work and considering that I probably won’t have another significant break coming up work-wise I though I had better take advantage of the time. Not to mention I am trying to increase my mileage in prep for another shot at a full marathon this summer. Oh and I had my water bottle with me in an effort to get used to wearing the belt again, so there was another reason to keep going.

When I was psyching myself up for a run yesterday I was a little concerned about just having taken my rebif. I wondered what sort of effect that might have on me and my running. Once I started I immediately forgot that was even a consideration. So I would have to say as far as the run itself went it was not a factor. I noticed nothing different. The tylenol and advil I took for the shot may have helped any soreness but I noticed nothing (result of completely forgetting about the shot?). After the run I was really tired but I don’t think that had anything to do with the rebif and more to do with the effort (considering my current fitness level) I exerted to run that far. Today I am somewhat sore and really, really tired. I also didn’t sleep so well last night (actually several nights in a row now). So could easily be a combination of the factors rather than having anything to do with the injection. No site reaction to speak of before or after the run.

So the run itself was really interesting. I felt really good for the first 8 miles or so and then after that I still maintained a pretty good energy level. At about that point I started heading into a stiff wind and really slowed down, 11+ min mile. Creeping! I had one somewhat scary moment toward the end of the run when I made a sudden turn and felt a twinge in my left knee, but it seems fine today so I don’t think it was serious at all. I managed to keep my heart rate pretty low throughout. I was aiming for my 70% threshold (144 BPM) and I did a good job for the first 6-7 miles, then it got a bit out control. I ended up averaging 150 for the run, considering how tough the run was I thought that was pretty good. I also think the low HR initially kept me going throughout. I employed a breathing pattern of 2-3 in and 4-5 out. It was hard to maintain at times, but it really helped both to lower my HR if I had just exerted myself and to maintain a slow steady HR. The most typical pattern was 2 in and 5 out. When I breathed out I would restrict my breath in order to slow down my exhale, almost like whistling, but without the sound.

So my plans are to slowly increase my weekly miles and to start up with the quality runs (LSDs, speed work at the track and hills) as well as incorporating less junk runs and more recovery runs under 70%. I’d like to start developing some good training habits before I dive in to the marathon prep. I am going to try to get a recovery run in today after a meeting I have this morning, but I might just blow it off and take it easy today, we’ll see. It feels really good to have done a long run. Makes me feel like I can get going again with the training. Whoo hoo!

Recovery from straights and curves

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Today was an eight mile recovery run that for the most part I managed to do under my ceiling. I had a couple of hills where I pushed it and jumped up to high 50s and into the low 60s. I have added onto my trail running in the canyon by doing a full lap and through the easternĀ  part of the north side. I took off a little bit of my East Moreland portion and I need to find a good path after coming up from the golf course. I felt pretty strong through most of the run which I didn’t really expect after my intervals I ran the day before.

At the track 24 hours previous I managed to finish nine laps of straights and curves, so a total of 18 sprints. The track was pretty empty for the most part with one fast distance guy doing a couple laps. There was also a woman in a walker that was doing a pretty good pace around our track doing arm exercises. I was pretty impressed.

As for my run, my heart rate never got too high mostly in the high 160s and I felt like my sprint paces were pretty decent as well with the first four and most of the rest peaking under 6 minute miles. I also did the 1.5 canyon run that day as well and ended up putting in teh miles at just under nine miles.

There is a group that runs on Sundays that I might try. They have it broken up into 12 mile and then eight additional mile chunks. A 20 miler sounds pretty challenging, but I might go for it if the weather is going to be cool. I am not much of a group runner but it could be fun especially if any of my regulars I see are doing it.

Cold wet volcano run

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

My running partner (I should say partners as her dog, a strapping Irish Setter always comes too) and I took a slow recovery type hill run up to the top of Mt. Tabor and back. The goal was to keep the entire run under our recovery ceiling of 70% max ( my HR at 143 and hers a bit higher at 147). We did pretty good except for the climbing, but even then my HR only maxed at 151. The last two miles of cool down were all under as we plodded back. The rains came right as we got back to my house, all in all a lot calmer weather-wise than was predicted, though I was looking forward to lightning strikes.

I have to say I am liking the G2 as a recovery drink. I think I’ll like the orange mix better than the fruit punch. I really wish they made it without any coloring, the fruit punch is really deep red, it looks like red ink. But I really like the low calories and sugar. I also like that the powders mix really quickly and thoroughly. I have been mixing with more water than they suggest, goes perfectly in my big plastic ice tea tumblers.

Apparently there has been some problem with G2 stock levels. The only flavors I have seen in the powders has been fp andĀ  grape. Even online. The only flavor Fred Meyers has is the fp.

Recovery day

Friday, February 5th, 2010

After my hill training yesterday I decided to keep with my heart rate plan of following heavy days with a recovery day where I target my recovery ceiling of 70% of max. These runs can be agonizingly boring and they take what seems like forever. But the goal of being able to do more hard runs in a week with the rest I am getting form these recovery runs is worth it. Tomorrow I am taking a full day off. Part of me wants to do another recovery run, but I have plans for a 13 miler for Sunday before the super bowl, this way I’ll feel like I earned my chips! So today I did just over six miles in 1:04. Pretty slow, but I am actually pretty happy with the speed I am able to attain and still keep the hr under 143 (my 70%). The one thing I notice is that these runs tend to strain my Achilles tendon a bit and they are usually a bit sore after.

Two lonely runs

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

My running partner is in her taper week before the San Francisco Half Marathon this weekend so I have been on my own. It is amazing how dependent you become on a running partner when you run regularly with them. The runs seem so boring if I am not yacking away with her. I used to run with music all the time, or with the radio, but I have been spoiled! They are no substitute!

So my first lonely run was a recovery run where I did my best to keep my heart rate at or near 70% of max (recovery ceiling) which for me is 143 bpm. On the run I was really happy with how well I did keeping it relatively steady. The reports I got when i got home showed more variation than I would have liked, but that is ok. I was also really happy with how fast I could go without going over that, at least for the first half. At one point I was able to keep up a sub 9 minute mile pace for several blocks before it started creeping up. The hills were torturous, I really had to slow down for them, but I was successful at keeping the hr down. Toward the end as I ran through the Reed campus class was just getting out. I was crawling along, but I decided to check the ego at the door and just do what I was supposed to. I was really tempted to jet past several smokers, can’t believe how many people still smoke. The run took forever, 1:26 for 8 miles but it felt pretty good. Despite the slow pace my legs were pretty sore.

So this morning after my slow run yesterday, I figured today was time for some pain! My plan was to do my hill run in Eastmoreland. I started out with a mile of warmup then hit the hills. Three blocks down, one block over and three blocks up. For the most part the pattern goes three blocks of hills, then five recovery blocks (one over, three down, one over to the next hill) so essentially I just criss-cross blocks along this ridge. On the hill portions I really step on the gas and try to do them as hard as I can. I maxed out my hr at 180 today, spending a lot of time in the upper 170s. The thing I am most happy with is is my hr drops considerably on the recovery portions, at times all the way into the 120s, mostly mid 130s.

This being the second time I have done this workout, I was especially excited to compare the two runs. Unfortunately I realized that they were really not identical as the first time I had run down to Reed to use the bathroom. Also they are doing sewer construction and on different blocks, so that sort of messed me up a little bit as well. But I was able to compare pace and hr. This time I did the run a bit faster and got my hr up higher. I still want o comb over the numbers and see how the recoveries compared. I just love the data you get out of the Garmin.

Speaking of the Garmin Forerunner 405, I just figured out how to customize all of my displays as well as my heart rate zones. Pretty slick. I am not going to go into how to do it, suffice it to say it is all in the manual and is surprisingly simple to do. I love this watch.