2 01 2011


Possibly one of the most difficult things to learn in running is Pace.  You need to understand at what pace each run should be done in order to benefit from that run and manage your weekly training.   Just going out and running hard wont help for long.  Eventually that method will give you injuries.  It also doesnt train your body to metabolize fat stores instead of strictly Glycogen from the muscles.  

Today we arrived at Sulphur Springs and a decent group of about 15 to 20 was assembled.  We asked about paces and the bigger portion of the group had stated they would run the 20 km loop in two hours.  Perfect i thought!  6 min per km i can run at a HR of about 138-142 which was my target for the long runs.   With in moments of starting i could see this wasnt to be the case today.  Our first km was 523 our secound km 505, and in our third km i saw we were at 445 for a bit……….my HR was 165.  Not impressed.  I wasnt there to race.  I was there to learn the course for my race in May.   coming behind was another group so i slowed for them and at 5 km we joined up.   They said they were running a 2 hour 15 min loop.  This is still an extremely decent pace as Sulphur is repeated hills.  Not big hills but often enough and steep enough to make you work.  After a couple km with this group i saw my HR drop below 140 a couple times.  Perfect.  Unfortunately i had lactic acid build up in my quads from the fast start without warmup…… 15 km i felt great and felt i could easily run a 40-50 km today.  Thats how i should feel on my long run.

The start was why i started to run solo last year.  I cant get caught up in my ego.  it is very difficult to drop out of the pack and run a slower pace.  i learned the hard way though that i MUST run the pace i am supposed to for each session!

The run ended up being extremely pleasurable and we came in at 2 hours 14 minutes so our pacer was indeed excellant.  i heard from others back in the parking lot that the first group ( 2 hour pacer) came in at under 1 hour 40 minutes………that is just plain BS!  Im awefully glad i didnt stick with that group. 

I love the serene area of Sulphur Springs and i met some very cool people with tonnes of experiance.  In the end i talked to a guy who has run all the biggies…HARDROCK, HURT HAWAII, WESTERN STATES etc.  He was a wealth of knowledge…although he told me to become an excellant ultra runner i should quit my…..dont think so…yet!

To properly train you need to understand first your Heart Rate  What is your resting heart Rate?  Your Maximum Heart Rate?

Your resting Heart Rate is best taken in the morning before even getting up.  I slept a few times with my HR monitor on so i could study the graph to understand my resting HR.  I had a low of 35 BPM which was in my deepest sleep.  I had a period of 65 BPM so i can assume it was when i was dreaming alot.  But i had a period of 41 BPM in the early morning before waking and as i lay still in bed after waking up to 45 BPM so i can assume my resting HR is about 41 BPM.  Maximum HR is best understood by warming up for a 2 km run slow and then running 500 meters all out, then jog 100 and then the same.  On the third series really run as fast as you possibly can over that 500 meters.  I actually do two of those and then run up a hill as fast as possible…i end up at 184 BPM which is significantly higher then the common formulae of subtracting your age from 220. 

For example mine would be 220-45 = 175…………………..some say 220 minus your age and then if active add 10 so i guess thats closer at 185 BPM.

For more precise training calculations you should understand the Reserve HR which is calculated by subtracting your RHR from your MHR so mine would be 184-44=140

So for pacing i want to run my long runs at 65-70 % of my maximum at all times. so lets say 70%.  The quick calculation is 0.70 x 184=129 BPM.   The more precise calculation would be done using the reserve HR we previously calculated so (140 x .70)+44=142BPM

So for a long run i should ensure my HR is always above 129 and under 142 to maximize the benefit of the run.  The problem with that is i feel like i am going to slow!   It is why we often repeatedly hear from the experts that people run thier long runs too fast and thier short runs too slow.  It is dificult for us to believe we are getting a benefit by running at such a slow pace.

Running by HR is precise and scientific.  You cant train to be a better runner by running on how you feel.  There are too many factors affecting our emotional and mental being.  Running by HR is pure science and if we do it correctly we will become better distance runners with fewer injuries.

Today i was able to let my ego go and run the correct pace for my targeted HR and as a result i had a good training run.  My goal for 2011.  Train smart and arrive at the starting line un-injured.  If race day someone wants to ramp things up a few notches, i am good to go….but not in training!




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