- tue: Lynnfield 3.63 out and back. Ran 3.6 miles. Easy heart rate run (mostly) although I threw in a half mile 7:00 pace in the beginning and end. I am on my 4th week of Hal Higdon’s Novice II half marathon schedule.
- thu: Locksley-Essex out and back. Ran 4.2 miles. Easy run keeping my heart rate low today. Weather was a little colder than I was expecting, but at least it was clear and crisp. I forgot to take my inhaler, which was a mistake. One of these days I’m going to make a better habit of remembering to do it before my runs.
- fri: Running workout. Ran 3.2 miles. Not much to see here. Just get my heart rate low, around 130, and watched some TV while I got the miles in.
- sat: Long run on gorgeous day. Ran 7.2 miles for 90 minutes at 12:30 pace. Nice, slow, long run on a gorgeous day. I kept my heart rate low, with an average of 129. I also walked for a minute or so each mile to rest my legs. I feel that my cardio is in good shape, but my stamina it needs a lot of work. This is the end of my fourth week in the Hal Higdon half marathon plan.
- sun: Lynnfield-Wakefield-Reading-Peabody-Loop. Rode 21.6 miles for 80 minutes at 16.22 mph. First outside ride this season. I kept my heart rate at 130 and still managed to move along at a reasonable speed. What a gorgeous day!
- mon: 6.73 Mile Lynnfield Loop. Ran 6.7 miles. Mostly slow run keeping my heart rate down. I do admit to upping the pace a few times for the fun of it. Gorgeous morning for a run!
- tue: Full body workout. Lifted for 45 minutes . Switched from front facing planks to pushups (sets of 25,20, 15 and 10)
- tue: TM Heart Rate run. Ran 3.0 miles. Easy pace run on the treadmill to keep the heart rate in the right zone.
- thu: Treadmill miles. Ran 3.0 miles. I wasn’t feeling the love today on the TM. I couldn’t wait to get off it.
- sat: Lake Quannapowitt. Ran 5.0 miles. My first training run with a new running buddy around the lake today. She and I will be running in Boston’s Run to Remember half marathon in the Spring. This is her first half and I said I would train with her and run with her. I had to keep asking her to slow down since she was running the long run at her race pace. It is supposed to be “Conversational Pace”, not “Con…..ver…..sa…tional….pace”
- sun: Pillings Pond and Wildwood. Ran 4.9 miles for 42 minutes at 8:39 pace. Fast run today. Mostly a pretty good groove and I don’t feel that sore afterword. This was in my very thin “Go Run Bionics” from Sketchers. I really love these shoes and they are setting me up for some real barefoot running when the weather turns warmer.
Winter is waning and I can feel Spring in the air. Notwithstanding there is a snow storm predicted for tomorrow which is threatening to drop another 6-8 inches of white anti-running material all over the roads. I was waxing a bit contemplative about running when I read an post on the Daily Mile from a fellow runner that has “lost her fire” for running recently. It got me thinking about why I run, why you run and why anyone runs.
- tue: Sherwood Forest Loop. Ran 2.8 miles for 25 minutes at 9:03 pace. I didn’t feel like jogging to day so I just cruised this loop at an easy pace. Heart rate was around 150
- thu: Jogging between intervals. Ran 1.7 miles for 17 minutes at 10:00 pace. Easy jogging pace between intervals while I let my heart rate recover.
- thu: 5 x 800 meter intervals. Ran 2.5 miles for 18 minutes at 7:34 pace. This was not a heart rate workout. I wanted to see if the last 6 weeks of slow jogging at 133 HR was making a difference. I think it is since this workout would have been out of my ability level before. Split paces were 7:12, 7:20, 7:30, 7:40 and 7:55. My average HR during this time was 170. Even attempting one half mile in the 7’s before would have put me at 185 HR. The limiting factor was.. well I just couldn’t physically run any faster. This was not on a track, just the normal rolling hills around me. In 2 weeks I will try this on a track. I am feeling very beat up after this workout…pretty much everything aches.
- sat: Heart rate training run. Ran 3.3 miles. I had planned for a much longer run. After about 1.5 miles I suddenly felt exhausted and almost called my wife to come get me. I think it is a combination of my muscle workout and low calories in my diet right now. I walked/jogged home and felt good I didn’t call for a rescue.
- sat: Exhausting full body workout. Lifted for 60 minutes . I was going fine until I decide to throw in a few sets of kettle bells. I forgot how much they take out of you.
- tue: Inside mounted Trek on Kinetic. Rode 16.0 miles for 50 minutes at 19.20 mph. I had this on a high gear and quick cadence but still struggled to get my heart rate up to 133. This is the first sign that the low HR training is having an effect. Or maybe I was just having a low stress day… LOL
- tue: Upper body workout. Lifted for 30 minutes . Mostly chest, arms, shoulders, etc. A little work on the core but not a lot.
- thu: Heart rate training on treadmill. Ran 2.5 miles. I kept my HR at 130 and watched some TV while I put in the time. I feel that I am slowely making some improvement in speed while keeping my HR low.
- thu: Basic routine. Lifted for 30 minutes . Just some quick st son major muscle groups
- fri: Treadmill run. Ran 2.5 miles. More slow treadmill time at a low heart rate. Nothing too exciting but I needed to get it done.
- sat: 6.73 Mile Lynnfield Loop. Ran 6.7 miles. It was bright and sunny out so even through the snow banks crowd me into traffic I ventured out onto the roads. As usual I ran no faster than I could sustain at a target HR of 133 and enjoyed the easy (but slow) run.
- sun: Heart rate trainnig. Ran 3.0 miles. Easy 3 miler to end the week.
I wasn’t planning to run any races this spring, instead focusing on my fitness and heart rate training. But a friend asked me if I would be interested in running with her at Boston’s run to remember, and I said that I would. I quickly checked to see if it would be possible to fit in a 12 week training plan for this half, and I saw that it was. This will be my friend’s first half, and she is planning on “Gallowalking” is (run/walk intervals). So I am not overly concerned about my ability to stick with her or complete it, but I still want to make sure that I am as fit as possible for this endeavor. Since I already committed to myself to do all my spring training as low heart rate running, I have decided to combine both the training plan and heart rate training into one program. This means that I will be deviating a bit from the standard training plan to accommodate my low heart rate training.
As I discussed in a prior article, low heart rate training requires that I do the vast majority of my running slow enough to keep my heart rate within a specifically calculated zone. Normally, half marathon training would incorporate both pace runs and tempo runs as a way to build the cardio necessary to compete at higher levels. I usually use Hal Higdon’s training plans as a base and then modify them as necessary to meet my needs.
So I went over to his site, and took a look at the various offerings available for half marathon training. I decided to go with novice level II, although it is possible that it’s time for me to move up into the intermediate training plans. Since I am not training for any kind of personal record for this spring, and I am still recovering from some lost conditioning this winter, I decided to take it easy and go with the novice level II.
As you can see in this chart, Hal’s plan recommends one day of pace runs per week, plus a 5K and 10K race in the plan. I’ve decided to drop the two races from the plan, and do the pace run only every other week. This lets me focus on my heart rate training to build my conditioning, while still building my stamina with the overall mileage increase each week. I am leaving everything else exactly the same, including rest and cross training recommendations in the plan.
I think this approach is very solid from a training point of view, especially if you buy into the benefits of low heart rate training. One of the downsides of this approach, however, is that there is very little running done at your race pace, which could potentially undermine your confidence that you could sustain a race pace when you need it. It is sort of a leap of blind faith that your conditioning will be there when you ask for it during race conditions.
- mon: Pillings Pond and Wildwood. Ran 4.9 miles. Low heart rate training continues. I kept this run at an average of 132. I had to walk up most slopes that were more than a couple of degrees in order to keep the HR down. Average speed was about 13/min per mile which is so mechanically slow it is hard to run with good form, but I am working on it.
- thu: Heart rate training. Ran 3.8 miles. Kept the heart rate down to 129 on average for the run. I had to walk a few stretches to keep it down but I made sure it never dropped below 122. Overall a good run that left me feeling pleasantly tired but not worn out.
- thu: Full workout, lift to exhaustion. Lifted for 45 minutes . Really pushed the weight and reps and got a nice burn. Been a while since I went to that line and it felt good.
- sat: Heart rate training, inside mounted bike. Rode 14.1 miles for 50 minutes at 16.92 mph. My ankle was feeling a bit sore so I eschewed the treadmill and jumped on my inside mounted bike. Kept my heart rate nice and constant with the average coming out at 134.
- sun: TM Miles. Ran 3.5 miles. Low heart rate run on the treadmill. Average HR was 131 for the hour. Pace was as usual very slow.