Sunday, January 01, 2012

Janathon 2012 Day 1: Base Training

Janathon 2012 Day 1: Run - 2.35 miles, Time - too embarrassed to say, Weather - mild, a little blowy, grey clouds

Back after a lay off and in terrible shape. Time for a new beginning! 
“What else is the New year for?” I asked myself “if not to draw a imaginary line and promise yourself that from this time hence you will be far, far better, in so, so many ways.” Before the rational side could snarl back “Yes, it is surely a time of mass delusion.” I was out the door - before breakfast, before I could think.
Well actually that is not totally true -  I had given it quite a bit of thought. For some time I had been thinking about using the New Year to mark a change in my approach. 
The last couple of years have seen me running for moderate distances at the same steady/slowish pace without any great improvement in fitness or endurance. In running terms the technical term for this is: rubbish. If I carried on in the same way I would again achieve very little and be another rubbish year so something else has to be done.
My plan is therefore to go forward by going back to something I used to do - heart rate training.
Before I got my Garmin footpod I never worried much about how far I ran. The only things I paid attention to were time and heart rate. On my long runs I would try to keep around a set number of beats and on tempo runs I would try to maintain a different level. I actually think it worked quite well I I don’t know why I changed. (I think I must have been seduced by the idea of a different technology and more complete information. This is not necessarily a good thing.)
Today however I went back to the future and pace does not matter.
This is a very good thing because the first stage my training plan is base training, which involves running very, very slowly to keep your heart rate below 70%. It is far more difficult than you might think. Today even the slightest incline would rocket my heart rate and force me to walk, just to keep below the maximum. It was not as if I was going fast in any case - but I still had to walk. 
Progress was slow and it could have raised questions about the fine line between running and miming. But I don’t want to think about that or even worry if I am overtaken people with Zimmer frames. I have a plan and I must stick to it.

Today's picture came from a walk later in the day. The cows amused me by looking is if they were part of an identity parade


warriorwoman said...

I'm using heart rate to monitor my rowing workouts but when I started running I didn't find HR monitoring too useful - I was always off the scale. I have just started running with my heart rate strap on again though.
I'll be interested to see how you find it.

Highway Kind said...

The formulas for heart rates can be very misleading. You have to know your own ranges. Even with that running below 70% is a challenge but the theory is that with patience it will get better

Anonymous said...

We'll make you a special badge that says "Not walking, but training". Very pleased to see you in the Janathon camp, it wouldn't be the same without you.

Highway Kind said...

Actually I think I want a T shirt with the more enigmatic "I have my reasons" written on it

Adele said...

Ahhh, cows.

I find the whole heart rate thing baffling, I really got into it years back, but ended up walking to stay within the range required - my max heart rate is way over the figure stated for my age when I work it out that way!

I'm all for Janathon t-shirts and 'I have my reasons' can't be bettered.