Heart Rate Training – week 2
I was feeling mentally ready to train this week. I have that excitement and giddiness that comes from starting a new plan and feeling confident in it. My confidence comes, at this point, from the HR training. It is such an ego check to run so slow. That is hard. But to feel so good after it. It’s like “yea, I may be slow, but I could do this forever. literally! forever! no problem.” And that gives me confidence. I just have to get over myself and it will feel so good. ha.
I want to lose weight. Is that bad? It isn’t my ultimate goal. I love running too much for that. I want to get better at running for the sake of being better at running so that I can run faster/farther when I get to run. Because I love to run. But if I could get a stereotypical runner’s body as well… now we’re talking. ha! I lost so much body fat when I did the #bbg workouts but I haven’t been able to replicate that with running/weight lifting. That could be due to overtraining. But I don’t really know. So while my goal is to get better for the sake of getting better, in the back of my mind I would really like to lose some weight. ha.
Monday 8/29 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. I woke up excited but a little disappointed that it was medium run day. I’m so ready to try my hand (legs?) at doing the tempo run. If I can’t do that, then trying the interval run would suffice. But here I am just running medium, which feels like easy because it’s so much easier than my “easy” runs before. And an easy run feels like a walk. But all of it is exciting because all of it is progress and I know that and I’m still high on the idea of progress and getting better! I did also have a park workout planned with my friends this morning. It’s probably not the *best* idea as far as HR goes, BUT it’s only this week that I can go so whatever. I’m not stressing about it. I miss my friends and working out with them every day. I did wear my HR monitor so that I could see exactly what it does to me. We’ll call this data collection week. My plan, ideally, would be to stay with my current workout plan for lifting and running, but to add in a park workout with my friends on Friday. Schedules just don’t line up most weeks Monday-Thursday, but my Friday is free so… why not, right? Hopefully that works out data wise as well. Completed 2.56 miles at 17:21 (15:08, 17:08). I was, of course, pushing the stroller. I’m not sure how much that affected things. I can compare this medium run to last week, but last week I ran in the afternoon without a stroller. I really wish I knew how much the stroller pushing elevates my heart rate. I suppose I could do a walking test. Up and down the driveway or someplace similarly flat. I might look in to that. Anyway last week my pace was about 2 minutes less. ha. So there definitely is a difference. This is not something I considered in my plan to start running with the stroller (forgetting the HR monitor, before that). It explains my high heart rate on the Tuesday run and probably Monday as well. This run was rough. There were times where my HR spiked for no apparent reason. I even stopped once at the end and it was still going up. It never got dangerously high, and it did go down eventually. I just wasn’t able to make it drop on the move, even at a slow walk. I may have been on a hill at the time, but I’m not sure. I had to do a lot of walking, but I did get some running in. So perhaps my “easy” run will have to be walking for now, but my “medium” run can be sloooow jogging. It will be a happy day when I can confidently run both without walking breaks to slow my heart rate. After my run I rested for 10-15 minutes and then went in to my park workout. We did intervals and then pilates. I was pleasantly surprised by my heart rate. In the 41 minute workout, I spent 35% at a 3, 32% at a 2 and 28% at a 1. I only spent 5% at a 4 and no time at 5. So that’s good. I don’t know, scientifically, where I should be. But I knew I didn’t want it to look like my Tuesday run last week. hah. I didn’t really want to sabotage my heart rate training but at the same time I really wanted to do the workout. ha.
A few hours after my last workout I started feeling really weak and nauseous. On a “typical” day (so far) I run around 8 and am home by 9. This day I ran a little early, worked out again at 830, stayed and talked to a friend at the park, and then went to Albertsons. I made my recovery shake around 1045. I started lunch but by the time it was ready I felt horrible. After texting my husband and drinking a large glass of water, I was told I should eat something. Yea. That makes sense. So while I ate some cottage cheese I put my daily food into My Fitness Pal and realized that I had eaten less calories (by about 150) than I had expended in my 2 workouts. That’s of course leaving out the calories used to breathe and live and move. I’m not sure how it happened, but I am back to under-eating. By the end of the day I was about 200 calories below my goal. My goal is 2000. That is what I had calculated for me at the end of spring. My workouts have changed but not so drastically that I think the number is wrong. At the time I was doing BBG 3x a week, HIIT 2x a week and running some. Now I run and lift 2x a week. So it looks like I’m back to tracking calories. I don’t like doing it, but I don’t naturally eat enough. I could have a whole separate post about why I think that is, but suffice it to say that it’s a thing and I struggle with it.
Monday night I was pretty down about my running. At least, I should say, I wasn’t as giddy-excited as I have been. I think it’s just hard to run with the stroller. I don’t like that I can’t keep my heart rate where I want it and run. It’s frustrating. But at the end of the day, that’s the point, right? I’m not training my legs or mind to run, I am training my lungs/heart to function better. The bright spot was thinking about my long run. I really enjoyed the long run last weekend, and there is no stroller, and I felt like a million bucks, and maybe it’s ok and I’ll survive this training period. maybe. Another thing that cheered me up was seeing that the interval run warm up is in ranges 1-3. 1 is a walk, 2 is difficult, 3 I can pretty much do. It’s hard but I can do it. So I had the encouragement that maybe I could do some more running on Tuesday.
Which leads me to another thought. I don’t know the “proper” way to get my heart rate down. Do you stop moving and let it come down as quickly as possible? Do you continue moving at what you could usually do at that HR, and allow it to come down much more slowly, but not really to dip below. Do you slow down some, but not come to a complete stop, until it’s in a reasonable range again? How much does it matter? I think I need to look into a book about this kind of training. I’m such a T4 (dressing your truth) and I don’t like not knowing the answer to these questions. I *think* I have figured it out based on reading lots of articles but nothing says for sure. I *think* you should use the entire cool down time to get your heart rate down. The goal being to hit the correct zone before you take it up again. Ideally that will be quick (quick heart rate drop = better heart health), but you have a full 2 minute (in my workout) to make it happen. That makes sense to me. The only problem would be, being so new to this, I have no clue what speed I should be working at to get it down. I don’t want to push too hard and not make it there. ha. But that will come with time. So perhaps for now my recovery interval will be a fast walk until I get down to a 3 and then a slow jog to maintain my HR there. The only thing is my watch will be chirping at me for a while, but I guess that can’t be avoided. My body doesn’t quite work as quickly as that little computer on my arm.
Tuesday 8/30 – Planned interval run of 40 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-3 heart rate, 20 minutes of work (4x 3 minutes at 4-5 heart rate, 2 minutes at 3 heart rate), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.40 miles at 15:22 (13:48, 11:51, 16:07). That run was pretty sweet. Looking at my graph you can totally see when I wasn’t paying attention though. When the cool down started, I thought it was another interval so I sped up. It took me a while to figure out why the watch wouldn’t stop beeping. ha! The warm up felt good. I ran most if not all of it and averaged a 13:57 pace. It felt good. My calves were sore from yesterday but it wasn’t a difficult run at all. I was happy with it and quite happy to see my pace for the first mile when it popped up. The intervals were a little surprising to me. I thought my HR would be higher to be honest. The first one I was dying and my heart rate was only in a 4. It was a weird adjustment to go from trying to be slow on every run to trying to be fast, but at the same time not to sprint because I have to sustain for 3 minutes. My pace was 11:48. The second one I did better. I think I was more prepared and was able to nail an 8:33 pace. That’s fast even without a stroller and I, of course, was running with. I really focused on form on this. I let myself fly. Twice I was running at a 7 something pace during this interval. What?! It just felt GOOD. To be fair, I did take a potty break between the first 2 intervals, so I was more rested. But still! My last 2 intervals were 10:25 and 11:41. Pretty good, not amazing. I could feel myself getting tired. heh. My recoveries were interesting. I tried to do a speed walk on them. It took about a minute for my HR to drop. Any time I tried to jog, though, my HR would get out of a 3 so I’d have to stop. My cool down was pretty slow. I promised my 4 year old he could get out and run with me. He ran for about half a second and we walked the rest. At any rate, my HR was exactly where I wanted it (top of 2) so walking worked great for me. I’m really proud of this run. I worked hard but I didn’t kill myself. I think I can work harder now that I know what to expect. But I’m proud, so proud of myself.
At this point, I may need to make daily blogs instead of weekly. This is quite wordy. But really, is anyone reading this? Any subscribers I have like quilts and photos not runs and data (probably). So kuddos if you’re still here, but I’m assuming nobody is. And if that’s the case, why not make super long blog posts? Also, the purpose of recording this is for me to analyze (data data data!) and I’m doing it publicly in case there is another searcher, like myself, who wants to know exactly what it looked like for someone to HR train. In that case, they should be happy with wordy data filled posts. So win win.
After this run I was on top of the world – truly, I believe I was floating. Of course these things never last when you are an overly-analytical person. So here’s my concern now. I rocked my intervals, true, but the tempo run is going to have me running for 12 minutes at that effort. TWELVE?! How on earth am I going to be able to do that? Data wise, I can get condolence from the fact that I was never at the top of 5. Granted, I’m sure it’s hard to get there without dying, but none the less, I wasn’t there. Positive! My first interval was hard, but actually stayed within a 4. It’s going to be a mind set change. Just like I had to figure out how to run slow or walk (easy/long) and run slow and steady (medium) and have run steady then have burst speed (intervals), now I need to learn how to have sustained speed. I think the trick will be in not taking off. If I ride the top of a 3 during the first work phase, then when it comes to the second work phase I just need to push a little harder. The key there is little. I will be inclined to take off, like I did in the intervals, and that will gas me. Realistically we are not looking for another 8 min pace. I’m assuming it will be in the 13s for the first phase (based on my warm up on interval day), so maybe (optimistically) 11s? Or 12s? Or 13s because I’m starting to get tired? Although that shouldn’t be the case because of the heart rate training. Honestly I have no clue and I’m nervous. But come Thursday I shouldn’t be nervous anymore. I should be confident I either did well, or know what to do better next time. I would say those are equally productive results.
Wednesday 8/31 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.56miles at 16:33 (15:25, 17:06). I did not feel well this morning. I would say this is the most difficult workout type so far. “Easy” is not easy to do. A fast walk is too slow on a flat or decline but too fast on an incline. A slow jog is pretty much too fast all around, unless it’s not. I did my best but I still ended up with 11 minutes in the 3 zone. Oops. My heart rate was not steady at all. It’s up and down, up and down, while I try to find my pace. Spoiler alert: I never found it. I’m assuming this gets better. I’m hoping anyway. I felt really sick at the end of this. Worse than I do after a hard run. Worse than I did pre-HR monitor when I was running at a 4/5 the whole way. I think it because I had french toast for breakfast. The only difference (ingredient wise) from a normal breakfast was syrup. I had heartburn and just a general stomach ache the whole time though so I’ll avoid that much sugar so early in the morning.
After my “run” I considered bailing and not doing the park workout. I even talked to a friend from our group about it. She said (in the kindest way possible) that I looked horrible. I ate some peanut butter crackers and started feeling better. So I stuck around. The workout went well. We started with strength rotations and ended with cardio. It was harder than Monday and my HR reflected that. Still my highest was in zone 3 (25%) and I spent most of the time in 2 (31%) and 1 (43%). So all good. This should be the last time I do a park workout like this AFTER a run. Except for holidays. And next Monday is a holiday. So… yea.
Thursday 9/1 – Planned tempo run of 45 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 13 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 12 minutes work at 4 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.24 miles at 15:03 (15:55, 13:43, 14:11).
Exhaustion hit me hard after this run. I’m struggling to function throughout the day. I’m eating much more than I was. Am I not sleeping enough? Am I overtraining? I decided to go to bed early and get more sleep. Instead of reading until 1030 I will put my book away at 10. It’s a small difference but it’s something I can do. I’m also going to not lift on Friday. In fact, I may not lift for September. I know it is bad to run without strength training. I’m weighing this against the possibility of overtraining. If I run pushing the stroller, doesn’t that give me the benefit of a little upper body strength training? Am I rationalizing? Perhaps. Come October I will lift again. By then I should be adjusted to my running routine and I don’t imagine I will have any problems. Stopping now may not be necessary but I need to get this under control. My housework is suffering because I am so tired all the time. I feel my personality changing. I just have no energy. If this doesn’t resolve I may have to get bloodwork done to rule out anything from there. First I’ll deal with sleep though, since that is something I can control fairly easily.
Another thought. Am I recording the splits the best way? I record mile splits here, but my true splits are not mile related. I default to miles because it is simple but it doesn’t really show a full picture of my effort. That said, I don’t know if it matters. I have my Polar Flow feed that shows me all the details. This is just fluff for my own musings. Perhaps I should link my polar data to each post. Or else I need to figure out a way to better document my progress.
Friday 9/2 – planned rest from running and lifting day. Decided not to lift. I’m really hoping to have more energy come this afternoon.
Saturday 9/3 – Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 5.00 miles at 15:18 (17:17, 15:34, 15:23, 14:45, 16:27).
Sunday 9/4 – planned rest