Musings – now with updates!
Blogging because I need to work some stuff out in my mind.
A few years ago a friend of mine started doing triathlons. She had never been a runner but she “suffered through.” Now she is a great runner. She posted on facebook about doing a zone 1 5k in 26 minutes. I am going to confirm with her that we are looking at the same zones. lol. For me, zone 1 is less than 114 bpm. And she ran it at a 8:23 pace. I mean, it’s possible, theoretically. It’s just amazing.
So anyway we got to talking. She said that last year zone 2 was difficult for her. She had to walk a lot. She said she would just run as slow as she could to keep it down, then stop when it went over and walk. It led to some very slow paces. She took pace off her watch so that she wouldn’t even see it. Now she runs everything in zone 2. She runs marathons. She is an ironman. Not to mention she looks incredible.
I am so impressed by how far she has come. I embraced Maffetone in the past, but found it too difficult for me mentally. I think it was hard to do the same thing every day. Plus, my big concern with my marathon is being swept. I worry that if I run in a zone 2 every single run, I’ll never be fast enough to finish on time.
So I’m considering a hybrid plan. Marathon training so far is fun. I use the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme program, and then do what I want for each of the runs. Lately that has meant 2 days of easy runs, 1 day of speed work (Yasso 800s or Fartleks), and 1 long run. After talking to her, I am going to attempt to do my easy and long runs in a zone 2.
I changed my watch to display HR, the zone slider, the distance and my current cadence. I want to keep my cadence up to avoid injury. My not-so-scientific-opinion is that I’m more likely to get injured if I drag my feet trying to slow down more. I also changed my workout log so that it no longer displays duration or pace. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. The data is there when I’m ready. It shows HR now as well.
Today was my first attempt at a zone 2 run. It felt great but it was mentally rough. I ran on the pasture which makes it more difficult. At the beginning I could do about half a lap before I had to walk a bit. After about 1.3 miles I could do 21 paces before I had to walk. Towards the end it was difficult to get my HR low enough, even when walking. I’m not sure I would have survived without my audio book.
The up side of this is that I will see progress easily. It will be a happy day when I can run a whole lap without getting my HR up. And then when I can run a whole mile?! Wow!
I figure it doesn’t matter that I’m jacking with the pace as long as I get the miles on my legs. That’s the point, and long runs are meant to be slow anyway.
All this to say, I haven’t actually looked at my data. I wanted to write this while I’m feeling positive. I did pause at one point to take a phone call from my son’s allergist. My watch said my average pace was 17 something. That’s running and walking and going slow. I’m just going to force my mind to focus on the HR and the cadence.
So I spent some more time talking to my friend. Her zone 1 is huge and her zone 2 is tiny. From what I can tell, her coach set zone 2 as +/-4 of her target heart rate. So I did the same. Zone 1 is anything below that. Zone 5 starts at my anaerobic threshold. Zone 4 starts halfway between Zones 3 and 5. So there you go. Unfortunately this was AFTER I did my first pasture run that I had to walk. Today, Saturday, I will be doing my first zone 2 run with the updated zones.
So I felt a little better* that she did an 8:23ish at a 151 heart rate… until I saw an IG friend did a “recovery” run at a HR of 95 and a pace of 7:30. Goal, right?
*I kid. My friend is on team USA for triathlons and my IG friend is training for the Olympic trials. I’m finding joy in my journey and not comparing – other than to see what is possible. Rachel and Amanda, y’all are awesome!