I've been reading a ton about 10K-specific training, and something that I really struggle with is running my easy runs at an easy pace. There are two very beneficial zones for improving as a runner--the "easy pace" zone, which does all sorts of great changes for your body (I'll have to write a whole post about it soon); and the "aerobic threshold" zone, which is pushing yourself pretty hard. If you tend to run in the middle of those two zones, you're not doing much for your body as far as improving speed.
I am one of those people that does nearly all of my running in between those two zones. Yes, I can improve a little just by running regularly, but I should be running different paces to hit my full potential as a runner. Running at an easy pace is actually far from easy! Most runners (including me) actually run their easy runs too fast, which causes them to hit that in-between zone. (Again, I'll write a whole post about this later.)
So, in this 10K training period, I really want to focus on doing it right. Easy runs should be run at about 60-70% of maximum heart rate. My maximum heart rate is 182, and my resting heart rate is 60, so I calculate the percentages using the Karvonen formula:
Maximum heart rate minus resting heart rate; multiply that number by the percentage; then add the resting heart rate back on.
182 - 60 = 122
122 x 70% = 85
85 + 60 = 145
So, I should be running my easy runs with a heart rate of 133-145 beats per minute. My aerobic threshold runs should be done at 85-90%, which is 164-170 bpm. Based on my run data from the past few months, my heart rate for easy runs is typically 155-160 bpm--right in that "dead zone" that really isn't doing much for my running potential.
Yesterday's long run was the first run where I decided to try and keep my heart rate in the 133-145 range. I set the alarm on my watch to beep if my heart rate went over 145. Then I headed outside for a 75-minute run, not knowing in the slightest what kind of pace I'd be running. It was interesting! I knew I'd be going much slower than I'm used to, and I was okay with that. In fact, I was actually looking forward to running at a slower pace, because it's so much more enjoyable than huffing and puffing!
I realized that my "happy pace" (easy pace) was right around 11:00/mile. There were a couple of sub-11:00 splits, but that was when I had a tailwind. I felt really great the whole time, though, and it felt like I could run forever.
My average heart rate was 141 bpm and my average pace was 10:58. Much different from my previous outdoor long run, which was a pace of 9:12 and a heart rate of 160!
Twice per week, I'll be running in the aerobic threshold zone, which is when I do intervals or tempo runs. The rest of my runs will be at an easy pace like this one was. I'm very curious to see how it pans out!
We got some very sad news yesterday. On Christmas day, Jerry's uncle apparently woke up with a severe headache. He went back to sleep, and later, his wife found him unresponsive and not breathing. It turns out that he had an aneurysm and a heart attack, and because of the lack of oxygen to his brain for so long, the brain damage was severe. He was on life support all day, and then at around 1:30 in the morning yesterday, he passed away. He was only 48 years old.
Aside from how sad it is for the family, Jerry and I were especially struck by how suddenly it happened. Jerry had the same complaint a couple of weeks ago--a severe headache--and because of what I'd read about aneurysms, I took him to the hospital. I'm so thankful that he turned out to be okay, but now I feel very reassured that we did the right thing. As we've started getting the medical bills in the mail, Jerry was thinking that it was stupid for us to have gone to the emergency room; but now we are sure we made the right call. I just wish that Jerry's uncle had been able to get to the hospital in time. He was a very fun, nice guy, and Jerry always enjoyed seeing him. The whole family was really shocked by it.
This afternoon, my mom and I took Noah and Eli to a Harlem Globetrotters game. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but it ended up being really fun and entertaining!
|Don't all basketball players jump up on the rim and take pictures|
with a selfie stick? ;)
The kids had a lot of fun--they are at the perfect age for a Globetrotters game. (My mom had gotten them the tickets for Christmas.)
Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! I have plans with friends tomorrow evening, so I'll be putting the post together in the morning (here is how you can submit a photo). I know it's a busy time of year for everyone, so if I don't get many submissions, I will just hold off until next week.