August 26, 2021

Return to Running Recap : Week 13

Apparently, I forgot to take a post-run selfie last week. I did find this one on my camera roll, though! From the angle, I can tell I was sitting on the treadmill in front of the fan (something I do after my runs while I upload my running data into Garmin Connect). Clearly, this photo was an accident--but it's the only one I took, so this will have to do ;)

This past week, I've been thinking about changing something up with my running routine. For the last few months, my plan was to continue running three miles, three times a week. I wanted to maintain the same pace and see if it got easier over time (meaning I was getting fitter; evidenced by a lower heart rate).

I'm making progress in the heart rate department, but nothing drastic--and certainly nothing consistent! It's not unusual for my heart rate to be super high during one run, and then just two days later, super low. I still haven't quite figured out a pattern to it.

Anyway, I can't say that I'm bored with the running routine, but I do have the urge to change something up. I'll have to think about it this week--maybe adding a long run day (working up to five or six miles) or adding speed work (intervals and/or tempo runs). There are several things I could change up to keep things interesting.

This past week, I actually did add intervals to my first run of the week...

Week 13, Day 1 : Run at 5.0 mph for 4 minutes, run at 6.0 mph for 1 minute. Repeat 7 times, for a total of 35 minutes. (treadmill)

I came up with this on a whim, just before getting on the treadmill. I didn't want to do anything super hard--I figured a 4:1 ratio was good, and it ended up being perfect. Not too hard, not too easy. The time flew by on the treadmill! That is my favorite part about doing intervals--the whole workout seems so much shorter because I think in short segments (4 minutes, 1 minute...) instead of my usual 36-minute run at the same speed throughout.

I was very curious to see how my heart rate would compare to my regular runs. I thought for sure it would be really high. Which is why I was surprised when I saw that my average heart rate was 147 bpm--right in the middle of Zone 3.

For intervals, I like to look at the maximum heart rate for each interval rather than the average. Since the intervals are short, there isn't really enough time for my heart rate to increase enough to make a difference in the average.

Anyway, my maximum heart rate for each of the faster intervals was 149, 151, 151, 153, 154, 155, 155 bpm. If I'm going to do interval training, then I should probably increase either the speed or distance of the intervals so that my heart rate gets higher--the maximum should probably peak in the high 160's or low 170's.

See how the peaks and valleys are pretty gentle? I need to make the peaks a lot higher!

I don't really care about getting faster, but I think that doing some speed work will help me to get in shape more quickly. I'm going to put some thought into it this week and figure out how I want to change things up.

Week 13, Day 2 : Run 3 miles at 5.0 mph (treadmill)

I had a feeling that my heart rate was going to be very high for this run. Before I even got on the treadmill, I could feel my heart beating fast. It sounds so ridiculous, but I actually get nervous before every run! I have no idea why that is, but the more I try NOT to be nervous, the worse it gets. My best runs are usually the ones that I decide to do in a moment's notice.

When I finished, I was happy to see that my heart rate wasn't in Zone 5 for the first couple of miles--it certainly felt like it was! Haha.

Week 13, Day 3: Run 3 miles at 5.0 mph (treadmill)

This was one of those runs that I just did in a moment's notice, so I didn't have time to think about it. I just hurried to change into my running clothes and then hopped on the treadmill. I'm reading a book that I'm just really having a hard time getting into, which makes it hard to distract myself from the fact that I'm running. (It's called 'The Dressmaker's Gift' and has 25,000 reviews--4.5 stars--on Amazon. I don't know why I can't get into it!)

I tried my best to focus on my book, but the time seemed to be moving so slowly. The last mile felt like it was 30 minutes long. However, I felt really good throughout the whole run. I got a little tired the last mile, but for the most part, this felt easy to me :)

I was actually surprised that my heart rate wasn't lower on this one--I was so sure it would mostly be in Zone 2. It looks almost identical to the previous run, though! It's funny how I felt very different during each of these runs, but my heart rate was almost the same for both.

Overall, I definitely feel like I'm making progress. Running feels a lot easier than it did a few months ago. Most of all, I just feel really good that I'm running regularly again. I missed being a runner!


  1. I really love Peloton on demand for like 12 bucks a month and I think there’s a free 3 month trials. They have music themed classes, fun runs, training runs and heart rate runs at 20, 30, 45 and 60 minute lengths. They also have out door runs too - I’d recommend trying it if you want to change things up but not think too hard.

  2. I miss being a runner . And doing my stair workout. It's just too hot and humid. By the time I get back into it, I'll have to start all over again. I'm wining, I know, but I feel guilty for not doing it. I love reading about you doing it Katie, and you encourage all of us by posting your progress. It has such a positive impact on us, and we appreciate it.

  3. Well done! I'm trying to get back to consistent running too and your updates really help.

  4. Are you also still walking the dog for an hour every day on top of running?

    1. No, when I got injured I took time off and then didn't get back into the habit. He does get walks, though! One of my boys' "chores" is that they each have to walk him a mile a day. It's good for Joey and good for them :)

  5. Good work! I love how you've turned this all into a puzzle, trying to figure out the heart rate. It's like a mystery. We have to stay tuned to see what happens next.

  6. I love intervals too because it makes the time go by faster. That's why I like speedwork with run group once a week. My HR is still always off the chart though. lol


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive