June 06, 2022

Summer Heart Rate Training: Week 0

That picture is from March; I just didn't have a new picture for this post.

Well, it's been two months since I took a break from running to (hopefully) heal whatever was going on with my knee. The knee issue is so hard to describe and it only happens sometimes--completely randomly--so I think it's just something I'm going to have to live with.

I feel like it has something to do with the way I sit. I love to sit in the corner of the sectional with my legs crossed, and when I stand up afterward, I may feel pain in my knee until I walk around for a minute. Sometimes, though, it won't go away, or it locks up and feels super stiff.

Anyway, I don't feel like it's a big issue right now. I won't know if running aggravates it until I start running regularly again. And I'm looking forward to getting back to a regular running schedule!

After finishing the 10K plan I was following, I had planned to start a 10K plan by Matt Fitzgerald from the '80/20 Running' book. I knew I wanted to try out heart rate training that is different from the MAF training. Since '80/20 Running' is structured around running in different zones, I figured it would be a good plan to start with.

A lot of the plan (80% of it) is made up of "foundation" runs, which are done in Zones 1-2. This is basically very slow running and even walking in order to make sure it's a nice, easy workout.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, there are speed work runs: fartlek, hills, short intervals, long intervals, fast finish, and mixed interval. I like the variety; I think it'll help me from being bored with all of the Foundation runs.

This past week, I did Fast Finish Run 1. Each run on the plan has a number next to it--the lower numbered ones are easier, and they get harder from there. So, Fast Finish Run 2 is a little harder than Fast Finish Run 1, and so on. When I set up this run on my Garmin, I couldn't get it to sync to my Garmin for the life of me.

I was SO frustrated; I could have gone for my run, showered, and ate lunch in the amount of time it took for me to mess with the Garmin issue. I'm still trying to get used to a Garmin without a touch screen; I have a hard time finding the screens I'm looking for. That day, I wasn't able to sync the Garmin and I got too frustrated to keep trying. I just did manual laps (pushing a button when switching zones) and that wasn't ideal--I was looking at my watch too much and even then, I overshot and did the zones too long.

Eventually, I noticed the Garmin needed a software update and that's probably why it wasn't syncing. It took nearly two hours to download the update! I was able to set up Foundation Run 2. I even used a Garmin watch app that shows which 80/20 zone I'm running in. The 80/20 zones can't really be set up correctly using the default Garmin calculation.

I'm getting way off track here, so I'll spare all the details. It turned out that when I set everything up, I still managed to mess up the zones. Gah! It felt SO EASY when I was running--and I use that term very lightly, because it was a very slow jog/walk in order to stay in the foundation run zone. On the difficulty scale of 1-10, it was a 1.

I'm actually kind of relieved that I was mistaken, because I don't think I could do this plan if the runs were that slow. A fast walk didn't get my heart rate up high enough but a slow jog made it too high; so I was doing a constant jog/walk that required too much paying attention. I just wanted to listen to a podcast while going for an easy run. 

Which brings me to now. Now that I realized my mistake with the heart rate zones, I think it should be much better. I already posted this before, but these are the zones based on my heart rate reserve:

My Garmin has 5 zones, so for this purpose, Zone 2 is actually a combination of the Garmin's Zones 1 and 2.

Technology totally complicates things sometimes ;)  Running is the simplest sport there is! Just put on a pair of shoes (or not) and run. But with running watches and apps and smart phones, a super simple sport turns complicated. I wish I was willing to run without the technology, but I'm used it now.

Today marks the start of Week 1 of the 80/20 Beginner 10K Plan. I'm going to try this through the summer--it's 12 weeks long--and just see how I like it. I've actually never trained using heart rate this way (I've always used MAF) so I like that it's something new to me. Some of the workouts on this plan will be fun! Take this one for example:

That will absolutely require setting up the workout in my Garmin--there is no way I could remember that!

Wow, this post is all over the place. I had planned to write about the runs I did last week, but after discovering my issues with heart rate zones being off, I'm just going to call this Week 0 and the official start of the plan will be today (Mondays are rest days, so tomorrow will actually be the first run). I'll probably do my weekly recaps on Sundays.

Now that I'm not in pain when I get up in the mornings, I would really like to try to get in the habit of running right when I get up. I used to do that and it was so nice to have run and showered before 8:00 in the morning!

1 comment:

  1. First, yay that your knee is at least well enough to run. Yes, sometimes we do have to work around those "kinks" in our bodies. At least I've had to.

    And oh boy do I hear you about the tech. It can be complicated even when the tech works. I used to try to run by "feel" and not pay attention to my heart rate until after the run. But when I finished and looked at my zones, what "felt like" zone 1 or 2 was always 3 or even 4! I'd just been doing all those foundational runs too fast. I'm figuring it out, mostly by compulsively watching my heart rate for a while until now I do know what 1 or 2 feels like.

    Hang in there. I'll be interested to see how you like the 80/20 plan.


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