I Got the Results Back On My Fitness Test

I completed an entire battery of fitness tests, at the local university, designed to give me an overview of where I stood on bone density, breathing, heart rate, etc. A lot of it was informative; the EKG part was great because it showed there was no problem with my heart that should interfere with my running, and it calculated fat content about six different ways plus it included bone density.

The fitness test was the common treadmill fitness test where they ramp up the speed and the incline until you stop. I never run on a treadmill, so it was a bit strange for me, and it turns out they measured my max heart rate before I thought I would fall off the back of the treadmill, and not my max heart rate.

I know this because the report says my max heart rate is 167, which seemed a little low, but they’re the professionals, right? So I updated my MHR values in iSmoothRun, and after today’s 5k it showed 98% of the race I was in zone 5. So I looked at my heart rate graph, and the first 5 minutes it was all over 170, close to 180 a couple of times. Now that was probably adrenaline, but still, max heart rate cannot be exceeded, and still be max.

So I changed by MHR to 180, and everything after that first five minutes fell firmly into Z4, which is where I should be, running my 5k pace.

So all-in-all it was a good report, and worth the money just for the positive EKG reports.

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Just Finished My 2nd 5k

Just finished my second 5k, and first for 2013. My first 5k was only about six weeks after I started to exercise/run, and gave me a great benchmark for the shape I was in before I got off the couch. I was doing run/walk/pant-like-a-dog intervals, and ran a 38:15.

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This morning, five months later, on an out-and-back 5k course that felt uphill in both directions, I ran a 31:03. I had said my goal was to go sub-30 (and it still is) and I would OK with going sub-33. So I guess I hit it right about the middle. But I am stoked that I dropped 7 minutes off my time. That’s an 18% drop! Even cooler was I was number one in my age bracket and medaled. As I have read before, it’s just as much about who doesn’t run, as who does, and this 5k skewed to younger runners.

Now I have to sign up for my next 10k, my first for 2013. Because I ran my first 10k back before Christmas, I hit a better pace, so I won’t see such a big drop. But I will drop my time.

I also saw an 8k that I think I want to run. That would give me a new PR at a new distance.

Today I Hit A Wall

Today was supposed to be a 7.5 mile run, up from last week’s 7 miles. I was aiming for a nice easy 10:30 pace, down some from the 11:00’s I had been hitting, and was hitting it for the first four miles. Then mile five dropped to 11:00, but it had a bunch of uphill in it, so I tried to get back on pace in mile six. Except I dropped to 11:30 on mile six, then my legs just stopped at mile 6.78. I walked for about a hundred yards, started to run, and my legs just refused.

So my first long run where my body has won the contest with my brain, about quitting. I’ve been able to fake out my body so far, telling myself “I’ll just do one more mile, then stop” and then not stopping. But not this time.

Full disclosure here does require me to mention there was alcohol involved last night, and I was running a little over an hour after a pretty big breakfast. So maybe those are both valid reasons, and maybe they’re more excuses than reasons – I’m not sure which. Or maybe it’s because I was doing 30 seconds per mile faster than my normal long runs, for the first 4 miles.

I can see I’m making progress, going back looking at my Sunday runs. I got a heart rate monitor for Christmas, and these are some stats since then. I’ve been able to maintain pace and cadence, while running longer each week, and my heart rate is getting much better.

(I hate that WordPress seems unable to handle a simple table – anyone know a way?)

Date . Cadence . . HR . . . . . Pace . . . . Miles
1/1 . . . . . 83 . . . . 160 . . . . . 11:14 . . . . 3.7
1/12 . . . . 82 . . . . 153 . . . . . 11:10 . . . . 4.5
1/27 . . . . 83 . . . . 153 . . . . . 11:12 . . . . 5.5
2/9 . . . . . 83 . . . . 152 . . . . . 11:23 . . . . 7.0
2/17 . . . . 85 . . . . 146 . . . . . 11:00 . . . . 6.8

Anyway, that’s behind me now, and my first 5k of 2013 is next weekend. I use iSmoothRun on my iPhone, and track both 1 mile spits and 5k intervals, so I know that I hit a 33:07 5k interval, while not running at my (hoped for) 5k speed, so I’m still aiming to try to go sub-30.

Happy running everyone.

I Did 7 Miles Yesterday

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted. I’ve been trying to do speed work inside, during the week, and build my distance on weekend long runs. Meanwhile my swimming times have stalled, but I’m getting in 2,400 yards three times a week, so I’m hoping to see an increase there as well.

As the title of the post says, I’m now up to 7 miles, running at about an 11:00 minute/mile pace. Funny thing is, even taking it slower I beat my only 10k race time by 4 minutes, so the “go long and speed will follow” advice is working.

Actually, when I got done yesterday, I could absolutely not believe I had calmly run for 7 miles, and planned to do 7.5 next weekend!

My first race of 2013 is coming up on the 23rd, a 5k. I beat my prior time by 6.5 minutes, in a practice run last week, and would love to go sub 30 but would realistically be happy beating 33. So now I’ve got to focus on keeping the speed drills while figuring out my taper.