You ever get the feeling that once in awhile everything just seems to click together? It felt like that with my running today. I am entering a new phase of my training. All my workouts in the last 6 months has been focussed on building mileage in all the 3 triathlon disciplines. This is often referred to as the Base Phase. Often the Base Phase is not as long as what I went through and the reason is that I’ve been focussing on losing weight. Hence I preferred my workouts to be slow (i.e. between 65% – 80% MHR) so that I would burn more fat. Another reason is that I have not been doing any real exercise in about 10 years or so. I didn’t want to shock my body that much. Besides, training should focus on either one of two objectives, weight or power and these 2 objectives shouldn’t be mixed.
Because of this, I have changed my running workout and have entered the Build Phase. In yesterday’s run I did some work on my pace and managed to run about 1 min 45 secs per lap (my usual is aout 3 mins +/- 15 secs). Of course I didn’t run at this pace continuously and had to walk for a lap to recover and then ran for another lap at a similar pace. The objective here is to get my legs used to running at that pace. I will only do this once a week though as it could get very stressful on both the legs and the heart. Another aspect of the Build Phase is not only to run at faster intervals (short workouts) but to run for longer.
I think this applies to many things that we do, not necessarily related to sports or athleticism. We tend to want results quickly and when we don’t get it, we get discouraged and maybe even give up. My learning here is to go through a period of introduction (the Base Phase) and just familiarise yourself with the subject. The greatest learning and jump in results will definitely come in the Build Phase but if you don’t go through that period of familiarisation, then the Build Phase could get a bit tougher. Not impossible but maybe a bit tougher.
NOTE: I need to start reminding people that all the tips I write about comes from books and articles that I read. I am hardly the expert on the stuff and am still learning the stuff. If you haven’t been working out or running for a lont time, make sure you check with your doctors before you start working out. Better to be safe.
Having said all that, todays run was fun. Probably one of the most fun I’ve had running for awhile.
I created a programme for my POLAR RS 800 which I call ‘Long Run’ which is divided into 4 phases:
Phase 1 15 mins Warm up
Phase 2 45 Mins Moderate run (70%-80% MHR)
Phase 3 15 mins Hard run (80% – 85%)
Phase 3 15 mins warm down
I was initially worried about the run as I am used to running only 45 mins (not including the warm up and warm down). So running for 1 hour is something I am not used to on a regular basis. But after I settled down (about 15 mins into Phase 2) I began to find my rhythm. My breathing felt great and the legs were virtually on auto mode and I find myself really able to switch off and enjoy the run. Maybe switch off is not the right phrase as I did focus a lot during the run. Focus on what? I can’t actually remember.
In fact I can honestly say I wasn’t thinking at all.
I was just running.
I managed to sustain a pace of 3 mins +/- 10 secs during Phase 2 so my running pace was pretty consistent.
My POLAR data are as follows:
for Phase 2 and 3
Time 45 mins (Phase 2) and 15 mins (Phase 3)
Average cadence 76 (Phase 2) and 80 (Phase 3)
Average stride length 49 cm (Phase 2) and 66 cm (Phase 3)
Average Heart Rate 80% MHR (Phase 2) and 84% (Phase 3)
Running distance 7 km
Calories burnt 1198 kcal
All in all, an extremely satisfying and fun run.