Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The last post was about the workout plan I had settled on as a goal for heart rate based endurance training.  It made a lot of sense from a quick theoretical perspective but here is where, as usual, I screw something up- math in public.  Take the workout from SLC Sherpa I was focusing on.  If you add up the time this workout takes, it is 10 hours give or take of running with no mention of anything else.  Getting to 15 hrs would require adding in 2 weight days, some Pilates all week long and significantly lengthening that long run.  My kids would forget they had a dad!

Even though I have identified the error in my initially flawed math, the basic concept for the week still seems like a great one.  There is just a lot less running.  I seem to get in 4-5 hours per week which equates to a 2 hour long run, an "easy" 1.5 hour run or two, and a threshold workout (1- 1.5 hrs for that).

The threshold workout is the only completely new component to me as a kind of "run for exercise but dont put too much thought in to it" kind of guy.  Before, I always just ran for whatever time I had and tried to run as sustainably hard as I could plus throw in hills or intervals.  It was amazing to realize I spent almost all my time in zone 3 and now it is hard to avoid drifting there!  That is my comfort spot for sure and hard to avoid.

Threshold training really clicked for me because it seems to mimic skimo races.  About 20 minutes of uphill slogging at the hardest pace you can sustainably go and then a short recovery on the downhill.  Im guessing this is the bread and butter of the workout for me with the rest strengthening my base.  Look at any skimo course and you will see what I mean.

I sometimes fall way short of 5 hours though as life is busy!  Im also trying to get disciplined enough to add low weight high rep squats to the mix to help with the downhills.  It makes total sense but I just need to get into the habit of it.  A wrestling coach I have a lot of respect for has got me rethinking squats and throwing the 90 degree knee angle out and going all the way down, something apparently that has been common for years in Europe and no knee issues if you keep your legs aligned correctly with knees over feet. He has me convinced and its a challenge- you have to significantly reduce the weight you use.  Of course, some opposing muscle lifting would need to get put in there too.  My thoughts were confirmed on one of the skimo blogs I like a lot (all guys who are way more fit than Ill ever be but who have great tips fro mortals).  Anyway, Brian Harder has some great week by week summaries that are interesting to read and think about now that Ive got a little better understanding of what Im after. 

One other thought on the workout stuff so far- I was forced on to a treadmill while on vacation and it turned out to be very interesting even though I get bored on the things.  The steady pace let me focus a lot more on heartrate and I was able to see how my heartrate increases throughout different types of runs.  Very interesting and Id recommend it to anyone from time to time.   It would be interesting to keep track of how those changes themselves change over time.

Im sure there are other logical errors and such out there but Ill stumble on as best I can.  If anyone out there has their own perspective, Id welcome any other perspectives!


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