Monday, March 17, 2008

Just Another Sunday Run

This weekend was filled with more good training. To get a recap of the entire week go to TrainingPeaks. Saturday's brick was a solid 2:35. The two hours on the bike trainer went fairly quick due to the workout and the French Foreign Legion show Escape to the Legion on the Military Channel. Warming temperatures allowed me to finish my brick in shorts and a long sleeve top. It's nice getting outside without bundling up but my pasty white legs are not pretty.

Sunday's long run was a solo effort. I trekked out to the popular Hinkley Reservation for a loop of hills. I really like running out there. It's very peaceful and quiet despite running on the roads. The traffic is minimal for a Sunday morning and the animal sounds take over. The only other sounds are my breathing and my feet hitting the pavement.

I thought about two things during my run: technology and mental toughness. On the surface these two topics don't seem to related, however they do impact each other.

Technology - We live in a world of technology. Without it we wouldn't be blogging, training in "zones", riding carbon fiber bikes, knowing our location instantly. We have watches that talk to iPods, satellites, our shoes, computers, and sometimes even ourselves. Speed up...slow down...start your interval.....end your interval....turn left.....turn reliant upon technology have we become. How much is too much when we train our bodies to swim, bike and run? Yes each tool is designed to improve our performances, make sure we don't overtrain, get enough rest, push hard when we need to. But are these tools really necessary? None of these tools were available when the 4 minute mile was broken. Hard work and dedication was used.

I use a heart rate monitor. I also use my cell phone with to map my runs and provide cools charts like those below. But I also don't rely too heavily on those tools. I listen to my body and feel what it's telling me. When I listen to my body I don't like having any interferance with the communication. That's why I don't train with an MP3 player. I've never liked them. First I don't feel safe with one and second it makes me loose focus on the task at hand. And this leads me into the mental aspect of training and technology.

Mental Toughness - I've always felt why train with an iPod when you can't race with one. Yeah I know a lot of people still put on their headphones during a marathon or take that extra time to grab it in transition. Read the rules people. There are reasons why music players should NOT be used during events. I don't because I think the music is distracting. I want to focus on my training and get away from all the technology. Get to mile 20 of an Ironman marathon without the MP3 player you trained with and that wall may be bigger and thicker than expected. What is the battery drains during an events, still out of luck for the remaining miles. Train like you race. Train your mind to withstand the lonely miles with nothing but your own inner dialogue. Reach deep within to find that motivation and courage to keep moving forward. Don't rely upon Metallica, Fatboy Slim or Eminem to get you through to the end. Yes they are great songs but use them for inspiration prior to, not during an event.

Okay, time to step off the soap box. Do what you want to do, that's just how I feel.

Back to Sunday's run. I had my HRM and cell phone handy. I never looked at my watch, only hit the split button when the phone beeped at each mile. I felt comfortable with my pace, effort was where it needed to be, solid effort was being put forth.

It wasn't until I reviewed the information on my watch that the numbers told an interesting story. I changed the table below to show my average heart rate during each mile split. The run was supposed to be in Zone 2 (143 - 153 BPM) with an allowance for Zone 3 (154-160) on the uphills. As you can see I barely made it into Zone 2. But that's okay, the perceived effort was on spot.

If I had been looking at my watch and pushing to get my heart rate into Zone 2 I probably would have bonked and cut the run short or slowed way down. By NOT paying attention to the available technology and listening to my body I still ran a solid 13 miles. The low heart rates indicate a tired body. I'm feeling good but the big cycle is starting to tear down the body just in time for an easy week to allow for the rebuilding process.

Feeling good......Game On.


Distance:12.80 miles
Speed:7.5 mph
Pace:8' 03 /mi
Elevation (ft)
MilePace (min/mile)Ave heart rateElevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 43+0' 40130-0.6+112 ft
28' 44+0' 41136-0.6+157 ft
37' 55-0' 08135+0.1+6 ft
47' 38-0' 25131+0.4-191 ft
57' 46-0' 17137+0.3-30 ft
68' 09+0' 06140-0.1+65 ft
78' 33+0' 30140-0.4+86 ft
88' 30+0' 27139-0.4+98 ft
97' 31-0' 32130+0.5-250 ft
107' 45-0' 18135+0.3-46 ft
117' 55-0' 08141+0.1+3 ft
127' 45-0' 18146+0.3+39 ft
end7' 33-0' 30146+0.5-62 ft
Versus average of 8' 03 min/mile

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Bill said...

I do use the technology. And I'm a fan of BIMActive. But it's mainly to evaluate the effort afterwards.

Sure, I'll take a look at HR during a workout, mainly to confirm where I think I am. But the data afterwards really helps me more, evaluating effort and assessing what I need to work on.

Good stuff compared to my early days of a single Timex watch that maybe had a lap time if I remembered to hit the button. There was no review of effort or intensity.

Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

Great Write Up.
This blog is starting to look as Scott Thor's with all this tech talk.

triguyjt said...

good stuff.. I used to not be a big geek on training..paces, mileage, heart rates etc...but i need to be more in tuned to that stuff...

on another note..was aimee with daisy on saturday??if so, I met her and was too dense to put 2 and 2 together... sorry

Wireless said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
triguyjt said...

thanks for the word on the old oak... monica mentioned that one to me as well.. i will check it out....