Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I'm a Stupid Runner
I'm now on a three day non-running streak. A full three days off from running. My calf is healing. I don't limp when I walk. It's still a little sore and tight, but it doesn't HURT. That's progress. I'm getting smarter. If I stuck to my heart rate zone training this injury would have never happened. My top zone would have kept me running at a hard tempo pace (~6:45-7:00 pace)...but not so fast that I would strain my calf! That's the beauty of heart rate training. You go as fast as your body (heart) will allow for the intended workout. Over time, your body adapts and improves and you run faster at the SAME heart rate. Simple. Intelligent.
Runners often forget the reason they run. There are tons of reasons to run...better health, weight-loss, fast racing, stress reduction, etc. Why do you run? Once you know why you run, then you can train with that goal in mind. If you are running purely for health, then you do not need to do fast-paced speed work. Run easy. Enjoy each run. If you are training for a trail ultramarathon race, then you don't need to do workouts intended for 5K runners. You need long runs on trails. That's what I needed. I had no business running at 5:15 pace. I suffered the consequences. Actually, I'm still suffering. I hope I remember this lesson. Time to "get smart." I am returning to heart rate based training. There are lots of good programs, but I'm going with a more conservative approach--it's based on Phil Maffetone and Stu Mittleman. The primary emphasis is on aerobic conditioning. I'll have three zones:
Mostly Aerobic Pace (MAP) = 110-130
Most Efficient Pace (MEP) = 130-140
Speedy Aerobic Pace (SAP) = 140-160
(When my injury heals, and I remain injury free for a few weeks, I can add 5 beats to each zone.)
These zones are based on 180 - age +/- adjustments based on health and injuries. None of these come close to my maximum heart rate of 191. I've blogged about heart rate training in the past. Here is one of my better posts that combines Maffetone and Mittleman and provides a few resources: "Maffetone Heart Rate Training".