I have finally found a pair of shoes that work for me on pavement! Altra Provisioness. They fit like they were made for me and I can run without the weird awkward feeling I always get when not on a trail.
So, my plan starts tomorrow (with a long run) and I figured I'd give the shoes a real test and try out a shortened version of next weeks out and back on a nice flat path. I started running on the backpacking trails at Cheaha state park, so this is a totally new experience for me.
(6 - 9 mi)
(1:03:00 - 1:21:00)
9:31 / mi
(10:21 - 9:04 / mi)
I warmed up, set the garmin to beep at me if I was going too fast or too slow, and to tell me when 30 minutes had passed.
So I think it went pretty well, though I don't like the heart rate increase on the way back. The path wasn't quite a flat as I thought, though I couldn't really tell while running. It was mostly downhill going out and uphill coming back but less than 100ft per mile, and I could feel a headwind on the way back, maybe that explains the heart rate increase? It never really felt like I was working very hard (RPE 5-6). I could definitely have kept going at the same pace for quite a while. The temperature only increased 5 degrees (67-72 deg, humidity 79-66%) from beginning to end so I doubt that had much effect.
How well do the heart rates in your plan match for those of you who run with a heart rate monitor? I know I have a higher than predicted max; I hit 197 at the end of a 5k but the 220-age formula says my max should be 184. Since RW never asked about max hear rate, I am not sure how much attention I should be paying to the heart rates in general. On the other hand 16bpm higher on the way back seems way too high. I'm just not sure if going slower would have made much difference... like I'd end up with 155 out and 170 back or something.
Mt Cheaha 50k 2/23/2013: 7:34 :D
Lake Martin 50; 27 miles: 5:29:07
Run For Kids 50k, Birmingham, 5/4/2013: 6:26:33 Woot!
I think that this has a huge effect: "It was mostly downhill going out and uphill coming back but less than 100ft per mile, and I could feel a headwind on the way back, maybe that explains the heart rate increase?"
The Out-and-Back description says, "Choose an out and back course of similar difficulty each way or slightly faster on the home journey." I think this might be primarily to get you used to running negative splits, even if it means having the course be somewhat easier on the way back. It sounds like the hills and winds conspired to make your second half quite a bit more difficult.
I agree that a 16 bpm increase seems like too much. My HR went up by about 5 bpm, but I also "cheated." I ran on a treadmill (it was winter in Minnesota), and I ran the second half exactly 0.1 mph faster than the first half, same incline for both.
Do you have the ability to find a route that's "easier" on the way back?
Sorry, but I think that's about all I can offer based on my own limited experience.
You've now had a few days of the plan with other run types -- how are things going?
Drink beer. Mostly ales. Sometimes stouts.
On the runs where I have worn my HRM, I purposely stayed within the ranges given. If I started to see my HR creep up I would just slow down. My plan gave me 153-178 for the out and back, so I would run the first half in 150-160 and the second half 160-170 range.
It sounds like the wind and hills were the problem for you. I am getting to a distance now where I can't literally go out and back, so I have to try to run the uphill portion early in my run so I can manage the easier part for the "back" portion. I believe the description says to accommodate for the course conditions so that your return trip is the same or slightly faster taking into account hills. Maybe you could try slowing on the out portion?
Thanks for the replies!
I can quite easily run that route the other way around - I just need to find a place to park at the other end. I didn't think to map it first to check the elevation since when I've biked the path I really didn't notice any hills. It seemed pretty flat, my hill detection ability apparently needs some work. My next out and back is Saturday so I'll see how running it the other direction works then.
I've been wondering if the humidity might be part of the problem. Within about 30 minutes I am saturated and literally dripping sweat with each step, so there is little evaporative cooling going on. Not much I can do about that though.
Supersono99: I am going to set a heart rate alarm for the upper end and try to start more slowly. I'm not used to trying to maintain a given pace and probably got a little too focused on maintaining the first pace I settled into that was in the correct range and ended up working too hard. Next time I'll slow down if the HR gets to high, not worry so much about getting back faster, and just chalk it up to experience and set a slower pace next time. I've got plenty of out and backs to learn from.
SubDood: I bagged the Fartlek today a little early since I just wasn't feeling it. But otherwise the other runs have gone well. I am doing my best to ignore the fact that the heat is keeping me REALLY slow and focusing on running for time at the right effort level.
So I had another out and back Saturday, ran so that I went uphill first then came back down - though all grades are from -1 to 1 so it's pretty flat.
I ran at a much slower pace (10:35 out, 10:08 back vs 9:45's last week) and I had the same continuous heart rate creep. The weirdest part was even after my heart rate was above 185 (observed max is 197 at the end of a 5k),and I'd been running for over an hour, I was breathing evenly and deeply at 2-2 to 3-3 ratio and not feeling like I was working very hard. So I pushed the pace a little in the last mile (just to see what would happen) and though my heart rate seemed to indicate I was racing the last mile of a 5k, it sure didn't feel like it.
I read up on heart rate drift online and one of the things mentioned is that perceived effort doesn't increase with heart rate if drift is occurring and that better stamina = less drift. On the way home I bought a new battery for the heart rate strap, just in case that is the problem. Either my stamina sucks big time or my monitor is giving me bad data.
heart rate graph
I did my long run today with the new battery and maintained a nice even heart rate for two hours over a hilly course so I am hoping that it was the battery. But it could just be that the effort was lower.
So what do you think I should do if it turns out it isn't the battery? Do I shorten the out and backs so that I stay in range? Keep the effort at really easy for the out part and significantly positively split? Or keep doing them by effort and hope it gets better? If I slow down much more I'll be at an aerobic run effort level, and I really want to get used to running at faster speeds.
mta: trying to figure out how to get the graph to show up.... fail
I think I finally figured it out! My out and back went really well today despite a dew point of 72 with a temp of 75. I think I'm getting the hang of pacing myself better, basically by ignoring the pace and focusing on keeping the heart rate from rising too quickly.
The results: 9 miles, kept the heart rate mostly in range and was a little faster coming back. The last mile I had to start slowing down to keep the heart rate down so 9 was probably a little too far for me at this point. My average pace was even within the recommended range
Key things I think helped:
I warmed up very slowly.
My pace was more varied than my previous attempts. I was slower going up, and when in direct sun.
I may be finally adjusting to the humidity a little.
I changed the battery in the heart rate strap... not sure if it was a factor or not but it was a couple of years old.