Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A new min max

I hit a new heart rate yesterday. Now I know my max heart rate is at least 203 bpm. (quite a bit more than the “220 minus your age” calculation would tell me!)

I did a speed workout doing 8 x 400’s @ 2:00 (8 minute mile pace) with 2:00 recovery jogs. For the lay person, that means that after warming up for about 15 minutes at a nice slow pace, then doing a couple of quick pickups to get the legs used to turning over quickly (start from a jog, then over the course of 100m let the pace increase to nearly a sprint), I started my intervals. I’d run 400m in 2 minutes. Then I’d jog super slowly—slower than some people were walking—to let my heart rate and breathing recover a bit. Then I’d repeat the fast pace, then recover, and on and on for 8 fast sets. At the end I jogged slowly for about 10 more minutes, then walked a few minutes and did some active stretching.

The first few reps seemed pretty easy. But as the fatigue began to set in, my perceived effort was that the reps were getting harder and faster, even though I was keeping the same pace throughout. By the last rep I was seriously working. That’s when I spiked up to 203 for just a second. Wow.

It was a fantastic workout, actually. I noticed that if I would really focus on my form, especially leaning forward so I could let my heels float backwards and letting my core guide the way, I could really grab some more speed and fluidity. I had a couple of different thoughts running through my head at different times (spoken in the first person, from Carly to Carly, which is how I usually talk to myself in my head while running):
* Wow, I can’t believe Robyn is running 5k’s with this speed as her average pace these days. Holy crap, she’s really gotten fast! (and no wonder she was so pert and perky after running a half marathon with me at an average 11 min/mile pace!)
* I can run this pace for at least the last ¼ mile, if not the last ½ mile of my 5k that’s coming up next weekend. If I can keep a good solid pace for the first few miles and then kick it out at the end, that’ll rock!
* Keep listening to your breathing. Notice the rhythm. Be okay with the rhythm. Yes, you’re breathing differently than you do when running at an easier pace. But this is okay. This rhythm is not scary. It just is what it is.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Keep working on speed! You can do it! It's only this year that I've made signficant increases .