Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who's in Control?

I'm pretty sure that Coach's middle name is "Control." Almost all workouts that she gives me that contain pickups or tempo parts of them involve staying inside a controlled heart rate.

Yesterday's workout involved three sets of pickups at 30 seconds, 1 minute, and 1 minute 30 seconds each with equal rest. The catch was I could not go above zone 2 for any of the intervals. Here's the thing...I have a really high heart rate to begin with. Walking pretty much puts me close to zone 2. So to do pickups only in zone 2 was going to test me more mentally than physically.

Here's what they looked like (top of zone 2 for me is 164):
30 seconds on: avg 164
30 seconds off: avg 164
1:00 on: avg 162
1:00 off: avg 158
1:30 on: avg 163
1:30 off: avg 157
30 seconds on: avg 160
30 seconds off: avg 161
1:00 on: avg 163
1:00 off: avg 157
1:30 on: avg 164
1:30 off: avg 156
30 seconds on: avg 160
30 seconds off: avg 163
1:00 on: avg 164
1:00 off: avg 159
1:30 on: avg 166
1:30 off: avg 161

Mostly, I hit the average heart rates right on. I thought it was interesting that my heart rate was higher on the 30 seconds off than on, but I think that's because my heart rate was still on the way up and I couldn't recover fast enough.

Today I had another one of these "control" workouts. This one was assigned to the treadmill. :( After a 1-1/2 mile warm-up I was to do three core exercises then hop on the treadmill for a half mile at half marathon pace (7:38) but not go above zone 3. I had to do this exercise/running intervals five times.

Here's what happened (top of zone 3 for me is 174):
Half-mile 1: 3:49, avg HR: 172
Half-mile 2: 3:55, avg HR: 171
Half-mile 3: 3:55, avg HR: 172
Half-mile 4: 3:54, avg HR: 172
Half-mile 5: 3:54, avg HR: 171

Although I probably wasn't going as fast I should have been, it certainly felt faster than those paces outside and I was able to maintain the heart rates. Coach was quite impressed, as was I, and thinks we should retest the zones to see if I'm gaining fitness.

I've had a pretty good week of running. A 14 miler is on the schedule tomorrow. The race is in three weeks. I'm feeling a little more confident that good things are coming.


Andrea Hill said...

I'm pretty sure you'll meet your goal. When's the last time you TRAINED for a half??

Meredith said...

I don't think I've ever trained for a half.

If the weather doesn't start cooperating, though, I'm going to be doing almost all my training on a treadmill.