Running close to the limit (5k paced run)

Of course the weather had changed, meaning the slush had turn to uneven ice with a little snow on top – nice to run on, huh? But I had to do my 5k paced run anyway, so..

The past few days I’ve had slight indications of a cold under the surface. Today was no exception. I felt a little thick in the throat – energy was high and fine, though. But I decided to go through with the run anyway.

Today I did exactly the same route I did last 5k paced run. It would be funny to through up a diagram of them both just to compare (I’m really into stats! :D) Maybe I will do some day. I’ve actually been thinking about putting up a progress page here on the blog, where I will present the improvements with diagrams and more based on statistics. So look for it in the future πŸ˜‰

The running itself went great – as earlier paced runs I feel like I almost hit the limit of what I’m capable of. That’s a little disturbing, but I guess the fitness is what it is. We’ll never know if I were able to perform better since I was supposed to only run it at a pace between 3:50 and 4:00. That is under 20 minutes, but not faster than 19.10. But like I said, I don’t think I would’ve done better in that case anyway..

Today’s schedule

  • 5k paced run, under 20 minutes but not faster than 19:10
  • Bodyweight 500 workout

I also weighed myself before the run 67.9 kg – I have gained weight. Don’t know if it’s because of the more intense strength traning or the fact that I eat more. I have increased my intake of bread and also added some nuts in the evening. Nuts are extremely healthy but contains lots of energy.

Detailed Garmin data

Day 12, sub 40 program – 2nd round
5K paced run – aim sub 20:00 5k

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR Cadence
1 0.997 3:51 3:52 160 175 91
2 1.01 3:57 3:55 172 177 91
3 0.995 3:54 3:56 179 183 92
4 0.999 3:56 3:56 181 185 93
5 1.0 3:55 3:54 183 189 93
TOTAL 5.0 19:32 3:54 175 189 92

It’s a little strange – when I compare today a little fast with the last time I ran it, I have the exact same total time, but overall I had higher heart rate today. Could be because of the cold maybe – or I’m just in worse shape.

Anyway, I thought it’d be a little funny to record the pulse data from the Bodyweight 500 workout too, which I did during the evening. There you can see how my heart rate really goes up and down during the excersising. The time was between 22 and 23 minutes like the last time.

Garmin data for todays Bodyweight 500 workout

Running stuffed with low heart rate (& new 500 workout record!)

Today’s schedule

  • 1 hour easy, heart rate under 130
  • Bodyweight 500 workout

Today I did the 1 hour run almost immediately after dinner – went out only half an hour after. It was because I wasn’t at work today, so I needed to do both the running and the 500 workout after the kids had went to bed.. For us grown-ups to be able to have our evening (meaning watching a great series and eating a healthy mix of nuts (non salted, of course – what else?) and a nib of dark chocolate ;)) it meant me doing it all quite early.

I’ll tell you this – running with a stuffed belly was uncomfortable enough – but also keeping the heart rate below 130, which by the way was my goal, was nearly impossible.. I gave that up quite early and just tried to have one as recovering and refreshing run as possible – which I think I succeeded with. The degrees outside was just below zero and felt cool in a very refreshing and nice way.

Afterwards I took a cup of coffee and rushed into the 500 workout. At first I didn’t feel like it, mainly because I just came from a run, but I persisted. And once getting started, as always, I enjoyed it –Β  I even had a new record of 22:26! Of that I am very satisfied πŸ˜€

Detailed Garmin data

Day 9, sub 40 10k – 2nd round
1 hour easy

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR AvgCadence
1 10.36 1:01.25 5:56 133 150 90

Week’s schedule (7/2 – 13/2)

This week starts with the last days of the toughest period on the program, which is day 3 to 8. So I choose not to do the 500 workout during the first days of the week.

Today I’ve already done my 10k easy run, but I’ll put it in there anway πŸ˜‰

In the sub 40 program this week spans over day 7 to day 13

  • Monday – 10k easy, heart rate around 130
  • Tuesday – 1k intervals –Β  6x1kΒ with 60 secs of rest in between, pace – 3min 45 to 3min50
  • Wednesday – 1 hr easy run, heart rate below 130, Bodyweight 500 workout
  • Thursday – 1 hr easy run, heart rate around 140
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – 5K paced run – aim sub 20:00 5k, Bodyweight 500 workout
  • Sunday – 1 hr easy run, heart rate below 130

Tired legs growing full of energy

Yesterday I didn’t feel that my legs lacked energy. Today, however it was like that. In the beginning of the run they felt heavy – but like magic, some time during the run it all disapeared. On the second half of it they felt so full of energy I started to believe I could go straight to a race and just do it!

That’s what I’d like to call recovery run – a fascinating phenomenon.

Before I started reading a lot about running I didn’t know there actually was something like running to recover. And if someone had asked me about it I would have answered of course you can’t do work to gain energy straight away.. Well, know I’m convinced about the opposite – and have been for some time. Else it would never be possible to run 6-7 days a week.. And I know that most elite runners can have up to 3 workouts per day too.. Their bodies would never cope if they didn’t mix tough and easy workouts in a perfect harmony.

In the evening I did a session of Bodyweight 500 workout too. It always boosts my confidence since it’s a tough ass workout and what’s better – it really gets your muscles and veins pumping! πŸ˜‰

Detailed Garmin data

Day 21, 1st sub 40 10k round
2nd easy day after race. 30min

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR AvgCadence
1 6.49 36:10 5:39 132 147 93

In a floating motion forward

It feels good to have solid ground under the feet again. Now that I’ve felt it again, I don’t want to let go of it πŸ˜‰

At today’s lunch run everything fell into place. I had great music in the ears (A mix of Millencolin’s songs, which by the way is a skate punk band from Sweden – great to get energy from when running), the ground was flat – and it felt like I moved forward in a floating-like motion. No power needed to maintain what I was doing. It felt great – balanced I believe is the word… I think that this is what running easy running should feel like at it’s best ;). I’m not an expert, but my believe that it’s a quite high cadence that gets you there – preferably between 90-95 strides/min.

After some days of somewhat milder weather conditions, we were back at around -9 degrees. But today that didn’t bother me much. I just don’t want to get back to the icy surface again.

To get back a little to the Bodyweight 500 workout I talked a lot about in yesterdays post – I usually do it twice a week – but it depends on how tough the running program is at the moment. If it’s tougher, I leave it at once a week. During day 3 and 8 in the race program I don’t do the workouts. Then the body need to put all strength in the paced runs.

Detailed Garmin data

Day 10, 1st sub 40 10k round
easy day of 1 Hr running

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR AvgCadence
1 10.78 1:00:34 5:37 136 148 92

What is the 500 workout, why is it so good?

Well, to answer the question briefly – it’s a kick-ass workout, building up core strength along with being a very good cardio workout.

It consists of 12 exercises focusing on the major muscle groups in the body. The idea is to do them one after the other, which perfect technique and as briskly as possible (without letting down on technique, of course). You can’t go on to the next if you haven’t completed all the reps on the current exercise. But.. You are allowed to split each exercise in as many parts as you need to be able to complete the whole set.

The BodyWeight 500 Workout

  • 50 Prisoner Squats
  • 50 Pushups
  • 25 Jumps
  • 25 Stability Ball Leg Curls
  • 50 Stability Ball Jackknifes
  • 50 Step-ups (25 reps per side)
  • 25 Pull-ups (NO substitutions)
  • 50 Forward Lunges (25 reps per side)
  • 50 Close-grip Pushups
  • 50 Inverted Rows
  • 50 Squats
  • 25 Chin-ups (NO substitutions)

As time passes and you build up your core strength, you should be able to complete the workout in lesser and lesser time. A good idea is to time yourself and try to beat yourself πŸ™‚

I like this workout since it always is a challenge. And it feels like a great asset in the running since it doesn’t build big muscles, only leading to a strong body all over. Another advantage is that the only equipment you need for it is a chinning bar (I have one that is mountable in a doorway) and a stability ball – and the weight of you own body, of course πŸ˜‰

Here’s a video instruction of the workout made by Craig Ballantyne, who has created the workout:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_5TX_uoagg&feature=player_detailpage

Except for the 500 workout, which I did during the evening, I did my 30 minutes of easy running today at lunch. It felt good to take it easy, though I didn’t feel overly tired in the legs from the 1k intervals yesterday πŸ™‚

Detailed Garmin data

Day 9, 1st sub 40 10k round
easy day of 30min running

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR AvgCadence
1 6.41 35:55 5:35 133 143 90

Moving on to the next phase

The time to move on to the race programs have finally come. How I have longed for something tougher to dig into πŸ˜‰

At first I thought there was no meaning running at work today, because of the slippery surface. But I also noticed that the ice had totally disappeared at some spots – especially where the sun reached during most of the day. So I took a chance and went out on the first day of the sub 40 10k program.

TheEd has adviced me to start out slow and do the 2k interval sessions at pace 4:10 the first 3-week round. As you might know my goal for this year is a 10k at sub 37 minutes. TheEd believes it to be possible. For those who hasn’t followed my earlier posting I started running in mid 2009, managed to do two 10k races at sub 40 and a half marathon at 1:40. So now next steps feels like a 10k sub 37 and I will really do everything to make – in fact my mind is quite set up when it comes to that πŸ˜‰

The run today felt nice and much faster than usual. By now I’m used to running the easy runs at a heart rate around 130, but today I tried only to keep it below 140, which felt like quite a difference, but still it didn’t feel very hard on the legs. It was a nice run with loads of energy flowing!

In the evening I also did a session of the Bodyweight 500 workout.

Detailed Garmin data

Day 1, 1st sub 40 10k round
60 to 70min easy distance

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 12.68 1:08:45 5:25 138 150 90

Managed to keep myself upright in spite of everything

Back to work today. Felt a little sad to once again be away from the family, but I noticed that it was good for me to get up in the early morning as before. During the Christmas holiday I’ve managed to get used to get up as late as 9 am many of the days. Some of the nights I’ve even slept for 9 hours – very rare for me. I usually only sleep around 5 hours – 6 at most. Strange is, I think it feels like I get more tired from sleeping more. Last night I thought I would never be able to keep my eyes open on the commuter-train to work, but on the contrary I felt more brisk than I’ve done in quite some time. So I sat and studied the Analysis Calculus for the physics university course I’ve applied for. Refreshing! πŸ˜€

At lunch I took a 75 minute run. It was slippery almost everywhere, but at some places I even needed to slow down not to fall. In the end I luckily had managed to keep myself on the feet. Fortunately I don’t run so fast during my easy runs πŸ™‚

Moments ago I also did the Bodyweight 500 workout once more. I think this will be the last time I will do it before the 4k time trial on Saturday. I wouldn’t want to spoil my performance with sore muscles. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find an indoor track to do the run, so hopefully it will have snowed some until then, making the surface a little more convenient.

Funny.. Just as I sit here and write it started to snow – Fortune smiles upon me πŸ™‚

Detailed Garmin data

Day 14, 2nd build up
75min easy and totally relaxed – time on feet

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 12.84 1:15:02 5:51 132 146 90

Longing to be unleashed

Anyone had any New year promises? I have promised myself to try not to overdo everything like I sometimes do – I swear, one very beautiful day my wife will go nuts on me πŸ˜€

One thing I really hope for during the coming year is that one charity running project me and my wife plan will become successful. I will tell more of that later…

Now to the running.

Yesterday I had a resting day. It was well appreciated since it had thawed on New years eve which made the thick layer of snow half melt. Then it froze again :(. So we can say I was grateful not to run yesterday.

However, today unfortunately, it was quite the same. I was supposed to do run in rolling hills which is for making the body recover better after uphill work. As it was the icy ground wanted me to kiss many times enough, so I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Instead I ran on almost plain ground, which still made it hard enough without dancing quick step. To make the heart feel like it had hill-work I made short fartlek sessions followed by easy intervals until the heart rate was down to around 130 again.

One great thing was that I felt fully recovered now from the strength training earlier in the week. I even felt much stronger. When I speeded up during the run I felt that I wanted to do a lot more. It was like all the muscles in my upper body wanted to be unleashed in an explosion. Fantastic! I can only hope that it will feel similar during the 4k time trial later this month πŸ™‚

Detailed Garmin data

Day 13, 2nd build up
40 to 50min over rolling hills – work the hills

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 8.54 47:48 5:36 138 164 91

How much in need of recovery can one possibly become?

Well, today it has been very obvious that I have sore muscles as an effect of my strength training yesterday. Mostly in the thighs and back. I didn’t think it would have such a big impact on my performance, but it did. I had a very hard time keeping the heart rate even below 140 on plain ground. And the pace speaks for itself. But said with my own words I don’t think my body, especially my legs have ever felt heavier. Like pulling around a couple of logs. And when it comes to my pace I think I was very close to running backwards :S

But I made it around and hopefully my efforts to keep it slow and low gave me some of the recover I’m apparently in very good need of πŸ™‚

If you want to see for yourself, have a look at my detailed Garmin data

Day 10, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 9.71 1:00:18 6:13 138 152 90