Build up phase Training posts

When running becomes a comedy (Day 17, build up)

Today nothing really went as it should during the exercise. It was “only” an easy one, but sometimes nothing is just easy.

To begin it has been a hot day (+1 degree C), so it has thawed a lot. That wouldn’t bother me sick unless it all had chosen to froze during the evening. I still thought I could run since the surface around our home seemed quite alright.

After a couple of k’s I entered a forest trail area where lots of people usually walk the dog, run, jog or just walk themselves. Here the wet thawing snow had a lot of deep footprints which during the later part of the day had come to freeze. This made very uneven ground, so I had to watch out where I was going to put every step 🙂

Because of that I decided to leave my normal route and run second half of the run on common streets instead. That went well.. For a while.. Then my HR monitor started to dance limbo. On plain ground without any incline at all it started jumping up and down in heart rate. By then I surrendered to the music in my ear – at that particular moment my favorite songs with Matchbox Twenty – shook my head and smiled running the last part to home.

But like they say – all experiences are good experiences. In this case I choose to see it that way 😉

Day 17, build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 10.42 1:00:34 5:49 130 155 88
Build up phase Training posts

Still going strong (Day 16, build up)

I hope I don’t lose to much of my speed during this build up. I rely fully on TheEd at the forum and his knowledge, but I can’t help but think about it. Well, well… On today’s run the last 15 min at 65% effort felt good. I kept a quite comfortable speed, but it still felt like I was going somewhere 🙂

Day 16, build up
1hr easy with last 15min of 1hr at 65% effort

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 7.78 45:00 5:47 128 140 90
2 3.54 16:59 4:48 153 162 91
Build up phase Training posts

Slowing down even a little more (Day 15, build up)

This time I ran at the evening again. It was only -8 degrees, but something was strangely different. The ground was slippery and wet at many places like it thawed and my arms got really cold all through. The last 20 minutes I couldn’t feel them at all.

The running felt as expected, only – I run very slow. Since trying to keep down the HR to below 130 it feels like I run slower and slower. Today I had an average pace of 5:59 – my slowest this far. Maybe it doesn’t mean a lot, but it sure is a little hard on the confidence.

Day 15, build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 10.73 1:04 5:59 128 144 89
Build up phase Injuries Training posts

A long relaxing lunchtime run

During lunchtime today I took a long run of 77 minutes. It was the time on feet run of day 14, build up. It felt very nice. After a while the legs just go by themselves. No need to force them forward. Nice.

My left knee still hurts a little, though. I think it’s mostly when I flex it out after the bounce off. Trying to do some quadraceps exercises sometimes, but I have been a little weak on that lately.

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

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 13.10 1:17 5:54 130 140 89
Build up phase Life in big Training posts

Trying to find some hills (Day 13, build up)

Today the family took a days trip to Gothenburg with English brunch with the kids grandma and a visit to the amusementpark Liseberg where they decor for a wonderful winterworld during christmas time. It all was very nice, but it meant we came late home, meaning a late run.

I was supposed to make a run on rolling hills today due to the program. Problem was I had hard finding any hills and I didn’t feel like running up and down the same hill for 40-50 minutes. But I think I managed to do quite well anyway. I found some kind of a hillyish track and in the end I took two laps at a hilly forest trail I always pass in closer to the end in my usual runs :)

I think it will be much easier when spring gets here and I can find new routes in the forests.

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

Distance – Time – Avg pace – Avg HR – Max HR

8.6 – 41:07 – 4:47 – 147 – 164

Build up phase Training posts

Unfortunate surface, among other things (Day 11, build up)

At todays run I was thrown off the bicycle-lane when a big road-maintenance vehicle came from behind to gravel the slippery surface. During the day it had thawed and in the evening everything froze again, leaving a icy surface on all roads – well, I can only speak for Alingsås.. It was sometimes a little hard to run on it and more than three times I had to find my balance in a second because of one of my feet wanting to continue in another direction 🙂

But I came home in one piece at last…

Day 11 – warm up then 5 x 8min paced at 75% effort with 2 min easy in-between

Lap – Time – Avg Pace – Avg HR – End HR

1 – 8 min – 4:44 – 142
2 – 2 min – 5:28 – 140 – 130
3 – 8 min – 4:44 – 151
4 – 2 min – 5:40 – 138 – 127
5 – 8 min – 4:56 – 148
6 – 2 min – 5:45 – 138 – 132
7 – 8 min – 4:52 – 148
8 – 2 min – 5:52 – 140 – 135
9 – 8 min – 5:06 – 149
10 – 2 min – 5:54 – 144 – 135

Build up phase Techniques Training posts

Waddle – what? (Day 10, build up)

I had some questions for Gavin who keeps me on the right track in my running training through his the forum at You can read my post here

How to run

Anyway, I wrote

“Hi Gavin!

I’ve been thinking about when you are talking about finding the right balance in the running. What exactly do you mean by that? Could you please explain further…

And.. Do you think my ambitions of running a 10k sub 37 next year is managable?”


“Is the 65% effort of last 15 min on day 9 of build up an increase or decrease in effort from the other time of the run?”

And the very informative and thorough answer I got from Gavin was

“In reply to the various questions

Q: About the percentage of effort in the build up program.. Is it % of max Hr, or % of Max HR – rest HR and what % is normal running in the build up

A: OK .. we normally gather the data over a period of time from your feedback and what we assess is the best hr to achieve the various training variants .. so if you take your pulse for the 2k session normally the 4th 2k and the 4th to 5th 1k of the 1000m session will give you a high working pulse .. taking that pulse and then a rough estimate would be about 10 to 20 bpm slower than that pulse for a 60 – 70% effort
however in saying that .. your easy runs when doing the 3 week cycle would be closer to 140 and a more paced run would be around 150. (this from the data given so far)

However during the build-up period when plain old aerobic is the goal we can look at 130 to 140 bpm .. however runners do sometimes find this difficult but if you able to discipline yourself to run at that relaxed pace then you are laying a good foundation to build upon ..

so .. u know u are doing well if you keep your pulse below 140 on easy runs

Q: What is getting the balance right

A: The balance in your running is related to a healthy balance, not driven by obsession but enjoying the running while still trying to get the results. And from a training capacity, it is to understand what the significance of the various training cycles are .. the off period is to allow for your body to recover and for the mind to come out of the intensity of running. Further to getting the balance right is to have running intensity when it counts the most .. Championship events or an event to achieve a Persona Best (PB)

During the Build Up, the balance is relaxing on your aerobic runs .. its very much a ‘birds and flowers’ running time .. mental relaxation is at a premium, there is no intensity to your running, you doing a foundation to build on for the future and hence why running below 140 is most important .. learning the ability to ‘waddle’

thereafter when you move back towards the 3 week cycle you have a desire to work and to achieve the pace in the 2k and 1k sessions, you begin to drive and work towards goals and the balance achieved from the build up and the new intensity gives results on the days that count

and in answer to your 37 minute 10km ambitions of whether you can achieve this .. Yes, if you get your balance right.

I hope all this helps, as it is the essence of knowing what easy running is about during the Build up, to getting the balance right

Enjoy and soon may you be wanting the pain of the 2k session



That got me thinking. Maybe I’ve been running my easy runs too hard every time since I started running. I know I’ve never run at an avarage HR of 130. That somehow got me convinced that I would do that today. I knew from my last run that it is a hard thing running very slowly when you’re not used to it, so I thought I’d better run after my Garmin watch.

When starting out slowly it wasn’t impossible! Actually it felt quite comfortable and relaxing after a while. Of course I felt a little struggle and strain after around 7k, but it wasn’t a bad feeling. And I never had the feeling I needed to push myself or slow down to up/downhold the pace. If it wasn’t for some of the minor hills in the trail I think it would’ve been possible to keep the avarage heart rate below 130.

This all of course meant my pace wasn’t much to look to, but if this is the way to go – I will go there. 🙂

Day 10 – 1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Time – Distance – Avg Pace – Avg HR – Max HR – Cadence

1:00:00 – 10.46 – 5:44 – 132 – 147 – 89

PS. Found a picture of me from the Lejonruset race at 2010-11-21. I’m the one to the right. 😉

Christian Schmeikal climbing in Lejonruset 2010-11-21
Me (the one to the right) climbing in Lejonruset 2010-11-21
Build up phase Training posts

Hard to slow down sometimes (Day 9, Build up)

Most people that knows me would nod and laugh out loud if they heard me say that. :)But now, fortunately, it isn’t about me being hyperactive, but my running exercising.

Today’s run was a nice one.  I interpreted the last 15 min at 65% as

Max HR – rest HR x 0.65 + rest HR

I don’t know if that was the right way to interpret it, but it gave me a HR of around 144..

Thing is, when I came to 45 minutes of running I ran at a pace around 4:55 and my HR was 155. It was very hard to get down to 144. That I had a small incline most of the track left didn’t make it easier. It felt like it would be hard to run at all when slowing down that much. Afterwards, now, I see that I ran at 5:35, which actually isn’t that much slower.

In fact it was kind of a failure since my avg HR on the last 15 min was 147…

Lap – Time – Avg pace – Avg HR

1 – 45 min – 4:55 – 153
2 – 15 min – 5:35 – 147

Build up phase Injuries Training posts

On the road again

So.. I made a post last week that accidentally was erased. It was a long and boring post about me not training because of the little pain in the left knee. 🙂

Anyway, to keep it short I didn’t train for 3 days. The first was because of the pain, second because the program said rest and the third because me and my wife were on a small weekend vacation to Stockholm and I’d rather keep the family peace 😉

So on Sunday I started again. I was supposed to run for 75 minutes, but I thought I’d better be smart and not exaggerate, so I kept it a little shorter and ran for only 60 minutes. I also let the legs decide the pace.

After the running I also did some forward lunges and squats. I’ve read that the kind of knee pain I have can be because the quadraceps isn’t enough supportive. I don’t think I have a problem with that, but better being safe than sorry… Another reason could be me increasing the mileage a lot when starting the build up program.

On monday (day 7 of build up) I joined at the floor ball training. Yesterday I had to regret that since I had many unnecessarily sore muscles :S. I ran anyway, but I felt I needed to keep myself back a little so that I could recover fully.

Day 6

Distance: 12.09
Time: 1:00:01
Avg pace: 4:58
Avg HR: 149
Avg cadence: 90

Day 8

Distance: 12.03
Time: 1:00:01
Avg pace: 4:59
Avg HR: 152
Avg cadence: 90

Build up phase Training posts

Frosty the snowman…

That song line pretty much describes how I felt during the run today.
– 16 degrees Celsius. The trees were frosty white like in the most beautiful winterland. And my tears froze once more..

Great run. But I wouldn’t be ungrateful if it got a couple degrees warmer 🙂

The second day of the build up phase and 2nd day in a row with 1 hour run. I started feeling something in my left knee. Hope that it won’t be there still at tomorrows run.

Distance: 12.48
Time: 1:00:01
Avg pace: 4:49
Avg HR: 149
Avg cadence: 90

Detailed garmin data