Back In

I've gotten closer towards adequate sleep. It's looking like I'm at the best I can get to for a while, so back into training. Ewen is right, the best thing is just to get back into the program at pretty where I left off. While my head wants to cram in the missed training, I know from previous attempts that it just doesn't work. I really have to keep my ego under tabs.

The time off training, lying there attempting to sleep and the twilight in between gave me a little bit of broken thinking time. Just enough to reassess my training and look over what I am really doing. The conclusion is I am happy with the overall program and will stick with the sessions almost as planned. Only one slight alteration is required. My heart rate zones are a little off the mark. This makes sense, since they were originally chosen in a rather arbitrary fashion and confirmed when my aerobic base required serious rebuilding. Now with a few months of consistent training under my belt, my physiology has changed a bit (for the better).

The difference is for my aerobic conditioning (runs of approximately 60min, plus the long run) I'm raising the HR up from the 65-75% (123-141) level to 132-149, which seems to correlate to better running form, appropriate respiratory rate and generally feels like a proper run. Supporting this I am keeping all recovery work down at 113-131bpm if I really need an easy day. The contrast in pace should work ensure I am more likely going to meet the goals of each session, either aerobic conditioning or recovery.

As for Threshold development, I will alter the range to 150-170bpm, which is up from the wider range of 142-170bpm I had been using. After two cycles of focus on this variable, I am now confident that running the longer runs of 90 minutes at 150-160bpm is still just below my actual threshold area. The 20 minute intervals will be run as they have over the last couple of weeks.

Overall the changes have been creeping in anyway, with slight excursions out of my previous HR zones. The new ranges are really just a reflection on what my body is trying to do. There is more to exercise intensity than just numbers flashing on the little monitor. Importantly I am now covering a wider range of paces in sustained paces. Recovery runs are seeing speeds of 7:00-6:40/km, aerobic conditioning is around 6:00/km, and threshold work is anything between 5:00-4:00/km. The weekly speed work is providing some get short bursts at speeds way faster than this. Already I'm looking forward to incorporating some VO2max work, but then again I shouldn't get ahead of myself.


  1. I'm exhausted just reading your blog. You're very smart to just jump in where you left off as opposed to making up the lost workouts. Doing what you have to to become faster. Mental training at it's finest!

  2. They look like some well thought out adjustments to the various HRs. That's one thing I've been neglectful of doing in the past.

    Canute has written an interesting piece on cross-training - specifically the difference between eccentric and concentric muscle contraction. Do you have any experience of such benefits (to running) from your cycling?

    Regarding my goals - I even thought of having 'gold, silver and bronze' goals, but in the end just chose times I thought were challenging, but not impossible. Any M50 PB would, I guess, be a 'bronze' goal. I'll reassess the goals if I achieve them in the next six months.


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