I’ve more than a few things wrong with me but, running wise, there are only two.
Breathing. A nice lady told me a few years back I showed storms of asthma. Only affects me running and running into the wind at that. Inhalers don’t alleviate it no matter what combination on them I use. On my regular run I can nearly point at the spot on the ground where I’ll start coughing and wheezing and it’s always into the wind. One of the main reasons this also happens is if I’m running quickly I’m gulping in more air which just exacerbated things even more. In other words a dose.
Broken ankle a year and a half ago. Took ages to get back running but my latest annoyance is my foot starts to go numb after about two and a half miles. Still have to go to the Physio about that but it’s possibly comportment syndrome. I did run seven miles one weekend when it was numb. It wasn’t numb afterwards. I don’t recommend it and haven’t done it since.
Those two things combined were getting me nowhere and I dreaded going out in even the slightest breeze. At the end of a run I’d be half limping with a heart rate going all over the place.
So that brings me to where I am today. Three weeks ago I decided to give heart rate training a revisit to see if that would help. I tried it a few years back for a few months and I’d forgotten how effective it was for me.
It does involve slowing way down to keep your heart rate down but because of that, my breathing is way less laboured. In addition I’m also changing from my heel striking to more mid-foot and that’s helping the numbness.
The last time I tried this I went from eleven and a half minute miles to ten at zone 2 in six weeks. The downside is at the moment I’ve the pace of a horse doing dressage.
There's a lot to be said for the heart-rate-based training Marky. I never got going on it but it seems especially effective for lads returning after long spells away from running. As we all know, as you get fitter, your HR comes way down for in delivering a standard speed run - so, the reverse view, where you hold the HR steady will absolutely deliver faster, more economical running over time.
I dunno about the fireworks, T, but I will write a report.
Training for this was kinda basic obviously. With not much base and practically no specific workouts, I rocked up and gave it a lash. The Remich Half is flat and fast. At least it is for the fast fellas I've been coaching a young Yank and he did a tasty 1.14 and change today. A 90 sec PB I think. A few of me running mates also bagged PBs, it's that kind of course, and add to that the almost perfect weather conditions.
Anyway, my training had been 3 months of mostly 5min+ 'Easy' runs. I got up all the way to 20k!! Did a 16k, an 18k and finally the 20 two weeks ago. The only 'workouts' I did consisted of a run with 10k at about 4:50 in it, and another where I did 3x3k at about 4.30. These two, even though fairly humble gave me some confidence that I could hold sub 5 min/kms. I was initially planning on going out at that pace and trying to up it to come home about 1.42 or .43. When the gun went though I started running with folks who were evidently going faster. I mean it felt easy but I didn't know if I'd be able to hold it in the last part. Little to report about the first few kms other than hollering at the faster lads coming in the opposite direction as we did a 180 turn after 4k. The hollering took my mind off my own run, and more importantly was repeated at about km 13 at the other switchback. Also got chatting to an English bloke at one stage and we stayed together for a few kms. it was cool as it passed some time when I could have been worrying about effort and shite. I let him go after a while, intentionally.
From about 12 to the end I was on my own a fair bit, which is strange as there's a big turnout for this. Anyway, we turned at 14k and the 'hard yards' started. I was feeling fairly good if I'm being honest and said I'd see if I could push on in the last 5k. I was delighted to see that I could, but now looking at Strava, I see that there was a slight pace increase from 13 to 21!. But yeah, the last 5k were definitely the best. I actually felt I was running strong at this stage, passing a good few. It was hurting mind. There wasn't much racing lads really although with about 3 or 4 to go I spotted a young woman who didn't exactly look Faith Kepchogyn-esque and thought, fook it, I gotta beat her (!!) I did fortunately. With about 800mts to go I passed a lad who responded very strongly and went about 5 metres or so ahead of me. I was going to give it up but thought, c'mon, let's see if you can race. So I did and I beat him.
Crossed the line and pressed stop. Forgot about the medal completely.
To summarise, very happy with that. Just 16 mins or so slower than the last one, but the difference in prep is abysmal. Will try to up the mileage a bit now and may do Valencia Marathon in Dec if the body doesn't implode. Great to be back though.