I've just finished the first week of following the training plan set out for me by Matt in Fitness Analytics and I have to say I found it really interesting. It was so different to anything I've ever done before as there was variety and because I've had to fight every instinct to run for time. This weeks plan had 2 x Threshold Runs, 1 x Interval Run and 1 x Recovery Run. Matt did point out that speeds will vary on a day to day basis for a number of reasons such as environmental conditions, how fatigued the body is etc so I have to trust the master and follow his plan.
First off, let me introduce you to Walter, my watch! Yep, my husband went out and bought me a fancy watch with a heart-rate monitor so I can maximise my training efforts - how sound is that! I would say 'Yippie, I just saved myself a fortune!' but now that we are married isn't my money his and his money mine... so YAY - He saved me half a fortune! (I'm joking BTW incase anyone thinks I'm serious).
Walter - My new Watch
So first up, I'll talk about the Threshold Runs. According to the report 'running around your Lactate Threshold improves aerobic endurance capacity. This is important as it is at this point fatigue occurs due to lactic acid build up. My threshold heart rate was determined as 151-155bpm and I never realised how hard it is to keep your heart rate within 5bpm before but I think you'll see from my Friday run, I've managed to get the hang of it:
One Hour Threshold Run - 11km
It is so interesting to see my run data laid out like that. Normally I'm so used to focusing on time that I never pay attention to anything else whereas here you can see after my first km warm-up, I stuck pretty much bang in my Threshold Zone (151-155). What was interesting was how great I felt after the run. I'm looking forward to seeing that time come down for the same heart effort.
Next up was the Tempo Run where I had to target a BPM of 156-169. I used this run as an Intervals so I divided my time between the Threshold Zone and Tempo Zone as follows:
1 min Tempo, 1 min Threshold (x 3)
2 min Tempo, 1 min Threshold (x 3)
3 min Tempo, 1 min Threshold (x 3)
2 min Tempo, 1 min Threshold (x 2)
1 min Tempo, 1 min Threshold (x 2)
HR during the Tempo/Interval Run
The run was more difficult but I really enjoyed it. I found it quite difficult to get my heart rate back down into the Threshold zone within the minute but it thought me more to speed up with effort, slow down quickly. I'm looking forward to tackling this one again to see the difference Intervals make.
The final 'new' type of run this week was the Recovery Run. The purpose of this type of run is to help the body recover by keeping the heart rate relatively low (140-150bpm). I was quite surprised with my pace for a recovery run (way slower than I'm used to).
Recovery Run around Oranmore
So I'm one week in and after my 4 runs, 2 bootcamp sessions, numerous walks with the dog and one day off, I have to say I'm feeling incredibly charged at the end of Week 1. I love the structure and am looking forward to getting tucked into Week 2. Nothing changes this week, its back to the same again but I feel more confident with knowing what I'll be doing this week. Matt's report has recommended that once a firm base has been laid down, things can be changed around within the program so I am looking forward to giving him my feedback after 3/4 weeks.
I'm still finding it hard to ignore the time as it flashes up on the watch but I trust the program and hope to see improvements in the coming weeks. The final recommendation was to choose a target event in 6/8 weeks time to test my fitness. I have chosen a Half Marathon in Laois (Off The Laois) on November 23rd. At the moment this is the only race I have in my diary. I'm interested to see if this type of training will help me break last months Half Marathon time.