Sunday, December 7, 2008

Training Zone Progress

The good news is that the past 10-12 weeks of training have created some good changes in my run training zones (see Figure showing curves for December and August). Since my goal is Ironman Canada, the program provided by Peak Centre for Human Performance has focussed on improving my aerobic threshold, representing the intensity I can maintain for a prolonged period, and lactate threshold, which is the point at which blood lactate starts accumulating quickly, leading to fatigue.

The desired result is to see the lactate curve on the graph shift to the right and downwards. This translates into being able to go faster for longer. During this last training phase, I have shifted my aerobic threshold from 10.5 to 11.8 kph (6.5 to 7.4 mph). Yay!

The bad news is that now I have to train at these higher intensities. In other words, my ‘easy’ run is now going to be less easy.

So, off I went today to test drive the new training zones, as approximated by a heart rate. My new Zone 1 heart rate is 124 to 139 beats per minute, correlating to an outdoor run speed of 10.3-11.8 km/h (6.3-7.3 mph). I got about 10 minutes into the run when a freak squall passed by and it poured, and I mean really poured with sideways sheets of rain. I had confidently decided on not taking a jacket today and quickly regretted the decision. I planned a circular route back home to change, but at the last minute decided against it, knowing I might not leave again if I went home. So, I stuck it out and lo-and-behold 20 minutes later the sun was out.

The new pace felt a lot more natural than the former slower pace and I really hit my zone. I had a great run, listening to Lenny Kravitz albums on my husband’s iPod (which I had given him as a gift but which we now seem to share:)).

On Monday I should be getting my bike re-assessment results, but the preliminary analysis also shows a good improvement. So now I am re-inspired to stick to my plan. It’s working!

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