WFLWR Training Log – Week 2

Last week, I decided that instead of writing training posts on a daily basis, I better combine them into a weekly log. For this week, my goal was to achieve 35k of mileage which was almost 40% more than the last week’s i.e. 26k. I knew I could do it because I had skipped a run last week.

Monday: On Mondays, I do a easy to moderate pace run. Last week, I ran for 45 minutes and so this week, I capped 5 minutes. Nothing too much! I had thought of a running route beforehand which was just enough long to put me back home right on time. However, I missed a street marker in between and ended up somewhere else. Although, I had a sense of direction in which I should be heading, I still confirmed it by asking a lady walking in the streets. I actually liked this feeling of running with no rigid route. I’ve always loved running on new streets so perhaps, this run was meant to give me the same feeling. My final stats were 48 minutes of running (8.8k).

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These inverted peaks are where I stopped, to find myself the correct route, which mostly I didn’t. At 41 minute mark, I asked the lady.

Wednesday: Now this is a special day to me. It’s the track time. I run up to the track, exhaust myself there and run back. This running back and forth usually requires 15 minutes in each direction and so I have a sense of how much time I should spend on track. Last week, I did 5 sets of 100m fast accompanied with 300m jog. So, this week I wanted to make this harder. And at the same time, I did not want to increase the mileage (or time) significantly. I ended up doing still 5 sets of, 100m fast followed by 100m walk. This allowed me to effectively run half a lap as compared to quarter a lap the week before. As I got back home, I’d run 7.4k in 44 minutes.

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You can see the laps around the track, right?

Friday: My schedule says that on Friday, I should have a recovery run. Now I know why it is important. Because I have a long run the next day (at least that’s what I think). If I don’t include this run, I’ll have a two days gap until Saturday. So, this run prepares me for the long run the next day. But I messed it up. I changed this recovery run into a tempo run because of lack of time. I couldn’t even cool myself down after the run (so I was a bit scared that my tender body might collapse). Anyway, I ended up running 5.25k in 28 minutes and most of it was under 5-min-km pace. I’ll seriously recover next week.

Saturday: My favourite. I love long runs. It allows me to stay on my feet for long times and to explore a lot of places. I extended the route on which I ran last week. Also, instead of running on the walk-way, I ran on a trail which runs besides it the whole time. Running on a trail is wonderful. Surrounded by trees, it doesn’t feel like I am running around any urban traffic. Before the run, I didn’t intake anything, no carbs, no water. I wanted my body to stay away from carbs on these longer runs, so that if needed, it could learn to extract energy from fat stores, which in my case must be abundant. However, during the run, I had diluted coconut water to keep me hydrated as well as, as a minor source of sugars. By the time I stopped my watch, I had logged 14.2k (thereby completing my weekly goal) in 1:22 hours. Though the pace wasn’t great, but I don’t mind it.

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Route: Extended down the Black Rock

Final summary of the week as recorded in my diary, including the morning walks, is:

 

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Please do not comment on my bad handwriting 😀

 

For the next week, my target is 40k (including the same long run as this week, maybe 15k). I want to make my body re-familiar with longer distances, but without a lot of carbs.

 

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Training Log – Week 1 Day 3

Wednesday = Speed Training.

Well, not really for the first week. According to the training “schedule” it was meant to be a easy-pace run with some pick-ups but I converted that to 100 m sprints (I wanted to know how would I match up against Usain Bolt with my earphones on, but I had no idea how badly it would go).

I followed the same set of rules: warmed up for some 15 mins with easy-pace on the road en-route to the track, 5 times (100 m sprint followed by 300 m easy-pace) and then a easy-pace back home.100m

It turned out that my max. speed pace during those sprints is somewhere around 3 min/km which makes 100 m sprint in 18 seconds (if I assume that I am holding that pace throughout the 100 meters and I am also cheating on the fact that I did not start from a zero-pace start line, I was already moving at the start). So, by the time Bolt would get a gold, I’d hardly be halfway. that’s a bad defeat. But anyway! My target is to be faster and not to beat anyone in particular.

In my perception, speed-training gives an idea to the body and to the mind about how it feels like to go faster. Obviously, it feels terrible while I do it this way i.e. all of a sudden, but if carried out over a period of time, slowly and progressively, it is wonderful. Your legs would take to new places faster. Well, it could be just around the track in less than a minute, but you get the idea. the whole run can be found here:

https://www.strava.com/activities/891965624/embed/f156c11f8bc8c81e2e0360f379604b1dbec28f35

Running Log – 22 Feb 2017

Distance: 3.0k

Time: 0:20:00

Course: Track

Run with sunshine @ 5:30PM. It went a little hotter than expected. Slow run followed by a 400m fast-paced lap. That last lap was on a pace of ~ 4 min/km and I was wondering if I ever have to finish a lap in under one minute, that would require an average pace of 2:30 min/km. I can not even imagine that right now, but it would be AWESOME to be able to do that.

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(Read it on MultiEMOtions Android App)

Having a running tracker (GPS on a phone and Garmin Forerunner 15)

Once you start running, you might want to check on your progress and performance. You might have seen people running with their phones strapped on their arms, or in their hands, or people looking at their watches occasionally. Well, that’s technology in the picture! It perhaps starts from a basic stopwatch if you just want to keep a record of your times (very useful for short repetitive intervals). But to accurately (yeah may be 99% accurate, not the perfect accuracy) measure the distance, pace and other things, you need something more.

GPS enabled phones loaded with an appropriate APP such as Runtastic, Nike+, Runkeeper…. can do the job. I used Runtastic for over an year to track my runs. This kind of tracker allows you to run pretty much freely. All you need to do is to start your running session, strap your phone around your arm, and run. That’s it. Since you’re having a phone with you, you can also enjoy your music en-route. Ample number of runners use their phones to track their runs and why not? Who does not have a phone and an internet today?

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But I had to switch from this phone-based tracker to a GPS watch!

The reason being my sweat. I do not have a waterproof phone. Even while being contained inside my arm-strap, my phone got chunks of my sweat which in turn made my phone malfunctioning. Luckily the phone was under warranty!

That’s when I bought a Garmin Forerunner 15. It is an entry-level smartwatch and therefore the functionalities are limited. High-range smartwatches include heart-rate sensor and triathlon training support. My watch supports HR sensor (I have to buy it additionally but I didn’t).

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It does more or less the same thing which my phone was doing. But there are differences.

  1. What used to be a phone loaded on my arms earlier is now a tiny watch. Running wise, it is much more comfortable.The difference is sensed and felt.
  2. But because it is not a music player, I have lost the luxury of listening to music simultaneously.
  3. Now since it is a watch, I can look at it anytime to check my progress during a workout, which wasn’t possible on a phone (if it is strapped). I used to get the feedback after every kilometer or so.
  4. This is also an activity tracker i.e. to track my steps and sleep. It allows me to have a check on my activity level which if I want to use with a phone, isn’t very accurate with APPS like Google Fit.

One more thing, I am also connected with the running communities and I can see the progress and training patterns of other people which is very helpful at times.

No matter what tracker you use, the most important part is that you get out there and run. You run till you can. Once you will start running, you will sort out other things, they are not big that of a deal. Trust me.

Keep running and stay fit!

A new speed workout

Like I mentioned in my previous post about taking control of the breath while running no matter if its a slow or fast run. When you’re slower, you can force yourself easier to control the breath and experiment your running but when you take your running up a notch, it tends to become difficult. At higher speeds, there is more rigorous breathing (you have felt that before, right?) and that becomes a bit difficult to control. You can’t say no to a breath when you are panting, it has to come in and get out.

So, this week in my speed training, instead of going for a total of 5 sets of (2 minute fast and 3 minute slow), I changed it to 4 sets of (1 minute fast and 45 seconds slow/walk rather). So, after getting warmed up for about ten minutes, I did these 4 sets. And what I observed was. I could handle my breathing just fine while I was running and during recovery, I was gasping for breath. Just before the end of every recovery period, I thought to myself that I won’t be able to run fast now, given that I am breathing like a crazy animal here. But, once my feet started their way, that abnormal breathing pattern fades away automatically and it gets easier to run faster than to recover on a slow pace.

After I was through this, I warmed down for 5 more minutes and did these 4 sets again! God, that was a wonderful workout! I never knew I could handle speed so well and simultaneously recover in that short time. Of course there was a bit of fluctuation in the speeds during the fast pace zones but nevertheless, I didn’t skip any of the set. And I am so very happy about it.

Take a deep breath

Whatever follows in this post is extracted from this beautiful book called “The art of running faster” by Goater and Melvin. I have tried to implement a lot of things mentioned in this book and I have seen changes in my running once I implemented them. So, here in this chapter titled take a deep breath, I was reading about the relation of breathing with running. Of course we breath while we run, some even pant. It is the controlled breathing that could make your runs more efficient.

Run tall and relaxed. One needs to master the skill of effective breathing.

It was said that try to maintain an even balance of number of steps with the inhaling and exhales. So it could be two/three/four steps for every inhale as well as for every exhale. While the numbers are unmatched, you’re not at your best. And it indeed works well!

In my last workout, which was supposed to be mostly a steady run with occasional boosts/pick-ups, my focus for most of the time was on my breathing. I was breathing deeply and with more control. I was trying to impose this control because I know that my natural running could be with uncontrolled or uneven breathing. I wanted to test this theory. Most of the times, I ran with three or four steps for every inhale/exhale and for the time I was sprinting, I could not care to count it because my focus was on to cover as much as ground as possible with the cruising speeds I wanted to achieve.

To increase the lung capacity, it is important to be able to breath deeply, no matter you are running fast or slow.

I am still in the process of learning how to run, how to run faster and more efficiently. These are some of the points that I have implemented so far in my run, based on this book:

  1. Cadence is very important. For those who don’t know what it is, it is how fast you switch between your legs i.e. the speed of your legs or the number of steps per second, you can say. I try to maintain a good cadence and while uphill running, I (try to) maintain the same cadence with shorter strides (stride is the length of your single step, these two things together determine your speed). While I want to outrun someone who is at a same pace as of mine, I increase my cadence accompanied with a slightly shorter stride and when i outrun that person, I try to keep the same cadence with the original stride I was running at.
  2. Arms are your acceleration pedal. The faster you can move your arms, the faster you’ll be able to run. I have personally experienced it every single time I am on the track. To increase my cadence, I never move my legs faster, I start to move my arms faster and the legs go along by themselves.

These were some of the noticeable changes that I experienced while practicing my runs. If you have any of yours or anything else, feel free to share them here.