Sunday, 29 March 2015

Results of using "Training Zones"?

Training in a structured way based on Heart Rate appears to be showing results
I'm still training using the Cyclosportive method.
A continued improvement has occured in my 10K running time, which is the most important for longer distance cycling, while my shorter distance times have also improved (important for climbing short, sharp, hills!).
I don't own an indoor cycling trainer, or rollers, or anything like that.
I don't have a gym membership either.
So I'm training the old (and cheap) way - pounding the streets.
I even borrowed the Cylosportive training book from the local library (!)
I did spend £20 ($30, 27 euros) on a new pair of running shoes, and they are both lighter and more "rubbery" underneath than my previous shoes - a pair of suede-upper Adidas "trainers"/"sneakers".
My feet seem more comforatble in the new shoes, but I still get slightly sore toes at the end of 10k (!)

As well as an improvement in times using a structured Heart-Rate based training program, I have also increased my maximum distance (!) - I have now mnaged to do a 10 mile (16.1K) run. something that a few months ago seemed completely out of reach - and I ran it at my 10K speed, too.
As at today, the 10 mile (16.1K) run is about my limit, and I was pretty tired afterwards (!)
Hopefully things will improve as my training continues.

I bought a cheap HRM chest belt, too, but as it works best on my wife's 7" tablet, I haven't used it much (try running with a 7" tablet in your pocket!) - but I am intending to get a new smartphone in the Summer to replace my almost 4-year-old model (It runs Android 2.3.5 - "Gingerbread"!m and only has a single core 600Mhz processor, and just 256K or RAM - it does run Strava, however!!!)

Anyway, my current "PR"s in each category are:
10K: 1:01:37
5K: 29:41
2 miles: 18:20
1 mile: 8:58
1K: 5:22
1/2 mile: 4:07
400 metres: 1:58

Comparing that with this list I posted just 4 weeks ago shows the following improvements:
10K: 11minutes and 8 seconds (15%) faster
5K: 4 minutes and 26 seconds (13%) faster
2 miles: 4 minutes 48 seconds (20%) faster
1 mile: 1 minute 27 seconds (14%) faster
1K: 37 seconds (10%) faster
1/2 mile: 15 (6%) seconds faster
400 metres: 6 (5%) seconds faster

So, in general, the "longer" distances have improved more.
The apparent "surge" in my 2-mile time is actually due to my speed increasing when i adopted the "Heart Rate" training progrem, and I just ran more evenly than previously - indeed, after tha 20% improvement shortly after my post 4 weeks ago, there has been no further improvement.
At the "long end", my 10K times have been progessively dropping pretty much every week. A few minutes here, a few minutes there.

So both my speeds and endurance (that was the first 10 mile run I have done for 30 years!) have been improving.
Whether that is due to the "Heart Rate" training style, or whether it is an improvement that would have happened anyway, and I have just got fitter because I have been training longer, is harder to say.
Either way, I AM a good bit fitter than I was after Christmas (!)

Update 5th April 2015:
So I went out on a ride - after all, the running/jogging is supposed to be supporting my cycling. I'm not that interested in becoming a great runner, just a better cyclist, and a fitter person (hey, I'm 50, and it is more and more a case of "use it or lose it"!)
So - the ride.
A 60 km jaunt up into the Chilterns - peppered with "Personal Records"
The Cat 3 climb is the one that counts - that hill is marked as being 13% for its steepest section.
The 3kg (about 6 1/2 lbs) in weight I have lost since New Years Day would have helped a bit, but the fitness is a BIG factor, too.
And remember I still have "training tyres" on - a snow tyre (studs and all!) at about 55 psi up front, with a Marathon Plus tyre on the rear, alos at about 55 psi.
For my Summer charity rides I will be running Marathon Plus tyres front and back - and at 84 psi.
So, not only did I set a whole bunch of PRs, I know that I have more to come, as a simple tyre swap will give me even better times!

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