Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Aerobic (Low-HeartRate) Training Results (4weeks)

OK, I have been fairly carefully following Aerobic (Low HeartRate) Training for 4+weeks now.  The articles say it takes at least 4 weeks to see initial results, and often 6-8 weeks. 

Aerobic (Low HeartRate) Training is supposed to reduce my effort (my HeartRate at any particular speed) and increase my endurance (ability to increase speed and/or distance).  Has it started to visibly work?

Start: 03-May-2010.  4mile run at constant pace:

 Current: 31-May-2010 (4 weeks later) 4 mile run at constant pace:

Result: I am now running at a constant 0.2mph faster (30sec/mile faster) at a 3 bpm lower average HeartRate (6 bpm lower max HeartRate at the end).  Not bad for 4 weeks, we will see what the next month produces.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Run:Walk Intervals in Training and Races

In each of the Aerobic Training and Warmup posts below, I mentioned the Run:Walk Interval approach favored by some coaches, especially for beginners and intermediates but also for experienced competitors.  Other runners have been asking about it, and expressed interest in it (and some have started using it with good success).  Hence I thought it deserved its own separate post to highlight this approach.

There are several coaches who are strong believers in walking intervals (during training and races):

The above articles described the concept in detail, but in summary the idea is that you can walk for a short interval to massively rest your muscles and reduce Lactic acid buildup and to reduce stress and injury, and then more than make up that time by running slightly faster for the next interval.  The net effect can be little lost time and sometimes even faster overall times, and almost always the overall run has less stress on the body (less injury) and you finish feeling much better (and/or can go further).

For example, in 1984 Stu Mittleman set an American distance record for the 6-day World-Championship endurance event, 578 miles.  He did it by following Dr. Philip Maffeton's advice and alternating 1hour walks and 1hour runs, and was still going strong on the last day when many others had long-since hit their "walls".

I believe that the "Running Room" programs use a 10:1 Run:Walk approach.

In particular, see the charts in my Warmup post to see how such Run:Walk intervals help me lower HeartRate (and Lactic acid and stress/injuries) throughout a run.  I now use this approach during my Long-Slow-Distance weekend run, but not during my slightly faster mid-week speed/strength building runs (where I intentionally want to stress the muscles a little more).