This morning, after almost 3 months of jogging it felt pretty good to do a workout for once. A modest one of course. The evaluation workout is MC's preferred method to test training progress, and apart from providing a baseline of my present state of fitness it also should have provided me with a modest stimulus that will hopefully be felt in the near future.
The last month had been going very well and the numbers had finally shown signs of going noticeably upwards, despite me being hampered by a succession of mild colds. It therefore seemed safe enough to crank up the dial, if only very slightly.
The evaluation workout consists of a warm up and then 4 miles of holding the heart rate as steady as possible at 161 (that's for me, with a max HR of about 190). Then you come to a complete stop and measure how long it takes for the HR to recover to 130.
Because my Suunto Ambit 2, while being a very fine running watch in almost every other aspect, isn't particularly good with workouts, I dug out my battered old Garmin 310 for the morning (in fact, I wore both). I had two sources of slight stress: one, to remember to press the correct buttons on the Garmin at the appropriate times, which I just about managed with a few minor hickups along the way, and two, not to go into complete meltdown when analysing the numbers and comparing them to what they used to be like when I was in good shape (and younger).
Well, it ended up as follows:
Mile 1 7:06 HR 161 Mile 2 7:16 HR 162 Mile 3 7:18 HR 162 Mile 4 7:28 HR 162 Recovery to HR 130: 53 seconds
Actually, considering the last few months that could have been worse. It was not the slowest evaluation I have ever done (close), it wasn't the biggest difference between the first and the last mile (close), but it was indeed the longest recovery time since records began (close). The idea now is to repeat the process and see the numbers improve as training progresses. If they don't then I'll have to change things, obviously. That's why you evaluate stuff, for objective feedback. It's preferable to guessing.
One quirky note: my fastest mile of the day was actually the second "warm up" mile because I had to work to get my HR up to 161. Usually I would have done 4 miles of warming up to enable me to gradually increase the HR but that would have resulted in too long a run. I'll have to tweak that format.
- 6 Feb
- 7 miles, 55:32, 7:55 pace, HR 151
- Super Bowl induced sleep deprivation
- 7 Feb
- 7 miles, 58:59, 8:25 pace, HR 144
- Feeling a bit under the weather
- 8 Feb
- 7 miles, 55:24, 7:54 pace, HR 147
- 9 Feb
- 7 miles, 53:52, 7:38 pace, HR 156
- incl. 4 mile eval: 7:06, 7:16, 7:18, 7:28; 53 sec recovery