My Last Run

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  • I enjoy a bit of beasting...unfortunately I am not in the condition for that right now.
    Ordered a chest HRM from Amazon, since I always figured my watch gave rubbish readings and I need to keep on top of what my heart is doing now I'm under investigation. It arrived yesterday so took it for a spin today.
    I did a 5 mile run at a slow easy pace (11:30-12 min/mi) and was rather expecting that it would come back with a lower HR than my watch alone, but it was pretty much the same, in fact...around 160 average once I'd warmed up. I was breathing easily enough. I guess I really do have a rubbish heart.
    It did give more sensible readings in the gym than my watch, though, so that's good.
  • Cal, sounds like a really good investment. I've got an exercise bike where the grip gives a read out of HR, but TBH, I take no notice of it. I'm a bit of a subscriber the 'ignorance is bliss' school - but I appreciate this isn't very bright.
  • I've used a HRM Chest Strap now for a year and it was the best investment I could have made for HR running. Watches are accurate enough but they are slow to update meaning your HR will raise considerably before you realise you have to slow down. Averages will be more or less the same but it's the speed of getting the data whilst running... HRM is more or less instant data...

    As for the grips for HR monitoring, what a pointless thing to have on a running machine. Bikes maybe but even then you are forcing your hands into a single position... 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • I do notice that while my HR is high when I exercise, DH, it does recovery very quickly. I guess that's one good thing.

    Anyway, I did 10 miles this morning - wanted a decent length run as I had my booster at 11am and may need to rest tomorrow if it affects me (got Moderna this time). Pace was slow again...HR not so much. Decided to put a few intervals into the last mile for the sake of form as my stride length and cadence are shocking at the moment. Didn't die.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Talking of intervals..........

    I do a rowing workout - 8 x 250 metres at 1 minute and with a minute's rest* between intervals. This equates to 4 minute kms and for rowers it's nothing special - but it ruins me. So I thought I'd have a go at doing the same workout as a running session.

    I sandwiched the intervals between 2 fast single kms - the first at 4.03and the second at 4.10 (I was tired by then). One the 8 intervals, 4 were downwind and 4 upwind. It was a strong wind. Anyway - mission completed. It ruined me.

    Today, I have a treat in store. I used to use treadmills a lot but I've not been on one for at least 20 years. My friend has one and invited me to have a go. I know it's not 'proper running' but the sessions on TMs suited my running style - a kind of manic scuttle. And there's no wind.
    I have a fond memory of a 17.59 3 mile session; my PB. No way could I do this now - but I'd like to get near. (A&E visit is already booked............)

    * thus the interval and the row (and run) are 1:1 ratio. I know that some coaches advise this as a sensible ratio and I'd agree in this case i.e short intervals. However, my pal does 6 minutes intervals and his coach advises 6 minutes rest. This doesn't sound right  (who am I to argue?), but I'd like to know anyone else's intervals policy. I know HIIT intervals are typically much shorter (eg. 45 seconds on/15 seconds rest) but aside from those what are we doing? Anyone got a formula (ideally for success and one that works for you)?
  • Generally vary intervals. When I run it can be something governed by where I'm running, as yesterday...was doing them around the block so I'd go fast down the road, then recover on the other three sides. In the past I've done fast down, recover at the bottom, fast up, recover at the top, but given my cardiac issue, I'm being more cautious.
    The strides I did last week I did by distance...0.1 mile fast with 0.05 recoveries. 
    I can't remember what I used to do on the C2 rower at my old gym - think I varied that too, but always sprints and rests. Gym I use now doesn't have one. C2 rower was always brutal though. I am doing some intervals on the hand bike to warm up...use 30 seconds of rest between, but the length of the intervals varies according to resistance, which I increase each time (so, eg, 3 minutes at level 12 vs 1 minute at level 20).
  • Thanks Cal. Certainly don't blame you for being cautious - indeed,  avoiding intervals while you await cardiac investigations. It sounds as though you don't have a rigid policy but adapt according to the nature of the workout.
    My attempt to run on the treadmill wasn't a great success. I started very cautiously as the running style was so unfamiliar. Also the TM is calibrated as mph which fazed me a bit as I couldn't work out what my target speed should be. I got the hang of it eventually and clocked 21.05 for 3 miles. I'd hope to be at least a minute quicker if I did it again.
    But we all live in hope.
    Parkrun tomorrow. Weather not looking great but no big deal.
  • Parkrun went well. 21.01 - 19th out of 290 and a category win. Age grade: 80.57%; 2nd best in the field. I ran it quite badly and went out too fast (1st km 4.04)
     into a stiff breeze and paid for it later. All good - but my son beat me by 20 seconds or so.
  • I can't run on a tready very well at all...I feel like I'm going to fall over. I used to run on one of the old style ones at the gym I went to in the 90s, with handrails either side, and placed in front of a mirror, and I was fine. The modern kind with the large console in front, I just can't deal with. I think I need to be able to see clearly in front of me or my brain can't process moving with being in one spot.

    After a very slow 4 mile recovery run yesterday (average 12:10...HR still made it into the 140s) I did Broadwater parkrun today (near Godalming in Surrey). Got a lift off a parkrun mate and there were a lot of parkrun tourists there including several I know. Quite a few parkrun-iversaries for people which meant plenty of cake, and some lovely soul had even made some gluten free cupcakes which I could eat (and I ate three of them...sorry not sorry).
    The course itself comprised of a figure-8 type course, with three laps of the playing fields and two laps of the lake. Some hard path but mostly grass and trail, and rather muddy (and also rooty in places). It was never going to be a fast one in those conditions, so I got a modest 28:38. Average HR was 175 with a max of 187. I was pushing but not rinsing myself, and I felt fine. I guess my max must be around 200, give or take. Heart like a rabbit or something.
  • A 16 mile slog today...horrible windy, drizzly weather. Annoyingly, after fitting perfectly all week, my HRM kept sliding down so I had to keep stopping to adjust it so HR data for the run was dodgy. Not sure how it worked its way loose but I'll be more careful putting it on in future.
    Also took a wrong turning which added a couple of miles to the run, but I got to see a couple of egrets in a ditch which I'd have missed otherwise. At least I know I can do 16 miles without too much trouble (albeit slowly and with a few stops along the way).
  • Cal, always good to do a new parkrun. Not sure about that HR as it sounds a bit scary to me. A 16 miler is testimony to some determination, far in excess of anything I could offer.

    I watched my granddaughter get a JPR PB today, dipping under the 14 minutes for her 2k JPR. She'll get her 'marathon' wristband next time which is a brilliant idea. It was very cold and windy so well done to all the little uns - there were rather fewer of them this week.

    After witnessing this inspirational effort, I ran for about an hour not wanting to record time, pace or distance. I headed for the hills and did a few repeats. It was hard so it must have done me some good. I've got my booster jab this week, so I'm hoping that there aren't any side-effects that affect training. A sore arm I can manage.
  • dangeroushamsterdangeroushamster ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Good new week everybody...

    Intervals, I just do what my watch tells me to do rather than specifics. I like doing a set of 6x 400m hill sprints and the goal pace repeats is always a nice hard one. So something like 5x5m @ 10k pace followed by 3x5m @ 5k pace, 3m rest in-between each - that's a beast but you can add or remove sets dependent on where you are on training

    Managed my Parkrun with a new snazzy PR Band, that my 6th now I think and according to Strava I'm now local legend of the lake we run around :) 

    Must admit running is hard work currently, easy runs hurt more, my joints ache and my sleep is not as good as usual. I'm a very good sleeper normally. I'm pretty sure I'm still recovering from something but had it 4 weeks or combinations of something...

    Also cleaned out the garage on the weekend for the purchase of a 'Dreadmill', should keep the mileage up that way when I physically can't leave the house

    My HR rate tops at 185 I think, my lactate threshold is 173 at the minute. Even a fully fledged sprint I can push 182 and that's about tops without trying to injure myself. 

    Wow there is a lot on this post... Sorry
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • John, it'd be scary if it had suddenly got that high, but it's been like that ever since I got a watch that could measure HR (I didn't believe it was correct until I got the strap last week, which is giving me very similar readings albeit reacting to changes faster). I am not as fit as I was, though, so there's that.
    Good luck with the booster. My arm took a couple of days to settle down. I had flu jab yesterday...other arm...and it's only mildly achey.
    DH, it could be because it's colder (I always ache more in the cold) but the sleep loss won't have helped. Hopefully you can get back to normal soon.

    Went out for 6 miles today...five at a very slow, recovery plod (average HR in the 140s...only just for the fifth mile though) and then I did 10 lots of strides in the last mile...short but basic all out sprints. Garmin had my cadence at well over 200 for those. Really enjoyed doing them. I'm hoping they will help me improve my stride length and cadence again, both of which have dropped off a lot.
    I was lucky to catch the most amazing red sky during the early part of the run, though it did fade very quickly (rather like me, I guess).
  • Hamster, that sounds like a pretty fierce set of intervals. I'm sure they'll pay dividend. Are you going to be a weekly Parkrun addict like Cal and me? Good luck with the TM. I'd be interested to hear how you are going to deploy it.

    Cal, on the HM issue I'm lucky enough (touch wood) to be in the ignorance is bliss camp. I think my resting HR is around 60 and on the rare occasions I look at my exercise bike display it never seems to get much above 115. I suppose I monitor effort by the subjective scale of 'feel' but it's all pretty intuitive.

    Had my booster jab today in Chichester. A nice little city, rather posh and about 20 miles away. The immunisation centre was in the car park they use for the Parkrun, which I did once but didn't enjoy. (Bit of a mud-fest.) Anyway, my arrival coincided with that of the storm almost to the minute - which made queueing up for 20 minutes outside rather grim. No side-effects as yet. No run either.

  • Well, I can keep my HR in the 1teens (and 120s if I push it) on the elliptical, John, but running is a whole different beast - it doesn't want to go below 140 even when I'm running slowly.
    Speaking of, I wasn't bursting with enthusiasm this morning but I dragged myself out for an 8 mile stumble around in the dark. I was hoping to see some Christmas lights but either a lot of folk haven't put theirs up yet, or they're not as bothered this year. Some of the roads that were spectacular last year haven't got many lights up yet, so guess I'll give it a week and have another look.
    This was a very slow run, but did include a few hills (nothing too steep but I was checking out the residential roads alongside Wandsworth Common, which go down into a sort of valley). HR averaged 145 which isn't bad considering the hills, but did peak at 150-160 while going up a few of the hills (it did come down again very quickly though).
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Cal, that HR sounds more within a 'normal' range to me. Quite a few Xmas lights up around me. I'm a bit conflicted on this. I'm a bit of a 'green' puritan and don't really like the electricity consumed (yes, I'm a fun guy!) but with the grandchildren I can see how it's all rather magical. (I'm a miserable bugger when it comes to fireworks too!) Anyway well done for an  long and hilly 'stumble'.

    When we are hard on ourselves and our running, I just have to think how many folk of our age - whatever age that is, but especially the over 50s -could do what we do? I live in our town of 100,000, of whom there must be thousands in any given age/sex demographic segment. In my own, there only about 8 regular parkrunners and then maybe double that for other runners. 16 or so would be a very tiny percentage! (There are more women of my age running in my town than men. I reckon.)
    A bit harder to do such thumbnail calcs for your demographic in Greater London, I admit!
    A clumsy way of putting into perspective how many other women of your age could manage your 8 mile hilly 'stumble'?? (Answer: less than 1%, I bet.)

    Talking of which I headed for the local cemetery yesterday (earlier than I'd like in one sense) where there are some short, nasty little slopes. A 30 minute session proved that I am at least currently still 'on the right side of the turf'.

    No after-effects for my booster jab. Planning a parkrun as per. Anyone else?
  • Not a big fan of fireworks either, John...I remember going to friends as a kid and us having baked potatoes and flapjacks while parents set off a load of corner shop fireworks, and that was fun, but organised displays leave me cold (literally, as it's always November or NYD). Yeah, they're pretty, but it's usually freezing and you have to stand outside with a big crowd of strangers. No thanks. 
    I like the Christmas lights though - they cheer me up when it's dark and miserable out.

    6 miles today...didn't go out until after 9 so I was a bit quicker than yesterday even though there were a few traffic stops along the way. Feel better for it, though I have a few little niggles brewing that I need to keep a lid on. I've been rather lazy about stretching and doing my rehab, which is largely due to being enthralled by my current computer game. Need to be a bit more disciplined, eh?
  • Cal, did you do a PR today? If so, hope the niggles didn't get between you and a good performance.

    Perfect conditions at our local PR - no wind. I ran an SB of 20.38 and all all time Age Grade  PB of 82.07%. Utterly delighted as I had a bit of a hangover (wedding anniversary yesterday - a mere 44 years). I didn't win my age category as my local nemesis turned up. But in trying to keep up with him, I upped my game. And, as he's a year younger than me, I beat his AG%, which made up for him edging me out on time.
  • Yeah I was concerned for my groin but I mashed a ball into it before I left and it was alright. Well done on your excellent time. Wish I could say the same but mine was as uninspiring as ever. I went to Charlton, one of the two new ones in London (the other I did a few weeks back). It's mostly flat (one slight gradient), three laps and mostly on grass. Fortunately it wasn't too muddy (much less so than Broadwater last week) but I'd worn trail shoes as a precaution. Still only just got under 28 minutes which is a bit rubbish... HR was high too (180s...max of 190 on this run) and while I was pushing somewhat, I didn't feel as though I was going all out. Feel OK though. Anyway, that takes me to 1200 miles for the year...I'm a lot of miles down on last year but then last year (when I ran 2020 miles) is likely why my body has fallen apart this year.
    Club Christmas do tonight...so not sure what tomorrow's run will be like, if it happens!
  • I did the Hull Parkrun yesterday. It was my first in three weeks and followed a series of disappointing training runs of varying lengths which saw me having to walk for part of them. I arrived yesterday to find that there was a 27 minute pace runner. As this is a few seconds slower than my PB, I thought I'd follow him and see how I went. The first couple of KMs felt ok and when we got to 3k he said that the split was 5 seconds below 27 minute pace so I pushed on. I eventually came in at 26:14 and my final KM was my quickest at 4'58. I know that this isn't earth shattering, but for me it's been huge for my running confidence. I'm 53 and I've lost two and a half stone since I started running. Last week I had a GP appointment and was told that I had the blood pressure of a teenager which is quite a turnaround as they put me on blood pressure tablets when I was in my thirties.
  • That's fantastic, Baldy...you've made great strides in your running and health, sounds like.
    No run for me today...club Christmas party last night so...yeah...a bit hungover.
  • Cal, hope you enjoyed acquiring the hangover, if not its effects. (It was my wedding anniversary on Friday - and also coincidentally Mrs JB's too - and we both ran our Parkruns with minor league hangovers. As my run was an SB, I might prepare the same way every week. I don't ned much encouragement.)
    Good to tick off another Parkrun venue for you.
    1200 miles still pretty decent......with 3 more weeks to go.

    Baldy, well done. Always good to do the last km fastest, and to dip under 5 mins for it. Total respect for your discipline (weight loss etc) in getting to this sort of time. Now is the time to look forward to new targets. Speaking as the resident old git (67 in 2 weeks time) you have many years of running in front of you, and limitless (well, almost) possibilities.


     
  • Thank you. I have asthma and a diagnosis of COPD although I have no symptoms. I did a slow 10K this morning and work means I’m unlikely to run again before Saturday. I walk to work and I’m going to have to do some cross training at some stage. It was nice to get out this morning and it was surprisingly warm.

    Thanks for your kind comments Cal and John. I wanted to lose weight to give me a better chance if I caught Covid - thankfully I haven’t yet*. Getting back into running happened almost by accident and now I’m a little obsessed by it.
  • Yeah, COPD can be really awful but it sounds as though you have it under control. (Hope you've had your booster...they're saying two jabs are not enough against Omicron).

    Had a restless night last night and gave up sleeping at just before 4am...got up, had a coffee and then went out for a run at 5. I ran 12 miles, all in the dark. Stuck mostly to well lit roads but I did a stint along the Thames Path. Most of that is well lit, too, but there's one bit where you can cut through a church yard and that was pitch black. Had to slow right down there as I knew there's a trip hazard (a power cable that goes to the coffee truck that parks in there). Managed to see it, just about, though!
    All rather slow (11+) but that's par for the course when it's dark. I seemed to have plenty of stamina, anyway, but I was feeling my hamstrings towards the end so looks like I need to stop being a lazy arse and get back to doing my ham strength work.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Baldy, brilliant stuff. Keep it up. Have you got any targets for 2022?

    Cal, I'm a bad sleeper too. However I wouldn't have the nerve to get up and run in the pitch black - yet alone 12 miles. Talking of the Thames Path, I have a pal who is walking it bit by bit. He's a 'proper' walker, never happier than when in Scotland walking in countryside considerably more rugged. He lives in Feltham. He's walking a portion (travelling to and from by train) each Saturday and I think he's now well upstream. Sounds like a nice little project.

    No run for me Monday or Tuesday but hope to get out tomorrow. On Saturday I am planning to run the Southampton PR for the first time. It has the reputation of being flat and fast and attracts a very big field (650 typically). Only 2 more Parkruns before the new year. My birthday is on the 27th, so I'd like to turn up to the one on 1/1/22 ready to take advantage of my more forgiving age grade. This might mean not pigging out too much over Christmas, birthday and New Year's Eve.
  • I must say I'm not a keen walker - I don't mind a walk if it's to do something (I've walked from home to Waterloo to visit the cinema, for instance) but if it comes to exercise, I'd much rather run. I guess I associate walking for exercise with being injured!
    Good luck with your PR.

    5 today...unlike yesterday, I didn't manage to drag myself out until after 11, but the upside was it was light and I decided to do some mild speedwork in the form of a progression run. I didn't make a particularly good job of it as there were small changes to speed for the first three miles, then mile 4 was a while minute faster (probably as it was net downhill), then only managed to shave off a few seconds for the last one. I was hoping to get up to 9 minute miles but didn't quite manage that, what with weaving between park cars and pedestrians. Should have planned the route a bit better, I think. Anyway, I survived...nothing broke, and that's a plus.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Cal, I wasn't familiar with the concept of a progression run, but having read your post I think I've got the hang of it. Re walking, I'm quite keen but I'm a pretty slow walker. When I do a group walk with some friends - who are all older then me - I find myself being at the back of the pack. I tend to regard this as a bit of an irony, given that none of them are runners.

    I did my 'interval sandwich' session yesterday (a term I've invented): 1k/10 x 250m intervals/1k. Each part is meant to be run at sub 4 min km pace but I failed miserably. The intervals were fine, but both the 1ks were in excess of 4 mins - the first by a few seconds, he last (understandably) more so. I think the fatigue factor on the final 1km was due to cutting down the rests between intervals from my usual 1 minute to 30 seconds. It made a big difference.

    Today, I'm running to deliver a couple of Xmas cards. One of my friends has recently moved to the very top of the steepest hill in town, so it's a golden opportunity to get in a hill run. (And, yes, save a stamp!)

    Given Omicron and its transmission time, I've beginning to wonder whether running events (in particular Parkrun) might be vulnerable to cancellation.    
  • I hope not, John - I'm really enjoying getting back to touring parkrun at the moment.
    Easy 6 yesterday (in the dark again) and then off to Brooklands parkrun today. My plans to do South Oxhey (near Watford) were scuppered by a tube strike, so Brooklands, which is all train, was the next best option. It's on the site of the old airport and race track and the route from the station takes you past the famous Brooklands banked curve, what's left of it. Hard to imagine cars driving at that angle.
    They were using the B course, which is flatter and drier than the A course, but very wiggly (it uses the bike track for part of it) and the section through the woods is rather lumpy (as in, it's rather derelict hard path that has split apart and been overgrown). Even so I managed my fastest run of the year by quite a good margin: 26:21. Still a good way off where I was but I'm moving in the right direction now...previous best this year was 26:48.
    I felt decent, although I should probably be dead according to my HRM.
    The most pleasing thing was my splits, as I got faster: 8:29/8:25/8:20 and then 7:31 pace for the last bit (though I was still overtaken by a spry looking VW60).

    I do actually have a 5K race on Wednesday evening - it'd be nice to get closer to 25 if I can, though running in the dark always messes with my head a bit.
  • Cal, Brooklands has been recommended to me (presumably the A course), so it was interesting to read your report. Doesn't sound like a PB track (or even an SB one) so well done for your performance. Very encouraging, especially was we approach a new year. Good splits. Bodes well for you midweek 5k - although I hope it's not too dark.

    My PR tourism was also very pleasing - although I have to go quite a long way to find a course I've not run before. However, we arrived in Southampton in good time to tackle the run on their Common - a huge expanse of rough parkland but with excellent wide, smooth paths. More or less 2 laps and just a little bit hillier than I expected.

    A very large field of 565 meant there was a little bit of congestion early on and my first 2 laps were are 4.20 pace. I was then overtaken by a guy I though was about my age and that bucked me up and in effect we had a head-to-head over around 3km. I prevailed, just, with a 21.03, only to find out he was a 'youngster' in the 60-64 category which he won.

    So I was very pleased with my time, position (48th), category win and age grade of 80.44% - the 5th best of the day. Mrs JB did a tad over 35 mins which was good on that course.

    All being well, I'm in a decent shape to have a crack at ending 2021 with a SB on Xmas day.
  • Well done, John! 
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