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Treadmill Fail – 5.3K

Oh where do I start? I intended to do the Extreme Heart Rate workout on the Life Fitness treadmill at work. It was close enough to the hill repeats I was supposed to do outside but didn’t because of the thunderstorms. In theory.

I decided to use the new treadmill (minor upgrade) because it had a dock for an iPhone, iPod, iWhatever. However, this thing had a mind of its own and wanted me dead.

It was supposed to take my heart rate up to 160, then drop it back down to something like 120, rinse, repeat. Instead, this treadmill thought my heart rate was 118 when it was really 170+ and wouldn’t switch to the “downhill” part for recovery.

A quick look at the treadmill beside me confirmed that my heart rate was totally red-lined as I knew since I could barely keep going. So, I had to switch to the treadmill beside the one with murderous intentions. But it had already screwed up my run so I don’t feel like I did my repeats properly.

If I feel up to it tomorrow, I might do my repeats on the hill near my house. Next week is a recovery week anyway so I don’t think it matters if I have two hard runs close to back to back.

Steady Run – 8.5K

I did a steady run today, keeping my heart rate between 80% and 85% of threshold. I didn’t feel too bad, except that my legs still hurt from doing fast intervals two days ago. It’s amazing how running faster uses your muscles in a completely different way.

I finally cracked open the UFC Trainer program for Xbox 360 and gave that a go yesterday. Since I get enough cardio from running, I selected the strength training program. It was quite a decent workout, with killer pushups. I am probably going to do a half ironman next year, so I have to get my upper body strong enough to do the swimming. I’ll start with UFC, then add in kettlebells again. I need to make sure my strength training workouts don’t take much time, so they are the best choice for me.

On Friday, I’ll be doing more hill repeats before I go in to work. It should be fun!

Hill Run – 4.5K

Today, I did the Heart Rate Hill Interval workout on the Life Fitness treadmill at work. Before I started, I also did the Fit Test which estimated my VO2Max to be 34.5, which is still only average after running for 5 months. I guess I didn’t win the genetic lottery.

Easy Run – 4K

I had to do a quick run at work today, so I chose to do a steady run on the treadmill. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that there is a new treadmill with an iPhone / iPod Touch interface. I’ll have to try that out next time. If I have time tomorrow, I will do my interval run outside.

Heart Rate Ladder – 2K

Since my hill repeat run ended a bit early, I decided to do half of the heart rate ladder run I was supposed to do earlier in the week when my achilles was hurting me.

The most challenging part of this run is keeping my heart rate low at the beginning. 80% of threshold is something I could keep up by walking very fast. It’s hard to run that slow. The part I like best is when I run between 96% and 100% of threshold. That feels like a good workout, but I know the entire run serves a purpose.

Since I am working 12-hour shifts on the weekend, it’s going to be a challenge to get my run in on Saturday. People who don’t do shift work think it’s hard sticking to a schedule. Try it when you work at different times of day, 12-hour shifts, etc. Going for a “morning run” can turn into an “you’ve been up all night and are ready to climb into bed run”.

Hill Repeats – 3.4K

At the risk of sounding like a whack job, I really enjoyed this workout. I was actually pissed off when my Garmin told me to stop (too early). I messed up a bit when I programmed it so I’ll have to fix that for next week’s repeats.

Going up the hill the first time was easy. When I did the second repeat, I thought I’d never be able to finish my scheduled workout. Then a funny thing happened. I started listening to my music, relaxed and just ran. The only time I paid attention to my Garmin was when it beeped, signalling that I need to switch directions on the hill.

I can’t wait to do this workout again next week.

Combo Run – 5K

This was one of my new runs from the “Be A Better Runner” training plan for half marathons. Basically, I alternated keeping my heart rate around 80% of threshold for 5 minutes, then 90% for 5 minutes. It was a real challenge to run slow enough to stay at 80%. But I guess the idea is to teach your body that 90% really isn’t that bad in comparison to the torture of trying to run super slow.

I missed my heart rate ladder workout yesterday because my achilles was acting up and I wanted to give it a rest. I will probably try to work that back in if I can later on during the week. I am supposed to do hill repeats tomorrow, so hopefully that won’t mess with my achilles too much. If I feel anything weird, I will stop and just do the heart rate ladder run instead. There’s no way that I am going to risk an injury for one training run.

Achilles Fail

WTF … I walked for a couple of minutes then started running at an easy pace. Almost immediately, I got a somewhat pronounced pain in my achilles tendon. My achilles has been fine for well over a month, so this was a surprise. Maybe it happened because I did a lot of walking two days ago, along with a fair bit of cycling.

I guess it’s back to wearing Rocktape 24/7 and icing the tendon when I can. Anyone else have any ideas?

Race – Sunset Shuffle 6K

This race was held on Ward’s Island (which is really the east part of Centre Island). Before the race, I had a nice cappuccino from the Island Café and bought a couple of peaches for after the race.

During the race, I was a bit warm (as usual), but I still did well. I am waiting for the official results, but I think I my pace was better than the 6:40/km for the Lion’s Port Union Waterfront Run back in June. So unless I am horribly wrong, this was a new PR for me.

After the race was over, all the runners got a bit of food (veggie dogs for me), brownies and some Steam Whistle beer. It’s nice to have a brewery as a race sponsor! I’d like to do this race again next year. It was quite fun.

I really need to go back to the Toronto Islands sometime. Before this race, I hadn’t been there in years. I guess you just get used to going past places like the ferry to the islands, AGO, ROM, CN Tower, Toronto Zoo, etc. when you live in the GTA. You sort of forget how nice they are.

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Ladder – 5.5K

Ah ha. This is a new one. This was a bit complicated to set up on my Garmin, but fun to do. I had to start out with my heart rate at 80% of threshold (which is 160 bpm) and increase by 5 bpm every 5 minutes until my heart rate was at 100% of threshold. Once there, drop back down to 80% and do it over again.

It was hard to run slow enough to stay at 80% of threshold but it got harder at the end when I was overheated. I really need to figure out this heat thing. Before my race on Thursday, I am going to drink ice water to see if that helps keep me cool a bit longer. Anyone have any tips?