Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Learning to Run Slow

"Learn to run slowly" my trainer/coach said to me in an email earlier this week. I knew what she meant as we'd talked about HR training a little, but reading those words made me laugh. I want to run faster and science is telling me to back off. Either way, I pay her to think and in Green's words, my job is to "be a horse and just run."

Of course running zone 1 is just part of an overall plan, but it's the part I'm struggling with at the moment. Not because I don't want to do it, but because I really am struggling with keeping my HR in zone 1. I'm just barely not walking in zone 1 and I'm sure the old man in the walker passing me thinks I should just give up on running. It surprises me how little it takes to change my HR. The tiniest of hills sends me up 10 bpm. Hardly a slope at all. It's no wonder I've been running zone 2 "junk" for all these years. Living in North Vancouver presents some serious challenges in terms of hills. There really is no way to keep your HR consistent. It's either up or down. I did notice today that my HR came down significantly after about 25 minutes. Obviously it's up early on in exercise to meet the increase in bodily demands, but I didn't know it would take that long to get back below 141 bpm. Hmmm?

Of course there's value in learning to run slow, but I can't wait for the Aldergrove Provincial XC championships this Saturday. I won't win or even place, but I might run in zone 3 or even 4 for a bit, and then back to a long zone 1 for Sunday.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

XC Season is here!

Last weekend's Buntzen lake 5 Peaks marked then end of trail season and today's Crescent Park XC marks the start of something new...and fun.

The leaves are becoming yellow, orange, and brown and they make that wicked crunchy sound under foot. No runner would say they don't enjoy a run this time of year.

This mornings 4 loops of Crescent Park was so fun, but in the same breath a real wheezer. Out front of the Lazy Trail Runner, I knew he was just behind. It was way too quiet back there and his sneak-attack style race plan always gets me. Not today though. After 26 minutes of being ahead of him, and 500 or so meters to go, he pulled into the lead and put about 40 strides on me. I knew that if I was going to beat him he couldn't get any further ahead...and he didn't. Fighting back in the final 100 meters, I crept back quietly. Really quietly. Like a cat on grass. The LTR had no idea I was there and with 10 meters to go I showed him what the finish line looks like under my Speed Cross 3's.

The next XC installment isn't until October 29th in Aldergrove Regional Park. Come on out and burn up some lungs with the other Provincial Championship racers. You might even catch a glimpse of my new Salomon Fell Cross. Very svelt and could be the ideal XC shoe.