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.


  1. Okat, amendment - the top of my HR zone 1 is actually 157 bpm. This is what I pay the trainer for. I actually was going to slow.

    Take that old man in the walker.

  2. Too early. That's "okay" and "too". Next timie I'll edit my work before I post.

  3. Ha, I did the Victoria Marathon without enough (hardly any) prep and spent 2:32:00 in Zone 3. Summer was too much fun on the bike.
    My max HR is 198 and I am always in Zone 2 and 3 on North Shore trails -- tough stuff. I have been running to lynn headwaters parking, around rice lake, down lilloote rd berm, up fishermans, beyond fishermans and back all in zone 1 (except up twin bridges road). It is flat, scenic and easy.