Running, Writing and Traveling for Life-Episode 2

Washington State 2008 Senior Games 800 meters
Washington State 2008 Senior Games 800 meters gold

Welcome to this week’s episode on Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life.  Last week I shared with you some of the difficulties I experienced over the last six months which dramatically interfered with my regular running program. I also tried to encourage you to keep moving, no matter how you feel, even if it’s just once around the block walking, dragging one foot behind you.  Finally, I cautioned you to avoid the “injury hole.”

The week past was a pretty good one for me, staying out of the hole, although teetering on the edge a few times.  My right knee has been pretty sore since I played 72 holes of golf in 2 days, when I am used to playing only 9 holes, twice a week.

Years ago, I read in Coach Jack Daniels book, Daniels’ Running Formula, that when you are recovering from an injury, warm up slowly, and if the pain doesn’t lessen as you progress, stop, and then try again the next day.  The pain lessened most days I ran last week, except for the last day.  Here’s what the week looked like:

6/15/13 – In Solana Beach, California.  Walked and jogged up and into San Dieguito Park, then back down Lomas Santa Fe, back up Via Mil Cumbres, then down Punta Baja.  About 2 miles.  My right knee was tender at first, but then it felt better after about ½ mile.

6/16/13 – My knee was more tender than yesterday, so I only walked a shortened version of yesterday’s loop, about 1.6 miles.  The knee pain did disappear near the end of the walk, but I decided not to run the rest of the way.  I didn’t want to stress the knee back into pain.

6/17/13 – My knee hurt and I felt very tired, so I decided to rest today. 

6/18/13 – Played 9 holes of golf at Saratoga Golf and Country Club.  My knee was sore at first, but after the second hole, it felt better.  I shot a 52, much higher than normal.

6/19/13 – Did intervals at Stanford with the Angel Field Ancients.  1 mile warm up (walked 5 minutes, jogged 75 seconds, walked 75 seconds, jogged 75 seconds, walked 75 seconds, then finished the mile with a steady run – total time 13:15); 3 x 15 second standing bent knee stretches each leg, hands against the wall, 3 x 15 second standing straight knee stretches, turned in foot each leg, hands against the wall,  20 standing one leg, swinging forward, then back hamstring and quad stretches each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings, one foot at a time, then walked for 2 minutes; total stretching and walking time 8 minutes 15 seconds; 2 x 20 step fast strides 2 X 20 (5:46, 5:63) with 1 minute walk between, then walked 1:30, then 2 x 44 step fast strides with 1:30 walk between (11:07, 10:99); rested 2:00 minutes, then 4 X 200 meters, trying for current condition race pace, with about 2 minute walk between (46:43, 2:00 rest, 46:03, 2:01 rest, 46:44, 2:00 rest, 46-48 estimate-watch didn’t stop at the split); 1 mile warm down (walked 1 minute, jogged 2 minutes, walked 75 seconds, jogged 75 seconds, walked 75 seconds, jogged 75 seconds, then walked 5 minutes-total time 13:00 minutes); then 3 x 15 second standing bent knee stretches each leg, hands against the wall, 3 x 15 second standing straight knee stretches, turned in foot each leg, hands against the wall,  20 standing one leg, swinging forward, then back hamstring and quad stretches each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings, one foot at a time.  Average heart rate 118, peak heart rate 174, and burned 394 calories.  This is only the third real interval workout in the last 6 months.  My right knee was a little sore.  My peak heart rate was 19 beats per minute faster than last week, because my pace was faster.  The pace was very consistent; the first 3 were all 46 seconds and the final one was probably 46 also, but the watch didn’t stop, and when I looked down at it, the watch read 48.  It sure felt like another 46 – that’s when my heart rate peaked at 174! 

6/20/13 – I played 9 holes of golf at Saratoga Golf and Country Club.  I carded a 48, a bit better than Tuesday, but higher than normal.  I felt my knee pain only occasionally.

6/21/13 – Did a tempo run at the new De Anza track.  1 mile warm up (walked 5 minutes, jogged 75 seconds, walked 75 seconds, jogged 75 seconds, walked 75 seconds, then finished the mile with a steady run – total time 13:41); 3 x 15 second standing bent knee stretches each leg, hands against the wall, 3 x 15 second standing straight knee stretches, turned in foot each leg, hands against the wall,  20 standing one leg, swinging forward, then back hamstring and quad stretches each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings, one foot at a time, then walked for 2 minutes; total stretching and walking time 8 minutes 57 seconds; 2 x 20 step fast strides 2 X 20 (4:76, 5:03) with 1 minute walk between, then walked 1:31, then 1 x 44 step fast strides (11:47-only did 1 because I felt “sprint strain,” to coin a phrase); 9 minute rest (7 minutes walking, then 2 minutes standing, because my heart rate wouldn’t go below 130 beats per minute); then a 5 minute tempo run, covering 1005 meters;  1 mile plus warm down (walked 1 minute, jogged 2 minutes, walked 75 seconds, jogged 75 seconds, walked 75 seconds, jogged 75 seconds, then walked 6:40 minutes-total time 14:40 minutes); 3 x 15 second standing bent knee stretches each leg, hands against the wall, 3 x 15 second standing straight knee stretches, turned in foot each leg, hands against the wall,  20 standing one leg, swinging forward, then back hamstring and quad stretches each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings, one foot at a time,.  Average heart rate 132, peak heart rate 177, and burned 447 calories.  My peak heart rate was even higher than 2 days ago (177 versus 174), and it was elevated for quite a long time after the sprints, not really dropping below 130.  This is probably because I haven’t recovered fully from my interval training 2 days ago.  My knee felt sore during the initial warm up, and never quite went away during the tempo run. 

As I looked back at this week, a few conclusions have dawned on me: 

1.     Use tools, such as heart monitors, to guide your training.  After years of training, you generally know how much rest to take between intervals and what pace to run them at, either speed work or tempo runs.   But not always.  Because my heart rate didn’t drop below 130 after the warm up sprints on Friday, I abandoned my plan to run 2 or 3 tempo intervals, and ran just one.

2.      As you age, recovery takes longer. When I was in college, I was capable of 2 workouts a day.  In recent years, I needed one day of rest between my speed intervals and tempo runs.  Now it appears I need 2 days of rest between these vigorous workouts.

3.       If you train regularly and include intervals and tempo runs, your maximum heart rate declines as you age, but at a slower rate than if you do not include the higher intensity workouts.  The general population maximum heart rate declines even faster.  Earl Fee, a Masters Runner who wrote The Complete Guide To Running, cites the maximum heart rate general rule of thumb for untrained people to be 220 beats per minute, less your age.  But that is subject to great variation; some young elite athletes actually have lower maximum heart rates than the rule of thumb would indicate, and some older, well trained athletes have higher maximum heart rates than the rule of thumb calculation.  Mr. Fee suggests several ways to determine your maximum heart rate.  If you are in good shape, he suggests running 4 x 200 meter or 3 x 300 meters at 95% effort, with 5 or 6 minutes between the reps, then measure your heart immediately after the last repeat.  He suggests a heart monitor for the most accurate reading.  The alternative is to count your heartbeat for 10 seconds, then multiply by 6.

I now have another week’s training log to review, and I’ll see if I learn anything from those entries.  I’ll probably just summarize them next week, rather than include all the gory details as I did this week.

Please send me your comments.  The link is at the bottom of my home page. Also please check out the links to my fiction by clicking on the Books tab on the top of my home page.  Or you can go to www.amazon.com, and then type in Allan Westcott Chapman.

 Thanks for being with me this week, and Happy Trails! 

 

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