Lana’i, Hawaii Pristine Southeast Coast
RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 3
Welcome back for Episode 3 of Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life. Last week I painfully enumerated all the details of the previous week’s workouts. It was probably more painful for you to wade through than it was for me to write. Anyway my conclusion was that you need to find ways of determining the rest you need between intervals and between vigorous sessions. For the most part, we learn this by the way we feel, but a heart monitor is a good way to test our subjective rest evaluations. By the way, the above picture of the deserted Lopa Beach on Lana’i, Hawaii is hard to get to, but worth it. I only walked on it this time, but next time I’ll run on it!
After reviewing this past week’s training, I saw the value of more rest between the intervals, and more rest and cross training between the more strenuous running days. I started the week off with 1 ½ hours of “weed-whacking” and raking in the back yard, which involved both upper and lower body cross-training. The next day was complete rest. The day after that was a 45 minute gym workout, focusing on quads, hamstring, glutes, calves, biceps, triceps, and hips. The 4th day I played 9 holes of golf as a light cross-training and rest day.
Then on the 5th day I felt rested for the race pace interval workout, and I added one more 200 meter repeat (5 instead of 4 the previous week), and added 30 seconds to the rest between the repeats (2:30 instead of 2:00 minutes). With the added rest, I was able to add the extra repeat, and the average speed for the 5 repeats was only 44/100ths of a second slower than the 4 repeats average the previous week.
I’ve decided to share the details of the 6th day with you because I had a pretty good round of golf:
“Played 9 holes of golf at Saratoga Country Club. I focused on relaxing, maintaining a strong left hand, taking the club back more upright, with a slight shifting of weight on my right foot, keeping my head still, with a slight pause at the top of my backswing, and then hitting down on the ball, rather than trying to lift it off the tee. I shot a 44, the best score in quite a while.”
There are a lot of “swing thoughts” in this, which can be overwhelming. I’ve been working on this sequence for a long time, so I only have to really think about them all at once before the swing. Ultimately I don’t have to think about them during the actual swing. If I miss-hit a shot, I usually recognize what I didn’t do, so I concentrate on that swing thought on the next shot. And more often than not, I find that the cause of the error was I did not keep my head still. Anyway, if you’re a golfer, or want to be, I hope this helps you!
Getting back to running, the above process has application as well. Over time we read or hear recommendations about breathing, foot landing, arm movement, ad nauseam, and this can be overwhelming. I read in Runners World a while back about the benefits of breathing with 2 quick inhales to get more oxygen, followed by one exhalation. It took me a while to get the hang of this, but now it is second nature. But I still have to remind myself, almost every day, that relaxation is critical to enjoyment, as well as peak performance.
On the 7th day of the week’s training I felt rested, so I went ahead and did the 5 minute tempo run after the regular warm up. My heart rate had dropped to 110 two minutes after the fast strides, versus the previous week’s experience of not dropping below 130, even after 9 minutes rest. I slowed my pace slightly, covering 970 meters in the 5 minutes, versus the 1005 meters the previous week. My peak heart rate was 157, versus the 177 the prior week.
I did have only 1 day of cross training between the 2 strenuous workouts this week, but I did have more rest before the first one than I did the prior week. I may follow the same pattern this coming week, and then see how I feel at the end of it.
I may be pushing a bit too hard, bearing in mind my very long layoff. Having said that, my knee is pretty good, and I may try a few 200 meter repeats at a faster pace in next week.
Please be with me again next time, when I’ll review the week’s workouts for any new insights, and then I’ll go back a bit and share one of my more successful years.
Have a good week, and here is a reminder: remember to relax before, during, and after your workouts.