Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Reward

For every stick, there must be a carrot.  For every risk, there must be a reward.  Why else then would one take risks in the first place?  My reward for executing a most excellent test was a plethora of digits for me to play with and analyze.

splits

As you can see from the splits, I started out way too fast, which, while not unusual, is easier to avoid during a test than a race.  That number would indicate that my first mile was a PR, with one small problem.  My Garmin 310XT beeped at me before I crossed the 1600 meter line, much less the 1609 meter mile mark.  A mile PR?  not so much…

I am much happier with the second, third, and fourth splits (yes, even the last 0.11 miles).  It shows that my effort was consistent, and I even managed to turn it up a little bit at the end.  Overall, these deets tell me that there is room for improvement in my execution.  Running well is not entirely about fitness, execution and economy are important as well.

The chart below shows my heart rate during the test:

heart_rate

As you can see, the level of effort is pretty consistent.  My max HR was 171, and my average heart rate was 167.  This puts my Zone 5 heart rate seven (!) beats below where it was last year.  That’s a huge difference.  How could this be?  Well, I have my theories…

Ever since I switched over from training by heart rate (running) to training by pace, I’ve noticed that my heart rate has been lower, even though my pace has improved.  Certainly, some of this is due to greater fitness, but I’ve had a stinkin suspicion that a lot of it had to do with my preoccupation with heart rate during my training/tests.  My mind was forcing my heart rate to match my perceived level of exertion.  By totally ignoring HR during my test, I believe I have a truer picture of exactly where my zones are.

Using the handy dandy calculator at Training Peaks, I plugged my average pace into the calculator, and I’m now the proud owner of pace ranges for each of my five zones.  Coupled with the information from the McMillan Running Calculator, I now have a pretty good idea of how and where I should be doing my training.  The McMillan calculator, by the way, says I should run a 1:52 half marathon.  I don’t think I have the confidence for THAT, yet….

With 67 days to the Georgia Half Marathon, its time to get bizzy…

Wes

11 comments:

Kim said...

nice 5k time wes!

Jess said...

Numbers are not my thang, but your charts and graphs look very important!

it's all about pace said...

good work... and analyzing

Michelle said...

You're so good with the numbers. And those are some mighty fine numbers : )

Firefly's Running said...

Did you have flames following you as you ran? Wow!

Darrell said...

Gettin' the confidence is a good portion of the battle. You can do it.

Julie said...

Way to go Wes!! With those splits you could sign up for a few 5K races....let's see what you can do:) I bet your PR for sure!

Cheers to getting busy and the kick off of your half marathon training!! Go Wes!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Very nice Wes!!!

did not realize how close the GA Half Marathon was. Scott and I have tossed around doing it. Guess we need to decide and put some $$ down... SOON.

Colleen said...

Great job Wes. I think you totally have a great half in you... keep at it!

Joe said...

You were pushing it looking at that heart rate chart. Good to know where the max is!

Thanks for sharing your analysis!

challenges2010 said...

As usual it's been interesting reading your posts and your training. If 1:52 isn't there for you shoot for 1:56:53 at least. That's my best HM time :) I think you can get 1:52, you do have 10 weeks. Good luck!