Wednesday 4th February 2015

Workout Soundtrack: Tool – ‘Ænima’

7.7km 35:00 (South Downs Way 50, Treadmill Session 1 ,+1% incline every 5 minutes)

Yesterday was a great day on the strength and conditioning front as I attended my first pilates class and felt absolutely wonderful afterwards! It felt like I reset my mind and gave my body some much needed TLC that I wasn’t really aware it was asking for until it was done. I’ll certainly be making that part of my weekly routine – Tuesday will never be the same again! Consequently, I slept very well last night and felt great in mind, body and spirit throughout my day today. I also think writing yesterday’s post about recovery from addiction, depression and my own story really helped with the mind and spirit side of things.

I was really looking forward to getting to the gym after work. I had intended to run the workout I did today before yesterday’s class but writing got in the way and I felt that was more important – I think also that doing a workout like this before my class would not have been beneficial in any way! The workout comes from listening to a talk by Danny Kendall last year, a successful and competitive UK based ultrarunner who I think has a real chance of doing well at this year’s Marathon Des Sables after he finished 5th last year becoming the highest placed Brit ever to date. Anyway, I follow Danny on Strava so I see the workouts he does on treadmill – he racks up a fair few miles indoors and some good elevation too. My first foray into treadmill running came at the end of last year when I finally joined a gym and put two feet on the machine! Up until today I had focused on speedwork at 0% incline – a fairly dull undertaking in all honesty but I actually like running on treadmill as there is nowhere to hide. It’s not just a physical battle but a mental one too as you will your body to give more, to last longer at a given pace than you might do on the road or trail. Not only this, the battle comes in keeping your hands away from the buttons that could make the workout more bearable and easier – a few taps and you could go from 10k or half marathon race pace into a nice easy pace!

Anyway, today I decided to go for some incline to add more physical and mental demand! I chose to raise the incline by 1% gradient every five minutes over the course of 35 minutes and to run at just above my current marathon PR average pace of 4:40pkm for the entire run. I averaged 4:36 per klick over 7.7km and I must say I enjoyed the increased effort with every five minutes that went by. Below I’ve included my heart rate and incline data for each 5 minute segment:

00:00 – 5:00 0% (88 to 159bpm)

5:00 – 10:00 1% (159 to 164bpm)

10:00 – 15:00  2% (164bpm)

15:00 – 20:00 3% (164bpm to 171bpm)

20:00 – 25:00 4% (171 to 179bpm)

25:00 – 30:00 5%  (179 to 184bpm)

30:00 – 35:00 6% (184bpm)

This is the first time ever on the blog I have made a point of looking at HR data. Don’t worry though I’m not about to become data-centric! I’m certainly no triathlete but I think I may have finally found a place to use my heart monitor – I’ve had it since I got my first Garmin in 2013 but I’ve used it only twice outdoors! I have, however, used the device on every one of my treadmill workouts to date. I listened to an interview with Larisa Dannis on this morning and she explained the Maffetone method of heart rate training and how she uses it religiously in both racing and training – I’ve always thought this was a complex and odd way to go about ultra training but the interview was captivating, simple and interesting so I’ve decided to embrace ‘Maffetone’ once or twice a week when I’m on the ‘mill. Also, yes, the treadmill is here to stay in my training regime! Sun, rain, snow, wind or shine outdoors I think far from being a ‘dreadmill’ it is a device that can add real benefit to my training! If it works for Zach Miller at the JFK 50 and for Danny Kendall at MDS 2014…

Happy Wednesday dear reader! I hope the week is treating you well – if not then don’t despair because the weekend is nearly here 🙂

Peace Out x

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